Monday, February 28, 2011

new painting 1

finally got the layout. forgot about the whole take the photo sideways thing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


My painting was an idea from my professor, Ken Szmagaj about a small sketch I had done of Joaquin Phoenix form an old edition of Vanity Fair. He likened the hair as being something messy that would cool replicated like a Rorschach test, abstracted to an ink blot. I went with the idea because I thought it was a cool way to add abstraction to my subject without losing the opportunities to push my technical skill. The pose in the painting reminded me of Jacques-Louis David’s Death of Marat and I wanted to approach the figure in a similar neoclassical manner. As I worked the painting I tried to leave many areas of it raw, as I had in a previous work of a female subject, in an effort to balance the detail and development I planned to do in the face. 
In the end areas looked too unfinished so I went back in and pushed them, such as the hair. Given my original inspiration, the idea of the Rorschach blots, I had planned to keep the hair as a black, drippy abstraction. However because of it’s central location I found it divided and distracted the painting too much. I did however retain the under painting of the shirt in the final project. I feel that space has a diaphanous quality which adds to the romanticism while also balancing the heavily rendered areas of the face. I also chose to darken the background to ‘pop’ the figure further into the foreground and too remove the original drips that had gone from the hair off the top of the composition. I liked the idea of them being there however, i found them to be an unnecessary element within the painting.
This painting works towards the theme and direction of my work because I’m interested in portraiture and how the portrait works as a social element. People are all around us, all day (well - in most landscapes. Perhaps not so with the outback), however immortalizing them visually on a surface seems to change the context entirely. Narcissism, connotations, environment, narrative and how people physically perceive themselves and others (mirrors, lenses, framed in windows, framed, etc.) really come into play in portraiture. Different then other embodiments of the human form, like history paintings or studies of the figure, the genre of portraiture seems to have so much more baggage to it. Why were they painted? Are they themselves or representing an allusion? Are they whom they are or whom they present to the world. For example some painters, like Lucian Freud, really seemed to present a raw interpretation of the person both physically and mentally (with especial note to his painting of John Minton). Or in a contrasting example, Andy Warhol who’s work was all about the image presented to the world, the celebrity or painters like the Pre-Raphaelites whom painted types of women, almost archetypes.
I think this painting definitely explores the narcissistic element and the play with physically seeing, this one kind of touching on optical illusions. I think I accomplished what I set out to do and am happy with the result despite forever finding discrepancies between the left and right faces. At this point I’m not really sure that going back into the piece to mitigate them would do much other than frustrate me. I feel I would be better served to start the next painting with the possibility that I could always have another go at some of the passages that irk me.
Titles?: Because One Wasn’t Enough, Gemini, Two Heads Are Better Than One

Sunday, February 20, 2011

awards and recognition

Below are the paintings I choose to submit for my uni's senior art achievement award I was nominated for. judging took place on friday and I will find out results in March. It was really an honor to be nominated and great to see the other artist's work. Some were students whom i've never had class with so it was really cool to have a gander at what they considered their best. choosing three pieces was hard and a few people said they wouldve chosen this or that to submit but I think i made a fair choice, all three have been chosen to be put on display for the uni's accreditation review happening in the next few weeks.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines day

I get up in the evening 
and I ain't got nothing to say 
I come home in the morning 
I go to bed feeling the same way 
I ain't nothing but tired 
Man I'm just tired and bored with myself 
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help 

You can't start a fire 
You can't start a fire without a spark 
This gun's for hire 
even if we're just dancing in the dark 

Message keeps getting clearer 
radio's on and I'm moving 'round the place 
I check my look in the mirror 
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face 
Man I ain't getting nowhere 
I'm just living in a dump like this 
There's something happening somewhere 
baby I just know that there is 

You can't start a fire 
you can't start a fire without a spark 
This gun's for hire 
even if we're just dancing in the dark 

You sit around getting older 

there's a joke here somewhere and it's on me 
I'll shake this world off my shoulders 
come on baby this laugh's on me 

Stay on the streets of this town 
and they'll be carving you up alright 
They say you gotta stay hungry 
hey baby I'm just about starving tonight 
I'm dying for some action 
I'm sick of sitting 'round here trying to write this book 
I need a love reaction 
come on now baby gimme just one look 

You can't start a fire sitting 'round crying over a broken heart 
This gun's for hire 
Even if we're just dancing in the dark 
You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart 
This gun's for hire 
Even if we're just dancing in the dark 
Even if we're just dancing in the dark 
Even if we're just dancing in the dark 
Even if we're just dancing in the dark 
Hey baby 

done. i'll post a proper picture later in the week. still debating on the title,
"because one wasn't enough" kind of cheapens it I feel.

Monday, February 7, 2011

lost my ability

to wake up early. I have lost my self-discipline and pavlovian no-mind response to my alarm. I slept through my obnoxious japanese alarm for a half hr this morning. I don't mean I slept for a half hr after it went off i mean it continued to go off an I slept with it "ringing" for a half hour. This is nearly impossible. I'm very close to trying to lean on my younger-self-sub-concious and waking at 5am but thats a quick way to get a fatigue flu if i'm leaving the studio at 1am, etc.

so 6 or 7am, no exceptions? hmmmmm.... 7 doesn't seem early enough.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


no fellowship. pout. OH wells. on to the process drawings, NN webwork, sawhill web work, studying for a test, txtbk ordering, laundry and dish cleaning I have laid out for my day. Then maybe some painting.


been nominated for a uni award and crossing fingers for VMFA fellowship. unlikely but a girl can dream on a last minute application....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


My roommate mentioned to me yesterday that she wasnt sure i was getting enough protein - probs not. So this morning I made up for it and hopefully it will help me get through the day better than I have recently (I've had the worst time getting up in the morning recently) by eating a double serving of a creamy egg and chicken donburi - a new recipe I just made. Other than the rice beneath it being piping hot it's DELICIOUS and v. easy to make. I substituted a chicken breast for the leg or thigh (breast was all I had) and I wonder if I could use tofu for my veggo mates.

its working!

almost, a few bugs: