I finished!! At 3:42 the morning of critique!! 😀 sooo happy!!
I have to say, “Hold the Birdcage” photographs really well…personally, I think I could go on adding layers of paint for at least another week or so to just the birdcage and the feathers….
Anywho, let’s talk risk. As defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Risk. n. 1. possibility of loss or injury: peril 2. someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard
Risk meant different things to each individual in our class, depending on what her unique style was. Risk could be letting loose and slapping ink on the paper or getting more concentrated and exact with brushstrokes, eliminating all linear borders (yet maintaining division between forms) or putting those edges and line segments back into the painting.
“The idea of risk is being open to it, which leads naturally to creativity, liberation, movement, compelling uniqueness. Visual problem solving shifts the way you see.” –Nell Ruby
My personal risk was to be more realistic and representational, duplicating forms in their exactness but relinquishing such details as the birdcage wires in order for the piece to work cohesively, not be loaded down with too much detail in one particular place. Other than replicating the values and intensity of hue, I really didn’t want to refer to the still life that much at all. My freeing moments came in how I chose to create my values, which eventually required me to maintain this multi-layered, multicolor shading and mark making motif throughout all of my forms.
Challenges in my painting that my peers noticed were with realistic representation of the objects, contrast between forms and the busy background, and the boxed in feather–it’s too confined within the space as compared to the rest of the subjects in the painting, very vertical, tight and isolated. I find it interesting that during our session of “speed dating the paintings,” for some of us, that which was found to spark interest and ultimately resolution, was also a challenge. For me, the tie-dyed background (I didn’t alter that wash much) was gorgeous, animated, fascinating, and visually conflicting.
Ironically, I found that what I spent the most time drawing representatively ended up being mostly muted out [birdcage], and that which I spent the least amount of time drawing wound up taking the most time to paint in sharp detail [hand, feathers].
Gala made an observation that really resonated with me, that one “seemingly non-consequential risk made something else [that] I liked not work.” I related perfectly!! Oh that box!! That Birdcage!! Even the hand, at first,posed this problem, but then its coloring became a motif for the rest of my painting…
Even the materials we used for this project were risky: gesso on ink, water-soluble crayons, watercolor paint (which we have established has a mind of its own) in combination with all of these new, mostly unfamiliar materials. For me, when making the ostrich plume in the frame box, I found that gesso on ink didn’t work out; I added crayon and watercolors in vibrant hues and distinctive line, which actually overwhelmed the composition.
Perhaps Erica summed up the experience best. She compared this risk-taking process to Chinese handcuffs:
“The more you fight, the tighter it gets, the harder it gets to escape.”
Quoth Nell, “This is NOT a class about imagination, except in a way that directs how you are seeing.”