Tag Archives: Collage

Weekly Art Challenge: GRATITUDE

Hey folks!!

This week our theme was GRATITUDE

Dylan – Thank You, Ink on paper

“I am SO thankful for maintaining my four limbs and use of them from heart surgery as well as the robotic implant replacement of my mitravalve. Fortune comes in many different ways and I was granted a generous nod. Life is good, especially with a gnarly scar. This is have gratitude for daily.”

The semi-faceless feminine figure stands in a defiant superhero pose with classic bows attaching each limb to the core. Powerful imagery! I like the choice to making the figure semi-faceless even with this being a biographical piece. Dylan is guiding the viewer to focus on one particular aspect of her identity, her scar and surgeries, and the impact they have had on her life. Strong beautiful piece, Dylan!

Dylan Gratitidue

 

Emily – Amsterdam Cityscape, Collage on paper.

Emily sent in a piece that she worked on for one of her assignments. She didn’t think it related to the theme of Gratitude, but still wanted to show what she was working on. Emily’s piece is a reflection of her observation skills while she was traveling to Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago. In the collage I see a unique culture identity, I feel the tightness of space amongst old architecture in modern times, I sense the layers of history overlapping in the narrow streets, and I relate to the need to creatively react to my environment.

I kind of have to disagree about the piece not having much to do with the theme of gratitude. I think Emily has keen observation skills and her piece reflects the details – though these details may not be the intentional meaning behind her piece – that so many folks are grateful for in the city of Amsterdam in a way that is uniquely hers.

 

Emily - gratitude

 

Bethany – Helping Hand, Pencil on paper

“When I think of gratitude I think of an open hand. A helping hand. A hand of kindness. A loving hand. “

Me too, Bethany!  I love the clean simplicity of the lines and form of the open hand. It correlates perfectly with her statement and further connects the image of a hand with the concept of gratitude. Bethany’s piece reminds me that gratitude has a lot to do with a community and paying forward what we are grateful for.

Bethany Gratitiude

 

Amber The Little Artist, Pen, ink and watercolor on paper.

I grew up with a very creative family. My great-grandmother was a ceramicist, my mother use to paint murals and found creative ways to make our secondhand clothing and small meager living spaces look and feel special, my father was a tattoo artist and had strong drawing/painting skills, many of my cousins are photographers and of course my extended family includes a plethora of artsy friends.

For as long as I can remember I was “The Artist”. The opportunities to creatively express myself since my childhood have been unlimited and I am very grateful for all the love and support I have received by friends and family to pursue the arts.

 

The little artist

 

Next theme: TRANSFORMATION

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Weekly Art Challenge: OCEAN

Hey Folks!!

This (two) week’s challenge was to create works of art inspired by the theme: OCEAN.

Tony Ocean Bubbles, color pencil on paper.

“I got the idea of a floating ocean when RJ and I went to see Pan at the cinema. In the movie, Neverland is surrounded by a floating ocean with marine animals in the bubbles. And I loved the idea, so here’s my Ocean!”

I love the concept of an entire ecosystem floating inside a bubble! It reminds me of those beautiful and artsy glass marbles with swirls of chaotic colors contained within. My favorite detail of Tony’s piece is the whale’s fin skimming the edge of his eco-bubble. For me it signifies that the marine animals might be contained to their individual bubbles, but they are still free and wild creatures.

 tony ocean

 

Emily – Untitled – Mix Media (Markers, pencil and Lace) on paper

 “I was feeling a bit halloween-y so I did a Siren character that has ditched her wings and gone mermaid, holding a skull?” 

I love the bits of lace, they are a nice subtle texture to the image and references the the wings the siren ditched, beautifully! Looking at the piece, I am reminded of a few literary images. The Sirens reference Greek mythology. Her stitched transformation into a mermaid brings to mind Frankenstein melding with The Little Mermaid. AND, the skull in the hand is a perfect scene to break out some Shakespeare!

