Tuesday, May 5, 2009

frosted inspiration

So I don't know why, but as an artist I have always been fascinated by cupcakes. They just make me happy

at the root of it all...

my sister
So a current theme in our drawing class has been what influences us... it has got me doing some serious contemplation. I really feel that what's encouraged me to flourish the most has been the supportive people in my life, mainly my family. My older sister has always been my hero. Ever since I was little I always looked up to her... and she happens to be an incredibly talented artist. Without her there to guide me I really don't know where I'd be right now.

my mother

I am grateful every day to have a mother like mine. I think we often take for granted how supportive mothers are. This woman honestly let me go out of the house looking like a box of paints threw up on me sometimes. She never stifled my creativity, she just let me be me. I love her so much for that.

All three of us

conceptual art

In one of my art history classes last week we were discussing the Dada period, basically the birth of conceptual/ modern art, aka what most people think is crap. Inevitably, one of the non art majors in the class verbalized the one phrase that endlessly urks me: "how is that art? I could do that."

...Yeah. But you didn't.

Modern art is one of the most controversial topics in art culture. People say it just takes up space. It's usually not pretty. What is it? What qualifies it as actual art? What qualifies anything as actual art? In my opinion, the problem is not necessarily with the art itself, but in the way people are looking at it, or not looking rather. In our society, art relies way too heavily on superficial value. I admit that when I'm looking at something in a gallery, I think to myself, "this is not so visually pleasing... next?" Because that is the way our society has conditioned us to judge, and i'll admit, I am a visual person and I like surrounding myself with things that are nice to look at. However, the reason I am so intrigued by conceptual art is because it completely challenges this way of thinking and judging. It actually necessitates that the viewer use their brain to decode the message that the artist is expressing, but the thing is, the artist doesn't usually care if you understand it or not because he didn't create it for you, he created it for himself. That is something I respect. But the question stands, what defines something as arbitrary as a literal pile of cow feces, or a chair in the middle of a field as art? After reading the book about Squeak Carnwath, I came upon this definition: "Conceptual art elevates a quotidian object or action to the realm of art by the decision of consciously observing and isolating it- distinguishing it as outside of the regular and imbuing it with a meaning we then decode through our own personal associations." I see art as both scientific and poetic; experiencing, observing, absorbing and then recording the process of examination and the expression of experience. This process is what makes it art. Not the fact that you perfected the rendering of a human nose, but WHY and how this is an expression of something below the surface. What I love about art is that there are so many ways to define it, and that's the beauty of it.

More quotes from Squeak Carnwath's book:

Art is proof of human majesty
Art is an act of devotion, a practiced witnessing of the human spirit.
Art is trust... trusting your instincts. To believe, to observe, to borrow, to create, to become.
It is not the job of art to mirror. Images reflected in a mirror appear to us in reverse. An artist's responsibility is to reveal consciousness; to produce a human document.
It makes our invisible visible.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Last Chance

As the semester is coming to a close, I think this is a great opportunity to look back at everything that has happened thus far and really reflect on where we are going. The final assignment for drawing really tied it up for me in forcing me to think about who I've become as a person. Everyone was able to pick two things that they felt has brought them to pursue art. I find this exercise important because though we are constantly experiencing events in our everyday lives, I feel that many of us fail to really "look" at what is happening around us (and to us) in terms of the grander scheme of things. It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting from one point to another that the whole journey is lost in a blur of activity.

What I've struggled with all semester was trying to keep myself from growing indifferent toward my life and what I'm doing. They say we're young and we should live it up, but there are many people who just breeze through college without ever thinking about what really mattered to them. Those people end up not fully realizing what they want to do with their lives. This can be a big problem, because the world is much more demanding and we have to be prepared for it. On the other hand there are people who are like zombies; semi-numb towards everything...those kinds of people also miss out on a lot. I've found myself falling towards the latter part in that I was loosing sight of why I choose to be an artist. I think this drawing class has really help me rethink everything that I'm doing in my art and in my life. I have a school girl crush with art. By maintaining my passions and constantly reflecting on all that I do, I feel myself falling in love with art all over again...reminding myself why I want to be an artist. Every drawing has to matter, we have to have interest in all that we do (even the little things), otherwise what's the point?

So I hope that everyone can look into themselves and their work and remember their goals. It's the simple but hard questions that must be answered..."where are we going?" Even if the question cannot be answered just yet, simply acknowledging these finer details will get us there. With that said, I hope everyone has a good a summer! Go do ART!

Saying Adjure'

Today is the last Blog posting and I must say to everyone in this class how much I thoroughly enjoyed it, meeting everyone and consider it one of my favorite classes. As I mentioned in my first posting, I was very nervous returning to school (since it had been nearly 27 years) but you all made me feel right at home and a part of the class. You were all certainly “DIPLOMATIC” when it came to the critiques, for that I thank you. Barbara, I have learned quite a lot regarding elements of drawing, value, quality of line and the fact that we really don’t need nor are required to draw with just line or line at all. Value and variations of value can be utilized well to define form with out the use of line. We learned and discussed the importance of composition, balance and proportion. I must say that the last assignment to me was hands down the most interesting to me. The reflection process was a very personal one for me, returning me to a life filled with sharing, love, happiness, support and encouragement. How fortunate for me. I was blessed. Although life wasn’t always a bed of roses, we certainly had our down times; it just supports the fact that we all can be a product of our environment and how important the role of mental and physical support can play in our lives. You don’t have to have all the material possessions to have a free spirit and look at things from a different perspective. If I have learned one thing, it would be to continue to LOOK hard and see the detail, and appreciate it through your ART.

