If you could see what I see
The woman that captures my heart
The one surrounded in beauty
Her soul speaks to me
From a tender place I call home
Her eyes filled with love’s light
Her smile welcomes me in from the cold
Of a life I used to know
Before I knew love
My place of refuge
My lighthouse that beckons to me
Warns me of the jagged rocks
These words of the careless
She guides me in troubled waters
And love if you could see what I see
The girl within the woman
And the woman within a prayer
That echoed across the Arab seas
To a father in the sky
You would see I’ve been waiting for so long
To find my way home to your healing heart
Your gentle shores
I would shipwreck on your shallows
If only to stay there forever
What the panel MAY look like.
This is just a mock-up sample.
Just a little sneak peak of what the Panels in Bushmills might look like next year, or at least the progress of the panels so far. Each panel, one situated at the Giant's Causeway Park and Ride at the top of the town, another in the Millennium park next to the river and the other at Hamill Park outside the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery all will feature the same map layout and heritage images (originally they were going to have different themes for each area...Salmon jumping in the Millenium Park design, a Finn McCool design and a Whiskey barrel design but most of these designs are now used as faded design elements in both panel and brochure)
The map will use a grid and the commercial section (the part that is left blank in the mock-up image to the left) will indicate what grid square each establishment falls under. The heritage images will all be number coded so that visitors will be able to find the location of each place of interest easily. I am very pleased to have been able to redesign the panels of the town with the help of the Brighter Bushmills group and hopefully, if or when they need me, when this project is over we will work on other projects in the near future.
Another day’s meeting at the French Rooms brought us a little bit closer to designing the logo for the town of Bushmills. It’s been an ongoing task with varying opinions on what would best represent the town. Created from a Winston Boyce design. The logo
This time around I’ve decided (at least for now) to only illustrate what is given to me by the group as it seems they have a definite idea of what they want, and
may have a look similar to this.
Rendered in Photoshop by myself
really yet another cook would only spoil the broth. Initially I thought that a town logo that would tie in with the same style of work that I did and which will be present on the 3 orientation panels, tourist info indoor panel, and the newly updated brochure would work best, but with the group wanting a more simplified streamlined logo I entrust it to the group. Logo design is not something i am very familiar with, with my work being more illustrative and detailed compared to the very sparse abstract design that the group foresees for the town. My original design for a Bushmills town logo
As always, it's great to meet up with the group and progress further with the project. Both panel and brochure work are coming along nicely and are nearing completion, with a few minor additions included in the map. I am of the belief that this is some of my best work to date, and i am glad it will be displayed in my home town.
used Currie's Mill beside the old
bridge accompanied with a simplified
montage of both the river and the iconic Bushmills chimneys
I’ll be working on a Ballintoy map next for Art Ward through the Ballintoy Group (an official name will be included in my blogs as and when I get more info of course) but all in all a stretch of map that starts from Dunserverick Castle and runs across to Kenbane Castle will be underway soon. I feel this will be a really good follow-up to my Bushmills map, which, all being well, will be on display in Bushmills next year.
Saturday the 5th of October saw the first John Clarke Potato Festival or “The Potato Festival” as it has been more commonly referred to. I first heard of it through Professional photographer Art Ward who also works along side me on the Brighter Bushmills Project’s new town map and brochure along with the rest of the group. The festival was held at Innisfree House, a National Trust owned property and one time home of potato grower John Clarke. With Art working with the National Trust it was great to meet up with him and chat about this, that and the other; the other being the possible map work for Ballintoy, which will be created in the same style of illustration as my Bushmills town map. To view the colouring of the Bushmills town map, click hereFor being it's very first year, the festival had an impressive amount of stalls and cookery demonstrations, with Glens of Antrim Potatoes and Tayto Crisps in attendance. All in all a great day out.
Eyes, like the eyes that I knew
From before a time I first saw them
A face it seems I’ve known
I’ve always known
From the beginning
Did I dream you like I dreamed
Of the map?
Did I will you here?
