Monday 17 March 2014

7sobm / pasadoproximo

South West Wales / Bristol Scene; shaman of the river Severn (north): 

I am lucky to be doing some music projects with her.

Saturday 8 March 2014

steampunk tabletop card rpg

Hi, here are some ideas for your steampunk tabletop roleplay game competition. If you are interested in taking this further with kickstarter funding to produce a box set then let me know, it will be great to collaborate on a project.

Basic Victoriana skills set: Alchemy, Mechnology, Botany, Physician, Apocathery, Business, Oration, Etiquette, Empathy, Streetwise, Brawling, Artistic, Sculduggery, Survival, Gambler, Arcana, Researching, Fencing, Presence, Obfuscation, Educated, Intimidation, Housekeeping, Kitchen, Acrobatic, Player, Voodooism, specialist trade, etc.

Each character has any three skills based on Professional Type.

Attributes are simply; Mind, Body, Soul, you have d6+1 points per attribute and it is a nice d10 to test, scoring equal or less than the relevant attribute. The attributes are the skills categories.

You then have 5 free points to alot to your skills, no skill can rate at higher than 3 but can rate at zero. 3 is master, 2 is adept, 1 is practised, zero is novice. These scores are added to the relevant attribute to do a skills test. Task difficulty modifiers are +2 easy, -2 hard.

Income bracket is loosely based on Profession and Skills expectations, however characters begin at random by rolling a d6 on the income bracket chart. Character Backstory is based on justifying disparency between profession and income bracket.

destitute 1
 poor 2
waged 3
wealthy 4
affluent 5
rich 6

multiply each number by itself and then multiply that number by itself to determine how much you earn on average in one week. This also shows the starting level of equipment you have in financial terms.  Upkeep on properties and paying staff comes out of this income. Any big assets, work out cost and backtrack that number of weeks for how long you have had it.

Each character also has a numeric rated statistic called Vitality. This functions as stamina, hit points and reaction time. It measures personal magnitude, it is also magic points level if you use magic in your games, think of it in terms of the force in starwars. Vitality points can be used up as modifiers to tricky dice rolls to improve your chances on a one to one ratio. Vitality is regained by eating and resting. Characters begin with 5 vitality points. There is no maximum but most humans score less than ten, and zero means unconscious/dead.

Items can also have vitality; Use of armour soaks up damage that would otherwise reduce vitality rate. Encumbrance also reduces vitality rate. Vitality measures what order characters actions happen in, especially useful for during combat rounds.

As a card game, the card types are the skills set, and Stuff for all the useful items to be found in the game, there will be quite a lot of it ranging from medical kit to mansion. Because steampunk is what it is, many of these cards will have to be compatible for example a clockwork engine card, a steam engine card, a crystal capacitor card, are all useful to power any device that requires energising, such as a vehicle, weapon, winged knapsack, robotic manservent, etc. This way the players can customize the experience and no two games are quite the same.

Other decks cards for locations around the loosely constructed map, and npc characters to be found there, changes from scenario to scenario in this way the game can be expanded in future by campain/scenario booster packs.

 List of probable locations, can be owned as in monopoly to justify income brackets and visited during roleplay adventures; warehouse, orphanage, factory, hospice, docks, backstreet lair, library, gentlemans club, cathedral, train station, hansom cab station, mansion, townhouse, whorehouse, town hall, playhouse, university, ballroom, workshop, (carpenters, metalsmiths,) market stalls, herbalist, post office/telegram, telephone exchange, steelworks, loom weaver clothesmaking place, cemetery, castle, streets, backstreets, main street, police station, bank, mines, tailor, baker, grocer, tinker,  candlestick maker, soup kitchen, laboratory, hairdresser, spirit medium seance hall, sewers, gallows, prison/dungeon, moneylenders, 

THIS BLOG IS REPOSTED FROM G+, original post dated Saturday 8th March 2014. 
Reposted to date-mark by way of copyrighting material viewable from the public domain.

Friday 7 March 2014

jungle journey

< preface

The following is re-blogged from my webjam account which was removed by hackers dec2013. It was originally posted several years previously.

Fortunately I had a copy as a SecondLife notecard accompanying each painting sold from my cyber gallery 'bunker' (the concrete pastiche mayan temple with tree-pod in the picture).

Unfortunately the land rental closed when the landlord sold the patch, so I will have to rebuild the gallery manyana.                                   


a series of 33 images and accompanying text
the alchemical elements are symbolic and the concept is 


"Anarchy disguised as bureacracy, disguised as police state, disguised as democracy."
~Snakeappletree commenting on Life in britain.

