Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011- A Big Year

It seems like every time I update here, I am apologizing for not making many updates. Once again, I'm sorry! It's been two months and nothing, although a lot has happened. I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but if I have to strive to make one thing better this year, it's to update more and be more on top of things art-wise. I'm not exactly lazy or unorganized, but I am busy. My art has to be one of my top--if not THE top--priorities this year. This is my last four months of school!

So anyway, Fall semester has ended. It ended a few days before Christmas last year. I was sad to see it go. I thoroughly enjoyed my classes and I feel like I learned a lot. Ended up getting a lot of good art out of it, as well. Ironically, even though I am an Illustration major, the bulk of that good work came out of my Watercolor II class.My instructor didn't push us to do a bunch of still-life paintings, which was nice and so I ended up with quite a few illustrations, done in watercolor.

Some of the ones I was most proud of:

 I titled this one Briar Rose because it tells the tale of Sleeping Beauty through the use of watercolor and collage. When discussing what I should do for my collage piece in watercolor, my instructor suggested I do something that I could see myself working with in the future. As I've said before, my style lends itself towards children's book illustration, fantasy, and fairy tales so he said I should do a book cover. Brilliant idea! I knew I wanted to do a Grimm's fairy tale, but which one. And I didn't want any trace of Disney (as awesome as Disney is). After much debate, I picked Sleeping Beauty, and decided to read the original story to help bring the piece to life. I also wanted to bring in elements of Art Nouveau because that is such an inspiration to my work. So here we have "Sleeping Beauty" or Briar Rose, which is her name, pricking her finger on the sewing spindle about to fall into a deep 100 years sleep. The string is actual string that I attached to the piece and the thorny vines along with the blue-gold space behind the spinning wheel is all tissue paper. The rest is done in watercolor and ink.

That's another thing-ink! I have developed a passion for using Walnut ink in my watercolor pieces. It gives a very deep, rich, antiqued feel to things which I believe really adds something. Also, this piece started my love of hot press paper. I will never go back to cold press. Hot press is just so much more smooth and works better with my style, I believe.

Another piece I was immensely proud of was the time machine piece:
 First of all, can I just say how incredibly excited I was after hearing this was to be our next project? I was beside myself with excitement! As you all might know, I'm a big fan of a little show called Doctor Who, which is all about time travel. Plus, what is more ambiguous and enigmatic than the idea of time-travel. Since there is no known proof of it, it is strictly up to one's imagination. I love getting to imagine things. And I will admit, our class got into an hour-long (or more) debate on what constitutes as a time machine or time travel. It was so ridiculous, but the good kind of ridiculous. I decided to just be blunt with it and design my idea of a "cool time machine", since it couldn't be the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space). So here we are. It is shaped like a rusty old metal tea pot because I love tea. The teacups surrounding it are other space crafts. I drew out the machine and teacups in ink first and then blended the ink with watercolor. I really love the look. But my favorite part was doing the wet-in-wet stuff in the background. I added some salt resists for that cosmic starry look.

For our final project, it was going to be a self-portrait without ourselves in it. But no one wanted to do that. We were all fascinated with what the Watercolor I's had done for a recent project. They had to read this book called Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. Look it up, it's very interesting! Anyway, it's about Marco Polo describing all these cities that he has traveled to. It is just entirely detailed descriptions of cities (in reality all the same city) making them sound fantastical and impossible. I can't describe it any other way.

 Sorry about the not so good quality, but this is basically it. Yes, it is finished. I embraced the white of the paper, I guess you could say. It was a conscious decision to do so. I wanted that feeling of emptiness surrounding the "city". This is Octavia, the spiderweb city. It is basically a city of nets and ropes suspended between two mountain peaks over a deep chasm. Scary, right? This is how I saw the city in my mind when I read the book. I don't believe it mentioned anything about floating, but I thought that added an even stronger feeling of precariousness and frailty. Such is life. Again, I used ink for the actual city part and watercolor for the rest. I like how puffy and marshmallow-like the clouds came out. It was a high note to end on.

I start Spring semester on Monday. I'm nervous, only a little excited. This is my final semester of school. I've got my fingers crossed in hopes of a great four months!

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