My goal for this project is creativity, which is very hard for me. Coach's goal was to make something messy which I am unfortunately not following - my poor grade :-( I wrote a nice rant in my sketchbook about my reasoning for this, though, so hopefully it will be okay...
I'm quite afraid for this, because it's very risky and I don't know if it will end up looking alright or if it will just end up looking like a mess that I tried really hard on.
This quarter I went to two galleries - why is it that I'm always either going to none or several during the time between website due dates?
Between the Natasha Bowdoin exhibit that we saw in class, and the Jasper Johns/Edward Munch exhibit at the VMFA, I chose to document and discuss the Bowdoin exhibit. I feel like this exhibit strongly influenced my current project, even though I didn't realize it until I sat down to write about this. For my project, I wanted to do black and white patterns and lines, very solidly drawn but also rather abstract. Also, depending on which characters I portrayed in the drawings, I wanted to use other colors in the lines. I didn't realize that I had been picturing Bowdoin's work when imagining how I wanted to draw.
I am also incorporating paper cutting into this one, but in my typical way of cutting out squares, rather than the way that Bowdoin cuts paper. I don't think I would ever go to the detail of her moon phase series. Not only do I like the look of the larger cut pieces better, but it seems to meticulous to me to draw that tiny and cut that tiny.
Bowdoin also did many works on insects and metamorphoses, but I did not document these pieces, as they didn't call to me at all. They were interestingly-crafted, sure, but I didn't particularly care for them. I much preferred the more abstract or leafy works. I can appreciate the installation aspect of them, taking paper-cutting to a whole new level. There was detail and subtlety in the wall that you wouldn't notice unless you were right there, but there was also simplicity and easiness in the large leaves placed rather far from the wall. Though I didn't catch the name of the installation, I really appreciate the skill it takes to compose a large piece like that.
In conclusion, I really hope that my own version of Bowdoin-esque art works out as well as hers does.
I found this artist on Twitter because I'm following @maruti_bitamin (my favorite artist aka koyamori) and sometimes she likes other artists' work, leading me to discover them.
I first saw the really beautiful first image in the slideshow - "Fade." Her caption was that it was just a quick sketch with ballpoint and watercolor - I was absolutely amazed. This is the kind of stuff I would love to turn in as a final project, and for her it is just a quick sketch for fun. When I first found her, I was working on "Broken Breath" so it was a critical time for exploring how ink and watercolor work together. I adored how she could create such loose movement in the hair yet still keep it as a recognizable form. She used loose and tight watercolor in the same piece and it all looked coherent. Wow, I just really love it.
I soon found her Instagram as well and immediately followed her. Within a few days, she posted two more sketches like this - "Violet" and "Neptune." Wow!!!! They're just so beautiful. Simple and elegant, and full of life. The originals sold on her storenvy for $150 each, so I admire that she is able to get substantial money from this (compared to me spending hours on a painting and being elated to have sold it at all.) She also sells enamel pins and prints of her work as less expensive alternatives. I don't quite agree with some of her pricing; while I love the sketches, they aren't as finely rendered as some paintings that she sells for $100 or $150. Still, her choice I guess.
I also like her because her style is somewhat similar to mine. Well, one of mine. I have several different ways of drawing but one style that I like to consider my most "formal" is a bit similar to Auclair's. (Big eyes, button noses, big-ish lips, indicating the nose with a teardrop shape, I dunno.) This is inspiring because it shows me that my work could really develop into something amazing like hers. She works on a very detailed scale, though, so I don't think I would ever really start making stuff like hers.
Here is her FAQ.
I realized I never uploaded the final process shots from my third project. Here they are, a few weeks late.
(Look here for pronunciation.) (This artist's name is cool because I'm in Chinese 1 and I have learned each character in his name. The first one (何/he) is the first character in my Chinese name.)
Anyways, to the artist. He Jiaying is one of the few artists I find that are actually "artists" with official recognition, rather than online artists supported only by their fans. I found him accidentally, while looking up the name Jiaying. He does traditional-looking paintings in the Gongbi style, which he majored in at the Tianjin Institute of Arts. Now, he teaches there. His paintings are recognized globally.