Best Wishes to all,

Drawing on Life

Today I thought that I would write a little more about life and how as an artist it is very similar to be an artist in “Life”. Actually, the similarities of being an artist and the experience of life. As an artist you tend to be look upon as different (thank God) and having a sense of perspective that most people in this world don’t (Thank God, again). The fact is that we look at things, I really mean look at things! Most people go through life seeing but not? What I mean by that statement is that most people view things but never really take the time to see things for what they really are. An example would be: Most people see a spider’s web in their garage or outside between bushes, their first thought would be to knock it down, possibly kill the spider that made it and move on. As artists we perhaps would see it, move in closer and start looking at the intricacies, think about the composition and the time it took to design and create such a masterpiece. Literally overnight! Wow, what a feat. Most people could have the same approach but choose not to .What a shame. They really don’t know what they are missing. Slow down, Hell; STOP! LOOK and LISTEN. Draw on the beauty around you. It could be something as small as a pebble at your foot. The sounds of a leaky faucet dripping ever so lightly at night when you lay down for bed. The point being, “take full advantage of each and everyday”. One never knows when it will be our last. An old cliché perhaps but oh so true!

Looking before leaping

I left off last Blog with the statement that you should question your choices before you make them, for they will follow you through “LIFE”. What I meant, was that you should think and make decisions based off of very calculated thought processes. It is very difficult if not impossible to re-adjust for bad decisions. As an artist, you don’t just look at an object you prepare to draw once and think for one instance you will and could capture that set-up with great detail and accuracy? Do you? I think not. It takes great observation and study. It seems to be the same if “Life”. Hasty decisions often times come back to haunt you. The point being, to adjust before the final decision is made. BEFORE the final decision is made. Calculate your approach. THINK and LOOK hard and long. Once the decision is made, you can still adjust but the adjustments will probably be less monumental to your long-term goals and success. Look, at all angles and from different perspectives not for just the face value. Look for the details, the subtleties, just like in a great work of art, look for the frailties, the lighting, the composition (the HIDDEN STRUCTURAL MAP). That is the ticket, look for the things in life as well as in your art that will help define and guide you to the next level. Never stop learning, for it is the life blood of existence. Education is key!!!! YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK! LITERALLY!

Looking but not seeing???

One of my biggest pet peeves is the fact that (and we’ve all done it) looked at something but never really seen what we’re looking at fully or why??? That’s right, all of us! We live in a world of high expectation and achieving great results fast. That means that we all had better learn how to manage multiple deadlines, objectives and projects. Otherwise, we most likely will be left behind!!!! Right ???? Well, perhaps we just need to approach things differently. Maybe we just need to look harder, listen more intently, think longer and react more calculated! Slow down ………. In today’s ever so changing field of technology/communications we have come to expect almost an immediate response to almost ever request. Globalization of communications leads the way. Now, today we must have to a Facebook, Gmail, Google and Yahoo accounts to just survive???? And of course, how could I forget the TWEET. What ever happened to speaking with the person you needed or wanted to talk with? My password list is as long as my grocery list however getting shorter each month due to rising food costs. I wish my passwords would do the same. No Chance! Which brings me to another topic? Identity theft. Wow, who would have thought that people half way around the world could steal your personal information and drain your monetary accounts so easily? HACKERS! What a name? People wake up. You certainly are required to conform, but at least you still have a choice? Or do you? When was the last time you were required to log in, ID and password, scroll here, click here, just to receive information directing you to another web site location/ address to do the same again and again? Invalid password ……Please Reset….. Wait three hours for an alert re-confirmation. Life continues to require us get more tech. savvy every day. I am starting to feel more at ease with this phenomenon but I feel very helpless and sorry for the grandparents and people over say 60??? Hell 50???? How out of touch these people must feel. The fact is that some of the most self assured, hardest working and the happiest people I know are older, out of touch with technology but at a state of satisfaction and ready for what lays ahead tomorrow. What this has taught me and perhaps makes you rethink that way in which you approach life and happiness is that all you need to do is “LOOK” hard! LISTEN more closely and choose more wisely. This takes time and focus! Slow down long enough to choose wisely. You will have to live with your choices in life for LIFE.

Sculpture and Painting

I was having a conversation with my Color Theory professor a few days ago about how different painting is from sculpture. I said, "It's like there's more compromise in painting than there is in sculpture. Maybe sculpture is more deliberate?" This post is intended to be a little more of an in-depth exploration of the differences between painting and sculpting.

Why does it seem like I'm always trying to compromise with color in paintings instead of deliberately making them do what I want? Why does sculpture seem more deliberate, and less like a guessing game at times?

