Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Break

Not very exciting, but it's something that I've needed to do for many years: color charts!

This is all about matching with a color and knowing how to "make it".

These are just two chart examples...I'm putting together 8 sheets for 12 hues. Each chart starts with the straight hue, then mixed with white to fill out a six point scale. Then it's mixed with all of the other hues on my 12 color palette. Each one of those is then reduced in value on the same scale.

In the next 10 days, I am planning on squeezing in a newfresco self portrait with color conscious glazing which will take advantage of this color study.

 Here's where I've had to call it quits with the "hand/model" painting. Just got to move on (I wasn't able to recover from having to reseal the ground).

And I started another self portrait using that new tile sub-flooring material. This shows the very beginning stage of drawing with the squirted plaster line on the sized surface.

My process involves sanding down the squirted drawing bead, filling specific areas with plaster (often premixed with tempera paint), painting over textured areas with black tempera paint to create a fine tracery/contour line, and then more layers of the same.
Further development: premix filling of particular areas, with combing texture lines that follow cross-structural contours, and a sprinkling of fabric dye for added visual texture.

Even though classes have begun for the Spring semester, I will continue to post photos of progress with regard to this painting/newfresco. As the layers increase, the image will become more obscure.
Everything has been layered and filled at this point. Now, I've got to sand it down and seal the surface. Then I can glaze with some Golden acrylic pigment and matte medium, where needed.
                          Image revealed through sanding
Image enhanced through  sealing

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Metals Class

Here are pics of some of what I did in the Metals Course (Jewelry).

 This is a detail of three medallions, rolling ring, and broom cast tie clasp.
My favorite was this Shell Box made from 20g copper, brazed, topped with a shell handle (cuttlefish bone casting set with prong rivets), and finished with an ammonia/salt patina.

A copper Snow Flake medallion with a tube set zirconium diamond and ammonia fume patina.

80% of the production.

A last look at the shell box closed and with a poly-coat to protect the patina.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

New Paintings

 Simple still life with a plane-linear 
color patch approach.
This isn't everything, but it gives you an idea of some of the work done in and outside of class over the past few weeks.

This was another still life study where the objects had to be white and identified with subtle hues within the white.

Here's my product from attending the Alex Folla "Caravaggio Workshop." It focuses on glazing over a dark background. The image is defined by glazing with a light hue; leaving a light coating over an area constitutes as "dark". So, in a sense, the artist is painting the dark areas, as well as the light ones, with white.

Even though glazing in the tradition of the Renaissance artists is not my preferred method/style, the Alex Folla workshop did inspire me to go back to that time honored technique and apply it to a portrait. This piece has a lighter brown under-painting and is obviously in process: a few more layers of glazing to go (Titian's approach). As far as I'm concerned, this is an easier way to paint than compared to direct painting.

Here's some further development on the portrait. I added detail to the facial features, but had to redo the skin tone of the body (made the mistake of not varnishing the ground and that pigment was bleeding into the glazing). The piece was done on a larger panel, so I came up with the idea of a "hand portrait" in juxtaposition. That image has a lot more work to be done on it.

Yeah, another modification. I had to redo her skin entirely. Lost the purity of the facial features as a result. But, with some more tweaking, I should be able to get the skin tone right and restore the features.

On the other hand (ha, ha!), had success with my hand. Pretty daring with the lime green background (I'll wait for comments from my crit group on that).

Here's the final for my painting class. Four panel landscape with a twist. I used two images from a video clip from my world bicycle tour: a ride along the Rhine River Radweg. I'm saving the hardest part for last...the figures.
The finished product has a unique conveyance of time, motion, and composition interplay. I used a palette similar to that of Fairfield Porter (though not as heavy a value contrast). Some adjustments had to be made to subjects with red-orange to avoid a predictable repetition. Shadows had to be altered as well, to maintain the cool side of hue selection.

The work in this class has taken me back to the basics and helping me to sharpen my skills.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

First Three Completed

These pieces represent what I've been doing in my studio time. I'll share with you some of my classwork from metals, painting, and computer graphics in the weeks ahead.

