Artist Self Critique

I’ve come a long way from where I began. I’ve become more comfortable with the use of color and have been finding my own personal style. I’m not entirely sure what to CALL it – pseudo-realistic? I mean, they definitely come out pretty stylized.

I was surprised, actually, with which one ended up being my favorite. It was the angel painting. Maybe I like the colors, or the wings, but I personally think it’s the expressions. It feels like a moment captured mid actions. There’s a lot of “almosts” happening. Michael and Raphael are ALMOST going to have an argument. Gabriel is ALMOST going to ask a question. Uriel is ALMOST going to set something on fire. Like someone took a photograph at JUST the right moment. This was the kind of think I was hoping to capture in the Horsemen painting, but dont think I quiet achieved. The Horsemen feel much stiffer to me than in my original sketchbook.

As for the author paintings, they’re great little moments and I like them, but they’re SOFT. They’re meant to be soft, of course, I’m depicting quiet moments between parent and child. But that means the angel painting is so much more… dynamic. There’s more emotions, more HAPPENING.

As for my abstractions, I’m happy with them, but honestly I think I’m just more into the underlying story behind my other four paintings, where I’m the only one who really knows the “story” behind the abstractions and I’m not particularly interested in anyone else knowing the back story. They were more “in the moment” pieces as I was feeling the particular emotions they represent,  and once I finished the paintings I was “done” with them, so to speak.

Painting Process II – art event – the High Museum

On display right now at the High is Gordon Parks: Segregation Story, a series of color photographs taken of African American life in the 50s. Many of these are pictures of everyday life, but by that very nature are not heavy handed, leading the viewer to be forced to look closer at each picture.

One depicts two women in blue dresses in front of a church. Only upon further inspection do you notice that the church doesn’t have a proper foundation, held up by cement blocks, and that the grounds are cracked.

While this series seemed to be about the unfairness and highlight how horrible segregation was for black Alabama, Leonard Freed’s adjacent series of black and white photographs of black families (and one of a white women’s prison) that seemed oddly more alive.

They also had an exhibit on the coca-cola bottle. It was a very interesting show about the production of the coca-cola bottle, with artistic representations by Andy Warhol, very beautiful art prints, bowls made from coke bottles, etc. While they were all very neat, it might not have done its job at keeping viewers at the museum, because it mostly made me want to go to the World of Coke.

Reflection Post – Different Locations 3/25-3/27

Individually, we all picked out different spaces outside the usual Dana building. As a group, we picked one of these spaces to center a group performance in.

I was grouped with Ashley, Diarra, and Lizzy. Together, we chose the outside area inside the library. After some group discussion, we decided to do a speaking piece with it. We thought about using a poem we felt fit the scenery, but given that it would involve giving credit to outside sources as well as being less personal, we decided against it. Instead, we all write four separate poems of our own based on how we felt about the piece. After we’d finished, we took our poems to the space and thought of ways to put it together. We put motion and words together: Lizzy would read her piece while rocking in the rocking chair, Ashley would read her piece while taking photographs, Diarra would read her piece while performing dance, and I would read my piece while walking back and forth. We then chose to have the four pieces overlap each other; this took a lot of practice, as our pieces were different lengths. We had to carefully plan who came in at what point so we all ended at around the same time.

We wore all black for the piece as a sort of “costume” – not too distracting, but also very clearly coordinated. We wanted to use the space like a “stage” because it very much looked like one. Most of us had a “prop” – the rocking chair, the camera, the book – and I specifically picked out Inkheart as my book prop in case the audience glimpsed the cover. I chose Inkheart specifically because it was about the world of books coming to life, which I felt was symbolic of the space, a garden-type area inside a library. Ashley’s use of her camera defied expectations for what was and was not performance, as most assume she was just a recorder and not a performer herself. Lizzy’s rocking chair acted as consistent “music” in a way, with the light sound of the rocker against the concrete. Diarra’s part rejected the idea of dancers never speaking, as the dance choreography was specifically designed to coincide with her speaking role. Each part played a role in the performance as a whole.

Reflection Journal Entry – SOUND AND CHANCE

Well, when I initially started the project, my plan was to have four piano pieces in a folder labeled by the seasons (Summer, Spring, Fall, and Winter) and have four books with playing card’s on them (♦, ♣, ♠, and ♥). I would ask my audience to pick a season and a card (chance), and then play the piano piece chosen while reading from the book chosen until the piece stopped (sound).

That, of course, did not happen when we were suddenly asked to group up.

I was grouped with Diarra, Ashley, and Gabby.

Diarra’s project was to talk, explaining her project with other sounds drown her out, like cellphones ringing and other girls talking. Ashley’s project was bouncing a ball while talking about time. Gabby’s project was that she had a baggy with actions on them, and she had to do the action pulled from the baggy.

When we put all of them together, we used Diarra’s project as a main link. Gabby pulled from her baggy (squawk like a chicken) and I had the girls pick a card (spades, meaning I had to read Good Omens). Diarra got up to talk about the project and Ashley started to bound her ball, I started to read aloud, and Gabby squawked like a chicken to drown Diarra out. One of the girl’s Diarra had asked to help with her’s let her phone ring. We did this until Diarra singled for us to stop by raising her voice and asking “Any questions?”