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Bethany – Love Story, mix media on paper

“The titled of this piece is “Love story” because my seven year old wrote love above her head and story upside down on her chest. He is very helpful. Most bodies of water freak me out, the unknown lurking underneath, but I enjoy them from the beach and I love to watch sail boats. This summer, my little family and I got to spend a week down in Florida. We long to return, and from the amount of sand still in the carpet of my Nissan, it seems as though we brought it back with us.” 

Bethany’s piece has this strong meditative daydreaming vibe that I can’t get enough of! I want to be this woman with the sea foam green hair and serene expression as she mentally and emotionally returns to a recent happy and peaceful moment. The soft colors only enhance the peaceful calmness of the figure!

Great job on your first Art Challenge piece, Bethany!

 

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AmberThe Voyage, mix media (tea, acrylic, watercolor, graphite and color pencil) on paper

This week, I chose to remake a piece that I had made a few weeks ago for a different challenge (Unconventional) in a medium that is more natural for me. I enjoy experimenting with new material, such as duct tape; but it is mixing drawing materials on paper that I swoon for.

The ocean is mysterious and vast. Its serene movements and calming blues beckon to our adventurous side and we can’t help but eagerly answer the call. The Voyage is about setting off for the unknown, taking chances and seeing where the tide takes you.

 

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Next week’s theme: DETERMINED


Weekly Art Challenge: UNCONVENTIONAL

Hey folks!

This week’s challenge theme is: Unconventional!

 

RJ: Ship in a Bottle, Black and White Photograph –

Inspired by turbulent seas at the coast of England.”

I love the dark velvety blacks and pearly silvers in RJ’s photograph, they play nicely with the turbulence of the sea that inspired him this week. Looking at the image, I find myself easily getting lost inside that bottle with the origami sailboat – which was humorously made from a parking ticket, a symbol of desired stillness. I can imagine what the sensation of being tossed around sea and the slight blur from all the saltwater in the eyes would be like, and the desire to park my little boat.

RJ ship in bottle

 

Dylan: Self-Portrait, Photograph/ ensemble –

“As a 35 year old woman, people say that I should not dress like a 12 year old adolescent. I disagree. Clothing for women my age is predictable and tame in color so I frequently opt for vibrancy found in childish fashion. It is not about a desperate attempt to look younger, but an expression of fun color and wacky designs.”

Dylan’s self-portrait and statement reflects a lot on the pressures to conform our appearances and personality to the social “norm”, especially as someone ages. The social pressure to conform can be a real threat to creativity. I think, perhaps, this social pressure is a reason why so many artists prefer the solitude.

Dylan

 

Emily: Embrace All Parts Of Yourself and Don’t Look Back, mix media photo collage –

“My Pieces for ‘Unconventional’ came about as I was creating another piece from old photography work when I realized that the style may be slightly unconventional. So I got together some old prints of photography work to create collages/mixed media pieces. These are especially unconventional for me because I often have my negative feelings show in my work so it was a nice change to have some more on positivity 🙂 “

I like that Emily’s “unconventional” was not limited to the style and process of her work, but also include the feelings that she doesn’t conventionally express in her work. Exploring new feelings in art is a challenge in itself. In Embrace All Parts Of Yourself, I see the struggle to find a happy balance with the complexity of identity and the assertion to embrace all of it. A person’s identity is made up of layers upon layers – much like the layering of Emily’s photographs. Identity is messy, complex, vibrant and loaded with parts that need embracing!

Don’t Look Back has an edgier gritty feel to it, in comparison to Embrace. It is no longer asking or encouraging you to embrace yourself, its telling you to accept your choices and keep pushing forward.

  

Emily - 1

emily 2

 

Karri: Untitled, Watercolor Monotypes on paper –

“This week I thought a lot about this theme. I kept coming back to the same realization that my normal is most peoples unconventional. I am always experimenting with different mediums and materials. I can find art and beauty in just about anything. So I struggled with what would be unconventional for me. This week I have been experimenting with a new technique, monotype printmaking. So these are examples of what of how that experimentation turned out this week.”