Strange, now that I see my own self
In your dimples, kindness
The bangs in your eyes so sweet
I long to walk the road with you
And to kiss your feet along the journey
I’m so sorry I seem dormant
Devoid of feeling
When really I feel you drawn to me
Like the sun across the sunflowers
As they turn their heads
In truth I could never truly conceal
The fire inside
Even if I wanted to
I do not make a habit of complaining, but when i do i like to think it's important enough to be worth writing about. Originally i planned writing this a lot sooner but i was under a busy schedule with the Brighter Bushmills Project's Phase Two assignment (creating the panels, new brochure etc for the town).
So what rattled my cage? in a word....a burrito.
This was not just any old burrito though. This was an "up all night working, burning the midnight oil illustrating a map and finishing up the last remaining bits and pieces for the following day's meeting" burrito. I had not stopped for a midnight snack, not stopped for breakfast or any of that kind of thing. Now granted, my time keeping may not be the best in the world but this map has been occupying me pretty much around the clock. Yet, i enjoy it so i cannot complain.
I'd heard of Chilli McCool's on the North Coast, situated on the road between the Smuggler's Inn and the Giant's Causeway. I believe it is a new establishment. The last time i had had a burrito in a restaurant was Boojums in Belfast and so I was happy to see someone start up a Mexican style restaurant on the North Coast. I was fully in support of such a place and decided to see what they had to offer.
At eight british pounds for a burrito i half thought there must be some mistake. Was i getting a side order too and just hadn't been informed of it? Was the fact that with the guys behind the counter looking more Polish than Mexican or English it was causing some sort of menu and price malfunction? None of the above. Instead, it was eight pounds for a burrito. Fine, i thought to myself, i'm paying over the odds but chatting to the young man behind the counter and his explaining that they'd only set up a few months ago, i decided that IF the burrito was resonably decent, i would overlook the expensive price (It's a takeway style burrito for heaven's sake) in the hopes the business would find it's feet and establish itself better.
Now it has to be said that the set up is pretty decent, with the counters, the "subway" style picking and choosing what you want from a few containers and etc but the lack of choice left a little to be desired. Still, i thought to myself, give this wee burrito making business a chance because after all, they are still new it would seem, AND, they are trying to offer something a little different. I chose what i wanted from the rather paltry choice on offer, and had the young man load it onto my tortilla wrap. Could the young man be any more careless with the ladle, slapping the relish on and spilling it over the containers of sweetcorn and tomatoes? Did it ever occur to these "burrito making" employees that some members of the public might HATE salsa (hey you just never know) and wouldn't appreciate their lettuce covered in the stuff. I mean, that, after all, is why it is in separate containers is it not? to establish that there is CHOICE, however paltry it might be. Not that i cared that much personally. Things like that really are not that important to me. It seemed though that a little discretion couldn't go amiss.
The kicker came when i watched the guy starting to wrap my burrito in clingfilm. Oh i am not that worried about cling film either, i'm not a snob but bloody hell this was to be eaten at a table either in the establishment or outside. I took the burrito out and sat at an outdoor table as the weather was good, and as i began to eat it, i realized that the burrito was cold. The wrap was lukewarm but it's contents were cold. Screw it, i thought, I've not eaten since yesterday so we'll give it a shot, but i suppose by the grace of God my burrito started to come apart in my hands and was falling all over the table. Now dear reader, do not take that the wrong way. I am well accustomed to a tortilla wrap and i was not throwing it all over the place out of frustration at such a crappy service/burrito...i mean at 8 pounds i was not exactly eager for the burrito to fall apart all over the wooden picnic style table. Instead, i shoved it into the clingfilm and ate it later. That was the only way to salvage what was left. I then took myself off to the Smugglers Inn up the road and half wished I'd gone there in the first place. If the contents were warm and the tortilla wasn't paper thin (and thus the contents falling all over the bloody place) i would have overlooked the price and the sloppy service. IF a paper plate was provided the burrito could have been so much better because it would have been managable. In fact, At the price of the burrito, it's really the least they could do.
Hey, so sue me i feel sorry for the tourists in those tour buses that stop into this place because really the food is not THAT cheap, nor is it, in my own personal view, particularly healthy with half heated meat and whatever else. Mainly though a paper plate would have been a huge help. I'm not into the business of trying to badmouth small businesses but i remember walking away from that place feeling cheated.