Color works specifically with the eyes and the response to visual stimulus, but it seems as though there's a different realm when it comes to sculpture. It's a difference I've been trying to understand for myself since I decided to become a sculpture major a year ago here at UNCG. What is the difference between the visual realms of color and space? Space seems to be something that is felt with the mind more than seen. Our way of understanding space requires a different part of the mind, it almost seems. There is a strange dichotomy, though, that tends to complicate things. What is the real difference between looking at sculpture and looking at paintings? Both are visual stimuli, dependent on aesthetics and concept, both are art. You can walk around a sculpture, but some paintings also have a feeling of depth that can create a feeling of space.

So what is the feeling of space? And what is the feeling of color?

Color, in its purest form, seems to actively communicate with our eyes. It is either there, or it isn't. It is finite, deliberate. Space is all around us, all the time. Our awareness of it changes and it sometimes altered because of sculpture. Perhaps the difference lies in that: color is more active than sculpture because it generates new perception each time we see it; space is something we're more or less always aware of, and the sculptor's job is to manipulate what's already there to make our perception of space more powerful. Which is harder? I'd definitely say that painting is harder. It seems as though every time I start a new painting, I end up asking myself, "How did I get to this point? What is happening with these colors. What are these colors doing?" It becomes a question of specifically how the colors are communicating with me rather than a question of whether or not the colors are communicating at all or what I want them to communicate. I feel like I ask similar questions when sculpting, but don't have to try as hard to explain it to myself. Is space understood more easily than color? Perhaps with me, it is. Perhaps with others, it is not.

It's a difficult issue. Lately I've been trying to figure out ways to explore the differences between painting and sculpture more deeply than I have been. If anyone else has any thoughts about thisto it, I'd love to hear them. I could go on forever about this issue. (But I won't. I'll stop here.)


These are two poems I've written recently that have strong hindu and buddhist influences. I thought I might share them.


The longest finger: a flame.
A perfect-circle is formed
A consolidation-consensus is reached.
In the name of the Holy, they produce a flame.

A vibrant sustenance, tarred and burning
Expelled, expelled, expelled, expelled.
Slowly, the waving vibration of sundanced trees
Of a long and snaking line of time.

A grand expansion grows to transcendence.
AngerLanguageWorry fall to humanity.
And what is left but a wordless art, teeming and golden
Seen perfectly through infinite strings of life?


Living beings, like tiny specs of organ
Squeeze past one another in a mass of entanglement.
Patterns, internal, move them.

A universal hum emerges from one
Then another
And, finally, all.

An internal movement, an external pattern,
A pulse like ephemeral light.
And all are rendered still.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Arnold

I bought a bird feeder a few weeks ago and the word has finally gotten around the neighborhood that there is food on Hazel's porch! So far I have accumulated: two couples of Mr. and Mrs. House Finches, one Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal, one Mr. and Mrs. Gray Catbird, one Chickadee, one Tufted Titmouse, one Mourning Dove, and one Tree Sparrow!

But that's not all! What has been even more fun to watch are the two squirrels who have been frequenting my porch. One is really, really fat and scared/neurotic, but the other is the cutest, sweetest little button! I named him Arnold and he loves me because I put bowls of seed out for him. He is the only one of all of the animals that have been visiting me that won't run away when I come close. I suppose he's the only one that realizes that I'm where his goodies come from. We've bonded...

Getting to watch the squirrels and birds has helped me come to realize just how much I love nature. It's where I find the most peace. It's an escape from this world; it's a little glimpse of Home that arouses all the senses. I find my inspiration in the vast, matchless beauty and splendor of the earth and all that lives on it. What better thing to strive to capture in a work of art than the incomprehensible wonders of Creation? It is the Divine Masterpiece. What better beauty and perfection to study, to aim for, to dwell on than life? For it has been said to, "ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:7-10). Learn from the Master - the supreme, original Artist.

"If art is good art, if it is true art, if it is beautiful art, then it is bearing witness to the Author of the good, the true, and the beautiful." - R.C. Sproul, Lifeviews

...fat squirrel name ideas anyone? :-)


Last week, the last set of paintings in my Painting 2 class were due. For the project, the class had to build an imaginary landscape and make 4 paintings based on it. At first, I was not at all sure about this project and had no idea what to do. Eventually, I got an idea one night and constructed my diorama of sorts from mat board triangles and yarn.
Last week, as I had only the week to finish them, I had to put several hours in to get the paintings done. Consequently, this resulted in few hours of sleep and a bit of mental and physical strain as I was also winding down for all of my other classes and working at my job as well. So anyway, night after night, I went to the studio right after work to join the rest of my class in our race against time. Though I never really wanted to go and work on these paintings hour after hour, there was something invigorating and stimulating about it. I was learning to paint quickly and to see beyond the surface. Multiple colors resided in one color and shadows came to life and took on a vibrancy I greatly desired to captivate and translate accurately but not necessarily realistically. I grew tired and sometimes had to stop prematurely but tried to apply equal investment to every portion of each painting so that it was at least balanced in its shortcomings.
I finally finished. I set the paintings alongside one another for a final personal analyzation before the in-class critique. As I viewed the works all splayed out together, I noticed a bit of an emergence in my paintings, an evolving per say, in which I was finding my way to understanding the subject and the matter. Albeit, one can never be done learning as long as one seeks to do so, but I found that somewhere in the midst of all that seeing and painting, rushing and not thinking, it started to make sense. There was a beauty in it all that I never would have seen perhaps, had I not worked and reworked the same setup from different angles. I was learning to look and find while actively doing. Even though my works are no masterpieces by any stretch of the imagination they contained something much more wonderful than a prestigious title or appraisal. They contained me.