I am so happy that Karri took on monotypes for her unconventional challenge. I like the idea of unconventional not actually being a conventional unconventional, but simply something new to try. Her monotypes are lovely. I am particularly drawn to the center piece – a double ghost print? – it is so soft and pretty. It bring to mind a few small and pleasant memories.

karri 1

Karri 4

karri 3

 

AmberThe Voyage, duct tape “painting” with sharpie embellishments  –

My original idea was to create a self-portrait with duct tape. I even made one, but it was TERRIBLE. So bad, that I won’t even post it! LOL, but I did learn a lot from the piece, technique-wise, and immediately started with the image below, which is still somewhat a self-portrait in an unconventional way. I have worked previously with the theme of octopuses inside of teacups with perched hummingbirds.

For me, hummingbirds will always be associated with my departed grandmother and also represent freedom. Teacups are my form of mediation. When I am happy, holding one filled with tea makes me happier and focused. When I am depressed and feeling broken, holding one filled with tea makes me feel intact and alive. The octopus has become a recent favorite for me. They represent the soul, but more specifically the deepest unexplored depths of the soul. You know there is something powerful waiting there in the dark, you see pieces of it exposed and reaching outward, but it is still a mystery.

The image is not completely finished and I think more of a protocol for a future image.

The voyage

 

 

Thanks for checking us out, Next week the theme is: FIRST


Weekly Art Challenge: HIDDEN

Hello Folks!!

The theme for this week is Hidden!

 

RJ: Hidden, acrylic – When I first looked at Rj’s piece I immediately focused on the missing piece and was thinking literally that pieces were hidden/missing/disappeared and therefore the incomplete image was hidden. Then I looked closer and realized that there was another level this this piece. There is an image that I didn’t see the first time around. I won’t share, because I want you to look harder and appreciate Rj’s cleverness!

 

 

Amber: Censorship, Mix media collage – When I first picked this theme I had this idea for nautical monster under the bed image; but no matter how many times I sketched the idea out, I just wasn’t feeling the piece. I tried a few other ideas, but nothing worked and time was running out. Then this idea of censorship popped into my head. I thought about how socially our communities hide what they don’t understand, what they don’t like and what they deem to be ugly and perverse; and then they redirect your eyes to some pretty facade with the hopes that you will not notice what was hidden from you. If I had thought of this idea days earlier I would have used different collaged pieces. I don’t think Van Gogh’s portrait is the best choice – I never heard of his work being “censored” from the public –  and I don’t know anything of the book whose pages I tore out for the background, but I do think that VAn Gogh is a good general representation for the artists who are often at odds with society when trying to honestly express themselves. The book pages are meant to represent banned books, though I don’t think this book is on that list. I whitewashed the simple collage to mute their influence and decoratively painted the word Censorship to show a distracting pretty facade that those who attempt to hide the arts and their influence try to redirect your attention.

censorship

Next challenge: Comfort!


Weekly Art Challenge: Tomorrow

Hello Folks!!

The theme for this week’s friendly art challenge is TOMORROW! It was a tricky challenge, but I think we managed to come up with some creative interpretations. What do you think?

 

RJ’s: ART ADVENTURE, digital collage – I love this piece!! Its a little funky, a little dreamy, definitely a bit retro (the imagery reminds me very much of the old school video game graphics from my childhood) and whole lot of fun! RJ had explained that he was inspired by both his past and future travels when creating his piece, and I can definitely see where and how his travels have influenced his imagery – those perfectly puffy white sheep are most definitely and partly reminiscent of, but not limited too, a few road trips that we have taken together. The colorful layering of bold patterns and textures created a quilted affect that only reinforces his visual story telling and sense of adventure. There is a part of me that can’t help but want to invoke my inner Alice, jump through the pink window and run wild through this vivid adventure!

