Art from my sketchbook and beyond, updated slightly less regularly.
My friend Joel is a co-editor of the UO Student Insurgent. He asked if he could publish one of my poems, which was kinda sorta exciting because I definitely don’t consider myself a poet. Here’s the poem:
On tree’s fork
In devil’s palm
Leaves drop and die-
Storm then calm
It’s man’s work
In leaf sea
On pile of loot
Branches reach, sprawl-
To grasp fruit,
It’s man’s plea
In trunk’s shade
In beast’s cage
Roots are tied-
That man made
At root’s bend
Sit old shoes
We sit, bereft-
Things you lose,
It’s man’s end
So it doesn’t really fit with the Insurgent’s general overthrow-the-gov chutzpah… or does it? If there are any anarchists out there reading this, maybe you can tease out an anti-capitalist interpretation? You usually can!
How to grow more money.
The Money Tree in his new home
Hey, remember all that pottery I blogged about last term while I was taking my Paleolithic-to-Roman art history class? You don’t? That’s because I didn’t blog about it… except for here, kinda sorta.
Anyway, pottery really and truly is one of the most important art-thropological markers. Changes in pottery styles distinguish whole periods of ancient history. During winter break, not long after the horror of all my pottery flashcards wore off, my friend Julianna and I went to the Potter’s Quarter to make a tribute to all that clay.
That has more layers than… a seven-layer dip?
I started out by applying a speckled glaze and then SCRATCHING geometric patterns into it. This was mostly because I’m not a particularly confident painter. Then I painted on the blue and scratched patterns into that. If I were an actual pottery painter, I might say:
“The stark geometric designs of the Dipylon Master and the more organic, twisty forms of the Late Minoan hung in my subconscious, influencing my hand as I traced out the sometimes subtly conflicting patterns that you see on this piece”
Alas, it was more like:
“What did that pattern on that one flowery jug look like?”
Julianna added the final layer of adorable figures in brown puff paint. The little archer in the second shot is on a dragon hunt (which clearly represents me), and the first shot shows a goddess receiving an offering from her adoring follower (which is her, of course).
I’m really happy with this one, especially because my money tree seems to be much happier in his new home. Or maybe it’s that the pretty bowl reminds me to water him more often.
Is this painting terrible? Does it look like a finger painting done by a first grader? I don’t care.
I love it, especially now when it’s still wet and glistening. It’s the midnight stroll I just took, dripped onto paper. Now I can relax.
I forcefully commissioned this jack-o-lantern yesterday in an attempt to pay tribute to the marine pottery style of the Late Minoan. By “commissioned,” I mean I forced my friends Julianna and Lil (who helped me critique love songs the other day) to start making it. Then I progressively stabbed it to death.
Can you kinda sorta see it, though? Neither could my friend Andrew, who giggled while I tried and failed to light a candle for the photograph.
In any case, the Minoan pottery it’s based on is beautiful, isn’t it? Look at how the legs of the octopus coil around the vase, encapsulating and emphasizing its form. Sadly, it was made just before a massive volcano destroyed Minoan civilization. We’ll never know what they would have made next.
The White Rabbit
I made a White Rabbit paper pattern out of a Korean candy wrapper today. Please use it if you wish! Everyone needs a White Rabbit to guide them (or their quill) to magical places sometimes…
When a Mesopotamian crosses his legs…
Ancient parietal art is all about the profile. From the Hall of Bulls in Lascaux (Paleolithic) to the Stele of Sargon of Akkad (Early Dynastic), animals and people are shown as outlines that are anatomically accurate if not slightly twisted and flattened.
….Which gave me the thought, “What if an ancient Mesopotamian king was partial to crossing his legs? The above drawing might be the product, though it’s obviously not as anatomically accurate. They might have been scraping cave walls with bunches of sticks, but ancient artists were actually highly skilled. If you want to draw well, think like a cave man!
Fruit Experiment #1
Max Ernst, ‘The Rendezvous of Friends’, 1922
When you look at this painting, what’s the first thing you see? Before I noticed the Man with the Yellow Hat knock-off or the bust of Abraham Lincoln (They’re actually Johannes Baargeld and Giorgio de Chirico, respectively), my eyes fell on the strangely sliced apple sitting on the table.
All of this fruit makes my mouth water, and as long as I’m buying the fruit I might as well attempt to recreate the art, right?
I knew that to reproduce Ernst’s apple (and to satisfy my cravings) I would need a pretty big apple that was easy to cut. I also needed one that would stand up even if a giant chunk was cut out of it. At the grocery store, I started lining up apples along the flower counter and inspecting them for size and stability. The flower lady asked me what I was doing.
“I’m trying to reproduce an apple from a Surrealist painting,” I said. “Aren’t these apples almost as pretty as your flowers?”
