Northbound and Notable – Page 2 – Northbound Notebooks

Pursuit - Mike Olbinski

Posted by Rosalyn Fenton on


'Pursuit' is Olbinski's newest and most spectacular storm chasing extravaganza. Chasing storms from state to state and covering over 25,000 miles of land in isolation, Pursuit is not only a awe-striking piece to enjoy but also very personal to the chaser. 
The time lapse of film takes place from March 28th to June 29th, with over 90,000 frames of twisted and contorted silver veins of lighting and whirling, gloomy tornadoes.

Oblinski expresses his pain on his storm-chasing journey when he realizes he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and how heart broken he is when he sees his social feed fill up with gorgeous images of the storm he thought he was chasing, he shares; '...I let myself down. I forgot who I was and that's not me. Or it shouldn't have been me. I failed myself...' Obliniski goes on to tell how he felt broken and that the easier option was to give up and go home to comfort and familiarity, but the loom and nature of the weather inspired him.

'...that's why this film is called "Pursuit." Because you can't give up. Keep chasing, keep pursuing. Whatever it is. That's the only way to get what you want...'

Oblinski put the odds against him aside and created his own way to recovery through persistence, determination and a love of storm chasing.

To watch Pursuit and to find out more about Oblinskis journey head over to his Vimeo here.

Film by Mike Oblinski

Music by Peter Nanasi

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Master of the Month - Mary Shelley

Posted by Rosalyn Fenton on

portrait of Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley August 1797 – February 1851

Mary Shelley, born Mary Wollstonecraft was a novelist most famous for her science fiction horror Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, published in 1818 through her husband’s company. Shelley was born in Britain and grew up with an array of influences, including her father, a philosopher and political writer, and her mother, a famed feminist noted for The Vindication of The Rights Of Women (1792). However, many tragedies occurred in the Wollstonecraft household leading Shelley to become a step daughter to a mother she despised. Some of her siblings were sent away to be schooled whilst Shelley was never formally educated, she enjoyed drawing and writing her own stories as a pass timer but took every opportunity to learn and read as much as possible from her father’s extensive library.

Frankenstein (1818)

It was through her self-taught studies that she managed to publish her first poem ‘Mounseer Nongtongpaw’, 1807 through her fathers circles. Later in life, through adultery and misfortune Shelley escaped to Europe with her sister Jane and lover Percy Shelley. She wrote the six weeks of adventure as travel writing but were not published until much later due to her actions being considered immoral and dishonest. It wasn’t until Mr and Mrs Shelley visited some friends in Geneva, Switzerland that she started to craft the idea of Frankenstein, her most popular novel yet. She went on to write others including Mathilda (1820), The Last Man (1826), Lodore (1835) and many more. Her stories include internal and external battles amongst families and man, this is likely due to the troubled and confusing childhood she experienced whilst growing up.

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3 Tips to be a Healthy Artist

Posted by Rosalyn Fenton on

Being an artist of canvas, words or camera isn’t considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs out there, but it can become a danger to ourselves. Whether this be physically or mentally, our passion and involvement for our work can sometimes have crippling rewards. We’re sharing some tips just to remind all of the dreamers out there that you need to look after yourself in order to make your visions a reality.

Water. Water. Water!

Water is underestimated, I am guilty of only drinking the odd glass and refusing to refill it as I’m too deep in the ‘zone’ in my work. By swapping a small glass for a large container (bottle, jug, whatever tickles your fancy) not only encourages you to drink more, but in those moments where your pondering on what to write next you’ll likely take a sip. Refreshing your body equals refreshing the brain and hence, this magical clear liquid has just helped you clear your creative block. We need to be hydrated, we don’t want our creations to be dry so why should the creator be?

All Rise

Whether you’re scrawling on a typewriter at a desk or contorting yourself around an easel, it’s good to stand up once in a while. I don’t mean this as standing for a few minutes then going back to your seat, I mean create your masterpiece standing up! It is a strange feeling at first as you shift your weight from one foot to the other wondering what the ‘correct’ way of standing is whilst working, but pass that uncomfortable novelty and the rewards are grand. There are many desks out there that now accompany an artist for both sitting and standing (check out gadgetreviews top picks). However, these desks can be costly and if you don’t have a saw and hammer at hand you can make your own temporary stand up desk by using a pile of books. Simply stack them on your desk to a comfortable height and place your instrument on top. Of course please be aware to use sturdy books with a non-slip surface.

Silent Killers

Many of the tools that we artists use are actually more harmful to our health than we think. It’s not just oil paints that are toxic, oil paint has always been the most famous as we can smell the chemicals. However, any medium, whether it be paint or pencil or ink can contain harmful substances too, a good tip to remember is that if it’s pigmented – it’s got toxins in it - the heavier the metal in the pigment, the higher the toxicity. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there, even for unpigmented mediums (like toner ink) they contain other traces of nasties that can be carcinogenic if handled incorrectly. There are mediums out there that are trying to be more ‘substance-free’ like water-based oil paints and graphite pencils, but they can still be hazardous to our health. To have a (almost) toxic free environment try to keep the tools away from direct skin and food (this includes having your water contained). Have good ventilation whether it’s through an air conditioning unit or an open window (preferably somewhere the toxins can escape); good breathing space is not only good for your physical health but your mental health too, better than that, create your work outdoors there’s plenty of fresh air out there.

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Product Review – Book Darts/Page Nibs

Posted by Rosalyn Fenton on

Book darts

Book Darts or page nibs are essentially small placeholders for any budding writer, reader or idea maker. Sometimes there is a part of a book that you want to reread or a line that struck a chord of inspiration. Book darts are small enough that they won’t make your pages clunky, but large enough to make the marked page found easily. This item is great for students and review enthusiasts too, rather than buying an expensive book and highlighting the areas worth studying, you can mark them with the clips.  Unlike paperclips the book darts don’t leave creases, therefore if you are returning your book to the store they shouldn’t notice its use. The darts are made so they don’t fall off the thinnest of pages and come in different shapes to help point to a line or a whole paragraph you are interested in.

For more information visit Amazons most bought book dart here.

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Book Crawl - London

Posted by Rosalyn Fenton on

Calling all book lovers and savvy travelers, have you ever fancied yourself a book crawl? This week we want to share some wonderful places to visit around the world - first stop London!

Other than the busy streets littered with cream tea cafes and local pubs London also offers some beautiful historical monuments and buildings, including libraries.

The National Art Library at the V&A Museum

Adorned with carefully carved pilasters and a huge roof light, the reading room is the perfect place to explore and indulge in the history of art and creation of drawing, sculpture and painting. This library also boasts a courtyard area for small picnics or to read your discovered treasure in the sunshine.

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Maughan Library

Just behind the Anglican church of St Dunstan-in-the-west is the Maughan Library. Though smaller than some libraries and only open to the public when there is an in-house exhibition,  the structure of this treasury oozes with grandeur; the circular formation and domed window make for a terrific experience if you ever desired to bathe in literature.

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Bodleian Library

Though not strictly in London, the Bodleian Library is located in Oxford within the county of Oxfordshire. Home to the 'city of dreaming spires' coined by the poet Matthew Arnold the city pays homage to itself with quaint shops and England's oldest botanical garden - the perfect place for whimsical charms to be discovered. Nowadays, the Bodleian Library is most famous for being the set for the Hogwarts library in the Harry Potter films. But look to the ceiling and discover medallions carved in by the artists as credit to iconic figures of that day - take a private tour to avoid the mumbling crowds and discover the history to this gem.

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What libraries have you visited around the world? Comment below!

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