Monday, December 21, 2009

Additions to the never-ending project

Art is a type of universal communication. When you pair fine arts with the human form you have a direct and unmistakable way to communicate with current generations and those to come from all around the globe. Take the work of Michelangelo for example. Even though the artist was from centuries ago, and even though he spoke a different language, his sculptures speak distinctively to all viewers. Without the use of linguistics, the notion behind each of his sculptures is instantly recognizable, The David is proud, The Pieta is sorrowful, and Bacchus is clearly inebriated. Like Michelangelo, all globally renowned artists have breached the linguistic barrier through emotion in their work. Emotions are universal. They are our rawest and our most instinctual form of communication. I have always found visual images of human emotion inspirational. This is why I choose to work with portraiture and the human figure. As I hope to spend a lot of time traveling, it’s important for me to make work that can be globally understood, emotion is the key. Emotional communication is the broadest aspect of my work.

My concept then spans in a wide range of undertones including environmental activism, global events and travel. I’ve always had draw towards uninhabitable environments, particularly the Himalayas. The mountain range itself isn’t the only curiosity, but also the people found there. I find the relationship between wealthy foreign climbers and the native Sherpa absurd. It also seems that in that region of the world, the land alters us more than we alter the land. The naturally harsh environment affects humankind in physical and psychological ways. The bitter cold bites at human skin, we receive frostbite and windburn, and we develop a pre-maturely aged, leathery appearance. The high altitude and thin oxygen also affects our brains in ways we still don’t understand. What a strange idea for our environment to abuse us, instead of us abusing our environment. I’ve continued on a series for the last several years that addresses this curiosity. My work consists largely of black and white portraits of adventurers who have braved these harsh environments. The emotion of each individual is not readily obvious; it is hiding behind an abused complexion. Although, perhaps it is the skins complexion, rather than the expression that offers the most information about the individual. Like calluses that build up on hands, the skin on ones face can also be very descriptive. The texture and color shows the intensity with which one lives their life. Texture, along with age lines and wrinkles all contribute to the eye catching, multi-layered composition that I strive for.

The medium of choice varies from oil paint, to charcoal, and also digital drawing. When working with portraiture, the idea of photography is tempting, but it doesn’t offer the control that is required to do justice to these select individuals. Texture is a very important element to the compositions, and it’s more effective to create texture by hand. Plus I thoroughly enjoy the process.

human form project

The goal of this project was to create accurate representations of the human body
from memory. I began working by hand, then scanned the images to be re-worked. I really wanted to test out different lines while keeping everything as simple as possible.
At first I tried rendering a male body, but ultimately I decided on a female body because it was the most familiar. I'm going to need some more practice before I'll be able to do this with a male body. Goal for J-term?!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Adventures of Jim the Sustainably- Challenged Designer

Hot off the press, comics by Oliva Lee

This center one hits home.

I really want to print these off and post them all over Applied Arts.
But that would be wasting paper.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This makes me feel hungry, and also a little bit like a cannibal.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ode to the Wacom

I've been spending all of my free time messing around with 
my new graphic tablet. Here are a few more things I've come up with.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Woman drawn from the inside out

I found this on YouTube and thought it a good thing to share with the class.

One of the many, very good reasons to own a drawing tablet
for your computer.

Picasso drawing in the air with a light pen

How ahead of your time can one person be? 
I know the man had issues, but he's still undeniably brilliant.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Attention Deficit

Everything has the potential to become art. Everything man made is designed or engineered, from the wrapper of your dollar menu fast food burger, the lighting in this very room, your neighbors candy colored vehicle, and even the discarded cigmo butts which litter the sidewalk. To an artistically observant person even the most mundane environment can cause sensory overload. Teachers encourage future intellects to block out exterior stimulation through concentration. It’s my belief that the simple act of observation is too rarely practiced. It is a pity that the contentment and also the entertainment one can get from letting their mind wander is often restricted.  Conversely, I’ve thrown my Adderall to the dogs and embraced nomadic thoughts in opposition to regimented focus. My ideation is constantly reversing, shifting, and expanding. Which is okay, directions are for destinations. My art has no destination; it is simply meant to be observed, to be absorbed, and to inspire the viewer to free their psyche. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sarah Dwyer

Sarah Dwyers work is derived from a variety of sources... master paintings, media images, and issues of National Geographic. Her work depicts lost environments. Some appear figurative, while others are representations of recognizable scenes. Her palette is vast, she embellishes with gold, and works and reworks to make the final image. The artist is a former environmental economist, but her paintings are hardly one-dimensional warnings about our future, rather they show that the celebration and destruction of nature are intertwined. 

As of late environmentalism has been a frequenting my thoughts, and will likely show up in my future work.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Expression study

These are just a few examples of a study I did on expressions.
I have about 30 total, but these are my favorites. They're each 4in x 4in, and done with white acrylic paint and charcoal. I really like the way charcoal mixes with acrylic. It gives everything a warm, grainy look... almost like dry brushing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Creation of Andrea

The Creation of Andrea

So yeah... this is exactly what it looks like. I took Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam" and replaced Adam with myself. It's done with watercolors on one of those huge pieces of stonehenge paper. It took about 12 hours to complete... so not too shabby. It's going to be hung above my bed as soon as I can afford to get it framed. And yes, I am aware that some would consider it mildly blasphemous. I however do not.
(Nor is it intended to be a "feminist" piece.)