In saying that however, others seem to have had better experiences on TripAdvisor. That's entirely possible. Also these reviewers may have had a different meal. If i had time on my hands I'd join TripAdvisor and give my opinions on the local areas around here but for now i'll just write about it if and when i see fit on my own website
As a respecter of the burrito I personally could not recommend the restaurant to anyone based on the service i received but it is entirely possible that they have repented of their ways and invested in some paper plates or at least a few napkins
Thanks for reading
To be in your favour
To be in your love
Is the place i long to be
To enter there and never leave
For in your movements
My heart comes alive
Adrift in your eyes
I long to know you
To feel your touch
In a pale autumn night's moon
Where the leaves, like confetti,
Would fall all around us
And you, wrapped in my winter coast
I would wear you everywhere
Long slender fingers
On the lapels
And the light in your eyes
I would pull you close
To defy the cold
Of a winter soon to come
You smile, the hint of your dimples warms me
If i could only make you smile
Like the smile you show me now
And have it forever
I could greet the day with a cheerful heart
Knowing I'm who i said i would be
We iron out the bumps along the road
We put to bed our fears
W wish my speech was straight like arrows
Finding their way to your soul unwavering
For i stumble over words
And fail to tell you just what i feel
When all this time I've been eager to take you
To bring you into me
To share the dreams i see on that horizon
To live the lives we were given
To hold you below the stars
To show off my baby to the Milky Way
Who in my arms would stay
James Battersby 22 Sept 2013
Tomorrow will see us meet at Innisfree House to discuss the direction of the mini maps for the panels in Bushmills. These will include a miniature map of Portbalintrae and The Giant's Causeway and will serve as a guide for tourists. See previous entries on the progress of the panels (three panels in all) that are situated in Bushmills and the various design elements that have gone into it. In attendance will be Winston Boyce, Art Ward, Roy Bolton and possibly Jim McCauley and Samuel Thompson, and joined by writer Bob Curran. It looks set to be a meeting of merry gentlemen.
The map has been a labour of love, but it was and is, nontheless, still a labourous task. Not only have i been doing my best detailing every nook and cranny in the town of Bushmills and making the whole thing convincing yet inviting, i have been working on the heritage images which, while they are separate from the map itself, will be placed throughout it and around it's edges. Last but not least is actually piecing it all together in order than it does not overlap the existing design elements already in place. Needless to say, i have not slept much for the past month and have been burning the midnight oil, but for the love of town and country, i shant complain too much. Unfortunatly too much of that can make you a bit irritable, but thanks goes to Nescafe and my muse Christine for keeping me sane and awake. It would, of course, help if i was not my own worst critic, and indeed there have been times when elements of the map have been scrapped and redrawn, if only to make the map that much more appealing. I want to create something that i can be proud of in years to come, and this almost always includes a lot of hard work and discipline.
I really enjoy meeting up with the group over a coffee and a chat and i couldn't ask for a nicer group of guys to work with. I feel very blessed to be a part of the team, and with everyone bringing their own ideas to the table, it gives us a lot more to work with week by week. While my artwork is out there in the wider world and enjoyed in different countries, the work for the Brighter Bushmills Project which i am doing for the Bushmills Trust is not only different, but of equal value to me. Bushmills is a town where many thousands of tourists pass through every year and it is a great honour to know my work will be seen by visitors to the town.
Thanks for reading
Half sized layout of the proposed new design of the orientation panel
Having a meeting with the Brighter Bushmills group, to talk about the creative direction of a project, always brings with it a few challenges which need to be tackled head on, so as to progress on to the next stage. Today’s meeting was no different, except that we found ourselves at Innisfree house, instead of the usual meet at The French Rooms. I was also introduced to Dr. Bob Curran, whose blurbs (not a word I am particularly fond of) I am to incorporate into the new orientation panel designs in Bushmills town. The orientation panel outside of the Bushmills Distillery as it is today.
With Dr. Curran being a writer of a number of books, my first introduction came through The Complete Guide to Celtic Mythology published by Appletree Press amongst a few others that I own. And of course Bob also had a guest spot on an episode of the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens, a program I’ve been interested in since it’s beginning. It was only fairly recently, however, that I discovered that Dr. Curran was also an occasional speaker on America’s Coast to Coast radio show, a showed famed for it’s coverage of controversial ideas. Needless to say then, I had great respect for the man and It was great to meet him today at our weekly meeting. Friendly, down to earth and a hearty laugh, Bob joined in the discussions. I hope he will be pleased with my handling of his writing as I attempt to incorporate it into a more concise panel design which will be viewed by the group next Thursday. Photo by James Battersby circa 2007. A view of the Giant's Causeway as seen from the cliff path.
