Saturday, December 19, 2009

End of the Semester

Look at me, I'm sheepish!


I am SO tired right now. For the past week, I've been going to bed around 3 or 4 AM and waking up around 8 or 9 for class or to do work. Thankfully, with the passing of Thursday, the semester has officially ended for me. Unfortunately, I've been super-busy packing my stuff and moving it into my apartment! I haven't had much time to relax, but today I took it easy after moving a bunch of stuff in the morning.

Anyway, time for the interesting stuff:

Tuesday was the day of my class' Cluster Review. We gathered all of our work and had a critique in front of all of our professors. Naturally, it was a ridiculously long process: we went from 9:30 to almost 6 with an hour long break for lunch. Thankfully, my abstract painting teacher Jeff Way brought us bagels!

My critique went really well. I actually wish I heard more negative comments from my professors, but they didn't have much of that to say. The only thing I remember them saying is that I might think or plan too much. Here are some pictures of my work:

We had to display three paintings from each class, not including homework paintings from Figurative Painting class...

...In addition to both sculptures, our best few drawings, and a few prints. I need to photograph more of the latter two. And on the floor are some of my embossings. I'll photograph or scan those too, when I get the chance.
You can see two larger drawings we did in Life Drawing class here. They're pretty recent.
And here is a closeup of the last abstract painting of the semester. I rather like it, but the blue and yellow one is my my favorite.

All in all, an enjoyable (but long) day. It was really cool to see my classmates' work collected together.
Winter break has pretty much started and I'll be going home on Tuesday (assuming this crazy snow isn't going to delay the flight). Super-excited to see my nephew, but I'll probably need a flu shot before seeing him. I'm coming back to my apartment on the 10th and will spend the remainder of winter break cleaning up, organizing, and working on my Toy Design home test! Expect a few updates on that, but not too many! I don't want anyone to steal my ideas now, do I?

Anyway, updates might be a bit scarce over the next few weeks, so don't worry about checking on a regular basis! 'Though if you do want to stay updated on my latest blog posts, follow me on Twitter! You can reach my page over on the right side of the page.

I know we can make it if we take it slow,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Final Abstract Painting of the semester

Above is the final abstract painting of the semester. Inspired by Loch Ness Monster, bamboo, love, and combat. I have to have it completed by Tuesday morning for our end-of-semester Cluster Review. Last year, it was a mid-semester deal...This time, we have more work and all of it is on a larger scale.

In addition, I have to finish my second sculpture (which is a long way from being done) and make a little pamphlet/catalog/booklet thingy describing my process for it. Busy, busy next few days.

Adding to the busy-ness of the next few days is my recent apartment-getting! I found an apartment for next semester and the lease has already started. I gotta move all of this:
And more by the end of next week into this:

It's bigger than it looks, but I hope I don't have too much crap...More pics later!

Looking forward to the end,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vicky and the Statue

Finished the last figure painting of the semester on Tuesday. At least, I think it's finished? Let me know what you guys think. Like I said before, we had to use non-naturalistic colors, and this is the result. I'm actually pleased after staring at this photo for a while; I hated the painting for the longest time. I really love the statue's face.Vicky and Statue
30" x 40"
Oil on canvas

And a peek at what I'm up to in sculpture:
Oooh, mysterious! Even I don't know what's happening!

Coming out of his cage, and doing just fine (for now),

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Untitled Abstract Painting

36 "x 60"
Acrylic on Canvas

The finished Result. Don't know what to call it. The blue area looks like it might be too open and plain, but I kinda like it. What's wrong with having big open spaces? Comments and criticism welcome.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wrench in my gears

This figure painting really has me lost. The wrench tossed into the mix: non-naturalistic colors. I'm having a lot of difficulty making up colors that match the values that I see. I suppose the problem could be my attitude. Perhaps I should view the requirement as something that will push my artwork in a new direction rather than as a wrench in my cognitive process.

Whatever the case, here are pictures. As per usual, I take a particular interest in the face. And naturally, the rest of the painting lags behind a bit. Professor fixed up the model's face during the second half, which is why it is much less defined fight now.
After the first session of the day

At the end of class. Essentially, more stuff filled in.