In this unusual self portrait, I defined the figure and broke up the "frame" around the image by extending content through to the edge. I also darkened some areas, especially in the upper background, to create greater contrast and drama. I found that in order to restore the white of the fish skeleton, I had to grind it out with a dremel and decided to keep some of it open to give a greater sense of dimension.

I incorporated the figure into this piece: images taken from old family photos of relatives from my Armenian side. The fact that the partial self-portrait on the lower right happens to look angry is purely incidental. I also enhanced some of the color and lowered the value scale at some key points.

This portrait of Graham was easy to finish: light pigment mixed with the plaster and apply where needed. Added a little fabric dye to incorporate more color and a little texture. I only had to brush a little watercolor in areas that were too open. Sealed with the Polycrylic and called it done.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Three Weeks of Studio Production

Here are three pieces that I've been working on since having been issued a studio space in the Strassner off-campus building.
"Back to Fish 2" This is a remake of a piece I did several years ago (a favorite which was accidentally destroyed). I've got to make some adjustments on the left arm and do much more glazing.

"Celestial Tree" This abstract composition just received its first layer of glazing and will have a few "ghost-like" images, from very old family photos, drawn/sketched in various places, and in varying scale, on the picture plane.

"Graham" This portrait, of the brother of a former student of mine, is in the first stages of development: initial squirted plaster line, added texture, black paint over texture to create a fine ridge-line delineation, after future sanding. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Course #2: Chinese Ink Drawing and Watercolor

The following images are some of the results from the second Summer session I took at Fontbonne. Very beneficial experience. I learned how to REALLY draw/paint bamboo!

Bamboo in the rain

A story about a deadly hawk hidden in beauty and an unsuspecting field mouse, as prey.

Inspired from another image of a nuthatch on pine branch.

Basic orchid with "almond eye" leaves.

The "fourth gentleman" is Lotus. This quick study includes a partially obscured koi.

Magpie on bamboo, with my signature/stamp.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer Ceramics

Unique Raku glazes
Here are a few samples of the pottery I created in ceramics course at Fontbonne. It lasted only 4 weeks, with a primary focus on throwing on the wheel, some hand building, Raku firing, and Black Pottery of the American South West.
10" Peacock Vase

Raku container with lid

Small pot with embedded clay pieces on the side.

Stoneware pot with layered green glazes.

Naked Raku vase
Native American Black Pottery

Two white Raku crackle

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

More Big Changes

Sorry for taking so long to post something. These recent months have not been very art productive. But, I have had a productive year of teaching. In fact, it's been the best year of my teaching career with wonderfully enjoyable classes!
Here's a sample of some of the students that made it such a fun year for me:

Delightful Mary, who thinks that her charming disposition earns her free snacks.
 5th hour Art 1, where I got to say multiple "No's" and rip up their art work...every half a minute. Sorry for leaving out the Seniors (they had the privilege of getting out of school before finals).
The very sassy 4th hour Art 1 class, who had mevin wrapped around their finger.

 Sarah sporting the "W--- T---" crown gift. Along with Christine who was equally as proud of her most excellent hand built container.
Ty in fractal distortion.
I've replaced Alex' fractal photo with an image of his 1st place prize winning Japanese print, as recognized by the Webb City Public Library Invitational Printmaking Competition 2016.

Here is a very small sample of this years art work:
Abbi's Glass Mosaic

The scrap book art bulletin board.

Caitlin's Glass Mosaic
And an Art Appreciation group shot (minus the seniors) plus a couple of 2016 graduate hugs...
Ty and Jon at the Crystal Bridges field trip

With much sorrow, I did resign from CHCS. I feel like this next year is the last chance that I'll have to earn my MFA. So, I'm living back in St. Louis and will start my first Summer session June 6th. I'm not sure how the Lord will put that degree to use, but I feel compelled to work toward its accomplishment.
Part time work has yet to be determined. Any extra time that I do have will be spent working on the WKY homestead. Yeah, that's a retirement dream of a self sustaining, renewable energy, hobby farm...which will hopefully be up and running by the time I reach that magic age!