She didn’t seem surprised at all by my task, but she was a little defensive of the flowers. “When they make purple apples, let me know,” she said, pointing to a vibrant bouquet. By the time I left, I had sparked a hearty debate between the flower lady and the produce man about which of their wares was more beautiful.
Anyway, I started with this:
As chronicled in this video (I know, I know, I need better video editing software), my fingers were in constant jeopardy but the surrealist apple began to form:
And this was my finished product!
I think I did a pretty good job, though my house mate Rebekah wasn’t so sure.
I suppose trying to create surrealist objects in the real world kind of goes against the purpose of surrealism. Surrealist art is all about diving deep into dreamworlds, so surrealist artists might be a little frustrated with my clumsy attempts to make their work overly “retinal.” It was super fun though!
Stay tuned for more of the Fruit Experiments!
Hansel and Gretel (+guest artists!!!)
This image is a scan of a drawing/painting I did for mother’s day. It fits inside one of those clear coffee cups. The scene is based on a graphic novel I’m working on that retells the story of Hansel and Gretel. Stay tuned!
It’s also my sister Becca’s birthday (the one who was a Juxtapozer with me the other week). Instead of buying decorations, I told my sibs to get creative and shoved them into the garage. This is what they came up with while I pitifully attempted to wrap presents:
Crafting the royal crown.
The finished product, complete with candy cane details.
Can you tell how old she is?
The throne “for the royal hiney,” according to my sister.
Who needs streamers when you can hang ribbons? My little bro and Sunny the retriever.
I’m playing on the self-adulatory nature of hipsters, but it’s a little less funny for me because I WAS ONE OF THEM. As in, this actually happened. I never thought it would come to this.
Garden Fork ATTACK! (ORIGINAL POST)
Rachel (my 7-year-old cousin) and I collaborated on this little drawing of Michael Craig-Martin’s Garden Fork. We’re in the center of the plate of food, trying to hide from the fork. I drew the hand, the fork and the people and Rachel drew the food and the pink lemonade.
Art is Everywhere
Thanks to the lamp polisher man (quite the job, no?) for unknowingly being my model.
I’m on the NEWS!
Here’s a link to the KEZI 9 story featuring me and my Picasso tribute. That’s me in the blue shirt, talking about art and Picasso’s painting (they don’t include the part where I talk about the fact that they’re prostitutes in the original painting).
Beaux-Arts du troittor
I just bumped into the Jordan Schnitzer‘s Chalk it Up event on campus and decided to make up for my recent jab at Picasso by paying tribute to his Demoiselles. There was a middle school field trip going on at the same time, so I added a bikini to my figure for modesty’s sake. They still snickered at it, though.
While I was making the art, a guy from KEZI 9 started filming. I might be FAMOUS by tomorrow! Check channel 9 at 6:00 if you’re interested. I’ll post the video tomorrow if I actually get on.
I also happened to meet the Schnitzer’s PR rep Debbie Williamson. We talked about a possible project! Stay tuned. 🙂
Passersby easily recognized the Picasso tribute by the style of the face and eyes, but just as iconic is the vavaVOOM over-the-head contortion of the arm, which creates interesting Cubist angles on the body.
Art is Everywhere
Not to flood this section with crappy Polaroids (that’s for the main page), but the blog Art is Everywhere is inspiring me to see art in everything. I tug my laundry halfway from the dryer and BAM, a laundry monster is formed. It’s always good to keep your eyes open.
Artist Linosso inspired me to play this little art game today:
I found the idea on this other cool blog called Art is Everywhere. Here’s the post.
It’s an interesting artistic exercise. At first, I was only taking pictures of circular things. Then I realized that edges, shadows and textures could create interesting faces too. It made me think about all of these semi-goofy intellectual questions. “Is the frame limiting my reality or expanding on it by creating new meaning?” “Why do humans feel the need to anthropomorphize everything?” “Is it weird to look in a urinal and see a face?”
Jazz sans Instruments * 5/10/11
I went to an incredible jazz concert yesterday by the UO Jazz Studies department and did this little sketch of the musicians without their instruments. I’ve been especially inspired by some of art’s original journalistic sketchers. David’s “Marie Antoinette on her way to the guillotine” (1793) shows the truthful, spontaneous nature of sketching that can’t be found in more carefully composed paintings. I especially liked the bassist’s solo. He would play one long, twanging note and let his arm lazily dangle for a few moments. He was one cool cucumber.
This is a self portrait I did on Adobe Illustrator for a graphic design class I took. The goal was for my glasses to blend in with the pattern on the balloon, which I think is partially successful. Illustrator was great to work with. The way you bend and twist dots made it almost seem like a tactile job, which isn’t normal in the flat, emotionless world of computer design. I didn’t realize until now that my glasses are crooked. That’s going to bug me forever!