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