Monday, April 7, 2014

animals for all

For one of my breaths Mrs rossie told us to do an animal study, so i got out two little canvasas and began painting. I've always loved bears, even though they are quite scary there is something about them that i admire. They are strong and fearless and the just eat and nap lots, so thats good.  I started by painting a brown bear and put mostly black with white highlights for texture. then for the mussel i got a light brown and painted with shorter brush strokes, but still added the white highlights.  It was pretty simple. Then i decided to add in another element, and i sketched a bear paw in the background. I added texture and i shaded lots to add interest. This was a very fun, but simple piece.
 After i finished my bear i still had a mini canvas left over, so I began to paint a fox. Foxes are beautiful creatures and i don't usually paint with orange so i decided a fox would be good for me. I forgot what it was like to paint with only oranges and reds but i enjoyed myself quite a bit.  The white fur under its chin was the tricky part. i put down a white base coat then added gray and black for shading and to make it look softer. Im pretty happy with how that turned out. Then following the same pattern as the bear painting, i wanted to add something to the background, but i wanted to go bigger. I drew the other half of the foxes face looking straight ahead, and looking much more fierce than the painted fox.  this peice was a lot of fun to make and i forgot how much i enjoyed drawing animals.

oil painting round 2 and sad still lifes

For one of my college portfolios they asked that i paint them 2 things, a still life and an observational painting. I really don't like still lifes so i decided to get that one out of the way first.
I grabbed some acrylic paints, mostly my usual blues and reds and i set up a still life. I had one bottle, a cup and lots of flowers. I went for the more classical "i want this to be easy and to get this out of the way" approach. 
I started by painting the bottle, and used lots of dark blues and lots of whites, for contrast.  Then i painted the cup a bluish gray, pretty simple stuff.
By the time i got to the flowers i was really ready to be done, i globbed lots of paint on their, adding purples reds and yellows. i put the purples in the darker spots, and yellows for highlights. I actually really like the texture in the flowers.  I added a few shadows on the ground and put some more yellows and reds in the bottle and cup (to help lead your eye across the painting a little more) and ta da!!

now here comes the fun part, the observational painting! I knew i didn't want to paint a face, so i got my friend to pose for me in fetal position, covering her face 

i started by mixing gray to blue to make a really bright blue that popped. Then i mixed my oils together to create and orange esk skin color. i added purples for the shadows and blues for the highlights, similar to what i did in my last oil painting. 
i needed to work on the shape more, especially in the legs. so i smoothed those out and i added more of a curve in the back. i darkened up her stomach and added more highlights in the shoulder and texture in the leg. 

 Then i added the hair i used a black for the base and added a light bluish purple for the highlights.
Then mrs rossie pointed out the lines on the highlight of the shoulder were too strong and my brush strokes needed to be folowing the shape of her arm, not going against it. 
So i did, and i added more highlights to the hair and added dark spots in the background for intrest.

Not a whole lot of meening behind this painting, but i love how it turned out. I am very proud of what i have created and for once i create art that was actually pleasing to look at! I am very happy with this piece, and i am happy i got to learn more about using oil paints.

if you don't succeed...

Over the summer i water colored two figures, one was a pair of legs with muscles pouring out the top and a baby spilling out, and the other was a torso with two hands opening up the skin, only to find emptyness inside. 
I painted a third figure on a piece of cardboard, a pregnant woman in fetal position with arms ripping out of her back.
I really liked how these figures looked, but i could never find a way to fit them into a piece. At first i tried to put them ontop of an abstract peice i did of a figure pulling its foot up to its face
When i painted this peice i wanted to try something abstract, i wanted to paint a figure in a completely new way. I liked the peice by itself, but i just wanted to see what it would look like if i stacked the other figures i water colored ontop of it. 

I liked it, but there was still something that was wrong about it, and i couldn't quite tell what it was. I liked the colors, i liked the different styles that were incorperated into one peice, i liked the 3d element of it, but something was wrong.
So after much thought i took the abstract figure painting and set it aside as its own completed peice and took the three figures and set them aside too. I wasn't sure if i was ever going to use them.
Then on febuary 26th i got an email that said i was denied from the only college i really wanted to go too, i was devastated and hurt and i was full of anger and hate.I walked into art class the next day and didn't say a word to anybody. I was feeling to many awful things to express by simply using words. I felt empty and heavy and i felt like i was drowning.
So i walked into the Art Supply room and saw three stray peices of canvas thrown on the floor. I picked them up and decided i would paint three different figures on them that felt like i did.
Then i rememed the other three figures that i had painted a long long time ago and i took them out and decided i would paint them again on the canvas and would hang the six pieces together like a tapestry. Each figure showing its own story of loss and sorrow, but they were all connected in their sorrows. 

