For this part to my series, I focused on three things. First of all, my central idea was based on dogs. Secondly, I decided to add some larger paintings. This included canvases 16×20 inches. Lastly, I wanted to really start looking more closely at the work of one of the artists I am using for inspiration, Joan Jonas.
Part of what really caught my eye and really inspired me for this part was in the Art 21 video of Joan Jonas was when she started to show one of her techniques with these simple washes. She would open a notebook and just start to do really simple ink washes on each page of the same sort of thing. In her case she was painting insects. This really inspired me as I continued to go further with this part of the series as it helped me to increase my brush size and to start with a simple wash of what I am painting and then continue to paint the piece with more layers of paint.
I again continued with the acrylic paint as I had planned and was still pleased with the turn out. On the large canvases I didn’t want to leave the background completely white as I felt there was just too much blank space, whereas in the smaller paintings there was less blank space. I decided to add a more simple, abstract background that was related to the picture I referenced. In the end I fell this helped to achieve my full goal of this project to focus on the importance and value our pets have to us. This gives viewers sort of a mystery as to what is going on in the picture, but makes them reflect back at mainly the pet in which is painted.
The larger canvases were an interesting change to the project. I feel indifferent with it so far. I do like the increase in size and think I was able to handle it the way I wanted to, however I think it also would be interesting if my project was only small canvases and when presented in a gallery, there would just be a huge wall full of these small, intricate, paintings that each have their own separate little story. I do think as a whole, each part put together at the end will still pull off the family-like feeling I want with this idea.
For my figurative sculpture assignment, I was first a little unsure about what my topic would be and most importantly who or what emotion would I be trying to create within this piece. The weekend before we officially started the project, my great grandmother had passed away. She was 91 and had completely lost her memory and was unable to speak for weeks prior to her passing. Going into class two days later was very difficult, but I was able to apply my sadness and frustration through this piece.
I decided to create a figurative sculpture containing two figure. An elderly lady holding a baby. This piece was inspired by a photo that was taken weeks after I was born in 1997. All of my family members had always called my great grandma and I, “best friends” or “buddies”. We had a very close connection from the day I was born and I spent a lot of time with her.
I chose this photo because it truly showed the connection that her and I had. It gave this sense of emotion through the facial expressions both of us seemingly showed throughout our time together.
I wanted the sculpture to have a sort of looseness to it in terms of texture and use of painting. I wanted to make sure that my fingerprints and part of me was literally in the piece. I chose to use acrylic paint for two reasons. One, I was unable to fire it due to some fixing I had to do when it cracked after being fired once. Two, I wanted to keep this handmade, personal feeling to it that I think glaze would have eliminated from the piece.
“Although our bodies may be apart, your hearts will stay connected.” This is what I decided to title this piece. I think this strongly gives the viewer an idea of what this is about, and with the piece, gives it a back story.
For my three series project I am continuing to focus on animals. More specifically pets. Like my previous data painting, for the first series I decided to again use smaller canvases. I liked the idea of a family-like relationship that the previous piece had with the small canvases. To really expand my idea, I asked my friends and family for a little help by sending me their pet photos. I want each series to be unified with the connection of family and just how important pets are to their owners. The amount of people who have been on board supporting my idea with pictures, comments, sharing, etc. are incredible!
I choose cats as my central idea for the first series just because it started me off in a fun direction. I choose pictures that I thought gave a sense of emotion. For example, someone sent me a picture of their cat who likes licking olives. I really thought this picture was both visually interesting, and really getting to the point of my idea. This fun, intriguing, family sense that can be both silly, and serious. I also choose cats who had both similar color palettes in some cases, and a strong contrast in others. This I feel also brings my idea into visual context. I see family as (like I said before) both silly and serious. I also see family as not just people (or in this case pets) with different interests, but of different color and style. I decided also to leave the edges white. Unlike the last series where I painted the sides of the canvas black, I thought leaving them white ended up giving it another sort of dimension. I am not quite sure why I really like it, it could be the looseness and how I left some soft brush strokes from painting the cats on the canvas or maybe just the simplicity of it when they are set up all together as a whole.