Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Here it is! The results of my one week challenge to myself. Turns out if I push it I can make one in a week. This one is considerably smaller than most. measuring only 20 x 9.5 inches- which honestly felt a lot like cheating.  Here's the final product:

I learned a lot this week about my process and about color.

 I set out to make a white on white piece. I just couldn't do it. I love color. Mixing color is one of the most satisfying tings I do on a regular basis. Producing a color that is what I'm feeling is such an engaging process- its accurate for me than writing a sentence. Joseph Albers changed how I think about color.  I used to leave materials raw and unfinished. Now- I can't say 'no' to slapping paint on things. I struggle now with how to pair colors to make the most impact. I am most challenged by picking out the right color of varnish to enhance the painting underneath. Below is the painting with the layer of varnish applied, but not buffed.

Below is the piece before the varnish. Notice how lively it feels in comparison to the 'finished' piece at the top of this entry.

All in all- I think I had a pretty successful 'challenge' week. The finished product may not be my favorite, but hey, I'm pretty picky. Thanks for taking the time to check this out!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Art + Craft + Design = Process.

Recently I had a great conversation with a friend about the difference between art, craft, and design- a touchy topic to say the least for anyone that works in those fields. To me- its all one be glob of wibbly wobbly mashed up and overlapping stuff. Really, its all the same. Art, craft, and design are all elements of what makes a piece successful. All the paintings in the Louvre would mean nothing if they weren't painted on well made canvas that hasn't warped over the centuries. Additionally, if the Mona Lisa's face was not a golden rectangle would we still feel the same way about it? I'm inclined to say it is how it was designed that makes it remarkable, not how it was painted.

I have been struggling whether or not I make art or if I craft well designed pieces. I'm leaning towards design. After six years of art school, I still don't know the difference.  In the end it doesn't matter because it is genuinely the process of making my work that drives me to do it.

For the past week I have been working on a piece that I have shown to no one. Its nothing special, just a quick design I drew up after an offhand comment from a friend. However, it gave me focus and an excuse to make something that doesn't directly fit in with my birds of prey and Columbia River Gorge theme.  This piece (not shown) to me is most definitely not art. There was very little thought behind it. For me it was a challenge of process and design. Would it be a successful piece if I applied a spackling of theme to it- but focused mainly on my formula for design and construction? I am super anxious about this one. Especially after what happened to 'Pear Bomb' when I finished it.

'Pear Bomb' in the very beginning.

oh the colors!

  I had such high hopes for it- not that it was a bad piece- but it changed so much when I varnished it. Sometimes, I get deeply attached to what I think a piece should look like that I fail to appreciate it for what it looks like. A week after my initial knee jerk reaction to hate 'Pear Bomb' has done a complete 180. It is rapidly becoming my favorite, but that's probably because I like the design of the thing, the texture, color, and contrast.

In the end I'm not so sure that the finished product matters all that much to me. Its done. The journey is over and hopefully I learned something in the process and have made something that someone will enjoy for years to come. Maybe, one day, a 'Pear Bomb' will end up in your life- and you will grow to love it for what it is.