For my first piece I wanted to extend methods from a series of works I did during senior studio. They were inspired by representational moments of natural light that were depicted in an abstracted way. The way of making was heavily process based and involved multiple methods such as drawing, painting, and carving. I wanted to continue this mindset for a piece in this class but in a different way.
Throughout the course I have been most drawn to nature and its natural phenomenons such as rain. Rain is a common occurrence in the summer, and I would frequently witness steam rising from the ground after a storm. I wanted to capture this fleeting moment in form by putting together a color pallet that represented rain, humidity, and red clay. Then I carved the motion of the heat rising into the wooden panel. The wood was stained with two different colors to increase the tension of this transforming of water from liquid to gas and to enhance the contrast of colors used.
The next piece was inspired by an artist named Rosalie Gascoigne. She collected scrap that others did not want and transformed it into beautiful works of art. Rosalie sought out objects that had truly been used and had something more to say as opposed to some plain and newly store bought. I really enjoyed this mindset because I too appreciate the “ugly” things so to speak. But instead of making the found objects into art I made art with the objects.
Since most of my walls were in pasture or through the woods, sticks were a very common occurrence. I had made some sketches with them dipped into ink and other materials and enjoyed the outcome. The sticks produced exciting marks and really created an extended barrier between myself and the picture plane. With many different sizes and lengths of sticks I created a piece that shows the anxiety of coming into close contact with one’s true self; which I believe these meditative walks and sketches introduce.
In my sixth, and final week, of my directed studies I have pushed back to more innate mark making that is made in a child-like manner. I have continued my walks, subject matter, and primary goals in mind but wanted to take it a step farther.
With this child method I have begun drawing on things that you are told not to such as old buildings, trash, and words so that they are not as legible anymore. I have also used informal tools such as sticks from the ground dipped in ink. In doing so, I have developed new and exciting ways to broaden my horizons and step away from the picture plane so to speak.
While visiting Charleston, South Carolina I was fortunate to be able to visit the Gibbes Museum of Art. After recently undergoing renovations, it had recently been reopened to the public and still had the “new car” smell. The museum features two floors of galleries containing classical works such as portraits, landscapes, and antique furniture to contemporary works. Much of the gallery pertains to the South and history of Charleston.
One piece that particularly stood out to me was a large water color in the modern and contemporary section entitled, “Acorn” 2014, by Mary Whyte. Whyte is a local artist from charleston who is able to capture incredible detail in water color to create photo realistic images.
Another artist that I enjoyed were Damian Stamer’s oil paintings in “The Things We Carry: Contemporary Art in the South” gallery of the museum. This show was organized in response to the tragic shooting at Emanuel African Episcopal Church in Charleston. These works address the troubled history of the American South and how contemporary artists represent that history.
Although a small show, Damien’s works made the biggest impression for me. The way he manipulated material and focused on the process of making is something that I strive for in my own work.
The Greenville County Museum of Art is a small gem near downtown Greenville. Although small, it had southern charm with its wide collection of Andrew Wyeth water colors, the flags of Jasper Johns, and much more.
Alongside the Wyeth paintings, were a number of landscape paintings that emphasized the feeling of sublime. Although more traditional, there was one oil painting that I was particularly drawn to. Rudolph Ingerle’s “Evening Sky” 1925, played up the motion of a cloudscape and how the sky can hold just as much tension and vastness as the land. Much of my work is inspired by nature so I have a soft spot for some landscapes.
Another work I enjoyed was a mixed media piece in “Persons of Interest” section of the museum. Jamie Wyeth’s “Consommé” 2013, is a portrait of a woman on top of archival cardboard. I appreciated the use of different media and its application onto an uncommon artist’s surface.
Lastly, I found interest in one of Jasper John’s works. Surprisingly not one of his better known flags or targets, but a patterned print. I had not seen much of this type of his work before. Lately, many of my sketches had involved patterning so I was pleased to find some in the museum.
As I approach the final week of class, I have been more engrossed with pattern and abstracted form. I have continued looking at reality in a non representational way such as breaking down the form of a horse into simple shapes and lines.
I have also continued doing blind contour exercises in order to keep my hand and mind loose because I tend to get tight with my line work and too caught up in detail. Going into my final week I plan to complete two projects inspired by my daily sketches.
This week’s sketches hone in on the relationship between representation and abstraction. I have begun looking at objects or kthings with a different mindset by breaking it down into simple lines or shapes.
By looking into reality “unrealistically” I have begun to open up new binaries of tension and delicacy. I have primarily experimented with organic and geometric marks in order to exemplify this mindset.