Sunday, October 26, 2008

Series of self portraits

The big thing to do in art school is your own self portrait. The advantages are many-fold: you don't have to pay a fee for a model, you are always available, and you don't talk back or get personally offended when you don't turn out on paper looking like yourself. We've done three more self portraits, in two of our classes. I think one of the portraits comes closest to looking like me. I also have a great rendition of a Harry Potter look-alike, and a portrait that looks very much like a fellow that used to work in the kitchen at Delish! Can you guess which is which?
Graphite and ink on paper

Watercolor on paper

Graphite and Prismacolor pencils on paper

The face drawn as a series of flat planes

Pop composition - Nature vs. Technology

In our color theory class, we are assigned "Pop compositions" occassionally. These are small (8x10") paintings that utilize the color theory we have learned in previous weeks, and allow us to stretch our wings in assigning colors to different themes.

This particular composition had 4 criteria:

  1. Choose a color that represents technology.

  2. Choose a color that represents nature.

  3. Prepare a field (background or foreground) that will set up the mood of the piece.

  4. Make sure that the piece contains one primary, one secondary and one complementary color.

Since this one was done in class on the spur of the moment, I grabbed at the simplest imagery I could (we have changed that method, now, as some of us more linear thinkers need time to assign colors to themes such as "spirituality" and "the human condition"). I am actually quite pleased at the abstract painting that resulted (I'm not usually an abstract painter):

In this painting, I took the stance of technology being "bad" when compared to nature. Nature is yellow, being overshadowed by technology (blue). The background field is red, a color for danger and warning. My contrasting color is the orange in the sun. Altogether, the resulting image, for me, shows global warming, skyscrapers, pine beetle kill, and smokestacks from big cities.

Interestingly enough, all of the class took the same position, with technology as the bad force. I wonder how the paintings would have turned out, had we taken the opposite stance and viewed technology as something good: medical breakthroughs, life-enhancing technology such as water pumps, etc.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Violin Still Life, again

Well, the results are in and there is room for improvement. I guess that's why I'm in school, eh? Here is the newest version, incorporating the instructor's suggestions. I'll take it back in next week and see if she feels if the results are effective. Can't change the mark, but I can still learn from the piece!

Here is my original "finished" version, for comparison.

Owl and Moon on Wood

In my First Nations art class, Peter George, a local artist, has been showing us the basic forms and shapes for First Nations paintings, along with information about the First Nations culture as it relates to art (i.e. myths, legends, beliefs). It has been an interesting few weeks, and we finally had the chance to put all we've learned into practice by designing our own BC animal, using the traditional designs and motifs.

My choice was an owl, accompanied by the moon. Peter says he'd be able to sell that type of work for $900, so I feel pretty pleased. Unfortunately, I cannot sell it, but can definitely enjoy hanging it on my wall without the big outlay...