Art Adventure

 

Mikayla’s: DAWN,  Crayon and pencil –  Rj’s very talented niece has created another wonderful work of art for us this week! I’m very much impressed by her use of color! She cleverly layered reds, oranges and yellows to create a glowing sunrise and was very smart to leave the soaring bird white so that it would stand out against the primarily warm color spectrum. I look at the bird and wish I could join him in flight on what looks like a perfect morning. I also love how both the coconut trees bend toward the sun, as if they are eagerly greeting their friend. Great job Mikayla! If I had a gold star I would give you one 🙂

 

 

Dawn

 

Mine: TAROT CARDS (The Fool, The Lovers and Strength), pen and ink with watercolor – When Rj gave me this week’s challenge I must admit that I was a bit stumped.  I had to spend a couple of days thinking about what the heck could I create that would interestingly depict ‘Tomorrow‘. My mother offered some decent suggestions, but nothing seemed just ‘right’. Then I began to think about fortune telling and the beautiful artwork depicted on tarot cards. I have my own deck of tarot cards, given to me by my mother years ago, that I sometimes still use for fun. I picked a few of my favorites from the major arcana – The Fool, The Lovers and Strength – and worked on recreating each card to reflect my own personal metaphors while still maintaining the core meaning of each card.

The Fool – I wanted to depict a man who  hasn’t quite grown up yet and is in search of new experiences, but not fully aware of his surroundings because he is too absorbed with his own pleasure. He has a lot of learning to accomplish and the potential to take a wrong step should he avoid life’s lessons.

The Fool

The Lovers – For this card I wanted to combine imagery that reflected both past metaphors and current trends. Though times may have changed, some things will always remain the same; the desire to connect and love another.

The Lovers

Strength – Traditionally this card depicts a young maiden taming a lion. I chose to substituted the lion with a pack of lovable well behaved pit bulls.

Strength

Of course I could not resist inserting my beloved dandelions into each card and I was quite upset when my pen leaked black ink onto my Strength card. Also, I wish I had drawn the people a bit better – Illustration is not my strength – but in the end I am happy with what I created and had plenty of fun working on them!

It was a good challenge, RJ!

 

Next week’s theme: MANDALA!!

 

 


Currently Untitled

I started this drawing in 2010 and two years later I still feel that it is unfinished. What I still need to do is to push the darks further toward a more darker velvety texture and bring in some additional mid-tones in the face so that it’s not too pale and washed out. From past experience of painting with Tea, I know I need to compare how the tea staining has changed since I first began the piece and then make some corrective decisions so that it won’t look awkward and unintended. The combination of  paper, type of tea and possibly even the brew strength and temperature of the tea itself will determine how well the tea holds up over time after application. Some staining will fade away while others lose the warm brilliant undertones that is immediately noticed and become a duller shade of amber.

Currently the drawing is sitting in my bedroom behind my dresser waiting for me to return from work. I am sure it would have been finished long time ago if it wasn’t for my job keeping me away from home for months at a time. At the moment there is no permanent title. I know I had a few ideas, I wrote some notes on the back and in a few sketchbooks and random pieces of paper, but still nothing concrete.

The idea behind the piece is the loss of youthful innocence and hard kept ideals through harrowing adult experiences and the desperate attempt to hold onto the withering stems of that former identity.

I choose to represent the youthful ideals through childlike drawings of flowers, the very same that I myself remember drawing in art class as a young child, their wilting embodies the loss of innocence. The figure – based on a photograph I took of myself years earlier when I was crying and feeling at my most distraught – will not look at the viewer or at the flowers instead she casts her eyes to the side and downward, feeling alone in her struggles and sense of loss. The colors are muted to reiterate her sense of loss. I left the figure herself black and white. It’s a bit of a preference of mine to appreciate the graphite marks, both subtle and dramatic, in a drawing and not cover them up with another medium. The figure itself is, in my opinion, the best subject to appreciate those drawing qualities that I love so much.

Most of my more serious work, the pieces on paper, tends to be strongly autobiographical. Like many other artists I use my own experiences as a well from which I draw inspiration from. This piece in particular reflected an emotional turning point in my life when I felt that I was no longer the same person and could never go back to who I was before. A moment that I am fairly certain every adult has experienced, its apart of life. I think the key is to not lose all of your previous self, to be able to still tap into that piece of you that  is still curious and wanting to see the possibilities of what stands before you, but balance our ideals and innocence with experience and wisdom.

Materials are Paper from a cheap roll that I bought in NYC, not sure of the makers, Tea bags, Teas, graphite and some graphite washes.