Tag Archives: monotype

Weekly Art Challenge: VAN GOGH

Hey Folks!

This week our theme is VAN GOGH! Van Gogh is famous worldwide for his expressive paintings and tragic life. He is a universal favorite for art lovers.

 

DylanThe Ear Selfie, Special effects and instagram

I love this! If Van Gogh was around today, I imagine his famous post ear-cutting self portrait would have look something like this! Only Dylan could make you envious of her mangled ear and blood splattered throat selfie!

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Karri – Sunflowers, acrylic on canvas

 “Van Gogh’s Sunflowers have always captured my attention. I love that he painted them to decorate a room for his friend Gauguin. The sunflowers in Provence must be stunning. Wish sunflowers around here were just as plentiful.”

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers are beautiful and one of his most iconic pieces! I love Karri’s loose painterly brushstrokes and soft color palette, she did a beautiful job capturing the spirit of Van Gogh and charm of sunflowers. I don’t think there is a person who can look at a a sunflower and not feel a little bit happier.  🙂

 

Karri Van gogh

 

Bethany

“My rough interpretation of Van Gogh’s Skull with Burning Cigarette. Only I gave him a sweet tea with lemon and a little umbrella, which oddly looks like a flower.”  

If I were a skull, I’d prefer the sweet tea over the cigarette too! I love the personal and cultural (nothing beats Southern sweet tea!) twist to one of Van Gogh’s early and probably lesser known works, but what I like most is that Bethany decided to tackle the skeleton. Most people prefer to avoid drawing skeletons, they can be intimidating subjects. Bethany went for it  and with beautiful contour lines. Great job Bethany!

 

bethany van gogh

 

Emily – Quotes, monotype prints on paper.

“Here are my Van Gogh entries, my first layer of printing went well, then the yellow didn’t! Then I just ran with it anyway creating some strange messy pieces mixed with Van Gogh quotes, not technically amazing pieces but I kinda like the messiness!”

The prints are messy and I like that about them too! The messiness, in my opinion, gives off an energy similar to that of Van Gogh’s thick, bold and animated strokes. The composition, color choices and quotes remind me of street art. I can visualize these pieces becoming wheatpastes around a city. As a humorous thought, the blue piece looks like the sunflowers are growing out if Van Gogh’s head. Its as if his thoughts/dreams can no longer be contained within his head and are now becoming hair!

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AmberDandelions, Acrylic washes and graphite on paper

I loved Van Gogh’s artwork as a kid. He was the first artist that I learned about in grade school and was able to recognize when shown his artwork; this was a major thrill and feeling of accomplishment for a seven year old me.

For this week’s challenge I wanted to create a piece that was inspired by one of my favorite Van Gogh paintings, Sunflowers. Karri and I must be kindred Van Gogh spirits!

I painted dandelions (surprise!) in a teacup. Dandelions being my equivalent to his sunflowers and of course the teacup instead of a vase made obvious sense for me. Instead of painting with his preferred thick brushstrokes I chose to work in the muted washes that I lean toward. This piece felt like a collaboration between me and an artist that I greatly admire.

 

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Next week’s theme: SPACE

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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.

  

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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.

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Karri 4

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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