Viva La Poisson [Koi]!!

I love my younger brother. He’s nine, so of course, he’s in “that” stage where things that girls do and say are met with some ridicule and disdain, but praised in secret–My ‘accomplishments’ usually pass under this filter, also. (It makes little sense to me that he should say girls aren’t as ___ as boys considering he’s been raised in a house full of females, but hey. I just try not to embarass him, fragile young ego :P)

Anyway, he has brought it to my attention that he is actually proud of me and my work. 🙂 So at the end of last week, he asked me to let him have a piece of my artwork for an auction his class was doing. Auction? At an elementary school?

My mom thought it best to give him a 16″ x 20″ koi painting and send him on his way:

16″ x 20″
acrylic on canvas

Little did we know, until last night when Q explained the auction process to me, that pictures were not being sold via cash, check or credit to Austin Road Elementary School, but to individuals in the classroom who bid with Pokebucks, the chosen paper currency (literally) of Market Day.

Him: “Everyone really liked your picture, Mia. They couldn’t believe that you had done it.”

Me: “So who did they think had made it?”

Him: “They were saying, it looks like a professional’s. It’ll probably go for 300 Pokebucks.

Me: not too surprised but immediately searching for a replacement. Mom: Freaking out and apologizing repeatedly.  QJ: a bit crestfallen after I tell him, “Dear, we can’t part with that painting without real money being involved.”

So. I spent last night making a new, smaller 11″ x 14″ version of the original painting, recreating it from a photo on my computer. For this one, I wanted the water to look a bit more realistic, complete with highlights, indicators of depth, and surface ripples. I also developed the details on the fish to reflect movement, by adding some individual scales and dabbing metallic paint with a sponge.  I covered the entire finished image with matte gel to keep the water from being smudged and to add ripples on top of the fish.

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What’s a painter without her paintbrush? An epic genius! (Well, in her head, she is.) This image was produced via my fingertips, some Q-Tips, a sponge, a fork, and a very wonky little watercolor paintbrush. You know, the synthetic plastic ones that come in Crayola watercolor sets that are incredibly stiff? This one happened to have been ruined by one of my brother’s SAGE projects and some hot glue…

WHO’S A G?!! ME! 🙂 well, I’m just resourceful. And it’s always fun to find a different way of achieving the same purpose, though I did have to cvlean the toothbrush  bit more often…

TTFN

 

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Liberation: Finding Something to Celebrate

Figuring out what to do for my final drawing series really was no easy feat. I originally wanted to base my series off of a quick painting I did over the summer 2011, a triptych dedicated to battered and abused women which featured “her” body, her torso, and her face, crying.

I worked from photos I had taken for my self-portrait, some of me in a tuxedo-inspired outfit with a simple silhouette. I worked from multiple poses in a couple different outfits. I didn’t really decide on a definite line of images, though I knew I wanted at least 3 pieces; I had way too many choices:

After letting me know that she doesn’t like sectioned off bodies or body parts, Anne (strongly) suggested, “Why don’t you just use the image you’re doing for printmaking?”

[A downside to having your professor for 2 or more classes at the same time, with her personal field in printmaking: She wants you to repeat the same image/concept ABUNDANTLY]

Issues with using the photo of Antoinette in a jumper:

  1. I retrieved that picture from a 3.0 megapixel photo on my cell phone. The sketch I was able to produce in the first place took a rather long time because the original photo was so small–not quite 2″ x 2″. To add in more tones would require the utmost scrutiny–and possible eyestrain.
  2. Any enlargement of the lower quality photo would result in a heavily pixelated image with LOADS of distortion.
  3. I did not want to EXHAUST my creative energy–nor my eyes–and get sick of even looking at one of my strongest portraits. In the lab alone, I’d be spending several hours a week manipulating the very same picture with inks, reproducing it at least 30-40 times already.

In the end, for printmaking, I wound up flipping the photo:

Cue miscellaneous slideshow of me drawing the liberated woman. Enjoy 🙂

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Liberation: Finding Something to Celebrate

Figuring out what to do for my final drawing series really was no easy feat. I originally wanted to base my series off of a quick painting I did over the summer 2011, a triptych dedicated to battered and abused women which featured “her” body, her torso, and her face, crying.

I worked from photos I had taken for my self-portrait, some of me in a tuxedo-inspired outfit with a simple silhouette. I worked from multiple poses in a couple different outfits. I didn’t really decide on a definite line of images, though I knew I wanted at least 3 pieces; I had way too many choices:

After letting me know that she doesn’t like sectioned off bodies or body parts, Anne (strongly) suggested, “Why don’t you just use the image you’re doing for printmaking?”

[A downside to having your professor for 2 or more classes at the same time, with her personal field in printmaking: She wants you to repeat the same image/concept ABUNDANTLY]

Issues with using the photo of Antoinette in a jumper:

  1. I retrieved that picture from a 3.0 megapixel photo on my cell phone. The sketch I was able to produce in the first place took a rather long time because the original photo was so small–not quite 2″ x 2″. To add in more tones would require the utmost scrutiny–and possible eyestrain.
  2. Any enlargement of the lower quality photo would result in a heavily pixelated image with LOADS of distortion.
  3. I did not want to EXHAUST my creative energy–nor my eyes–and get sick of even looking at one of my strongest portraits. In the lab alone, I’d be spending several hours a week manipulating the very same picture with inks, reproducing it at least 30-40 times already.