And then it was off to the Giant’s Causeway for a stroll, and a long think to myself. I usually like to jot down everything that I feel is relevant to myself personally from the meeting while it is fresh in my head afterwards. You write whatever you can at the table while it is being discussed, but there are always things that come to mind after the fact. I later found myself at the causeway stones, the main area that the tourists take advantage of for holiday photos. Normally I would offer to take photos of couples, or of friends, but today was different. I began to see the background for my newest artwork take shape in my mind, and so I sat beside the sea and sketched it out. As you may have noticed from viewing my gallery here on my site, I have lately been inspired by Christine, a woman very dear to me, and someone who makes my artwork more vibrant and more expressive in terms of the changes that it has underwent in the last year. In the new artwork I had the figure in place, but the completion of the design of this one in particular proved something of a difficulty. As in the majority of my artworks, I want it to say something; if not to the audience, then at least to my own self. In this case I wanted it to say something to Christine. I wanted to thank her for her kindness above all, and for pulling me back from the edge of a darkness that had taken me; before my jaunt off to Egypt at the beginning of the year. So yes, the tourists would have to find someone else to take their family holiday photos. Mucha's Bieres de la Meuse
Then it was off to the Smugglers Inn for some lunch with my brother. This was the first time; if memory serves me that I had actually eaten in this restaurant. It was there I discussed, with a very patient younger brother I might add, thoughts on the differences between communism and capitalism, Pakistani women’s fashion (I hope the Kameez are coming along nicely Christine) and Mucha’s Bieres de la Meuse painting which was the print on my t-shirt that I was wearing at the time. In the painting the figure’s headdress is very cleverly comprised of wheat and hops, two essential ingredients for the production of beer. In my own illustration work, being inspired by this same idea, I’ve been incorporating barley stocks with their seeds into the design elements in the orientation panels for Bushmills town, but in such a way as the barley itself might only be seen as a decorative piece by the general public, in the same way Mucha’s Bieres de la Meuse concealed the hops and wheat associated with beer in the artwork itself to me, up until recent times. One of the decorative corner panels which
i intend to use as my artistic signature,
complete with a few barley stocks
I like that idea of decorative work that has meaning, even if the meaning may not present itself very obviously. This is what I love about some kinds of art. Sometimes you have to study it to see a bigger picture. Nowadays the virtue of patience is well and truly hanging by a thread, with people’s attention span lessening with every new gadget that comes on to the market. That's not to say that this orientation panel will necessarily have a lot of unobvious meaning...it won't. I just mean that i enjoy the subtle qualities in artwork like Mucha's Bieres de la Meuse and thought it was a great idea.
The food in the Smugglers Inn was perfect and they were not holding back, as many restaurants do around the north coast, on their offerings. I am the sort of man who is fine with a much less helping of food…providing the price reflects that. But I am not a man who likes to be insulted either. Having customers pay over the odds for a paltry offering because you believe the “décor” of the building more than makes up for the lack of food does not really inspire much confidence. Not so with the Smugglers Inn. Plus the staff are attentative and friendly. Great food, great atmosphere and lovely staff. I highly recommend it.
So the work continues with the orientation panel designs for Bushmills town, but everything seems to be slowly but surely coming together.
Delivered by hands unseen above
Tinged with the jealousy in our hearts
Soul mate, wipe the fear from your eyes
These words cut you like a thousand goodbyes
But here I stand, as I have always done
I will always stand by your side
You bring to my mind the joy you’ve given,
The love that was missing in my life for so long
And finding it in you
For so long I’ve lingered on the sidelines
And in the shadows
Always on the outside looking in
Looking for that love I never could find
Your kindness finds me in my time of need
But on tired hearts
On tired eyes
Our wars take their toll
When all we ever wanted
Was to feel love in its truest form
Where I could have you rest in the arms
Of deepest peace
Can you see how the colours come alive?
Now that I see you?
Now that I know you?
And I know no other
Love, I am here for you
With an invitation of open arms
And open heart
I am here, as I always was