Sunday, March 17, 2013


This Wednesday we are painting, drawing and collaging to create 2 different moodscapes from our images.
These are our original photos without much touching up...I cropped E's and M's images to fit to format and light corrected my image as it was too dark, and K's guitar image as it was too bright. Your images are excellent snapshots of your point of view - in the moment, during class, and something about what and how you care about things. 





 We talked about printing our images as colour photo works.

I turned our images into B&W versions in photoshop so you could see the effect - notice how the mood seems to change...things look a little historical or vintage. This is something you can explore with apps from your camera's/phone - as most of you know. Remind me to ask what kind of computer access you have.

There are filters in photoshop that give effects: Here are our photos using the sketch/photocopy filter, to give us "photocopies" of our images. We are using these as our grounds for painting and collage this Wednesday.

Below, our images are "deteriorated" another generation after re-"photocopying". We can actually do this by photocopying photocopies as well. They become sort of cartoons/comics:


We are exploring contrast and value this week.
We are going to create 2 different moods in our images through painting and drawing. These will be MoodScapes created through our colour choices and how we work back into our images. The idea is to create two contrasting atmospheres in your images as if they are places. We will use these as grounds for layering some other mark-making and collage within each.

You can use the 'cartoons' as well as a ground, or base image, for your 'scapes - and/or as collage elements to colour, pattern, cut and paste to your 'Scapes. We can draw, paint and write elements onto our 'Scapes as well.

We use collage, contour lines(outlines), patterns(like the ones we've done in our doodles), and text, as ways to explore and layer to create contrast and value within each of our 'Scapes.

I'll bring in my example to show you what I mean. I am tracing my hand right now from my cartoon. I want to collage it, and I am also thinking about painting  around the characters in my image with energy lines or something to represent their superpowers or maybe just their thoughts - while keeping in mind that I am creating 2 different atmospheres and therefore a different story for each 'Scape.

These are your photos. You can use them as drawing prompts. Challenge yourself in your sketchbooks to try to draw something the way you see it, some idea or image that is inspired by your photos - perhaps a fragment of a story ...or just try to sketch out some ideas you'd like to try on Wednesday when we have our photocopies to collage and paint.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Visual Example for Wed.

I traced my hand as a kind of prompt to "intervene" in my photo... I had a feeling that my photo was telling a story about something emotional going on between the group of objects.  I noticed the remaining paper from cutting out my hand was interesting so I kept it.  I decided to do hot and cool at first since Ninjago Dude and Dollar-Store Bald Eagle seem to have alot of energetic emotion about them. I thought to construct contrast with the hands but decided to use colours analogous to the background colours.(Analogous colours are  near eachother on the colour wheel). Complimentary colour (opposite eachother on the colour wheel) contrast more.  I wanted the hand tracings to seem a part of each scene's activity vs. contrast.

I like how the forms from the photos became random shapes for the landscapes, and that I kept the characters as characters in the landscape. I added the wing on the blue bird last. Then went back to lay out a wing shape on the 'hot' scape. I didn't like where I put it so I took it off but some of the page came with it. I liked the form and re-glued it to be a crutched wing. And then decided to make this:

These were all done really quickly, without over thinking. As exercises, we can use them to get a feel for using collage, colour and our own random interests as storytelling to make art work.

Simple Colour Wheel

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Photo composition - Mini Biography

Douglas Coupland: "Canada Picture No. 3", 2001. Chromogenic print, size: 46.5 x 57 inches.

