Monthly Archives: March 2013

Twin Dragon – charcoal drawing

DeviantArt

Book Review thing: A Game of Thrones

My goal this year is to read 5 books. Today I bought the fifth one 🙂

A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

For my third book I chose the first book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire. This is a very popular series, with a TV show based on it that is currently in its second season. This is a big series. The first book was massive.

I would put an R rating on this book for violence, language and other naughty bits. But then R-ratings make me even more interested in reading a book (save for 50 Shades of Grey. I would need to get drunk first.)

This massive book has four maps in the front.

Help! I can’t stop reading it!

Plot:

Phaaaaaaaaar. It’s a big book. End of plot section.

More?

In the main plot: After the suspicious death of the Kings Hand, the King chooses Lord Eddard Stark as the new Hand. Lord Eddard goes to work for the king and discovers dodgy plots and politics that could start a war.

I spent the whole time reading this going :O The plot is epic! There are many big surprises I didn’t expect. It’s a fantasy, with a heavy amount of murder and mystery.

I can only describe it as a very extreme episode of Shortland Street. Or maybe Coronation Street. I’ll go with Coro. That’s the kind of drama I’m talking about.

Characters:

I can’t do it!!!! T_T

There are so many colourful characters and Lords and Ladies and Houses. it was fun to read about them in the Appendix.

Eddard Stark is the Lord of Winterfell. He has a wife and kids. So along with being the Kings Hand he has other very important responsibilities, which could potentially be at risk. His family is then scattered all over the place. Through the story I really wanted to see Eddard succeed and reunite the family, but then this is a massive book and there are many more books after it O.o

But then this is a huge story that isn’t necessarily all about Eddard.

There were some characters that George Martin made me really hate! There are some pretty dark and dodgy characters here. I did not trust the Queen at all! Not even the other characters liked Viserys and I actually wanted to beat up Sansa! But maybe that was Martin’s intention.

Writing:

I’m taking notes.

George R R Martin has his own way of writing point of view. There is about a million of them in this book. This was the first time I’ve seen perspectives like this and I think it works very well for this book. Probably won’t try this in my own book because this way of writing is probably very hard to get right. It’s very witty and there is some strong language.

Martin is experienced in television production and he may have used some of that knowledge when writing this book. And then it became a TV show.

Conclusion: 5/5 I will never be happy until I read the next one! 😦

Moral of the Story: Twincest ruins everything!!! 😡

 

Patrick Stewart on Violence Against Women

I’ll just leave this here…

What I learned at art school

An artist never stops learning. Some artists are self taught, others actually have degrees and batchellors in it. There are even doctorates (more about that later). There is some controversy to which one of these options makes the best artist. My opinion is: Make art!

I did three years at NMIT, which would get you a degree in Visual Arts and Media. I didn’t get the degree though, I earned a Certificate instead. But even though I was studying for the degree, I didn’t expect to get it. I had just failed Year 13 and all I wanted to do was go to polytech and learn about art.

So here is some things that I learned.

1. Don’t eat oil paints

Oil Paints

Right from day one of learning about oil paints we all wore gloves. Seriously, some oil paints are pretty toxic. Wear gloves. Wash your hands. I once ate something after using oil paints. Then I painted this:

AAAAAAARRG!

AAAAAAARRRRGGGG!!!!

2. The word ‘phallocentrisim’ and how to use it in a sentence

You don't get much more phallus than this.

You don’t get much more phallus than this.

I also learned that if you can’t even remember to spell it the phallocentric spell check will do piss all to help you 😀 There were a few ‘women in art’ options for assignments. I chose one for one of my last assignments because why the hell not? It was like, where has this group called ‘feminists’ been all my life?? These are exactly the same issues I’ve been screaming about since I was bloody born! You mean people can actually agree with me? Holy crap! Give me some of whatever this thing is.

Phallocentrism is a feminist invented word for the male dominated language. For example. Male. FeMALE. MANkind. HuMAN. Man. WoMAN. ect. There’s probably heaps more like this in the English language. Something interesting I learned about French: Most of its words tend to have male and female versions. I’m talking about words for things like duck or wall. Sometimes even words like ‘the’ has two versions depending on gender.

Some of my tutors worried that I might be offended by this topic. Nigel the Christian Feminist Dragon? I’ll give it a go.

3. People like my powerpoints. The essay that’s supposed to go with it never gets completed 😄

In one Powerpoint I opened a Gallery Exhibition. On the Moon. Because I can.

In one Powerpoint I opened a Gallery Exhibition. On the Moon. Because I can.

Well it is and ART course and powerpoints are a great place to be creative. But I can’t do essays. I can’t write ten pages to answer one question. Some of them were a bit close ended anyway O.o I can write a novel, but my essays and assignments always fail requirements 😦 Which brings me back to my opinion: Make art!

