Thursday, July 29, 2010

Challenge #7: tame the shame

Dear Holly,

This week I challenge you to 'tame the shame.'

part 1: admit your most embarassing art work, describe it with pictures.... or words if its been destroyed, and talk a bit about why you hate it, what went wrong, ect. this part is KEY!

part 2: overcome the shame by re-doing the project in a way you can show off proudly!

all specs are your call!

enjoy this :) i think its a great lesson in learning how to learn from mistakes.


Jen reveals challenge #6, Zombie portrait

meet zombie jen! btw my inner zombie is a man. sorry if that didnt fit your project specs holly, the zombie was a woman until the last 5% of the progress, when i realized the gender had to be sacrificed for a better composition. ( i dont think gender is very important in describing zombies anyways, theyre sort of emotionless.)

i struggled on this project, because as holly alluded to earlier, i hate scary things. i hate heights, rides, horror movies, but most especially gorry art. yuck! so i was hating this for a while, not knowing what id do with a terrifying self portrait in my room. and then i shifted my zombie thinking from blood and gore to just people, people without hearts. and suddenly, hello exciting concept potential!

and sadly this is how i've wanted to feel for the past two weeks. after a recent breakup, i've reflected how nice it would be to send my heart somewhere far away, somewhere far away where i cant hear it mope. i've also reflected that it would be nice to be mature and set this person free to have a happy life without me. that sort of maturity comes from a very, very very selfless place, and i feel an almost borderline zombie place. because being truly selfless means ignoring your own wants and desires- your emotions.

(sorry for the rant, i normally feel very awkward writing feelings down- weirddd- but i guess its necessary in this case. )

and so my desire to be a zombie this week is how i justify this being my portrait!

technique: i origionally was sooo excited to bust out the paint and do a crazy realistic portrait that took lots of time, but time was scarce! and the more i thought about the concept, the more it felt appropriate to take a simple approach. no emotions= no complications.

also i wanted to play with the shape of the heart also being a bird (as per the saying if you love someone let them go), and the shape of the ribcage being a bird cage. the more i tried to draw this, the more i realized simple graphics were the only solution.

note: the feathers mimic broken heart lines!

colours: holly.... this is how i answer your request for scary. i feel the red, white and black give this a dark feeling. plus great contrast. and you specifically said not to make myself a pretty zombie. i think ive drawn myself so unpretty that i look like a man.

the cracking near the head were a happy accident. i worked with many layers of gouache and ink, over hours refining the shapes until they harmonized. (this took much longer then it looks!!! so long my drawing got wrinkly hehe!) but i like this effect, i feel it furthers my concept: zombies have bad skin. and being selfless and emotionless is really just a facade, a cracking one.

hope you like it!

ps: we spoke earlier about introducing a marking scale for critiques called 'the goosebump scale.' (whenever holly really likes something she says she has goosebumps) the scale is 1-5. do your worst!

Monday, July 19, 2010

zombie process

unfortunatly i must start off by requesting an extension on this one! i know its breaking the rules sort of, but i'll be sure to make this one worth it. judging by my schedule this week i know i won't do the vision in my head justice.
and as sooo not me as this challenge is, i feel inspired to really throw myself into this one and so request the extra time. i'm looking forward to its potential to be a very personal and theraputic piece, and also a potential sample for my thesis proposal. lol i hope i'm not building this up to much just for it to not work out as i hoped.

holly i can still post a challenge for you this week, and we can work on ours at the same time. or you can take a little break? let me know what you'd prefer :) it would be so fun to work on one together since i'll be visiting you soon!

i think i might sneak clues as to the direction of this piece instead of being so open with the progress.
the first clue is that its called 'if you love someone let them go'

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Holly, this is a still of one of the Tete a Claques shows, if you havnt seen it before. They super impose real eyes and mouths on doll heads for a very very weird and funny animation. Youtube it and you'll see why it reminds me of your painting!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Challenge #6- Zombie Jen

