Today in my studio…
Step by step development of portrait in progressRead More
I do love to draw and at Heather’s workshop we did just that. Using graphite, cold wax, ink, the whole day was one of wonderful mark making! We drew with sticks, graphite and charcoal, with eyes closed and open(!), with our dominant and non dominant hands. One of the biggest things the exercises did for me was to help me get out of my head, relax, and just draw. Most importantly, the exercises got me started down the path of looking at marks on canvas and responding to them. Sounds simple, but I didn’t really do that, until I took this workshop.
I highly recommend this workshop!
You might remember this piece from a few posts ago—yes I am still working on it. And loving the process (doesn’t always happen that way—I am more often than not in a funk about quality, quantity, content and what have you). Anyway, here’s a detail; I went back into it with stencils and thoughts of layering. Certainly seems to be gaining a life of its own, don’t you think?
Working through roadblocks…
Things take the time they take; don't worry. How many roads did Saint Augustine follow, before he became Saint Augustine?
- Mary Oliver
“Go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create.”
Maria Rilke from the wonderful and constant source of inspiration: Brain Pickings
My preoccupations this week:
I recently started helping a friend teach figure drawing to her class, reaching into my fashion illustration skills from fashion school. The experience has been a refresher and I revisited the notion of extracting from that knowledge base and applying to my current art practice. One of the things on my to do list has been to construct a visual record the current political environment, and with a Senate hearing last week, I was taken back to another contentious, blood curdling one of some months ago—that of a new Supreme Court justice. So, I decided to depict an image from the protests that were taking place in DC at the time . The results, I thought, were underwhelming (but not distressing, like the fact).
My ambiguity about this image surfaces from, I think, the dilemma between “art” and “illustration” and the associated hierarchy within the art world. I looked for solace, and explanation in Nell Painter’s book, Old in Art School. She narrates an experience of wanting to paint her friends as subject matter (an impulse I share, often) but was told by her instructor, simply, “no.” Here is an excerpt of her working through the dilemma:
Teacher Stephen’s objection, I ultimately figured out, echoed The Art World’s prejudice against “illustration” as opposed to “art.” Illustration to make a point, illustration for pay, illustration as following someone else’s direction—someone with money—illustration as mere design, illustration as hack work, not fine art. In The Art World, illustration is inferior to art on account of serving an end that is not art. Illustration serves subject matter, in my case, my intention to depict my friends. Illustration belongs to the verbal world of meaning, serving verbal meaning’s purpose, whereas painting comes from the “context of art” (77,78).
That helps me define my discomfort and that’s where I plan to marinate for sometime. In “the context of art.” I think, like Painter, I will look for resolution in craftsmanship and technique, readily available through transcription, although I haven’t figured out which paintings to transcribe yet!
This week has had quite a few!
Old in Art School by Nell Painter
I heard Nell Painter before I read her on one of my favorite sources for things art, Tyler Green’s “The Modern Art Notes Podcast.” I started reading her to learn about her art school experience, and it didn’t disappoint! I heard echoes of my own experience as an undergraduate, of being “Old in Art School.” especially, these words:
I wanted to create images, to make art that can express my own mixed up character, to forge a truer me than one confined by exciting categories of sex-race and widely circulated as necessarily true (14).
Inspired by this reading, I decided to do my own version of 100 paintings. The drawing above is one of those. The rest are here, a mix of charcoal, pencil, transfers and ink. More on this work in the next few posts.
Starting off the year re-learning the laser cutter.Read More
Frustrations, distractions, and some successes (I think)
This week, I tried Lithography for the. very first time. Sadly, as you can see, it was a disaster! as you The process is fun though, and painstaking (I have a thing for long, drawn out frustrating processes). We used aluminum plates to draw and etch (image on the right).. The left image shows the print on the third try and I suspect the ink was too stiff. In all probability, I would have received better results if I had tried a few more times. Anyway, being a glutton for punishment, I plan to go back into Lithography in January. Stay tuned.
Sweet Nothings Series
Sweet Nothings II
20” X 24”
Acrylic on Canvas
Whoa! What a difference a week makes. I am quite pleased with this one! Hope you find the series as mouth watering as I do.
Sweet Nothings III (work in progress)
24”X36” Acrylic on Canvas
This is slightly different from my work so far. I felt ready to push the limits with size, and composition. Kind of like the sweets emerging and pushing out of the canvas. They almost look like cliffs…I like that too.