4. The difference between water, acrylic and oil, let alone how to use them

Batman tried to help

Batman tried to help

Nigel honestly didn’t even know there WAS and ‘oil paint’ until the last year of art school. (But then again, this is Nelson.)

During my first year I learned how to use waters, which was fun 🙂 Can’t tell you which is my fave though since they all have different qualities. I want to use all teh paints!!! But don’t eat them. Read #1

5. I’m really good at abstracts. Drawing from life nearly makes me vomit!

Best life drawing I ever did. Drew this at least 5 years ago.

Best life drawing I ever did. Drew this at least 5 years ago.

Especially after I ate all my oil paints! But seriously though, I’ve never been able to draw from life, all my drawings came from my head. Thankfully most of our life drawings were to practice things like contour and space and line so most of mine looked pretty abstract anyway.

Drawing perspective from life gave me a headache. So does trying to draw stuff on a table or the room or outside. I think my nose may have started bleeding at one point.

But I love my abstracts. I used to draw circles and stuff when I was little with crayons and pencils. At polytech I used paints and it was called art and people said I could sell them. I call them my autism paintings, which is exactly what they are.

6. You can be a doctor of arts

No seriously. One of my tutors was a Dr. of ARTS! Pretty epic title. If you want one, definitely give it a go.

8. What about the Degree?

My first ever trophy

My first ever trophy

 

I failed Year 13. I failed the Degree.

I was also the first on both sides of my family to actually complete Yr 13. Some didn’t even start. At the end I was given an award for perseverance. I earned Excellence for my paintings (Hmm, I wonder what I should do when I grow up?). The highest mark, and apparently the hardest to get. Many of my fellow classmates had some cool paintings but still didn’t get Excellence 😦 An NCEA Certificate would have been nice, but I went to school to learn stuff. The entire NCEA system is rigged in my opinion anyway. Even geniuses have failed it. 😛

I also completed polytech with a Certificate. I got it because I went to polytech and learned how to paint and draw, which is all I wanted to do anyway. I fracking love making stuff.

My first Higher Education ever

My first Higher Education ever

Isn’t that the whole reason for the existence of school? To learn stuff? When did the point of school become a script where you have to do everything exactly one way, do the same thing everyone else does, learn the same thing in the same way all just to get a piece of paper with your name on it? I already know how to spell my name, thanks, learned that before I started school 😛 But I learned stuff, so I’m happy with that. Better than being dumb 🙂

So in conclusion: Everybody now one two three MAKE ART!

 

Book review thing: The Hunger Games

Nigel’s goals this year is to read five books, get a source of income and finish that novel draft. I’ve finished two books so far which is an improvement on the total amount I read last year, which was two 😦

The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins

A young teenager called Katniss must take her sisters place in a competition called the Hunger Games where every year 24 teenagers are chosen from the 12 Districts of Panem to fight to the death for the entertainment of others.

The plot: Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian, set in the future in a country called Panem. Each of the 12 Districts must sacrifice two teenagers to a Reality TV show, The Hunger Games as punishment for rising up against the Capitol. It reminds me of TV shows like Survivor, (which I never watch because I find reading books like the Hunger Games much more entertaining). It’s like a commentary on violence and the media. In the back of the book are some questions answered by Collins, who says she was inspired to write the book after watching a reality TV show and then seeing news footage of a war on another channel. The result is the violent Hunger Games where teenagers must kill each other to win.

I’ve seen too many spoilers before reading this since I had no idea if I would like it, but I still couldn’t put it down!

Characters: My favorite is Katniss Everdeen. She’s the main character, she’s female, she’s kick ass, and a survivor. She’s from the coal mining district, which is probably the poorest, where she has to be the sole breadwinner for her family. Because of her class, naturally she must already learn to survive or die, which would give her a big advantage in the games.

Peeta is her male counterpart, also from the coal mining district and also chosen for the Hunger Games. It was interesting to see what kind of relationship would develop between Katniss and Peeta and how it affected the plot.

 

Some people have said that the Winners of the Hunger Games could have been more traumatized over the violence, and I do agree a bit, there is room for it and it would be a good way of developing a character. But since the Hunger Games is so ingrained into the culture, maybe its people are probably desensitized to violence in different ways than we are.

There wasn’t really a villain in the story. I suppose the Antagonist was the Capitol. So in this story, instead of one person as the villain, it was a ‘system’. Though there would probably be more of this in the next book.

Writing: The style of writing is first person present tense from the point of view of Katniss, which I liked because it works very well for this kind of story. It’s like you get to see The Hunger Games through the eyes of someone experiencing it, instead of just watching it. And it was also a good way to sympathize with Katniss.

Conclusion: I enjoyed the Hunger Games. Katniss is an awesome character. I have no idea if this was Collins intention, but the plot makes me think about what I see in the media.
It will be very interesting to see where the next book goes!

5/5 !

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