Posts Tagged ‘taxonomy project’

So, I’ve been thinking about book art and printing. One of the things I have been doing for a while now if trying to make sets of 5 images/works/whatnot, my taxonomy project works.

Working in multiples has been a great option for me. When I do have make time to sit down and work on something, I know it’s not a one and done. This makes the individual item less precious, and therefore I don’t feel like I have to get it just the way I want the first time. I can, and have to, try out a number of different strategies and combinations. Super helpful. Not only do I create more, I also have an easy way to keep at a project without having to come up with an entirely new idea. Also helpful.

Since I am not really an artist, I tend to do a lot of putting things together, altering, mashup type stuff. Less pressure on the technical art skills. My latest set of images combines art and tech.

I started with an old book that had great paper, font, and feel to it. Do other people buy old books just for the paper and type, or is it just me? I’ve done a lot of different blackout poetry type things, so I wanted to do something different. I also happened to be cooking beets. The color is just too wonderful. I took the top where I sliced off the greens and stamped it on some pages of the book, like beet polka dots. Those images sat around my kitchen for a while. They were clearly not finished.

Next, as I wrote the other day, I have been experimenting with Adobe Capture. I am really intrigued by the pattern option where you can turn an image into a black and white block print looking image and slide the scale on the dark/light balance. I made a few patterns of chairs with the app. I cut the images with the school lasercutter and printed them (not only is my office pretty much in our beautiful new library, but I have a key to the makerspace, and it’s summer so no one else is in there).

I first printed the images on plain paper. But I got to thinking–several of the chairs were in the library at school. Library, books, book images, we sit in chairs and read, words are all around, AHA! I decided to print my chairs on my beet polka dot book pages.

I like the images in general. The beet color has faded quickly and now looks more like rings from a wine glass in some places. I’m ok with things I enjoy being used and showing signs of being well-loved. I use my grandmother’s tablecloth; it’s got some spots from her parties and some from mine. So, the red rings kind of remind me of that sort of familiar use (tablecloth, book, chair) that is part of the living of life and permanently marks objects in the process.

I have a few other sets in mind: one with chairs that mixes it up with the upholstered part of the chair, one with cabinets or containers and what they hold.

Any other ideas for sets and combinations?

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.

So, I’ve been thinking about this group of taxonomy works for a long time (this is a project where I work on groups of 5 objects). It’s a real collection of loose parts.

There are a lot of loose parts in this project. It combines the following:

  • Pieces of a Sunday NewYorkTimes article about marriage proposals that went wrong
  • Prints made from cabbage leaves
  • Sheet music
  • Small images from a small-scale book of Audubon’s Birds of America
  • Advertising images of large jewelry
  • Boxes of various sizes
  • Fabric

Many of these items are regulars in my creations. This time around the theme is “Audubon’s Birds of America Propose”. Each creation is a little scene with a particular species of bird proposing with jewelry in hand or beak and is accompanied by text from the disaster proposal article. Here is how the idea came together.

First, I was doing some printing with cabbage leaves on vellum. Why? Because I like to print with cabbage. I was printing away, when I noticed that there was a special insert in the Sunday NYTimes that week to celebrate Cartier’s newly redesigned store on 5th Avenue. The was an entire 2 page pullout: the top was an old image of the store printed in black and white on vellum; the second page was the new store today with the red awnings printed on paper. I opened the pages out fully and added some cabbages to that too. I made it look like the trees were growing off the roof etc. Amusing. But, it got me thinking about jewelry and the trees/cabbage prints.

The next weekend, the Financial Times magazine “How to Spend it” (they don’t really mince words with that title) had some huge, glossy ads for Cartier. I cut out some of the jewelry from those ads and others. Then, for some reason I thought about the little (3×3) Audubon’s Birds of America book sitting in my pile. I think I got it for art projects, but have not really used it much. So, I got it out and started cutting up the images so that I had just the birds. I combined them with the prints and the jewelry cut outs. There were some pretty good combinations. In the “Sunday Styles” section of The New York Times there was an article called “The Proposal was Awkward (but the Answer Was Yes)” which was very funny and I thought I could pull from it to add a story element to the images. I planned to put all of this in a box of some sort, to go with the whole proposal thing and added a soft jewel tone fabric covering so that the whole thing would seem jewelry box-like.