When I was 5, (photos of some of my tree/plant studies)

During the process of my first piece I observed about every tree around the art building, I also did some observing outside of class. I tried finding trees that were both interesting and simply, I wanted to capture the essence of the outdoors, that I so enjoyed drawing when I was younger. From my list of 25 one that I chose was the memory of learning how to draw a tree. My Dad was always a bit of an artist, he never went to school for it or anything but he had a lot of natural ability. He just knew how to draw things, and he enjoyed doing it as a hobby. When I was five I remember my dad drawing and I tried copying him, to my dismay my drawing was no where close to his. I quickly became very frustrated, I couldn't understand why his drawing was so much nicer then mine.
My dad saw how irritated I had become, and he ask me if i needed help. Well I was a stubborn child and quickly turned down his offer, acting like I knew exactly what I was doing. After a couple more failed attempts at drawing a tree, I finally gave in and ask my Dad for Help. This was my first real brush with art, It was The first time I really tried putting effort towards a drawing, and it is still one of my fondest memories. Here I have included some of the photos of trees and plants I took to help me with this project.

Misplaced goods.

The more organized I try to be, the harder it seems to be to find things. I just moved into this new house on March 1. Since then, I've got my "art closet", which stores my photographs that I've yet to put into a book, various papers for said book, cotton for making dolls, styrofoam shapes for random projects, all my paints, brushes, pens, and other stuff that could be categorized into a craft of some sort. Somewhere, not in that closet, is a tube of black paint. I need that one thing, right now. And it isn't where it ought to be! This is frustrating!

I've searched all over. A few days ago I couldn't find the charger for the camcorder, and I needed it to film Ben's submission grappling tournament, which took place yesterday. At the very last minute I found it in a box where it shouldn't have been. I searched for days! I finally told Ben I had no idea where it could be, that I'd looked in all the places it ought to be 3 or 4 times, and everywhere else once. But the one place I didn't search, was in HIS boxes that have yet to be sorted, that sit in the closet in the kids' room. And of course, that is where I found it.

By the way, after 5 intense bouts against some solid competitors, he won first place in his division. I am very proud. And today, he is very sore! My baby's daddy is a champion. :) I got it on video, thanks to the perseverance of my searching efforts.

I'm tired of being disorganized. It wastes so much time that could be better spent doing anything else. My mid-year resolution is to correct this problem, before the baby comes. Until then, I have to probably go out today and buy another tube of black paint, because I'm exhausted from looking!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My joys:

We had a wonderful day! The sun was shining, the flowers were in bloom, and the children were all smiles. And despite my poor little Kodak EasyShare C340 being broken and out of date, I got some really great pictures. Even though this was a few weeks ago, I frequently look at these pictures to remind myself how blessed I am.

Catrina and Matthew look like they could be brother and sister, with their fair skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. They are most definitely my angels.

I love this picture of Matthew so much I even made an etching of it to print in my etching class. I can't say I did a fantastic job, but the heart and sentiment were there.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My artistic inspiration


           When we got this project asking us to list 25 things that shaped us as an artist, many different memories started coming back to me.  The memory that came to the fore front of my mind was when my mom bought me this clay book.  When I was in second grade we had a book fair at my school, my mom knew i was kind of into drawing and crafts so she picked me up a copy.  When she gave it to me I didn't think to much of it, until a little later on when i started flipping through the pages.  Once I started seeing all the different clay creations in the book I was hooked. For some reason I became so fascinated with all that you could do with clay.  

       I began to try to make the objects in the book, the first one I can remember was this sumo wrestler guy.  I started carrying clay with me everywhere, which turned out to a little bit of a problem.  My mom for some reason didn't like this mobilization of clay, probably because it started showing up in my  pants pockets along with the wash, and in the carpet at home.  I always reminded my mom it was her fault for buying the book, that didn't go over so well either.  I really have to give credit to my mom and this book, because if I never had received  the book I'm not sure if I would have pursued art.  I just know that once I got into clay modeling I really started enjoying art.  Before I kind of liked art,  just drawing doodles like every kid does, but this seemingly small thing( a Clay book bought at a book fair) created in me a love for art.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

amazing how time gets away from you..

I guess I feel older today. It's always interesting to think of the aging face. What a tiny crease I may have now could turn into a laugh line one day. These are the things that mark age. You see a statue or a painting with wrinkles and you automatically read age. I guess vaguely it reminds me of this: the same girl with or without wrinkles who seems to be older or younger. It's also how "myspace" angles make someone look younger and thinner, often.

