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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Final Cultural Piece

For this work, I would like to make something in between the axe bottle and the painting of the planes. I would hope to continue to use acrylic paint, and perhaps carve into the paint (like the axe), or perhaps to use stencil work like the plane painting.

One artist i looked at was Jackson Pollock. He creates a lot of works that contain plenty of "action" it seems extremely busy on the picture plane. He also seems to really use many colours/complex patterns/shapes. Like Pollock, I also looked at Kadinski, who had done similar works. He uses plenty of colour but also manages to make the entire plane look extremely busy. Both artists do not seem to have a distinct focal point (in the works that I chose).

Both artists seemingly use all, if not most of the space they are given. The lines are almost impossible to follow as they follow a very random and wayward path. They form various shapes which all are very hard to describe. The colours of course, are plentiful and do cover much of the picture plane. Their works also seem to take on a sense of visual texture, as some paint is actually thrown onto the canvas, it gives the works some depth.

What I hope to do is utilize their ability to fill the picture plane. I hope to use an plethora of colours on the picture plane. I also hope to throw around a little paint to give a sense of texture.

My Process:

This painting originally had little direction, since I couldn't fully decide whether or not I wanted to follow either my final two preliminary paintings. I started off by sanding down my wooden frame/picture plane to give it a smoother feel. This allowed me some time to think about what I wanted to do as well as to give me a easier time when painting (to make more defined edges and get less splinters). However, until I started painting, I realized that I still did not sand enough to get a smooth board, but it still worked fine. I hoped to incorporate some abstract work that I had seen earlier, with some cubism values to it. I had essentially designed a large wall, in which many materialistic objects were thrown into it. This wall was painted like a brick wall, but I later covered it (very soon right after). This was following in the footsteps of what my axe bottle painting was intended to say - a challenge towards consumerism. It was to give viewers a sense of how much they actually use all the resources around them. It kindof portrays a junkyard in which objects are continously piled in an upwards direction towards space.

I had used plenty of colours, squared-off shapes, and indistinctive linework - similar to that of Pollock and Kadinski (except for the square shapes, which I didn't notice as much). The colours allowed for a busy picture plane to be created, where the viewer's eye could not fully focus on a particular point. The square shapes were inspired from cubism ideas that I had seen while doing some research. I felt that these distinctive qualities of my final painting to be very important. This is because the excited and busy scene on the picture plane reflects on our culture's affinity to spend, and work. It reflects on our malls, downtown core, and business buildings. The cubism idea is also quite fitting as it reflects on our consumerism qualities in creating skyscrapers and other such buildings. The vague lines represent our culture's mind - where boundaries for consumption and wants have been smudged out of existence.

With this painting, it started really by sectioning off of certain areas, becasue for what I was planning, I knew it would be a ton of work, so with the allotted timeframe, I tried to keep things simple, but still somewhat defined. The sectioned areas were used to help create the blurry and confusing background, where some areas were reserved for larger (partial) focal points such as the boat, plane, and car. The process took a very long time since paint was very slow to spread across all the wood, and I tried to solve this by adding water, but then it gave too much of a washout effect, which let the wood grain come through (which I didn't want for this work), so I ended up using a ton more paint that I may usually require. Using Ms. Cockburn's idea of bringing out colours, I began to try and select certain areas that I wanted to bring out or put back. I added some more dark areas around some of my partial focal points to help bring out its lighter components. I felt that this really helped organize the picture plane better (as it may have been too vague and blurry before). When viewed from a distance, it is quite some parts of the picture do come out a bit, which I do enjoy. A problem I also had was with the keeping of parallel lines. With all the "square work", it was hard to keep relatively straight (since I did not want to tape or use a ruler to perfectly define lines). I ended up having to step back more often, or use the input of those around me to help keep the lines straight, yet not perfectly straight.

Later, I tried to touch up the linework, but I also used black mayfair cutouts to stencil in a few materials that I thought were staples in today's culture - ipods, cellphones, and I "borrowed" a shopping center's logo to represent consumerism in other industries.

Overall, I believed that this work was a great success. I felt that I was able to really try a new way of painting, and explore another great, unique part of art. This more abstract work was a bit of a first for me, so it was fun, while also giving me the chance to paint my thoughts on the picture plane.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cultural Art Pieces

This new project was really interesting for me just because we are making art about cultural and social issues. It wasn't necessarily too difficult to think of ideas, until I neared my fourth and fifth piece, where I wasn't exactly sure about what to do. My works consisted of examining the consumerism of society, nagging issues of equality in third world countries, as well as music and television.

Painting 1: Mickey Mouse - This painting was made mostly within the studio, where it was mostly painted with acrylic and then coated with a gloss paint. The lines (in the seemingly drooling eyes) were made from using the back of the brush by scratching. It was made with very dark values, giving the appearance of mickey mouse to be dead. My intended message here was to say how the impact and quality of Disney works are not what it once was, and that perhaps the magic of Disney works have essentially died. What I would like to add to this is the idea of greed. Disney has made their changes in the hope that they could make more money by creating more shows with less quality and depth, as well as trying to sign "pretty" entertainers to do their acting and music.

Painting 2: War - This work was made with acrylic paint and finished with a gloss top. It contains several bombers dropping bombs in the shape of crosses. These planes and crosses were made with paper stencils that were put on with a sponge. The dark values, crosses and background send the message of death as well as sadness in the process of war. After the completion of the painting (with the gloss), I then added a larger white plane on the foreground of the picture plane. The large white plane was done with impromptu shading of values just because I did not want to look at reference materials (I just thought it would make it more personal).

Painting 3: Coffee - This painting was made with acrylic paint, spray paint, and a gloss. The coffee mug in the middle symbolizes the disparity among the workers and the middle-men in the coffee fields in Costa Rica (and around the world) where the middlemen are collecting all of the money generated by the farmers, and paying them little in return. The red coffee that seemingly spews upwards from the stenciled cup was to suggest a sense of bloodshed. Although there really isn't much bloodshed in these situations, it suggests that the middlemen are essentially "killing" the farmers slowly through depravation of money to purchase necessary goods.

Painting 4: ConsumerismAxe - This painting of a bottle of Axe (a popular deodorant with teenagers these days) is somewhat similar to Warhols tomato soup. However, working on a rough wooden panel did not allow me to easily create the linework needed to make a very accurate picture of the can itself. This was made with green sprayed on base, then topped with black acrylic, all through stencil work. This allowed for scratching later on, where scratching the black allowed the green to come through. Paper was also collaged onto the can after it was painted. The wooden board is also sanded in with 150 grit sandpaper to create a very slight "smooth" shadow suggesting the brand's persuasive, smooth, yet hidden sales pitch that seems to always get teens to purchase it. The picture essentially symbolizes the consumerism in today's culture.

Painting 5: Untitled - This depicts a character from a tv show, where his image is seemingly misty and vague. The background contains acrylic paint that was done wet on wet, after the wood that we painted on was submerged under water for about 4 hours. The message that I try to get across here is how television is so clouded with all the far-fetched and imaginative plots and settings that give viewers a poor perspective on what they do within their lives.