The first piece I saw was Fallen Flowers, and it caught my eye because I wasn't looking for art when I looked up "Jiaying." His works vary from this in-between style to sketchier, looser pieces like Clear-Minded, to refined and closely rendered pieces like Dancing. I prefer the less detailed ones, though I certainly appreciate the finer ones. I couldn't find what he uses for color, or how he applies it - I know he uses ink and a brush for the black.
Objectively, we have similar tastes/styles - mainly black and white, with occasional solid color or pattern, usually lacking a background, not very energetic poses. I guess this is why I like his work. It's elegant and simple. The fabric falls so nicely to create movement, and the resting expressions add a calm feeling. I'm not sure how much of his work is from life, but a lot of it looks like gesture drawings, or sketches from Old Masters.
For a full gallery of his work, including label information (click on the image of the painting to view its label info) click HERE.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to participate in the discussion today, so I didn’t get to hear my classmates’ ideas about the articles. But, here’s my two cents.
One of the questions I wanted to ask was “Does/should public art exist for ‘beautifying’ places or for a deeper meaning of public enlightenment?” Several responses to the second article (NY Times “Art in Public Spaces”) contained conflicting responses. The original letter to the editor, by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, stated that “the public role in public art is essential to the artist. People enliven a work, are inspired and intrigued, motivated and provoked.” A response from Richard M. Frauenglass said “Please let me enjoy a park as a park and not a vehicle for promoting someone else’s version of ‘beauty,’” and also said that the idea “that the public needs some form of ‘enlightenment’ is an insufficient rationale.” Another response, from Brian Camp, asked “Why can’t parks simply rely on the natural art they already possess in the form of grass, trees, flowers, rocks, and assorted wildlife?” This seems to show that while artists or those heavily interested/involved in the arts appreciate public art in a different way than the general populace. While art-involved people value the technical aspects of work, any public “community” it may give to the viewers, and messages the artist intends to share, the general populace values the pleasant experience of walking around in public. I have to say that I am more on the side of the general populace here – since it is, after all, in a public space, I believe the art should aim to make its home a more pleasant area for passersby, rather than aim to ‘enlighten’ the public.
At the end, Rapaport responds to the replies, and definitely takes the artistic and deep route. She essentially said that public art is about democratic freedom, both for the artist who can express and display things for free, and for the viewer who can experience and visit art for free. One of the replies, from Francis X. Gindhart, relayed their experience of seeing Richard Serra’s “Tilted Arc” fill the space at the Federal Plaza, claiming that the art greatly improved the area by filling the space beautifully, rather than for having any meaning. This is similar to the thoughts of the author in the first article (“Public art is powerful…”) by Rachel Cooke.
In her article, Cooke discussed the impact that public art has had on her life. A piece by William Pye was the first art that Cooke was ever exposed to, and sparked her love and interest for art. She also put in this vague quote that I don’t understand the meaning of: “…when [public art] works and is loved in return, it can come to symbolise a place, at which point good things can begin to happen around it.” Certainly, this shows that Cooke believes in more than the aesthetic value of public art—however, she didn’t dismiss it entirely. The art was placed because the city needed “prettifying” after being bombed, and a lot of money was spent on it—which brings in an entirely different debate. While I don’t entirely buy the philosophical aspect of it, Cooke mentioned that public art is also history, which I agree with. I think a real aspect of public art is that it adds to the history of a place (in a very literal sense.) I don’t think that overall, public art tends to just have the prettifying effect, where people will walk through an area that looks nice and then leave it, maybe or maybe not consciously aware of the art. For others, though, like Cooke, the works of art “were also inside [them], somehow, like a native language, with the result that [they] took [the art] with [them] as [they] moved out into the world.” (Wow, sorry for all those brackets.) Overall, I don’t think these readings changed any of my rather neutral ideas on public art, but it was interesting to read so many different experiences and perspectives on it.
Kristin Hines - Student artist at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School