Closeup of the statue's face. Easier to paint because she doesn't move.

In other news, I got an apartment. Expect a blog post with some pictures of my tiny hole in the wall sometime in the near future!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Curled Up and Bent

Saw this at the Museum of Modern Art yesterday. Put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

Jenny Holzer
American, born 1950
Living: There's no reason to sleep curled up


So we've been working on this new painting for two weeks and have two more weeks to finish. I won't lie-I'm having a bit of difficulty with this one. This is mostly due to the fact that we aren't supposed to use naturalistic colors. Here is what the painting looked like at the start of class last week:

But my teacher wanted me to add a bunch of stuff to the background. She says she likes the idea of this painting feeling very cluttered. This is how it looked at the end of class:

At first, I didn't agree with the clutter in the background because I wanted to have a big empty space. I'm not particularly sure why, but now it makes a lot more sense to have more objects in the picture plane. I like my composition a lot because there are two faces: the actual model and the statue in the foreground. Now I have two 'happy places' I can work on when I need a break from the other bits of the painting.

Rather than match the real-life colors, we instead have to focus more on the black-and-white value of the colors. Here is the above image in grayscale.
I think the figure may be too dark....Potentially not a problem if the statue stays light and the background color changes. We'll see how it comes out.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Aesthetically Pleasing

When I began this semester, I was initially very skeptical about enjoying abstract painting. But now, with about two or three weeks left to paint, I have come to appreciate the freedom in the class. It's very liberating to paint non-objectively.

For our last two projects, we have several options. For the first one, I decided to go with a geometric theme on a 5' x 3' canvas. Here is a picture of what I have done so far.

Basically, all the coloring is finished and all I have left to do is outline the rectangular forms. I didn't take any in-progress pictures because I didn't think it would be interesting (that, and I keep forgetting my camera). All the process involves is, well...painting shapes and taping off the edges so they're straight. Pretty boring!

I am really happy with how this is coming out. In contrast with figurative painting, it's much easier to paint something you find aesthetically pleasing. My professor thinks that I should add some red or gray, but I'd rather not. Red would look nice, but I feel like I fall back on the primary colors too often. I enjoy the simple yellow-orange and almost blue-violet I have going on. Maybe some gray, but I'll have to finish filling in the lines first.

Not sure what I want to do with the next one...I think I want to do something organic because I have a tendency to do stuff with hard edges and lines.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Finished(?) Painting and Food

Sorry for falling behind a bit on the blogging! This past week, we finished the still life of glass and reflective objects. Cue a BIG sigh of relief from me and many others. Short project, but we'll be painting a figure for the rest of the semester (4 Weeks left to paint?!?!?! Or is it 3?) so I'm excited.I tried to be a little more liberal with the paint application, especially on the lightbulb. It's not exactly evident anywhere else. I would like to try to be more interpretive and less literal with my depiction of objects, but the wannabe photo-realist within me ain't letting me. I think I'm addicted to blending.

On a totally unrelated note, here is a brief glimpse into the diet of a college student! Earlier this week, after class, I felt the urge to whip up some macaroni and cheese. But, because mac and cheese are BORING, I added some stuff!

Mac and cheese with sliced red peppers, crushed dried red peppers, and some other stuff! And BROCCOLI! Which was frozen. It seems like we eat Mac and cheese at least once a week here and usually jazz it up. Once, we added red pepper, onion, crushed pita chips, and a can of tuna. AMAZING.

On occasion, we feel like splurging a bit. My roommate Marcel (whose face I've sculpted and drawn) likes to cook a lot. A few days ago, Marcel, Andy (the third roommate), and Becky (the unofficial fourth) wanted to make burgers and potato salad for some unknown reason. So they went shopping, and a few hours later this came out:

Not bad, right? They sure tasted bangin'. Marcel is a weird and messy chef, but everything tastes pretty good in the end!
They're so happy! And so was I, but I was taking the picture. We watched the 'Ultimate Cut' of Watchmen that night and stayed up 'till 3...That is a LONG movie.