Wrinkles are something you learn early to photoshop onto a face to add age (and it's fun to photoshop makeup on to people too, or is that just me?) They kind of seem to fit a little formula. you've got the two slants beside the lip /o\ , the forehead creases .=. , the crows eyes >. .<.. other entirely normal things. things you learn to appreciate with time. and it makes this cute little emoticon:


yeah.. i dunno what to write and i'm tired. but hey, emoticons are art, yeah? :(

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

As Time Goes By

I was part of an amazing opportunity about a month ago. I was entered in a 48 hour film competition with some of my best friends in the world.

It was an experience of a lifetime and as I've reflected on the grueling, sleep deprived weekend over which the film process took place I am yet again reminded of how one is never through with looking.What was so wonderful about this experience was probably working with some great people and observing how all of our talents contributed to the overall film-making process.

The guidelines were simple: 1) The film must make a reference to a very famous movie. 2) The film must be between 3 and 5 minutes. 3) The film must end with the line "Don't be a hero."

The plot is about a working girl and a man who is slightly out of his element looking to pick up a working girl for the night. It is almost a reference to the movie "Pretty Woman" with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in the sense that the desire is to save a valuable woman from a dangerous harsh life. So needless to say this man wants to save this woman from her lowly existence and sweep his damsel off of her feet. It is done in the styles of memoir and film noir. The male character gives the audience a sense that this has already happened or that he is reliving the experience of rescuing this woman from her dark life. There is then a twist. We then find out that the man never rescued the woman. He looked back, saw her and drove away. He did not want to interfere with her life, she is living this life because she chose it. He could not rescue her from her own world.

The process involved in creating a film is very meticulous and even with 3 pairs of eyes it proves to be very difficult to see every flaw in the system. Editing is certainly evidence of such a statement. During the editing process we had to pay very close attention to where exactly the actors are in each shot and if it is a split shot where we see several different angles to the shot it is extremely difficult to match every specific position. I know of a few things that (due to time and resources) I know are flaws, even though they are not too apparent.
Film creating is very similar to drawing in the sense that it is a very drawn out process of observation, changing and reworking.
Just as thrilling as a plot twist can be in realizing that the last hour and a half of your movie going experience was all a misleading journey into a beautiful or ghastly truth, life is also just as misleading. We reach inevitable truths that we believe to be permanent but with different insight the perspective might change. We see one side in the film "Don't be a hero- As Time Goes By" that the man is trying to rescue her because he feels that he would not want to live through the same dark and unrelenting pain that he imagines this woman having. From a moral standpoint it presents a very interesting argument. Should he rescue her or allow her to rescue herself if she so desires? Does she want to be rescued in the first place? Does she want someone to rescue her? The truth is is one can never truly decide for someone when one is in the place that this man was in. Don't take an immediate reaction to someone's lifestyle as being something good or bad.
So As time goes by continue to observe, continue to look because you are never done with looking.

Monday, April 6, 2009

15 properties

So in one of my classes we are reading Christoper Alexander's The Phenomenon of Life, Book One: The Nature of Order. Not that I am really recommending the book, but he talks about how everything has a certain degree of life to it; not biological life, but some things just "feel" and "connect" to our souls more. He never really makes this idea of exactly how you decide why things have life. But I think that the concept is really fascinating, especially in drawing, as we are the re creators of a scene:
We get to assign life to objects.
This is his most easily explained property, there is a list of 14 others, and personally I find them very subjective and sometimes represented unfairly in his comparisons, but I think that they can have some influence into how we think about drawing. They are:
alternating repitions
deep interlock and ambiguity
good shape
local symmetries
levels of scale
positive space
strong centers
simplicy and inner calm
the void

I think that ever since learning about these I think about them more in everything, especially in these charcol drawings we are doing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wondering about Art

art on the brain
work by Guilherme Marconi

I enjoy making blog entries but I've found that coming up with topics to post about is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I haven't done so in while, but after attending a very interesting talk today and reading other entries, I now have something in mind.

It is now the time for advising for the classes we will take next semester. Though I have a good idea of what classes I'll be taking, I've been bothered by other thoughts about the "somewhat" near future. I'll be a junior next semester and in 2 more years I'll be flung into real world. I'm not exactly sure what I'm suppose to do after that. I'd love to get my dream job in the art industry, but the thought of this economic situation we are in makes me rather queasy. I don't know if I'll be ready to compete for my bread and butter in a world full of many other talented individuals. I feel like my bachelors degree isn't enough. All these worries sometimes make me have doubts about whether I could survive and be successful as an artist.

I love art and can't imagine anything else I'd be good at doing...I think it's a career that gives me the most creative freedom. But how do you know if something is meant for you? I hope I'm not delusional in my pursuit. During my advising I wanted to ask my adviser about her experience working in a publishing company, and what I need to do to get into something like that. Although I didn't really get a chance to ask her. I was however, able to attend a lecture talk by Adam Burke this afternoon. He is an animator for Pixar. It was a very insightful talk in which he described the many processes of creating an animated film, the perks, and how a student can become an animator. The talk seemed to inspire something in me. From everything that he described, I knew that I wanted to do the same (or something similar). His job is just so much fun and also very rewarding, and I know that creating art in some form is something I want to do. I guess I just need some reassurance that I'm doing the right thing for myself. Also after reading some blog entries I definitely know that I share the same passions as others.