I was taught in school the common understanding that oil comes from what once used to be prehistoric jungles; forests that have rotted down over aeons into a high energy liquid. I find this strange to believe simply because oil floats on water, so logically the oil should be floating on top of the ocean or in time have filtered down into the seabeds. Instead, somehow all that primal rainforest ended up underground in subterranean cavities, only to be extracted millenia later when Mother Nature set her children the task of refining it and filtering in our movable petrol filters into heavy metallic gas.

Thinking about the processes that have to occur to result in that situation is mind boggling. Billions of years in the making and then... a flash of combustion and a thimble of petrol ignites, is catalysed into carbon monoxide fumes and eventually filters into the soil to stunt the growth of existing species.

I have faith that Gaia, the holistic Life force of this plan't, knows what it is doing and the reason behind the chemicals ending up being filtered into the soil is to add a new sort of nutrient for the new sorts of creatures of the future, which will evolve after this current phase of global die-back. Microbes and mutated plant types, most likely. It has happened before, this we know from the fossil record. And it happens rapidly. Meanwhile this thimble of oil is instead used by me in the form of paint, varnish and pva glue to make some lush fresh pictures inspired by the jungle. I made these a few years ago, 2005 or 2006.

This series is about Process. The process of making abstract expressionist art. The process of thought involved with making a painting, deciding which colour, which brush stroke, how to arrange apparently random splatters, how much to use haphazard spills in creating this image.

Prior to making these images and thinking these thoughts I was wand'ring around in a british woodland, consciously picking up and placing sticks that had fallen from trees. My arrangement of these was such that some of them had obviously been consciously placed; others I arranged so that they looked as if nobody had touched them at all, that they had landed there quite naturally and without interference. In retrospect I can understand that I was exploring and deconstructing the decision making process itself. Questioning the qualifiers we use to judge.

Prior to my attending and during Art school (cheltenham university class of '99) I studied Jungian psychology and the Primitive in art. The Jungle, the forest, is metaphor for the inner wild, the subconscious, the primal self stripped bare of judgement, stripped of labels and the labeling system in our minds which program our observations away from true seeing, the Pure Gaze. A breakdown of the artificial constructed memetic grid, the systematic belief structure that we superimpose into the world and mistake for reality.

Wand'ring around in the forest and then making these images became a cyber-shamanic experience for me. Not only in the sense of their construction process but afterwards, the object we are left with, a bunch of petro-chemicals and wooden board (a cupboard door retrieved from the overgrown ruin of an abandoned house) temporarily bound into a form the surface world of which invokes emotional and psychological reference points, an inner journey partaken in by the observer. The images become signifiers of stages or scenes of that journey. It is a journey of transition.

This series is about processes and it is also about change; transition. Change being the only constant (other than void). There is light-sensitive colour changing paint mixed in with the other pigments here. What I observed during painting was that when the paint and pva dries it loses its sheen, its intensity. Subsequently it became necessary for me to take digital photographs of the work in progress, recording the process.

Still moments frozen in time.

~Snakeappletree, 2009

ceremony gate

Lived events, footsteps in a new direction which is at once a deja vu of treading ancient path. We have walked this route before, when we were others, wearing others body and mind; so our ritual passage is both a sacred awakening and a continuity. Tarot imagery is drawn from passing such as this, what Yaqui sorcerers calls Mystical Passes.

When we access the Otherworld by this way we are in a groove and the most befitting symbology, if we do it justice and do it right, is primal and basic. Every nuance of personal derailment from that path makes it unique for us and yet more difficult for future selves to follow. Our complexity is streamlined through the gate, it is the eye of a needle. 

I wrote much at the time regarding the passing and wrote it in paint and with pencil. I found as i wrote that the imagery was writing itself, my body a conduit for its manifestation, the flamboyancy of my studied skill mere wallpaper around the principle form.  I borrowed from my studies, symbols easy to recognize and dance with; as is their pagan purpose. The prose, struggling to remain a direct account, becomes poetic; dancing wild with the heart as it has to, for this is the only way to tell it true. To do it justice and to stay within its play, this is necessarily the way.

Imagery to follow.

Ishtar is Itza

< preface

During my mid-twenties, the first decade of the twenty-first millennium, my research revealed the following revelation:

Ishtar is the name of a Babylonian deity, a Goddess whose concerns are Love, War, and the fertility they generate. During my teens I danced with my then-partner through the Processional Walkway of the Goddess which is currently located in Berlin Museum; together we entered the Ishtar Gate.