Expect something more art related and substantial when I remember to bring my camera to class! I haven't updated y'all about abstract painting for a while, so that might come up soon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Paintings and Other Things

Last week, we started a new painting in class. This one is a still life featuring objects that are reflective or made from glass. Can't say that I really like it...In fact, I'd much rather be painting the figure. On the bright side, we're only working on this one for 2 more weeks.

I'm trying to work with thicker layers of initial paint. Probably a good idea, considering the short time we have. Here's a pic of the section I'm painting:
I have a lot of lighting to do.

And here is a picture of the latest painting homework, due tomorrow. The assignment:
"1 Object 4 Ways
Split your canvas into four sections. Choose an object that you want to paint and look at it from different angles, zoom in/out, light it, etc. How do you want to show variety? Stylistically, should it be the same in each area? Think about both variety and the coherence of the whole."

I really liked the look of my Ikea desk lamp so I painted that from a variety of angles. As you can see, I went with a complimentary color setup for each section. Stylistically, they are all painted the same, just with different was pretty much intuitive to translate the plain black lamp into different colors. The complimentary color scheme is a bit elementary...perhaps a triadic scheme would've been more interesting.


On a totally unrelated note, I shaved my mustache off for Halloween.

Yeah, I look a little befuddled, but one of my roommates said my bare upper lip makes me look angrier. As a 19 year old college kid, I think it's okay to be angry and rash and I also think it's fitting to appear angry and rash, so I'll probably be rocking this for a while. The 'stache will come back when I am wise enough to deserve it. I love my chin hairs though, so those guys will be sticking around for a while.

Most of my friends miss it a lot. I think I look a bit like a goat.


That wraps things up for now. Look forward to another blog post or two later this week featuring more progress on the painting and maybe some other stuff! As always, comments and critique is welcome.

I need direction to perfection

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Finished (?) figure painting

Yesterday was the last day we had to work on our current figure painting. We only had 3 hours, so I picked up my brushes and went to work and tried to get as much finished as possible.

I immediately hit the feet, hands, vase, carpets, and mirror. The foot was super-tricky; if you go back and look at how the painting's changed, you will see that the foot's position changed about 20 times. In the end, I sorta fudged it and made the orange pillow cover up part of it. The mostest trickiest part was probably figuring out how to render the carpets. I ended up just mixing more intense colors and doing random highlights...I'm not sure if there are enough, but I'm overall happy with how the painting came out.

This area is one of my professor's favorite sections. This photo is pretty bad...point-and-shoot cameras aren't very good at taking pictures of paintings. I might have to pick up a DSLR sometime soon!

And here's the face again. The only thing I did was add highlights to the eyes and maybe a little bit to the hair. It's still my favorite part of the painting, but every time I look at it and compare it to the model, I notice a dozen things that are wrong. Oh, the problems of an artist.

Here are a few pictures of the critique setup we had going on. It's really cool to see the range of styles within the class.

Hope you enjoyed seeing the progress of this painting, probably the best figure painting I've done so far. Our next project in class is a still life with reflective surfaces...should be interesting to say the least.

Steady, as she goes

Monday, October 19, 2009

Metal and Me

Some quick shots of my sculpture. It has come along quite a way since last time, mostly because it's a very quick process.

The leg section is way out of proportion, so I'll be cutting that down and adding another leg next week.

I also added a three-piece shoulder section that I really love because of its layered armor look.
But the thing is, it's starting to look a little too much like armor, so I'm going to rough up a few edges with hand shears next week as well. I've got quite a bit of work left to do.

And here is the finished version of the self-portrait from two weeks ago. It's hanging in the hallway! Go me! ^o^

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Metal + Me = ?

Finally, a chance to blog about my sculpture! I remembered to bring my camera in to class on Monday and took a few shots of what I've done so far. Unfortunately, the tech in charge of the tool room wasn't in class so I didn't have access to some electric metal shears and I couldn't work on the sculpture more. The shears give the edges a very clean cut, which is why I couldn't work on Monday despite owning a pair of hand shears.

