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:

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 ( 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,
" 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.