I started with a quick selection of personal objects and favourite things.
After arranging and shooting many ways, I sort of like this composition - I wouldn't mind drawing it.
I did lots of close ups and started to get ideas so I rearranged things - taking many more shots.
A vague story of some sort with the characters started to emerge so I played with them to give me as many shots as possible around something about these characters...
These are the shots I finally selected:
And this next one, which was taken with a different flash setting. I think it's important to stay consistent with all your settings unless you're really sure of the shots you want. In this case it kind of works out (and kind of doesn't) but is a sort of  washed out, or maybe vintage a memory of a romantic dinner...although it seems a little too tense to be romantic...and Kitty seems stuck.
 This last shot is a crop of my original composition. It could have been done in camera but wasn't, because I didn't know until later what my story was and I want this to fit visually in proportions to the other ones, and to focus my image on the objects I ended up working with.
But in the end, I think this is my final composition, with 3 images forming a narrative: I would like to zoom in more on the Lollipop Dinner to emphasize Dollar-Store Bald Eagle's and Ninjago's expressions.... But we're trying to work with the images we took...with little editing this time. The next project has us working on these more so I will remember that for then.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Charcoal, Contour and Collaboration ~ Week 2

We worked on some contour drawing ideas today as we tried to draw/represent eachother's poses on a mural sized sheet. You all did a great job. Some of you were daunted by the idea of drawing a 'likeness' but keep in mind you have permission to approach our work together in your own way. We were making outlining marks on the page, trying to translate what we were looking at into some kind of record of what we saw. We did not need realism, only personal effort.
I want to re-emphasize that I don't care(in the kindest way) if you're not feeling creative during one of our sessions. If that is the case then you need to be adventurous - we are doing exercises and the most important thing with these is for you to have an experience in doing them. Each thing we do will add to the next.

We talked about 'Happy Accidents' last week. And one idea of the Happy accident is Kelly's share about discovering how accidentally dripping paint made her work more interesting. If you extend the idea of  Happy Accident, it is really just the fun of creativity, or maybe even the sense of humour of it(sometimes the joke is on us!). Just by doing something, seemingly blindly, or in the case of Kelly's spill, by thinking you knew where you were headed in a work(positively or negatively) - you come upon something or notice something that wasn't there before: an unexpected idea. And it takes you somewhere...and you let it! 
So, since we love Happy Accidents, we should make space for them. In our studio, we give ourselves permission to have the kind of space and time to not worry about how something is going to work out but instead to let things happen and become more than what we thought, as our actions start to lead us. Our art sessions are about letting our ideas out, so let's surprise ourselves with the unexpected!

I am bringing all my efforts, and only the most positively critical, and excited view of all of our work. I expect you all to do the same. Respect yourselves enough to remember you are as important to this project as anyone else. Oh, and some of the best creative experiences come from doing something "badly", by the way. Don't get hung up with what you can't do, when there is so much else to do, and so much creativity and learning in just doing, even badly...Please be open to Happy Accidents in skill and wherever you may find meaning.

Next week you are bringing in your personal objects to photograph and we will do a very quick drawing exercise as well.  I did a quick photo scene last night and found some fun compositions to work with. I'll format and add them shortly as an example here: Please see the above post for Tuesday March 5th. thx.

Thank you so much for a fun and messy Tuesday!

Claiming our Sketchbooks...

Sketchbooks hadn't quite arrived so we worked on paper.

I explained my expectations and explained that from my side of things we are working towards self-representaion and a final artwork on canvas or paper that you can call a self-portait. I asked you all to consider what a self-portrait means to you right now, and to bring in some example for next week.
I'll post some, if you like.

We looked at some of my own art work and I appreciated everyone's interest and attention!... and we looked at examples from my sketchbooks to get a point of  view on the many ways a sketchbook can be seen...and not always as pretty or finished or even likeable(!) - but always useful - work.

We did a spiral drawing exercise to loosen our hands and arms and then we used our spirals as a ground for our graffiti-style name 'tags'.  We looked at some examples of graffiti name art from google, and looked at the work of artist Trenton Doyle Hancock - specifically "Rememor with Membry, 2001 " to see how he integrated collage and text as positive and negative spaces (figure and ground) in his drawing and painting.

I really enjoyed meeting all of you, and everyone did a great job on their work.
I'm looking forward to working with each of you and working out all of our talented abilities together.