Dear Jen,

I again thank you for the old meets new challenge, I wish I would have thought about it myself, to give to you. This week’s challenge is inspired by something that I personally have to practice kicking on and off- the genre of an illustration. As you already know, when I do personal work I find myself doing, innocent, beautiful and colorful imagery. (Which get’s annoying after awhile.) I’ve seen you also get trapped in this. Remember way back when we didn't know each other and I gave you a little piece of advice? I told you that the work you did for that particular class was amazing, but too childlike and innocent? Well, you’ve come a long way since and now I’m going to challenge you further. Here it is…

This week’s challenge is a self-portrait of yourself as a zombie. Not a pretty beautiful zombie, but horrifying and nightmare producing. This challenge is particularly inspired by the cover of the novel, Pride and Prejudice and zombies. Personally I think this illustration is phenomenal and I know you and your style well, as you can produce something ten times bette! Keep in mind your choice of colour, as this will play a key role in alarming your viewer.

-Any size


That’s all. Good luck and next Friday I hope to be terrified :)


Holly reveals challenge # 5- old meets new

Holly reveals challenge # 5- old meets new

First of all despite what this looks like, this is NOT a mockery portrait of Jesus! I'm religious and that wasn’t my intention. The portrait is however of someone who just so happens to resemble the “Americanized” Jesus figure, His name is John-Michael. Will I re-think ever painting him again? Yes because if I do, One-hundred years from now when I’m long dead and my artwork is scattered about the world, my painting of John-Michael will be at a garage sale. With my luck some na├»ve old lady will buy it for five cents, thinking its Jesus. She’ll hang it in her living room and be mighty proud of herself. I can't have that on my conscious.

This portrait is maybe the most bizarre thing I've created and I'm excited about that! For the ‘old’ element I was inspired by-Joshua Reynolds, his portraiture is magical in the sense of how alive his characters look, he chose oils as did I for this challenge. The cut paper was my ‘contemporary’ element. If you look closely, the eyes and lips on the face are also magazine cutouts. It took a long time to find the perfect eyes in order for it to be believable. Also the fact that it's a non-serious portrait would be considered contemporary.

Thanks Jen, that was the weirdest thing I’ve created in awhile!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Holly’s Process - old meets new

Holly’s Process- old meets new

Last night I scrambled for my oil paints, as I couldn’t remember where I’ve hid them. I soon realized they’ve collected dust for many years. I’ve only done one oil painting before. I’m technically a beginner. After hunting for and borrowing supply’s (thanks Grandma and Jim for the varnish) I became really excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve challenged myself to a good old realism painting. I painted for many hours through the night, not making much progress, I felt scared and slightly panicked. Perhaps I’ve jumped the gun on this and maybe I didn’t clearly think how I’m going solve the “new” portion of this challenge. It wasn’t until this morning when I figured it out. I’m classic for working like this. I can’t solve anything until I’ve started the task. The picture above is a hint on how I I’ve decided to solve the challenge! I may have gotten myself into trouble on the concept, but when I reveal I’ll explain it in full! I’m extremely nervous for fridayl! Must continue painting now…


Friday, July 9, 2010

I challenge you! #5

Hi Holly!

This week I went to the AGO drama and desire exhibit, and was so blown away by the old classics. Such big talent. It made me a little ashamed that I've been neglecting life- drawing and painting over the past few monthes. I reflected that sometimes I resort to stylization not for the benefit of the concept but rather because its a quicker solution, and one that is harder to criticize.

These thoughts inspired my challenge for you this week! I don't know if you feel the same way about your work, but I'm sure this one will be good practice regardless! (keep in mind this one is more of an exercise, don't worry if you're out of shape and the piece reflects it, just focus on the learning component!)

