Sunday, May 24, 2009

IF - Cracked

For the past Illustration Friday topic "cracked" I decided to create a graphite drawing. Drawing was my first love in art, and I spent hours drawing growing up - especially portraits. I feel like I have pretty good facility with pencil and shading. I still love watching a piece come "alive" - even if it's not an animate subject. When faced with a blank piece of paper and a pencil, I feel like I am carving into the surface, not drawing on top of it.

Although, I do not draw as much as I once did, and portraits really are rare in my art, I find myself returning to graphite now and then. I have turned away from portraits in favor of these abstract, shallow-spaced pieces. They have been much influenced by my mixed-media, layering work I have done in the journal.

These pieces rarely contain representational imagery, but can hardly be called non-objective. They really are representations of identity and experience. The way we experience a moment or an event is such a complex mental, physical, and emotional amalgam. Our experiences and our identities are such rich, multi-level entities that I have focused on this idea in much of my recent artwork. This particular piece explores how such a complex structure can be so very fragile and prone to cracking. So for all it's balance, rigidity, and structure, this piece is on the verge of complete disintegration as the cracks begin to show.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Journal Page

I just wanted to post a page from my current journal. I haven't had much to scan and post in the current journal that wasn't done specifically for Illustration Friday since much of it is still in process. But this page felt like it needed posting. It was begun shortly after NCCAT in December and is all about my desire to connect with others.

Monday, May 11, 2009

IF - Parade

Last Friday's Illustration Friday topic "parade" sparked this two-page spread in my large Moleskine sketchbook. I recently took a trip down memory lane as a looked through some old sketchbooks. These little 5.5x8.5 inch books were mostly from a time before I discovered the visual journal, and they were little books that I always carried around with me doodling constantly and writing the angst and love riddled poetry that only a twenty-something can write. They were truly my first visual journals, and the last two were my first foray into the world of visual journaling as I know it now.

But last week, I began flipping through them in an attempt to find some inspiration. I was immediately floored by their raw and prolific nature. I used primarily black ink and I sketched and worked fast, but I still manged to fill two or three per year. I didn't read the poetry, but I looked at page after page of doodles, sketches, and visual jottings. I was amazed to see some things - shapes, forms, and images that still reoccur in my art, but I was equally impressed with things that no longer occur in my art namely the figures. I've always loved figures and faces and people in general in art, but I've gotten away from the quick gestures that populate these little books.

So I decided to revisit them in a parade across two pages. I started with the black ink figures and then added the red-violet swirl. I then added watercolor pencil and finally watered down gesso. Despite begin grouped together, these figures are isolated from each other and do not interact. The gesso creates a fog and only bits through the rectangles are clear. It has a sombre feel, and it is most likely not finished and will evolve into something more.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Layers: A Tutorial: Part 4 - The Last Layer

I finally finished this layered piece. For the sixteenth and final layer I used acrylic paint to solidify and enhance a few more areas with in the swirling forms. I also used crimson paint to re-emphasize some of the red vellum I put in much earlier and to paint some thin red lines. I also used white paint marker to write some not so evident words and to draw in the lines and rectangles. I used black paint marker to draw more lines and to sign the piece. I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Now I just need to decide how if should be displayed. I was thinking about mounting it on wood and framing it some how, but who knows.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Collaboration and Inspiration

I often find inspiration from my artist friends, and I couldn't resist using a recent post by Steve of Go Flying Turtle as a source of inspiration for the beginnings of a page. Steve recently posted about his splotches posting 100 different watercolor splotches on Flickr and calling for artists and bloggers to collaborate and use his splotches how they see fit. I decided to use the contour of the splotch below to create a line drawing for a new journal page. I actually cropped the original splotch in Photoshop allowing it to go off all four sides of the image. I then printed out the cropped image and drew the contour. I have no idea what this page will evolve into, but it's a start.