Wednesday, May 15, 2013

More art from grad school

Since I started school mid-year, I felt a bit behind. Everyone kept telling me that one's first semester is for experimentation. So, this is me experimenting! These pieces are on watercolor paper with gesso and gouache.  They were all done over older unfinished pieces.  For the last several years I have been operating under the motto "use what you have." That includes using up old practice pieces, fragments of journals, and discarded scraps of paper.  My process is intuitive, with a lot of things happening spontaneously and unpredictably. It is fun, but it is a lot harder than it looks. The wonderful thing about using gesso is that if something doesn't look good, you can always go over it with another layer of gesso. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

First Semester as a grad student at Memphis College of Art

Well, I made it through!  My decision to start school happened so fast, there was literally no time to make the transition from the home-body I had become to a student in an intense graduate program.  I went from zero to sixty in about a week!  My head was still spinning at midterms.

Most of the students there are the same age as my own children.  Surprisingly, it gave me a bit of an advantage.  But it was also really disconcerting to be in classes with twenty-somethings who were perfectly comfortable sitting and doing their work on the studio floor.  Most of them had no clue about my background, and of course never bothered to ask! The undergrads who were in one class with me were shocked when they started seeing what I was doing.....not to brag, but just to say what a surreal time it was.

There are so many more details, things that I have shared with friends during the last 4 months about the quality of craftsmanship, the issue about doing "conceptual" art, and my serious doubts about going through with this.  Email me if you want to hear more.

Here are some photos:

 I started out with these rapid gesture exercises. After about 3 days of this, I had done over a hundred of them.  My plan was to crop them into squares, and arrange them somehow.

 I ended up scanning in the best of the gestures, about 80 of them, and then cropping them using Photoshop.  Then I printed out all those rectangular cards (above) and cutting them out. And then arranging them.

This was the finished project, mounted on a wall as an "installation piece." (Installations are really hot right now in the contemporary art world, apparently.  I'm more of a painting and book person, so this was a new idea to me.)

And here is another version -- the cards are folded in half and mounted on the wall as an accordion book.

These works on paper with sumi and walnut ink followed:

Then these with collaged pieces from old calligraphy practice sheets:

All of those pieces were done for what I call "independent" study.  This was in addition to the classwork that I did for the undergraduate drawing class that I took.  Thanks for looking and I will post more tomorrow!!!!