Let's start from the beginning!
Our first project in Sculpture II is really broad and general: Abstraction from the human form. With that as our prompt, the professor had a model come in and do some poses for us while we did sketches and made small mock-ups. Here's what I tossed together with cardboard and tape:

I really liked the form of this torso and so did the professor. Once I had this made, I had to decide what my material would be. Almost everyone else in class is using chicken wire and some kind of surface filling, whether it be plaster or paper pulp or something crazy like that. After sitting around and staring at it, I decided to use sheet metal! Nobody else was doing it and METAL IS HARDCORE!

So I went over to Queens and picked up some metal from the friendly folks at B&B Sheet Metal. I had to decide how I was going to bond the metal, so the Professor suggested using a riveter.

Here's what I have so far:

It doesn't look like much, but it's actually quite large. The process for making this thing is really quick- I made all of this in two 3-hour sessions a few weeks ago. I'll probably have the legs done by next week and then I'll have to plan how I want the surface to look.

I'd like to maybe document the process some more, so keep an eye out for a step-by-step walkthrough!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Progress is good!

PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE in various studies of mine. Today's blog post will focus on Painting, which I had yesterday. I've been updating you guys on the progress of this painting for weeks, so I hope it hasn't gotten old. Here's what the painting looked like at the start of yesterday's session:

Six hours of work later, she turned out like this:
As you can see, a lot of progress was made. We only have one three-hour session left to work on it, so I guess it's good that I did a lot. I believe I'll try to focus more on the surroundings next session. I tried to model out the hands and feet this time around, but I'm not sure how successful I am. That foot looks tiny, but some of it is supposed to be covered by the orange pillow. The carpets on the floor are also a lot more intricate and I need to flesh out that mirror some looks terribly awkward right now.

After completely avoiding the face last week, I decided to flesh it out. Here's what it looked like before:

And now:
The model came into class with her hair done up slightly differently. I thought she had really pretty hair and was disappointed when she tied it back for the first several sessions, so when more hair was visible this week, I jumped on it. I also painted in her left side so now it doesn't look like she's a ghost. Just looking at her face, it's interesting to note how different it looks when removed from the rest of the body. I'm proud to say that the majority of the class feels like I captured the look of the model very well.

That's pretty much it for now. I finally remembered to take pictures of my sculpture, so you can probably look forward to that in my next update.

Rockin' n' rollin' with art all night,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Despite the poor quality...

...I feel obligated to post a picture of my first abstract painting. It has a coat of varnish now, so the colors probably look a bit deeper now.

I'll talk about this one more after I can take a better photo.

We've started a new painting. The focus is on the process, rather than the subject matter. Jackson Pollock is a good example of a process painter. Right now, I don't really have any idea where I want to take this painting, so I'm pretty lost. Whoo, abstract nonobjective paintings!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesdays are the Devil...

...but I love them anyway. I have class from 9 AM to 9 PM with a few breaks in between. It's a long day, but Tuesdays always leave me feeling super-productive. Here's some of what I accomplished in the past 24 hours!

First, from 9-12, I have Figurative Painting. Then, after a two hour break, we have another session from 2-5. Today, however, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the afternoon session. I really wanted to work on my painting more because we're running out of time, but the museum trip was worth it! My class saw this amazing rooftop sculpture by Roxy Paine, followed by The Milkmaid, a very famous painting by Johannes Vermeer. I really like Vermeer's work and work from that period in general.

Anyway, about my painting: I didn't touch the face and instead moved on to the torso and the still life set up around the model. Still haven't gotten very far on that and I think the painting looks pretty bad aside from the model. But I'll work it out!

After Figurative Painting, I have Printmaking from 6:30-9. I haven't posted a lot of work from that, but here are a few pictures from my workspace from tonight:

The first two are lithographs made from Pronto-Plates. The middle pic is a print made from photo from my brother's wedding this past summer.
The last image are some test prints I made using acetate cut into an ukulele stencil. First, the color was rolled on through a stencil. Then, I made stencil of the neck and sound hole, inked it up, and scraped away lines for the strings. It might be kind of hard to see. Some other prints were offsets from prints already made.

And now, I'm going to work on that drawing from my last blog post!

Working hard to get my fill,