Gardens Project 11: Hackwork and Ennui

Gardens Project 11: Hackwork and Ennui

Langour of spirit is about right as far as the ‘Gardens Project’ is concerned.

I’ve got, finally, the topography established for the glover street scene. It took about 230 hours to get it looking the way I wanted. I’ve noted before that this is because of my lack of knowledge which leads to the iterative process of build, test, scrap, rebuild, test, scrap and on. I’ve also built the Introductory scene in outline and started to model the oak leaf as the overall box for the environment.

There will eventually be an introduction leading to the oak leaf and six chapters built around the gardens that will be accessed through the oak leaf at the whim of the player.

Hackwork and Ennui

Gardens Project Plan

I’ve planned this out to complete over the next six months frustrations notwithstanding, but then I got a job, so that’s going to slow it down somewhat.

Given those frustrations I’ve continued to paint.

holly leaves oil sketch

Holly Leaves, oil on board, 10″10″

I added a 10”x10” oil sketch of the holly leaves on plywood and finished the Bathroom Still Life.

bathroom still life

bathroom still life, oil on board, 50cmx40cm

This one is 50cmx40cm plywood and is another oil on board.

I made three small (30cmx20cm) oil on board paintings of lens flares from my camera trap.

lens flare painting

Lens Flare One, oil on board, 30cmx20cm

lens flare painting

Lens Flare Two, oil on board, 30cmx20cm

lens flare painting

Lens Flare Three, oil on board, 30cmx20cm

I also made a garden painting the same size,


apples, oil on board, 30cmx20cm

and a painting of honeysuckle.


honeysuckle, oil on board, 30cmx20cm

I added a sparrow to my bird collection


sparrow, oil on board, 10″x10″

Finally I began a 50cmx40cm of a rose from the front garden.

rose - in progress

close up painting of a rose in progress

I’ve carried on drawing every day and you can see the November images

The drawings are posted to Twitter and Instagram each day.

The Gardens project posts start here 


Gardens Project 9: Continually frustrated by my old brain.

Garden’s Project 9:

Continually frustrated by my old brain.

I finished the July drawings, one day left handed and the next right handed, and by the end the left hand ones have a delicacy that matches the right. The difficulty with ‘wrong’ handed drawing is the lack of muscle memory and/or development (strength) in the hand.

pair of drawings left handed and right handed

pair of drawings left handed and right handed

The example above from the end of the month shows that it’s hard to tell the difference.

For the first six days of August I continued with the left hand right hand to finish the sketchbook, then I started a new one doing double page spreads for each drawing, mostly right handed.

End of August drawing of kitchen

Kitchen Window, 30th August

I’m still sitting in the kitchen drawing from the same seat.

The finished July Gallery is here

The August Gallery is here

I’m carrying on through September and beyond. The drawings are posted daily to Instagram and Twitter, there are links in the side menu.

3d model of areaa around Glover Street

3d model of areaa around Glover Street

The last two months have been incredibly frustrating for the Gardens Project. I decided I needed to change the layout and the way the ‘news’ was encountered and had to relearn modelling for terrain to do it. Since then it’s been stop start, rebuilding and rejecting and I’m close to 200 hours into modelling chapter 1.

This post is only here because I need to put something up.

Gardens Project One

In preparation for the effort that will go into the VRD Gardens piece – I’m increasingly against the ‘et in arcadia ego’ working title (too pretentious even for me) – I’ve been working on a small world I use as a test bed for learning about Unity and 3ds Max modelling. I found that the frustration involved in working with the technology is best spent on things that aren’t as significant, if it fails and I lose it all I feel less upset.

miro world map

This video takes a brief walk through ‘miro_world’ in it’s current state.

I’ve continued to research for the VRD gardens project, which has now been acknowledged as eligible for funding by ACE (this only means they will now consider it and, it being a resubmission, I would have been surprised if they hadn’t), and I came across the online exhibition at the Garden Museum –

“I walk in this garden holding the hands of dead friends…” i

This is the start of a poem in one of Derek Jarman’s garden notebooks. This page, and a few others are reproduced on the Garden Museum website as part of the first exhibition dedicated to his garden at prospect college. There is a nice reading by Julian Sands heading this page.

When you carry your past with you as any conscious creature must it helps to have a place to lay it down. This is what Jarman did with prospect cottage, creating a space defined by the horizon geographically and physcologically, allowing patches of memory and the ideas they spawn to seed and grow as they could in the shingle.

There is nothing for me as dramatic as Jarman’s motivation but the desire to contain an essence of oneself in a space is palpably universal. The garden serves of course as itself and has a personality that dominates with its presence when you are present. It causes you to contemplate whether you wish to or not and visit and revisit aspects of yourself. Whether working or relaxing the space is redolent with shadows cast by your thoughts and memories.

i Garden Museum. (2020). Derek Jarman’s Sketchbooks. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2020].