Sunday, October 3, 2010

Eighth Volley

Back in class again. The assignment was to first draw in a skeleton, and then block in the figure with geometric shapes. After that, lay in shadows with sepia ink and then draw in the recessions. The first one still shows all the steps taken, took twenty minutes to do (way too long). The second was eight minutes total. It became much looser, and the drawing has a life to it that the first lacks. The process was slightly different in that we had to start with the shadows.

Drawing with ink is a great way for you to develop confidence in making a mark. When you put it down, it is going to stay, and you have to live with what you've done. Painting with ink is similar, but you can be layered, and get softer effects. I like doing it. But I have a hard time accomplishing the same thing with charcoal.

Both are sepia ink and charcoal on Arches printmaking paper.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Seventh Volley, Updates.

I'm calling it. I'm a habitual tweaker (of artwork, not meth). And doing much more, if anything would only make it worse. I would like to do a painting of it in the future.

I was pretty nervous dropping it off at the church, but they seemed to like it. It opens on the eighteenth. If you're in the Des Moines metro area, stop by.

Also, I don't recommend gilding around pets. My cat loves to attack anything that moves, and I was cleaning up some brushes when I noticed he had a whole sheet of metal leaf stuck to his nose. I thought this was cute and went for a camera, but had to chase him down as the dumb-ass began to devour the metal leaf. Cats don't like to be gagged. Or fish-hooked. It was the only thing I could remember from Heimlich maneuver class in grade school, and it didn't do much good.

Hobbes is alright, by the way.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Seventh Volley

"Constancy is defined as: the quality of being faithful and dependable; a state of being constant; the perception of an object or quality as being constant under changing conditions. Artists are invited to share their concepts of faith, spirituality, and beliefs in a culture that rapidly shifts and evolves. How do we define a constant God in a changing world? Is our image of God altered by our faith and system of beliefs? How does the reality of everyday life as we know it alter our perceptions of God?"

I'm in a show (see description above). It's coming up soon. This is a sketch for the drawing that I'm submitting. I'll come right out and say it -- I'm an atheist. Submitting to this should have been fairly easy right? I hang a blank sheet of paper, or there's an empty spot with my name next to it, or just a picture of me giving the finger and going "But you're making this shit up!" Which is unnecessary, and uncalled for. It also feels like cheating. I like to create stuff, I don't like to tell people what to think about that stuff. So I look back to the time when I was struggling with my faith (and then losing it). It was a traumatic experience, and not something I relished going through.

In doing so, I came to the realization that the perception of God (at least in the Christian society I was raised in) is largely made up, and personified. Here we have this all powerful being, all knowing, creator of the heavens and earth, and all the cosmos in between, and we expect it to behave in a human manner? We expect it to bless us by giving us a parking space at the mall, or to help our team win, to cure our sick and suffering? Faulty reasoning, twitching scientists, and broken logic aside, what a way to reduce in power and attempt to humanize an hypothetical being. The problem with said being behaving like a human, is that it is subject to human flaws. While these make us interesting, the idea of a god that is powering the universe, but having an off day and not feeling like getting out of bed has terrifying consequences for those peopling said universe.

In sticking with this idea of making a god, there is a short parable by Jorge Luis Borges titled, The Witness, in which we find a dying Saxon, the last Pagan, and with his passing, all his rituals, his beliefs, his history disappear. Which got me to the thought, if we were to die, does our perception of god, if not the idea of god itself die with us?

In the updates of this, will be experiments with gilding (my first time! woo hoo!).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sixth Volley

I lied. For your reading pleasure, a poem transferred from a napkin. Let me know about revisions as I am open to tweaking things.

Ordering Food at a Vietnamese Restaurant

Still awkward.


When the sunlight dances
Through ferns and Lucky

The menu
Is a gamble
Is unapproachable

You are.
Less spicy than you seem.

I am
Too pungent. Too heavy.

Every thing unneeded.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fifth Volley, Third Session.

That's it for class time on this one. It reminds me of Lucian Freud's work. Not with the same amount of skill, mind you, but the mark making is similar.

I've got enough information on here that I can take it home and keep working on it, and actually finish it.

Next up: Drawings.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Round Two

Second session. We'll see if I can finish it next week. More muddy colors, but the face looks cool and reminds me of some weird theatrical mask.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fifth Volley

Back from the dead. And slightly less poverty. And slightly more internet access.

This is one that is a documentation shot for a three session work from a figure painting class. I left my camera at work today so you only get to see one third of it as opposed to two. There's not a whole lot of information there. It's a vine charcoal sketch of the model and some starts at under painting for tone on Bristol paper.

I didn't think I'd like painting on paper as much as I do. It takes medium well, and dries quickly. I don't prime my paper with PVA or gesso. In truth I'm not a big fan of priming things unless it's a house or furniture. The point of priming things is to seal the surface for preservation, and to smooth it out. I want to be reminded of what I'm painting on. Paper, wood, masonite, and steel have unique colors and textures to them allowing for happy accidents that interact with the work in ways that I find interesting.

I tend to paint in a dark brown palette, using raw umber as my base and then a double primary on top of it. I can render okay (better proof of that tomorrow) but my colors get very muddy and and undead looking. I've been painting for almost eight years now and I'm just now learning to add blue to flesh tones. Let's hear it for concept heavy art schools.