I wonder if other art students feel worried about life after college? It can be a scary thought. I just know above all we have to do the things we love the most.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I always have a lot of trouble coming up with topics for this blog, since blogging isn't something I do very often. A friend of mine suggested talking about how important drawing is to my everyday life. She mentioned that if she were no longer able to draw, she would feel completely handicapped, and I have to say that I would feel exactly the same way. If I have a piece of paper in front of me, or really anything that can be marked on, and a writing utensil, more often than not I am going to draw on it. My dad's old desk top calendar's are proof of this and my notes are also filled with doodles in the margins. I think I would go crazy if I could no longer draw and get my ideas down on paper. In addition to actually creating art, I probably spend just as much time if not more looking at other people's art. Much of my free time is spent browsing the art community site DeviantArt. I have been a part of an online art community so long that I can't really imagine life with out it. I feel like my access to art would be so limited, especially art that fits into my range of interest. The internet has become a great way for artists to expose their work to the public (though it makes art theft and plagiarism a big problem as well). Anyway, I feel like I'm rambling. I hope this post isn't too incoherent. I would love to hear other people's opnions on drawing on a day to day basis and their thoughts on online art communities.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Clouds and Light

A beautiful sky. My friend Anna and I were on our way back to campus from a long weekend. It had been raining and cloudy earlier in the weekend and the sun finally decided to shine on North Carolina once again. We were driving out of a blanketed sky into a clear warm sunset. The clouds simply fascinated me with their brilliant blue, purple, and pink hues reflecting the luminous white, yellow sun. The texture was breathtaking. It was like an upside down mountainous landscape, thick and craggy, uneven. I loved our perspective from the open highway, all these cars headed towards the light, out of the darkness. I couldnt help but thank God for the captivating beauty in something so commonplace as clouds in the sky and the sunset. But everyday is something new and no one will ever be repeated. I also took a picture showing a silhouette of trees against the clear half of the sky. To have captured that moment though it never really ended was something I felt thankful for. The earth, the trees, the sky, the clouds, and the light that points out the distinctiveness of every existing form.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Food for Thought

On a whim I searched for scrapbooking with charcoal. It didn't really come up with anything like I thought it would but I did find a few intresting pictures, as well as some that lead me to other artistic mediums.
A bookmark so all her 'books can wear pearls'. On this search I also came across some charcoal grilled chicken made me a little hungry. Also made me think of food in terms of art. So food as an art form. Initially i thought of those artpaintsing made from burnt toast.

But it doesnt even have to have a picture on it to be art. I watch the food Network alot and they often have competitions where the actual look of the cake, or sugar sculpture was the determinent on who the winner was. They even use the word sculpture. Among other food art I've found. Below : canned food stacked up for food drive competition Not a sculpture, but made entirely out of melted sugar...
About Sugar Sculptures: http://www.blogger.com/www.ehow.com/about_4780756_sugar-sculptures.html

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

better yet "i'm never done with thinking"

Every now and again, I get real involved in Political events and opinions. Probably something better kept to myself. (I get real passionate and some people dislike what i have to say). But I think political views are tied strongly into art. And, with so much going on, there is so much to inspiration to be had. ((in this way, sometimes it's easier to let the art stand for itself, and stand safely back behind the fallout of it...))

Here are just a few of the many things to be inspiration: other art, political spheres, economic downturns, historical events, modern interpretations of history (touchy at times), social changes, social differences, historical moments, inspirational surroundings, amazing "once in a lifetime" events, births, deaths, etc.

I feel as though it is extremely important to have a good understanding of the world around you, the world in which you live, in order to make good art. I feel as though having consideration for the world around you is also important. I feel as though art does not need to be limited to a certain medium. I think we all need to adapt to the evolving time. We may not always be able to afford the luxuries some artists are used to using.

The price of making art is increasing, while the profit of selling art is decreasing.
public funding is slowing down:
art dealers are discounting art for quicker sales:

Although not everyone is left high and dry (http://en.wordpress.com/tag/art-recession/) there are a lot of changes that need to be made in this modern world to allow for adaptation economically. For one, it is a good idea to experiment with a variety of mediums. "Necessity is the mother of invention". It is probably a good idea to try and dream up unique ways to create your art.

At times like this, it is in an artist's best interest to stand out creatively. It is a competitive field and if artists are increasingly gaining the "starving artist" title, chances are there is bound to be a major change of the art society structure. so, although this is the most negative question to have to ask people: are you willing to be a starving artist? If not, I'd say it may not be in your best interest. Want to be an art teacher? go for it. but, again, it will be competitive. Especially with art funding an ever present issue. I don't, by any means, want to crush anyone's dreams. My point is that you have to be passionate about art to make a life out of it (same for any major for that fact). I've accepted the fact that i may be surviving on Ramen and canned food for a good deal of my career. but that's okay! i can handle it. at least i'll be making art. you okay with this? more power to ya.

so, as a random end note: there is a formula to making art, but there is no formula for making great art.