In the end, for printmaking, I wound up flipping the photo:

F.A.M.E!

I wanna liiiiive forever, I wanna learn how to flyyy…

ahem. Enough clowning.

I was privileged to be a participant in the 2012 Fine Arts Music Extravaganza presented by the Stone Mountain-Lithonia Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. (what a mouthful.) It was both a public event and a scholarship competition:

The Stone Mountain-Lithonia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is sponsoring a competition targeted to Art/Art Education students.  The competition is open to Art students currently enrolled in your institution who are classified as freshman, sophomore or juniors.  Participants are required to submit one (1) piece of artwork (painting, sculpture, etc.) that must have been created solely by the artist (team art projects do not qualify).  The artwork must be accompanied by an index card that is no larger than 5”x 8” and includes the Title/Name of the piece and the name of the artist.  The participants will have their submissions showcased during our Chapter’s Arts & Letter’s event entitled, F.A.M.E. (Fine Arts Music Extravaganza) scheduled May 6th, 2012, from 5:00PM-7:00PM at The Greater Travelers Rest Church, located at 4650 Flat Shoals Parkway Decatur, Georgia 30034.

The stakes? 1st place: $300, 2nd place: $200, and 3rd place: $100, awarded to the student’s account at an accredited institution of higher learning.

The show itself featured a series of dance and song performances, pretty run-of-the-mill. The emcee was a tad annoying, making pitiful, winded attempts at comedy interrupted frequently by her own peals of laughter and random anecdotes. I couldn’t really follow the program, plus I really just wanted to know who won what.

Surprise, surprise! I was in competition with Gala Cude from my art classes at Agnes! It was pleasant surprise to see her there…

Contestant number one was a guy named Taurus Tucker, from AIU, who “painted” on a 15″x 19″ canvas with invisible solid deodorant, M&Ms candy, and a number 2 pencil! The finished product looked nice enough, but the oddity of his media was what everyone really marveled about!

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Liberation Pt 2: The Prints

Printmaking final:

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I created a series of flood prints, each approximately 8.5” x 11” on Rives BFK paper. My chosen image is a rendering of a poised female figure who is looking ahead of her, with her head in left profile, facing the west. Her left arm is extended outward, as if to reach for something or to have just thrown something away—she is graceful, looking hopeful and moving forward. She is draped in a wrap dress that hugs her curves. She is slightly off-center to the left of the page. I monoprinted bright orange oil ink onto each page using a slab of oak wood. The images boast a suggestion of wood grain. Then I used a screenprint to apply my central image to the monoprints in a very translucent crayola green. I applied 4 layers of different hues of green via screenprint after letting each preceeding layer dry: blue-green, lime green, and last, forest green. Each layer held a lot of translucent base in order for the inks to read through each other; they overlap to form several shades.

This image is an inverted version of the same one I used for my final in my drawing class. I wanted to experiment with different media regarding one strong image. For my theme, I continue to explore empowerment and the woman’s journey of self-awareness, of transcending beyond societal expectations and defined limits to become all she can be. “Liberation” depicts a woman who has experienced pain and growth but is freed through her lessons and through healing. She has transitioned from a supposed victim to an agent of her own destiny, on the move. In order to demonstrate that physical, mental and spiritual ascension, I choose to layer each shade of green in such a way to suggest movement, carefully registering during each print session so that they overlapped and formed “new” greens. Orange represents the vibrancy of life, while green is a color of fertility, growth, newness and creativity. The wooden texture is reminiscent of the “box” the liberated woman has escaped.

I definitely learned how to appreciate the printmaking process. There was a lot of trial and error regarding the use of color and the quantity of translucent base present in my ink. Some prints resulted in a Andy Warhol pop art effect, where the edges shadow each other. This was adequate in some cases but at times the face became eschewed by the overlapping, affecting the read of the image—her facial expression is key, because she has realized her strength. I made several prints that were not on archival paper on purpose to explore the impacts of rag content on absorbency and the read of the colors. I would add text—specifically, synonyms of freedoms, liberties, being released, in order to make it more clear that the woman has been freed by her own choices and decisive action.

I Celebrate Liberation

Drawing Final:

My final project is a series of blind contour portraits, all based on a common strong female figure: A woman stands poised to move forward, her head turned three-quarters profile facing east, eyes turned upwards as if in thought, with her right arm extended as though to ward off an outsider or to be dismissive. She is pictured from the knee up. She wears a print wrap dress that emphasizes her curves.

Each drawing was created on 22″x30″ Rives BFK. The first piece is a toned, careful rendering of the subject, created with Ebony pencil, graphite, vine charcoal, water-soluble soft pastels and yellow ink wash as the background. Skin tones were laid with vine charcoal layered on top of graphite, to give sheen and depth, while the The second is a maroon, monochromatic drawing done with soft pastel, sepia ink and Prismacolor. Lastly, the third piece features a simple outline drawing done with Sharpie, purple ink, washable marker and blue pastel. I drew the figure from a photograph, then transferred the image to the other two papers by tracing on a light table.

My pieces explore femininity, identity, self-image, and finding grace and power within oneself. Women find strength in accepting themselves and their bodies as they are, “flaws” and all. After any life-altering experience, especially surviving traumatic occurrences within the family, particularly domestic violence, or even milestones such as weddings or births, women need to identify what emotions they are working with.

 

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