This weeks challenge:

concept: old meets new

requirements: atleast one hand-done element of super realism, preferably inspired from a traditional painting style or movement. please specify which movement/ artist inspired you! atleast one element of a contemporary technique

medium: the super realistic element must be done in a traditional medium... oil would be great, but i know you only have a week. other options might include conte, charcoal, oil pastel... ect the contemporary element can be anything, but preferably a medium that contrasts the realistic one!

any size!

have fun and i can't wait to see what you come up with!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

jen's invisible results!

here it is! my intention was to sculpt the feeling of blindess as i did this blindly. i chose to use a person as my subject, this being a human experiment. i'm very happy with the distortion that i unknowingly created, especially in regards to the over sized hands and small feet. i felt, that while i was briefly in the dark, my hands were the most important tools i had, and my feet were the most shy as i was afraid to move around. i also noted while doing this that i kept my eyes pointed up to the ceiling, and find it interesting how the sculpture repeated this! wow come to think of it, this pose was the exact pose i had while sculpting!
thanks holly, this was soooo much fun! id take a picture of the invisible gel attempt, if there was anything to photograph lol.
i'll post your challenge soon!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

invisible: jen's process

oohh man i have so many ideas for this i don't know what direction to take! invisible could be a state, a feeling, it could be used to describe an emotion... the lack of something... blindness...

hum! well at the moment i'm really interested in the meaning connected to medium. i've been considering doing a sculpture blindfolded for this one, relying completely on the sense of touch rather then sight to capture the sense of invisble. i was inspired to take this approach after learning that towards the end of his career, degas turned to sculpture as he started to loose his eyesight.
what i'm stuck on is what to sculpt. obviously sculpting a blind person might be a bit too cheesy...

on the subject of blindness, about a year ago i found this great book called 'the black book of colours.' its all in black, with english and braille, and the pictures are linear and slightly raised so you can explore them with your fingers. it describes a blind child's defintion of colours.

here is some text from the book :

Thomas likes all the colors because he can hear them and smell them and touch them and taste them.
But black is the king of all the colors. It is as soft as silk when his mother hugs him and her hair falls in his face.

the concept of this book is so beautiful, and i love the idea of exploring the non-visual qualities of visual terms.

with this train of thought i'm off to go sketch!


Holly, this was such a hard challenge! i temporarily abandoned my sculpture idea, and fiddled for what felt like days on other concepts. i went to curry's in search of a miracle medium to solve the solution, and the girl working there recommended that i try painting with clear modeling gel on top of plexi glass. sounds cool! so i tried it, but soon realized that with this medium it's better to let it be what it is, rather then try to control the texture. somehow ending up with an invisible abstract painting was a little too fine-artsy for me lol.

so i turned to sketching again, had an okay drawing... but by this point i really just wanted to sculpt. so curry's, 2 pounds of clay, and a blindfold, i was ready to start.

i love it! i can't wait to post. it was the most fun 15 minutes of art i've ever had. i kept the time short because i was afraid i'd blindly overwork it. i think with sculpture its always better to have it raw then overworked.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Challenge # 4- Invisible By: Holly Long


This week I challenge you to illustrate the concept ‘Invisible.’ This is difficult as everything illustration is the complete opposite. Try your best to use this description to stretch your imagination to it's furthest extent. I expect great things from you and I believe you can solve this challenge beautifully. As my last challenge was open for me, I’m going to do the same for you, any size or medium. That is all I have to say about this, as there isn’t much involved. I wish you the best of luck and like before I’m looking forward to the reveal in a week.


Holly reveals third challenge

The ‘weight’ challenge was complicated to solve. I struggled for a few days on this and felt afraid that I might not solve it on time as my schedule kept me busy and distracted. However, I’m more then happy with what I’ve achieved. I have had more fun with this challenge than anything I’ve done in years. Even if it’s not what Jen had in mind, I cracked myself up with laughter and hope and pray she will appreciate the end product.

The process was very simple. I already had in mind that I was to draw Sumo wrestlers, but I had no clue into which medium I would further display weight. That was truly what stumped me. I considered slacking oil on a canvas and getting the challenge over with, but that would have been the easy way out. I allowed myself more time and thought into this challenge and finally I considered doing something so stupid it was genius (this is my opinion of course). I went down to the beach, gathered a bunch of rocks with smooth forms on either side and tried to imagine the sumo wrestlers fighting on these rocks. After a half hour of searching I found the perfect match almost identical. Long story short I took them inside and made them come to life. Photographing them in the end seemed like the more logical way of completing this challenge. In the end I would argue I managed to convey weight both, visually and physically.

Thanks for the challenge Jen!!