Value Drawings

Since we are working with value I thought it might be helpful to have some inspiration. I went out and found some still life value drawings, that I felt captured space with value. Each of the value drawings makes you feel that there is space in front of and all around the objects. Like the quadrant feel, we tried to achieve through the field of depth project, these drawings are doing the same thing but with regular values. You feel like you can divide up the drawings into sections as it goes back into space. I think that's the main goal with our value drawings -- to define an object's place in space through value. A few of these drawings are examples of the style Trompe l'oeil (which means 'to fool the eye'). I feel like this style really grasps what we are after, because the shading and technique creates this extremely effective 3-D depth to the drawing. The values tell you where every object is living, and the space is so effective you almost want to push the object out of the way to see what is behind it. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

"better late than never"

Amanda Worley
Well, here's a "better late than never" post. My week to post was right before Spring Break week- right smack dab in the middle of test-essay-reading-quiz-midterm assignment week! So, now I post. For my post I decided to focus on sketching, or rather our sketchbooks which are a part of our final grade. I jumped blog to blog finding neat sites to come back to later, and others sites which solely talked about their cat. The one that I kept coming back to for some strange reason was the wish jar.

The first neat thing I found on the wish jar was from a pdf called 100 ideas. Some of the ideas are meant to inspire you, others are to get you thinking and charging up your brain-light bulb. Since I do not know how to post a pdf to this blog, I have printed out some copies to distribute during Thursdays (3/19) class. It looks like the document/pic above.
The second cool thing I found while browsing artsy blogs was a kit called the artists survival kit:
"The Artist's Survival Kit: For the really bad days, for the days when you want to quit, when you feel like everything you do is *&%^$# (I'd rather not say the even common dirty words), when you feel like your self esteem plummet, when you decide that you would rather wait tables for a living, when you start to think you will never make a living making art, when you are working on something and feel like you hate it more than you ever hated anything in your life, when someone makes an off-hand remark about your work and afterwards you feel dejected, when you wish you had gone to school for accounting, when you start to believe that maybe your family was right, when you want to lie in bed for a month and eat chips."

How cool! For those days this is the kit. While it does have some foul language that many of you use in every sentence you say I'd rather not hand it out in class.
So, if you would like to print yourself a copy like I did you can go to:

Sunday, March 15, 2009


So, I was thinking back on our first drawings we did & how life is like drawings.
It started out really rough and rushed, with gestural drawings.
We kept moving, kept changing. Then we just had to choose a spot because we liked it.
The place we chose we had to stick with and make it more impressive- more realistic.
Then we commit- add paint on and just keep layering.
Maybe receive a little advice and some demonstration.
We weren't supposed to worry about how things were looking at the moment; they were going to turn out recognizable and alright.
We all received the same instructions and they all turned out completely different.

My whole life I've been moving, changing, erasing & all of a sudden I've only got two years to decide what to do with the rest of my life.
So I've committed- Art major, my lines have been refined, no longer gestural drawings.
Now I'm layering on paint: taking my past and my experiences now and creating my future. I've still got time to keep layering, but I hope the finished image comes out recognizable, and I'm happy with it.

The next project that we are beginning to work on can probably be related to life as well, probably more so with the collage element, and the fact that we personally can chose the range of values we want to use. But I'm excited to see how they all turn out and how varied they are.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Our next big project in Art 220 is a collage still life. I just wanted to post a few of my thoughts about collage in general.

First of all, I'm excited that this still life and study of depth of field and value is going to be done in collage. Still lives can be so boring sometimes when we draw them traditionally... at least for me they are. I always have to put some extra effort into finding things in the drawing and about the material used that interest me, and this can be tough sometimes, especially when one has to focus on still lives a lot, like in a drawing class. But this collage project has a different feel and energy. There's something very physical and tangible about putting a collage together; about creating pieces for the space and treating each one with glue and sealing it. Collage seems freer and less formal. If one space needs editing, we can simply make more pieces and glue over it. We don't have to worry about erasing and blending and carefully shaping the form in space as we might with graphite or charcoal. Collages are piece-y, perhaps treated with no less care, but with entirely different attributes.

Collages have a look about them that communicates energy and a physical handling of material. They can appear to be quick and somewhat inconsistent. Some can even appear messy or haphazardly put together, but they often still have charming qualities that we love. What is it that we love about collages? Perhaps it's that energy that we can feel emanating from them... we know and can see that each piece of the collage was carefully shaped and glued down and sealed by the artist. Though some collages can look messy and scattered, we know that each piece was placed where it is by the artist for a reason. Anyone who's ever made a collage knows this and has experienced this. Perhaps this gives a collage its sense of uniformity despite its piece-y-ness.

I personally love making collages. It's a process of searching. It's all about searching and shaping: searching for places the pieces might fit, searching for pieces that might fit the places, shaping pieces to fit the places and shaping places to fit the pieces. You can go into as much detail as you want. You can make it as chunky as you want. There's a lot of freedom when it comes to collage. It's fun for me. It's a good way for me to do a still life because I find it refreshing.