Reflection Journal Entry – PLAY and ACTION 2/20-2/24

I was in a group with Ashley, Diarra, and Gwen. Gwen was seriously ill for the first half. 😦

Ashley, Diarra, and I met up to come up with game ideas. It was very difficult, since it was so different from our previous projects. Diarra came up with word association, and I came up with hopscotch, and as a group we molded a game where we have words laid out like hopscotch and roll a dice to go a certain number of spaces and then read out the word and what you associate with it and how you’ll apply it to the class and in life.

In practice, I made the dice out of a box from home, and Diarra and Ashley made the words with note cards. Ashley recorded the game, while Diarra presented, and I handed to cube to each participant. We were going to play outside, but the weather changed our plans for us and we played in Dana.

Following revisions, we improved the note cards given the extra time Ashley and Diarra had to make them, adding more color and designs. We also used different words to spice up the game for those who already played. I remade the die to be more fun, making it plush and colorful using my sewing machine and cloth at home; certain fabric was easier to use than others, and a couple seams ripped and had to be reattached by hand, and I didn’t have quiet enough stuffing, so I have to improvise with bits of lightweight fabric. I tried two other methods before hand (totally fabric, too heavy and it ripped a seam, and a square plush toy, but it was too small) but neither worked out.

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We got Gwen on board the minute she was well, explaining how the game was going to work, and she volunteered to purchase and pass out the lollipops as a reward for playing the game. We’d discussed a “prize” before, but had scrapped it due to time restraints. We brought it back to be inclusive of Gwen after her ailment.

The second time we played the game, we were going to play in the Chapel garden, because Ashley and Diarra suggested it was peaceful, but the weather wasn’t on our side again. However, we did play under a roof outside the chapel, so our basic plan worked out. The wind was an issue and we had to use rocks to hold down the cards, though. We didn’t film this time, instead Ashley took pictures of everyone holding their word. The die worked more or less; it was slightly weighted, so it landed on 6 a lot, but it rolled other numbers too, and I feel as if the audience got a kick out of the repetition. It did, however, rip a seam on the concrete, but not so bad to be a problem.

The project was difficult given the time restraints and Gwen’s absence for much of it, but in the end I think everyone enjoyed themselves and enjoyed learning about their teachers and classmates. Gwen is a good worker, and I wish I got to work with her more on this project. Ashley and Diarra were great partner’s to have, and I look forward to teaming up with all three of them in future projects for other classes.

Reflection Journal Entry – Touch and Texture 2/4-2/18

We began the project by breaking up into groups of 4. Mine was myself, Yehimi, Laurel, and Kathryn.

As a group, we were blind folded and given an object to feel and determined what it felt like. It was a very soft, rounded object, with a fluffy part to it. We were in agreement that it felt like a plush toy, and Kathryn and I brought our childhood associations into is, assuming it was a Charmander doll based on the elongated bit ending in fluff and the rounded, fluff-less top.

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I came up with the concept of a child’s bedroom, since that was what I associated plush toys with. We knocked around ideas on what other child-like places we could film for a while, trying to figure out what would be appropriate, when Yehimi suggested filming in our own bedrooms. We exchanged contact information and made a facebook page to contact each other with and then set up a time to meet to film.

We went to each others rooms in groups and found things to film, Yehimi in charge of the camera itself. It was really hard working around our different schedules, and Kathryn had to drive me home on filming day because it was dark by the time we were done. While filming, we noticed Kathryn’s Disney Tinkerbell cup next to some of her medication and we decided a juxtaposition between the very child-like and very adult would provide a good demonstration of how we viewed our object: looking back on something childish from the standpoint of an adult.

Yehimi put together the video and as a group we came up with what we would do for the actual performance. Kathryn, our dancer, put together the base for a dance around spontaneity, to mimic children playing. It was very loose choreography, not meant to look the same twice. The rest of us were to be “dolls” and only move when interacted with. Laurel brought toys to also be interacted with.

Upon revision, we scraped most of the performance in favor of a more structured choreography for all of us to follow that created a bigger juxtaposition between “child” and “adult.” We wanted sound for our piece, something that also juxtaposed child and adult.

It was hard to meet during the snow days, given that I’m a commuter student, but we found time to meet and looked for inspiration. We found a video of a baby dance class on youtube and used it as a base for our “childish” sound. We put together a script for a preschool teacher and had me read it out loud in my best impression of Glinda the Good for recording. We then put together a recording of us all talking about adult things, talking about classes, what’s stressful right now, reading from textbooks, etc. We actually had to record this twice, because the first file would not work on Yehimi’s computer. Once everything was nice and recorded, Yehimi reworked the footage into a new video that aligned with the sound.

We put the choreography to synch with the shifts in the sound between school teacher and adult talk. The movement was designed to be following the baby dance instructions and move like children would, and to doing motions that simulate stress and worry. We practiced this and reworked the exact movements several times before putting it into practice.

We also had to change locations, because the blackboard in the original room cut into the video projection too badly. We thought about the studio, thinking the mirrors would have an audience inclusive effect, however we were not able to use it. Instead, we asked Leah if we could move things around in one of the other rooms and were able to use a blank wall.