The woman who had the arms coming out of her back was painted with the hands coming and smothering her face, so she couldn't breath. She had already lost her eyes.  The torso that was empty would be filled with old muscles that couldn't seem to stay together. the painting on the canvas was more of a "before
 picture, and the watercolor would be the after. Lastly the legs would follow the opposite pattern as the torso, the watercolor was the before and the canvas was the after. The legs on the watercolor had one baby, that was blue and lifeless falling out. The legs had muscle and were still full of life and vigor. The legs on the canvas where withered down to the bone, the muscle was smaller and weaker. And tangled up in all that muscle where two babies, that where blue and dead.

I was in kind of a dark place when i made this tapestry, but i love the colors and im pretty happy with the story and the detail. Its a very strong piece and its one of my favorites. 

oil painting round 1

I always loved painting with acrylics but i found myself always getting frustrated with how quickly they dried and how difficult it was to blend the paints together.  When i was introduced to oil paints i fell in LOVE. the oils were so smooth and the colors where bright and seemed to be popping out of the page.  Before i began working on a real project with oil paints i knew i wanted to do a profile, i loved the skin colors that oil paints made and i knew i wanted to work with those more.  But i wanted to make the profile interesting so i decided to take a picture of myself looking into the camera with one hand stretching out the skin on the right side of my face.
Then i got to work!
I started with the skin mapping out the peaks and valleys on the cheecks, lips, and nose. Doing this was difficult because i knew i was trying to distort the face, but i still wanted it to be proportional.
Then i painted the hair, i wanted the hair to be darker to put more focus on the face, so that was pretty easy.

Then then i moved onto the fingers...
I usually LOVE painting hands but for some reason the angle threw me off, no matter how hard i tried i was never happy with how it looked.  The oils began to mud together and i was getting frustrated. As my frustration began to build the steadiness in my hand began to decrease. and before i knew it the hand i was drawing looked like spaghetti noodles.  But i liked how the hand didn't necessarily look real, so i built off of that, added more lights and pushing the darks until the fingers looked distorted and elongated in a very frighting way.
For the background i wanted a deep forrest green and mrs rossie suggested i add highlights of a slightly lighter green.

This painting has kind of a double meaning to me. In a way it shows that if your not careful the the vices that are inside you (such as anxieties, fears, depression, pride, self loathing, ect...) will overtake you, and become who you are.  If you are filled with fear and you let it control your life you (in a way) become fear. You let fear consume you and now you are just a part of it, you have lost yourself. 

But if you take your vices you can make them into something beautiful, something that makes you stronger and you can be conqueror over it. You can be in control of your fears or your pride and it can become a part of you that is beautiful, like the right side of the woman's face.

It all depends on your choice and determination. Because the vice will always be there, we just decide whether it will become a part of us, or all of us.

string and other things

My favorite part about getting film developed is getting to see all the pictures that i forgot i had even taken. Among some of these long lost film pictures was one of me holding pieces of different colored broken glass. i looked at the shape of the glass in my hand and the colors reminded me of threads, and the shapes reminded me of the basic geometric shapes. So i grabbed a few threads and began to sew different shapes into the paper and created this:

i was very happy with the simplicity of this, but mrs. rossie told me to push it further and incorperate the hand with the string somehow. So after much thought and lots of practicing i decided i would put string around shapes that were already in the picture, like the glass. I am very happy with the result:

I used colors in the string that mimiced the colors of the glass such as whites, greens and blues.  I am very happy with the movement in this peice, and i like the geometric feel to this. I usually do figures and paint, but i really enjoyed getting to step away from that by using photography and sewing.  

To me this piece shows the evolution of an idea through the eyes of an artist.  You have reality, which is shown through the photograph, a real hand holding real glass in the real world. And then you see how an artists eye will create and add onto the things that already exist, which was shown by the string that is coming out of the glass and floating around the left side of the picture.
This piece looks very simple and feels very blissful and happy. 

So going off of this i decided to make another piece using similar skills. 

I took a blank photograph that said "Always summer" and began to sew bright colored string into the blank picture. Then after i did that i took dried flowers and glued them onto the picture:
After mrs. rossie looked at this peice she told me i needed to incorperate the string into the actual photograph some more. I agreed and went right to work, i added pink string that rapped around the words and cropped the photograph the final result looking like this: