Friday, February 29, 2008

Week Twenty-Three: February 25-29, 2008

Art Centre - Week Twenty-Three

Week four of semester two of year one - four days of classes this week. Short class on Thursday for teacher’s meeting.

Monday Morning – Printmaking

After test prints of my two etched plates, I decided to rework both of them. Both were painted with ground again and each will receive more texture in lines added as well as aquatint – here is a link to Wikipedia’s information on aquatint.

Goya - an aquatint example

I found other helpful definitions of terms at as follows:

Artist's Proof: One of a small group of prints set aside from an edition for an artist's use. An artist's proof is typically one of the first proofs from a limited edition of prints, for the artist's own copyright use, and marked as an A.P., and not numbered. Artist's proofs generally draw a higher price than other impressions.

Collage: A composition made by pasting various materials, such as strips of newspaper, wallpaper, cloth, etc., to a flat surface.

Diptych: Any picture consisting of two parts or sections.

Edition: A set of identical prints, sometimes numbered and signed, pulled by, or under the supervision of the artist. Two numbers are often written at the lower edge of a print - the first indicating the print's place in the order of all prints in the edition, the second number indicating the total number of prints in the edition.

Encaustic: A method of painting with pigments suspended in molten wax much practiced in antiquity. Encaustic colours are remarkably brilliant and durable.

Giclée: (pronounced gee-clay') Giclées are often made from photographic images of paintings in order to produce high quality, permanent reproductions of them.

Medium: i) The physical material with which an artist works (marble, clay, ink, oil paint, acrylic paint, plaster, etc.). ii) The fluid, or 'vehicle' in which pigment is suspended to make paint, allowing it to spread easily and adhere to a surface. The medium of oil paint may be one of various drying oils; gum and water is the usual medium of watercolour; egg yolk and water is the medium for egg tempera, etc. The same pigments may usually be mixed with many different mediums.

Mixed Media (or mediums): A term indicating the use of two or more mediums in the making of a work of art. The use of this term by artists often indicates that a work is made using a complex combination of mediums.

Monotype: A one-of-a-kind print made by painting on a smooth metal, glass or stone plate and printing on paper. The pressure of printing creates a texture not possible when painting directly on paper.

Pigment: The powder that gives paint its colour, obtained from any of a great variety of clays, stones, animal and vegetable matter, synthetic dyes, etc. To make paint, pigments are mixed with a 'vehicle', or medium (glue, egg, oil, etc.), that allows the colour to be easily spread and fixed to a surface.

Print: An 'original print', as distinguished from a 'reproduction', is one which has been printed from a master image made by the artist and printed either by the artist or under the artist's supervision.

Triptych: Any picture consisting of three parts or sections.

The above definitions were referenced using the following two sources:

1. Copyright © 1996-2005 Michael Delahunt, M.F.A.

2. From Abacus to Zeus, A Handbook Of Art History by James Smith Pierce Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1995.

Monday Afternoon – Ceramics

This week I continued with the coil method. I started from scratch again with building a larger version of the small pinch version of a piece that represented solitude for me. My coils are still a bit uneven as I roll them sitting down. In time I hope to be more skilled at getting them the size and consistency needed to work well.

We have been given our March project. We have only three classes in March due to spring break and Easter Monday so we will have to work quickly and efficiently. Here is the assignment. We were shown how to make clay slabs and this is the technique we will employ in this project.

A) Research

Use the Constructivist and Cubist Approach. This assignment involves the use of planes, geometrical angular shapes, linear elements etc. (architects, designers, painters, sculptors)

B) Assignment

Using “A” as a point of departure, create a sculptural form that would reflect as a self portrait and also as an architectural form.

C) Process

· Research

· Drawings of Concepts/Designs

· Model in Clay

· Construction of Large Version

Tuesday – Design

I submitted my assignment with the objects (two small pottery pieces) rendered in pen and ink using three methods: bar shading, cross hatching and stipple. Repositioning the objects, I drew a pencil sketch of them again, this time noting the details more carefully and including the shadows they cast. I took this drawing to the light table and made a light pencil outline of it that I will now do in pen and ink using all three methods of shading in the one picture.

WednesdayDrawing Fundamentals

We got to show off our organic drawings and the two-part assignment of “something in front of nothing” and “nothing in front of something”. As we went around the room looking at the different versions of these two assignments, we began to get a better sense of out individual styles emerging, especially now that we have seen each other’s work in other classes for the past nearly six months.

A number of topics were discussed as they related to what we were seeing. One topic was on cloisonism – an idea taken from Japanese prints and stained glass where shapes are outlines. Lautrec, Gauguin and Van Gogh used the technique. Here is a link to a Time magazine article “Prophets of an Archaic Past” that talks about this style.,9171,949104-1,00.html

Other topics included analytical and synthetic cubism, traditional and non-traditional art, the push and pull of a piece, flat qualities versus illusions of space. Six methods of creating illusion and depth are as follows:

1. overlapping 2. colour – brightness comes forward; dullness stays back 3. shadow/value light and dark shading creates depth; 4. arial perspective - more detail seen closer – less is farther away and lineal perspective has a horizon line with vanishing points. 5. size: larger is closer, smaller is farther away and 6. things on the bottom come forward and those that are up seem to recede.

We were asked to consider some provocative questions such as: What is Rt? What is the criteria for a “good” work of art? How do I make a good work of art? What artists do I admire? What elements do they have in common? How do I reach those elements in my work? And not least the idea “you solve the problem by doing something about it.”

Now that we have completed the something/nothing project, here is a link to a site that sells “nothing” – I hope you find it as amusing as I did.

Nothing – for the person who has everything

Congratulations. You have received the gift of nothing. Absolutely nothing.

This is the ultimate in minimalism. Less is more, more or less.

Nothing is precious, Nothing is simple. Nothing is sacred.

Open the pack and be enthralled when nothing happens.

Allow nothing to calm your mind and flow through your soul.

Savour the moment. Soon you’ll discover that nothing really

is so much better than something.

The gift of nothing is yours to discover….

And here is an excellent website called Nothing is Perfect that was done by one of the graduate students who took my Holistic Approaches to Information Technology course at OISE/UT -

Thursday Painting

My oil painting of the Bridgetown woman is done – I added the final touches at the beginning of class. I did a small thumbnail of shapes from my gourd sketch then it was suggested that I cut out the shapes and cut those shapes into other shapes and place them on a background roughly the same proportions as my large canvas to get ideas for the abstract painting that will be started next week. This helped me break free of preconceived ideas of what I might be doing for this project. I’ll block out the shapes in paint on canvas and see what happens next!.

Looking ahead: One more week of classes before spring break.