Posts Tagged ‘loose parts’

So, I’ve been thinking about contour line drawings. It’s fall and that is what my personal kids were dong in art class; so, that is what I did as well. The other thing I have been thinking about a lot is layering. At the moment, I just don’t seem to think any of my art is finished if there is just one layer.

A colleague of mine was relating a conversation between two former students. One asked the other why he always worked abstractly or something like that. He replied (and this part I do have correctly) that he “couldn’t hide behind brushstroke” like she could. This led the good-brushstroker to reconsider the other student’s opinion and even seek it out when it came to composition in particular. This little story really got me thinking.

First of all, I really relate to the one student’s recognition that brushstroke (or technical ability to represent what is in front of you) was not his area of expertise. I used to have more ability in the brushstroke department, but as it turns out if you don’t practice, you not only don’t get better, you do a little backsliding. Shocking, I know. The fact that I can see this change in technical proficiency does not make me feel good and probably contributes to why I have trouble even calling the things I make art. It’s so easy to see the expression of that skill, and therefore it’s easy to be impressed by it. While I could with practice get back some of that skill, it is just not something I have enough time for at the moment. I’ll get to it. That’s where the layering comes in. Taking bits and pieces of other works or images or whatnot and combining them is a way of working with which I can experiment. I can put pieces together, move them around, move them again, try something else, all in a reasonable time and, if I don’t glue anything, I can put it down and look again a few days later. Lots of actual drawing or painting I can’t do.

For these images (part of my ongoing taxonomy work where I try to make 5 images in a series), I started with those contour line drawings of chairs on music score paper, kept with my Audubon birds theme (preferably in a totally different scale), and added some other this and that. Also, I cannot say enough how much the self-imposed 5 images requirement is a catalyst.

Here we go. In no particular order, this is what I made.

Very basic in a lot of ways. I like the different scales of the chair (which is a kid-size chair) and the bird.

 

 

Maybe the garden image on the right doesn’t work–wrong size, too dark? The bird and chair combo works for me.

 

This one also includes a woodblock print. The chair got a little too washed out. The blue stripe on the right seemed too dark, so I added some thin paper over it to tone it down.

 

I thought there needed to be something significant on the left, and so I added a print of a cabbage, which extends the size of the image. Not sure about that. I do like the birds in the tree/cabbage.

 

The bark paper on top of the image around the chair works for me. Not sure if there needs to be something else here too.

So there you have it. Conour line drawing of chairs, birds, music, and other spare parts.

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So, I’m still thinking about interview don’ts from the other day and “binders full of women”. This is another ‘taxonomy project’/art post; I’m ready to share the second set of images.

This set has many similarities to the first set. As before, all begin with an image of a man with a bag. I removed the background and put in decorative paper again, cut out a hole in the bag for a slide to be inserted and lit from behind. This time, I covered the image in vellum on which I had written out entire passages from two of the articles about the experiences many women have in the interview and job evaluation process. I stitched through all layers to outline the figure and in some cases sewed around the edges in addition.

The first one has a good combination of color that is visible through the vellum. I am pleased with the red in the pants, the background paper, and the bow in the girl’s hair. The border works too. Some of the later images don’t have borders, mostly just because of how the original image was designed, but I made try adding some. I think they may really need some.

“My First Interview” Slide: “Girl with a Watering Can” by Renoir 1876. National Gallery, Washington, DC.

The same article’s text continues in this next image. I only cut out the couch portion of the background. The sitting pose is not working so well here. However, again the border is a help, I think.

“Different Interview, Same Problem” Slide: “Ginevre de’Benci” by Leonardo da Vinci. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Finally, this tall, thin image. There was more to it, but it spanned two facing pages in a magazine and I couldn’t manage that. This one also needs a border on the bottom and right sides. The stitching around the guy works here, I think, as does the simliar pose in the woman in the slide and the guy. Also, the coloring or the clothing is visible. It gets kind of muddy towards the bottom, but I think the green and white background paper works better here than in the second image. (This is another “bag added” image.)

“The Assumption” Slide” “Judith” bu Giorgione” The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

The next two images are all connected by the article’s text, which continues from one image to the next. I think the first image is best of the three. The man’s clothing has a little going on and the color is strong enough to be visible through the vellum and writing. Also, the thread and background paper colors are working well together. I found a slide where the tilt of the woman’s head is similar to the man’s.

