Canvas Pillow Background

After finishing up my canvas pillows I decided to get the background painted. I decided to continue my drip technique used in my other pieces. This time I wanted a slightly less abstract background so that when the pillows would be hung in front of it, it would look as though the ones on the ground were actually on the ground. The process of hanging them efficiently is still in the works to be more permanent. Other than that I am just going to go in and make some other outdoor things to add to the background to help it from looking too abstract. These will include some detailed rocks, leaves, and flowers. Not too many, but enough so the ground animals will look more in their environment. Afterwards I will sew them to the background and get this piece completely wrapped up.


Advanced Painting Series Progress

Inspiration from Rafael Salas’ canvas dolls brought me to start creating some of my own. So far, with a little difficulties, I was able to make a hedgehog pillow. The difficulties consisted of figuring out how to make the oil paint thin enough so it would become more flexible and easier to maneuver when flipping it inside out after sewing. Another challenge was sewing through gesso, which was needed in order to keep the oil from eating through the canvas as it ages.   This first trial really helped me (hopefully) to get the right process in making these pillows more successful. To make the paint extremely thin but still vibrant, I am using a lot of linseed oil. This helps make it more flexible and dry a lot faster than oil paint normally would. I also decided to only gesso the shape of the animal/insect I am doing, this way I don’t have to try and sew through the gesso again. Hopefully this next round of pillows will have less cracks , and sewn more efficiently. The direction this part of the series is going involves a lot of more common insects and animals found out in the woods. When I have all the ones I would like to have for this piece (insects, birds, rodents, etc.) then I will create something in which I will be able to hang the pillows from. I am really excited to see how this piece turns out at the end!

Advanced Painting Series Part 1

In my love for painting pets, I decided to do a series of more exotic animals for my Advanced Painting Series. Here I will be experimenting with texture, color, and drips/washes with oil colors. The first piece I started working on is from a photo I took of a white tiger. I think it was a good choice in terms of texture and value. It had more blacks and whites which was a great way to get me back into using oil paints, and had all the beautiful fur I got to paint. I want to go back into it and add some more leaves and details in those leaves, but for the most part it is complete.

In the process of creating the underpainting for this piece, I really loved how the drips of greens, blacks, and some yellows ran down the canvas. When I left it and kept painting, I felt like it was something that really gave a strong contrast between that and the realistic tiger. I plan to continue using those drips for the rest of the series.

The painting became a series of layers. White after black, after white. I just continued using layers to make the fur have more depth and value. I started with a larger brush and then just got smaller and smaller in size to get to those super fine details.

In the end I am very pleased with how it looks. I think after adding just a couple more details it will really be the way I had envisioned. Going back to oils was a great way for me to work more on my realistic artwork which I have definitely come to include in art as a whole.

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Construction Foam Monumental Sculpture

This project was all about creating an everyday object out of construction foam to a larger (monumental) scale. My first idea was to create a huge gummy bear or maybe a locket. I really couldn’t make a commitment to any of my ideas until I started thinking about things I like to do and objects that I use to do those things. I love playing video games! At the time I was into this old school kick and played a lot of my games on the GameCube. So, I decided to create a controller for that system. Half way through I felt very overwhelmed. It ended up being a lot harder than I had imagined… not really a simple object. However I continued working and ended up being pretty happy with the end result.

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After all of the measuring, cutting, and comparing sizes of things I glued it all together. When dried I used a white primer, and then added the corresponding colors to try and match the real controller as much as possible. Again I was pretty happy with how it turned out in the end.

“Family Pets” Series Three- Final Presentation

As I wrapped up this last series, I really thought about how amazing it was to get so many people involved in this series and just how popular the paintings became. I have always been an animal lover, but I really never thought this would become something I truly enjoyed!


Each painting has its own personality. Although they are all unified together by the style of painting, the medium, and the similar brushwork, they also tell their own story. As I carefully choose specific images of pets to use, my goal was to find ones that showed this unique expression or pose of that pet. I would ask some of the people who generously let me use their pet for more images so I would really be able to express those emotions I thought were important.


My initial idea was to bring these animals together to show a family. I think I was truly able to do that not only with enlarging my size for some of them, but also by arrangement of the animals. As it did take a little time for me to finalize my set up, I concluded it with slight variation. This was to break apart some of the pets and put them next to ones you wouldn’t really think of being together. I did, however, leave the cats all together. This was more of a personal idea as I really enjoyed these small canvases all together right in the center.


The process for the last series was very similar to that of the first two. I again included both small and large canvases which I ended up really enjoying in the final presentation. I also continued with acrylic paint. I was able to go a lot faster even with the large canvases as I continued to try and just layer paint down and use larger brushes. I also became more adapted to this abstract background. At first I was weary on the idea as I thought it wouldn’t look as pleasing compared to the highly detailed pets. In the end I felt more connected to the main focus of the paintings (the pets) because of this more abstract, surreal background. I find it added an interest to the series, while also bringing the viewers eyes on what I want to be the most important.



Family Pets Part 2- Dogs

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.

Figurative Sculpture

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.

Family Pets

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.

Data Collection Inspired Piece

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.

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