Itza is the Mayan word for 'city' although a more proper definition is 'the ways of all the people'. Upon reflection I saw that the ways of the people are, essentially, the fertility generated between love and war. In a single word i would use 'urban' since we are indeed and increasingly an urban species, building our own habitat in the same way as is natural to other builder species which we cohabit with.

I X A where X represents ST or TS alternately ZT or TZ; the serpent on the cross motif.

The Mayans associate Itza with the Fifth Age, which in their galactic calendar renews itself circa 2012. This coincides with the western astrological Age of Aquarius, where 'the christ consciousness' previously associated with feminine Isis energy, becomes mainstream.

Christ, Chi-Ri-ST, associated with the preceding age of Pisces symbolized by the fish (vesca pisces, relating it to the sacred well concept).

The word ISIS symbolizes the pure flow of both ida and pingala streams of the kundalini flowing perfectly in balance; the internal and external worlds perfectly mirror each other, are one and the same. This is the lesson we are to learn as a species during the era of the fifth age. 

The following series of my art is dedicated to this concept and entitled 'Ishtar is Itza'. It is intentionally urban, and intentionally multi-layered both in technique and references. Obviously this takes it into the abstract. The main of the series is two large canvases, one entitled 'Itza' and the other entitled 'Ishtar'.

The rest of the series deals largely with the concepts involved with urban human culture as summarized by love war and fertility, and is multi-format.

The project is expansive involving use of computer game engines to create labyrinthine 3D environments as well as 2D computer art augmented from digital close-up stills from the over-layered painted textures.


The painting palette and techniques are minimalist; black, white, the grays between: from the scarred patchwork of tarmac and cracked concrete which our urban habitat is constructed of, to the city lights at night where halogen blends through mist into the crisp inky darkness.

Fat paintbrushes for smudgy splodges, thrown and dribbled marks, haphazard and accidental like spillage in the street; are finely cut and repeated with cardboard edge, spreading the paint in lines using the same technique as for cutting up lines of cocaine, the speed of life of the city.

Layer upon timeless layer; the history and the future of this place are equally the same as this present scene, that being a stage, a momentary gate in a process of continual progress, toward a goal we cannot fathom beyond its own perpetuation and changing nature.



Her eyes are bisexual dun black, soaking in her domain and nevertheless the most intense blazing light; dark matter, the hidden secrets that 95% our environment remains obscured despite repeat patterns of our lives, generation after generation.

She wears a bourka for high fashion and religious protection, emphasizing her personality through the look she casts. What we say about the city we can say about her. She is virgin, innocent and whore, wise mother ancient spirit and young child needing the support that makes us what we are; by providing it or by taking of her soul.

Thus we become her, she who lives through us, watching endlessly and steering from realms beyond our senses. She teaches us our limitations and offers us freedoms. Without her venom, we suffocate in our own stagnation.

process art

This blog is by way of a Preface
to a series of interconnected blogs showcasing my art.
See links to other related blogs.

It has been a long time since I last painted, other than a brief splash eighteen months ago which produced the start of a series that has not been returned to yet, unless the divergence from the mind of the artists aspiration and vision, from the actualized works, deems the continuity to be taken as a whole for what it is despite the artists intentions and influences. How an artist categorizes internally his or her own work, compared with how historians categorize the same.

Exploring that is a huge part of what my work is about; in a word: PROCESS. It is inseparable from subject.

The deep and intricate background feelings and observations of an artist about the subject matter; all the stuff a casual viewer doesn't get to see; the write-up to justify or explain the are object. The invisible processes at work to create a finished piece or series. 

As a virtual adept of the marvels of computer augmented art (ie: Photoshop 2D, Cheetah 3D) utilizing digital technologies I find the smooth transition from a painted canvas (or in most cases reclaimed board or cardboard) through photography into cyber environment to be a natural continuity of the act of making a painting. 

Most often the canvas is discarded as a biproduct in favour of further development of the piece, through the pipeline, through a blog and into the perception of the viewer. One canvas becomes a whole series of digital stills, becomes an interactive environment within a game engine and an Oculus Rift headset. Electricity is now a crucial raw element of the artists tool set. Oil and Acrylic have become graphic tablet. I do not at this time own half of the products I am talking about, it is illustrative. 

Jungle Journey series
Ceremony Gate series