“Attention Hiring Managers” Slide: “Portrait of a Young Girl” by Correggio c. 1515. Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Florida.

The background paper in this next image is striking, when not behind the vellum. I liked the ‘big sky’ effect in comparison to the guy sitting on the ground. However, the black and white image of the guy disappears too much. The subtlety of the grays is lost. Plus with no border at all, there is something missing for me. I was contemplating sewing along some of the swooping in the background. I still may add that, after I sit with it for a bit. (Note, I had to add a bag into this one.)

“It Gets Worse” Slide: “Portrait of a Lady” by Vittore Carpaccio ca 1500.

I am a fan of incorporating sewing, embroidery, any kind of needle work into images. Given the focus on women, the addition of sewing can provide another layer to consider in terms of the expectations of what women should be doing or be good at.

While the other set of images seem to me to be more about the individual interviewer and his questions, these are more about the evidence of this being a pattern that many, many women encounter. For me, the flow of the words across the top of the image suggest that ongoing, overwhelming aspect of the problem. I also managed to take better pictures this time.

Any favorites? What about this format compared to the other?

 

Notes:

  • Source articles for text
  • Slides from a sale of Art History department slides from several local colleges.
  • Original ads from NYTimes T Magazine and FT Weekend/How to Spend It magazine.
  • I still love spring break.

So, I’ve been thinking about how women are treated in the wide world. In particular, I’ve been thinking about mansplaining and career inequalities that begin in the hiring process. I remembered the “binders full of women” comment from some years ago too. Time for another taxonomy project (where I make a set of 5 images).

This set of five images combines advertising images from magazines, patterned papers, art history slides, and actual text from articles reporting on questions women have been asked in interviews. Like “fashion don’ts” from fashion magazines, I have covered the eyes of the men to make them unrecognizable, or maybe universal? The men are all white. That’s what I found in the advertisements in the Sunday newspaper magazines I had, and given the images coming out of Washington these days of groups of white men making decisions for all sorts of people who are not exclusively white men, seems sort of appropriate.

Anyway, here’s how I went about this. I started with the entire advertisement, cut out the background, put in a new, abstract pattern, cut a hole for the woman’s portrait (slide) in the bag the man is carrying, and added text. I also added a light behind the slide to show it off. In the final image you can see that without the light, it is just a plain, dark area.

Here’s my first final piece.

“What will you do, Anna?” Slide: Anna Parolini Guiccinardini by Carracci, 1598.

I like the wavy pattern to the paper on this one. The face is not so dark in person. Bad lighting on this photo.

“So, being a woman…” Slide: Woman Nursing a Baby, by Pieter de Hooch. SF Fine Art Museum

I have two different women/slides in this image. Not sure which one I like better yet.

“More makeup, please, lady.” Slide: Portrait of a lady c. 1519 by Corregio. St. Petersburg, The Hermitage.

“More makeup, please, woman.” Slide: Portrait of a woman by Miereveld. National Gallery, London.

This one needed something else. So, I added the string. I think it totally works with the color and pattern of the paper and provides an edge.

“What does your husband think?” Slide: Portrait of a Young Boy (!) by Rosalba Carriera c. 1725. Academia, Venice. I think it is a great twist that this image of a boy, who could pass for a young woman, is in fact by a woman.

My final image didn’t include a bag. It turns out there are only so many images of men with bags. So, I had to add the tablet case under the arm. I kept some of the door and cut out the center panels only. I like the spacey look here.

“What does your husband think, gentlewoman?” Slide: Portrait of a Gentlewoman by Prospero Fontana c. 1565. Museo Davia Bargellini, Bologna.

Here it is without the light on to give you an idea of what they all look like when not “on.”

At the moment, I am trying to decide if I want them to be finished as is or if I will incorporate the idea of a binder from the “binder full of women” idea. I am playing with the idea of having some binder or folder that covers the image and then when opened, triggers the light to go on.

My photographs really leave a lot to be desired here. The light in the slide makes it hard to get a good image and good balance, so sorry about that. Any favorites or ones that you don’t think work at all?

 

 

Notes:

  • Source articles for quotes
  • Slides from a sale of Art History department slides from several local colleges.
  • Original ads from NYTimes T Magazine and FT Weekend/How to Spend It magazines.
  • I have another entire set of 5 with a slightly different look that I’m working on now. I love spring break.