The following piece is an interpretation of data I had collected for a week. The data was based on how many times I had talked about or interacted with my pets in anyway. This number came to be a whopping 351 times! This included any time I had brought them up in conversation, posted pictures about them, took care of them/interacted with them, and even any sketched or drawings done of them.
As my pets and animals in general have more recently peaked my interest with painting, I had decided to do a separate smaller painting of each one. I went with full acrylic as I wanted to play around with a realistic look that had a sort of simplistic organization in the final presentation of the piece. The data is represented in each of the smaller canvases through the dots shown on them. I typically spend a lot of my time equally with each pet of mine so I took the 351 times from my data and divided it by 8. This gave me approximately 44. Each canvas has 44 dots with corresponding colors to the backgrounds of the pictures I had initially taken. There is one canvas, however, that does not have any dots at all. This pet was adopted after the week of collecting data. Therefore he was not accounted for in the 351.
I was very pleased with the final product of this piece as I had a fun time painting each of my pets. I was first unsure of leaving the background of the canvases completely white as I thought it may leave the piece looking unfinished. I came to the conclusion when completing it that it gave more meaning to the data aspect of this piece. It shows that the background isn’t just a bunch of random dots, but have some sort of meaning even if the viewer is unaware of what that is. I wanted to make them look almost as if they were photos taken on a photo strip. Mostly because a lot of my interaction with my pets is taking pictures of them doing different things and in different position and places. I think leaving this white background with a framed solid black achieved that more and I was very happy with it in the end.
The inspiration for the work is digital identity. When I think of digital identity I immediately think of my art page on Facebook. I typically use social media for my art work not only to show to the world, but to also sell and get commissions. In this painting to show my true digital identity I choose this path of simplicity by painting simple icons and apps that I use. To tie in this sense of personality I decided to add my favorite colors and to also create the piece in a flowing, more artistic way as art is very important to me both digitally and in the real world. For my face and facial features, I decided to create it with a grayscale sort of tone. As my piece is thought out to be, my whole idea behind the grayscale was to sort of push away from the “selfie” lifestyle and think about the personality of the person, rather than the looks. This brings the viewer to look at the apps and icons in which my artistic hair contains and to think about their own personal digital identity and others digital identities versus the way they or someone else may be in person. To get into this painting more I researched this topic by really just digging into my own digital profiles and looking deeper into what I post. I looked at pictures and reflected on myself and created this piece that really shows who I am on Facebook, Instagram, and even when I am e-mailing someone. When I started the piece I really wasn’t confident and didn’t think it would turn out but in the end I am very happy with this idea and how it turned out as I think it created this balance and unity, as well as contrast to the piece.
For the assignment of Large Work out of Smaller Parts, I decided to create a large scale watercolor piece. With the interests I have gotten from my pets, more specifically my geckos, I wanted to continue down this road of painting them but at a larger, more impacting scale. I took a creature the size of my hand and enlarge it to an 11 foot piece of art.
In this process, like I said, I used watercolor. This was something that I wanted to do for two reasons. One was to get this sort of multicolored, flowing effect that watercolor is able to achieve. Secondly I wanted to create something that you don’t usually see in art, a watercolor piece at such a large scale. I was very pleased with the look that the watercolor gave this piece and as I went along I wanted that flowing, sort of chaotic look to be more prominent as it shows a side of the geckos that exists. To show that I did a sort of scribbled technique along the head and body. Also incorporated in the process is some acrylic paint. I used this to give the background of each separate piece a solid black color to contrast the chaotic emotion and color of the gecko.
Leopard geckos are very interesting creatures and are very unique in a variety of ways. No two geckos are alike and every time one sheds, its pattern looks a little bit different then it did before. There are endless patterns, color pallets, designs, shapes, and sizes and as I have been experimenting with painting these geckos, I have opened up to more and more mediums and styles of work. My goal is to really continue to create art by making leopard geckos and even continue into using my other pets for inspiration. I really feel that this piece has opened my mind and started a new style for me.