For the box, I first pulled out some old cigar boxes I had scavenged years ago. I was working on that for a while. Then, because a couple of the cabbage prints were oriented differently on the paper, I started thinking about smaller boxes; tuns out that really works better–more contained, the birds and the trees/cabbage fill the space. The cigar boxes went back to loose parts pile for a while. I worked on the smaller format.

The first one here has the following text: On a private plane ride over the glorious Manhattan skyline . . . and that’s when he popped the question. Suddenly, a wave of motion sickness hit me like a storm and I proceeded to vomit all over myself. The name of the species (black headed gull) is under the text. It’s hard to see, but I sewed around some of the tree/cabbage print branches and sewed wide-spaced lines across the print.

Second, I added changed the box hinge so that it was cardboard and not just paper and cut off the edges so the top wasn’t so tight. Also, added green bias tape around the edges. The text for the great horned owls is: Turns out he had just proposed–and I had missed the whole thing. I asked him to do it all over again, and this time, I didn’t wear the earmuffs.

I did go back to the larger format cigar boxes after all. The first one is for the buffel-headed duck. Here is the text : He began his romantic proposal but was promptly interrupted by a goose attack. . . we ran and he finished the proposal in the car.

In addition, I tried something completely different in this one by cutting out the cabbage and adding a jewelry box as a stand. I again sewed around the text and species name. Text is: We were hiking at Zion National Park in Utah. It was a pretty intense hike, but he kept saying if I make it to the top he has a present for me. This was just making me angry.

And, here’s another different format. Fabric and paper cover opens with button handle. Species name is on clear covering over box (it was a box of cards), bird, jewels and ribbon/edge are all inside the box. The text is: I went into the bathroom, opened the shower curtain, and found a wet dog and a naked man on his knee with a ring in hand.

The pictures are not great; the things are more fun in person, although the glue is also more obvious.

Once again, the process of making a series meant that I thought about a lot of different versions and pushed my planning much farther than I would have otherwise. The first version of anything is rarely my favorite, but unless I keep at it, that’s where it ends.

I’ve already got two other taxonomy ideas that I am rolling around in my head. With winter break over, I need a snow day for a day of found time to get thinking and making.

Public domain image. This is my idea of a reasonable serving of ginger snaps.

CCO Public domain image.
This is my idea of a reasonable serving of ginger snaps.

So, I’ve been thinking about winter break. What will I read, write, see, make? Students were finished school on Friday 16th, but I was in on Monday and Tuesday for some catch up type things.

In the lead up to the break, I was scoping out the library at school, making mental lists of what books I was going to check out. It turns out I am not the only one who had her eye on a few titles, but I am the one who waited too long. No problem, my list is long. I have at least half a dozen books (some young adult, some not) in my reading pile; I signed up for 2 Coursera courses through MoMA, and have plans to work on a few in-process art/craft projects. This seems like a lot for a break that also includes a major family heavy holiday and a set of papers to grade. To date I have read 3 books–2 young adult (Bone Gap and No Laughter Here) 1 graphic novel (Creature Tech)– and finished a week or so in each Coursera course (turns out there is significant overlap in the classes, so a lot less work than 2 unique courses). I do not think I have ignored my family either; we have done family stuff together, but you would have to ask them.

My point is not to list books read, courses taken etc. I am interested in 2 things here. First, what is it about a break from work that makes me think I have 36 hours in my days that I should fill? Second, what is it about doing all these things that is rejuvenating for me?

First of all, I think it’s the temporary freedom from a scheduled work time that makes me think I am superwoman. If I had an unending number of free days ahead of me, I would not feel the same urgency to read, make, etc. And, let’s be honest, I also excel at sitting on the couch and eating cookies. I am not actually going to do all that, but I like thinking about the options. This is connected to my second question. Just the thought of planning what to read and do is exciting to me. It’s really just another form of brainstorming, WHICH I LOVE. Brainstorming combines so many things that appeal to me–collecting ideas, connecting pieces of information, making odd leaps of ideas, taking notes, more planning. I feel more energized just writing this down (note: I am on still on the couch).

I think that if a break is to enable one to return to something feeling more rested and ready, then making my clearly unrealistic lists does the job almost by itself, as long as I can eat some cookies at the same time. However, just in case I need to do more than just imagine doing all this, I’m planning some art time later today.