Last spring I attended a Zombie Convention at one of the hotels in Greensboro. As one might expect at a ZombieCon, most of the art there was dark and macabre, a sort of surrealistic study of fear and boogie monsters. But I met one artist who did his work in collage. Most of his art was of a surrealist, fantasy genre, and little of it was actually as darkly macabre as the other art. His prints were beautiful - wild, thriving landscapes with all kinds of imaginary creatures and plants put together with pieces completely found and cut out of magazines. They were huge pieces with incredibly elaborate detail - posters full of stunning and colorful eye candy. I was fascinated with his work. I asked him about some of them, and he showed me one piece that took him two years to do. Two years. I couldn't fathom it. Working on the same collage piece for two years? I was completely blown away. Imagine all the magazines he must have leafed through, searching for just the right pieces to express his vision. Imagine all the trial and error he must have experienced: Will this piece work here? How do I feel about this? What is the whole thing missing? What can I add? What should I take away? This whole process of searching (again, collage seems to be fundamentally about searching) fascinates me. Putting together the perfect collage out of pieces he finds or stumbles upon... something seems vividly poetic about it. We could see it as a metaphor for life. We could see it as a metaphor for love and relationships. We could see it as a metaphor for a casserole. There's a lot we can learn from collaging and thinking about collaging, I believe. I'm excited about this project.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Art of Looking Sideways

I've been at work for over an hour now and, so far, there have been no customers, so I've been reading a really neat book called, The Art of Looking Sideways, and I just want to share a couple of quotes I came across that I thought were really pertinent to this class... Do you find any of these particularly interesting?

on seeing,
"The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes." Goethe

on illusion,
"Who are you going to believe, me or your eyes?" Groucho Marx

on figuring,
"...my name means the shape I am - and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost." Humpty Dumpty

on imaging,
"Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees." Paul Valery

Thursday, March 5, 2009

sewing- Theresa

One of my favorite hobbies happens to be sewing. My mother taught my sister and I when we were little, and it's always been an inspiration in my art. I love to notice the meticulous beauty in the art of sewing, and how the different sewing implements can be very beautiful things when the light hits them right. Since I've taken up painting, I've noticed a connection between the way my colors seem to "weave" themselves together in a similar way that the threads interlock when I sew. When it comes to art, I believe the best subjects are the ones closest to our hearts, which is why the needle and thread become my subjects time and time again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I realized that whenever it snows, I find myself stopping in my tracks every few steps to take pictures. Here are a few of the photos from our lovely snow day.
I will probably update this post later when I have more to say.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Learning to See

I’m not very good at retaining knowledge, so I always get kind of childishly excited when I encounter something/anything in my day that I can link to something I’ve learned at school. I get so proud of myself when I hear a big word and know what it means, or hear a quote and know who it’s by, or definitely when my Mom showed me the latest Coldplay CD (her new obsession) and I was able to tell her (thanks to Gantt!) that the painting on the album cover was Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix! I love taking studio classes because I can relate pretty much everything I see to them in some way. I’ve really been enjoying taking only art classes this semester because I can just stay in the visual-thinking mode all of the time. (I cannot do two modes at once.) Since I spend all of my day thinking – visually, it’s kind of been like anywhere I am I have a book to read! This has made a big difference in pretty much every other area of my life as well because I look at everything differently. Sometimes it seems like everything I see I imagine on a canvas, or in a sketchbook, or as a photograph. I notice things everyday that I’ve learned from each of my classes. I catch myself analyzing color combinations and proportions, advertisement layouts, fonts, and patterns, but what has really been the most interesting is how I’ve learned to look at and analyze shapes as being made up of lines. Seeing the lines and directions of the lines that make up a subject has really helped my brain to understand a three-dimensional object as two-dimensional. I am very glad that I am learning to live visually. It makes the world a much more beautiful place when you try to see the art in every part of it.


Louis Pasteur (a French scientist) said, “In the field of observation, chance favors only the mind that is prepared.”


The experiences of everyday life provide us with a constant stream of interesting stimuli, yet most people are not prepared to appreciate the fascinating details that are right before their eyes. I am learning.

I still do not know what to put here.

Today in one my classes, we discussed stress and what people do to relieve it. When I was asked, I immediately said drawing. I have always doodled to relieve stress. I was curious to know everyone's reason as to why they decided to pursue art. Also, what motivates you to just sit down and draw? I think for me, it's a passionate feeling. If I am happy, sad, angry I am more likely to draw. Answers in the comment section. Ready. Go.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I wanted to show a variety of pictures I have taken over the course of the last several years. My photos are generally devoid of people (something I wish to improve upon in the future.) So here is a catalog of a few subjects that interest me:

1) taking pictures at night or in the dark. Infinity difficult at times! (but sometimes you can get that pretty cool lighting techniques that is so popular now-a-days: light trails)

2) taking pictures in moving vehicles ( the pink one above as well)

3) Thinks that are interesting shapes (in these cases circular):

4) kitty cats. some of them just love to pose and model. heh.

Of course this is not all that i take pictures off. Nor are these my best works. They all just seem to fit together in some way.

I suppose if I had more patience, these are the subjects I would probably draw. Cats would probably be the most difficult subject to draw. Also, generally, I find photography to be helpful in developing a better sense of composition. I often, as many other people do I'm sure, take many many pictures of the same subject: different angles, etc. trying to find what works. (this is why I love digital cameras! instant feedback.)