So, I’ve been thinking about the fun things I can do with the lasercutter in our makerspace. I had planned to spend Mondays in the Makersapce over the summer. #MakerspaceMondays was my idea. It was a good idea, but it didn’t happen that way. I’m now trying to make up for lost Mondays.

I had in mind a lot of natural shapes–trees, leaves, plants, etc. I imagined cutting these shapes in felt and then maybe leather, because I saw  some really lovely work by a crafter at a local festival. She hand cut leather into necklaces, using great patterns–everything from natural shapes to pirate ship. However, I had already spent my money by the time I got to her booth. Time to improvise. I figured I could start in felt and see in anything deserved to move up to leather.

I searched for pubic domain images in vector graphic form on Pixabay and went from there. My first attempt was a tree that was a very complex. Then, I went the other extreme and tried some very simple shapes: teacups.


Then I tried a group of trees in several colors. I also tried remixing the trees and backgrounds. This is definitely not a final product, but I’ll keep them around for something.

file_000

Then, I tried combining images into big panels. First I tried this strategy with snowflakes. My plan here was to make a large bib sort of thing. I cut both white and black felt. Not bad. There’s something to work with there.

Finally I decided I should go back to leaves, but start with the real thing. So, I stepped outside, collected a few leaves, arranged them in an arc, and then traced it in a good, dark sharpie so that I could take a picture, put it into Adobe Illustrator, and then cut. It’s a good start. Too wide, but I can adjust the shape.

file_002-1

I used the StichPic app to combine the images.

And in keeping with my previous projects (my taxonomy projects), I have five versions of similar work. I am definitely finding that keeping this habit of making 5 of something to be really helpful. It keeps me working on a particular idea longer, which of course means that I make more progress either in my understanding of a tool, my thinking about an idea, or my ability to combine them both.

Hooray for making.

 

 

Weaving with sticks

Posted: July 31, 2016 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

So, I’ve been thinking about my taxonomy projects. (I started these sets of works after hearing a colleague talk about her MFA program assignment in which she made 10 sets of 10 works. I am going with sets of 5 and using the term ‘works’ very loosely.)

Over the course of last school year, I did a lot of taxonomy sets with blackout poetry. I liked playing with words and felt more comfortable with that. However, I have also tried to branch out a bit.

I actually started this particular project the summer before last. As I was wondering around my neighborhood with my kids, I noticed all the dried lily and daylily stalks in people’s gardens. (I did not really wander into other people’s gardens. I stuck to plantings along the road.) The sticks pull right out, and we may have wandered around using them as light sabers or swords for awhile. However, we are collectors at heart and thought the sticks might be good for some project or other. They have nice branched bits at the ends and are a reasonable size. So, we headed back out for more collecting. At some point, I thought that about weaving, but I’m not sure when. I also realized that I had quite a bit of yarn odds-and-ends as well as some colorful wire. I have to admit I am not sure whether I got some of the yearn before or after the sticks. Anyway, I finally sat down and got to weaving. It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Isn’t that always the way. The stalks are not straight and do not stay still. I think this was my first attempt.

IMG_6098

I didn’t think enough about curved or not curved sticks, so I just let some of them pop out and excluded them from weaving as I went. I probably should have started with a regular shape. So, next time I paid a little more attention to the sticks, and I tried regular shapes and added some wire and bread loaf tags at the top.

IMG_6102 copy

On this one, I may have started at the top and moved down so that the weaving got easier rather than harder.

IMG_6103 copy

This one is all straight lines and regular shapes, which is not usually my thing, but I think it works. I have it in my new office at school.

IMG_6113

I had put this project away for awhile; there are only so many of these things you can have around. But, then earlier this month I picked it up again; I had some more ideas. I started with the idea that I could add other items to the weavings to add interest to regular woven shapes and tried to think about how to relate the type of yarn and other objects. The first one has a large spoon in the middle, which I have not figured out how to attach just yet. I need a way to get it to stay there without pulling at the yarn. I like the combination of the darker stalks with the natural wool and the metallic spoon. (The picture could be better.)

IMG_6101 copy

Finally, this one incorporates a piano part that I also had sitting around waiting to be used for something. I was thinking about those woven chair seats and wanted a way to have really thick yarn, which I did not have or want to pay for. So, I used eight strands together. I think this one is one of my favorites.

IMG_6100 copy

I made another one or two that don’t make the top 5. I might try to incorporate words into the next set or go with more piano parts, which I just may have sitting around.