Wednesday, December 8, 2010

personal reflection

This semester was probably one of the most interesting and exciting experiences of my college life.  When I first came into the course, I'll admit I may have been a little cocky, having taken several art classes in the past.  I quickly learned, however, that there were many things beyond me.  Drafting was completely new to me; I feel that took me some time to get the hang of only because, I was so used to being able to complete assignments free-hand.  Overall, I widened my horizons and refined skills I already had.  Most importantly, I enjoyed myself along the way.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Designing ze luminaire.

         As a prerequisite to coming up with a luminaire design, our task was to find and document an interesting light effect.  I thought I'd find a phenomenon unique in its quality.  My solution was to use the camera as a medium for capturing the effect, rather than capturing an effect that is primarily seen by the naked eye and then documented with the camera.  Cut out the middle man.  With the camera as a medium, I am guaranteed a pure representation, not an obfuscated, second-hand image.
          The light effect I found is called lens flare.  It occurs when the camera is pointed directly at the sun.  This causes the light to fray out in beams with the sun's form as a focal point (shown upper right).  I wanted to take this phenomenon and display this overwhelming quality of light.  My original design of a translucent dome which would house the light bulb and be mounted onto a wall.  Slits would be cut into the edges for beams of light to pass through (shown left).  Unfortunately, this design required a very thin frame so as to not be seen through the paper when the bulb was lit.  Also, I did not want to replicate the sun shot for shot.  It is never a good start if the designer tries to exactly replicate what is already perfect in nature.
         Instead, I chose to design a luminaire positioned at the joining of the wall and the floor.  The rays radiate out, but only onto the wall.  I first built a frame consisting of only 4 sides of a hexagon.  Then, with a bandsaw, I cut slits about 2 inches long into the wood cuts.  After using wood glue to connect all four of these pieces, I traced the semi-hexagonal shape onto a piece of matboard.  This I hot-glued onto the back of the wood frame, a plane which serves primarily as my bulb holder.  Now, I was faced with the issue of covering my light switch.  Otherwise, it would distract the observer from the actual light effect.  My solution was to construct a dome around it, concealing it, except for a small hole from which the wire would pass through.  As my medium was again, matboard, this process took a good deal of time to create just the right forms that fit together properly.  At the time, I felt that I needed to do something to the dome to ensure that it had continuity of the light effect.  This would have been the way to go if my piece were about the light fixture, rather than the effect itself.  That is the main thing I would have done differently.

    When lit up, I feel my luminaire most accurately demonstrates lens flare when positioned about half an inch off of a wall.  Had I kept it flush to the wall, the focus would be on the sharp distinction between light and dark.  By keeping it slightly off the wall, I created the effect of light pushing into the boundaries of the shadow, thus accentuating light's overwhelming quality.
This is lens flare.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Everyone did some other type of drawing....I didn't know so I ended up with a contour...

And the two stripes on the hood are a by-product of artistic license.

This was my favorite from that day.  Turned out to be pretty accurate.

'Tis thy wood project

          The point of this project was to expose us to wood as a medium.  With an 18" 2x4, the assignment was to rebuild in a way that not only utilizes the entire volume of the wood, but also makes it into something unique.  My first idea was reminiscent of some of my old elementary art.  I would gouge out curves from the block and simply shift them either directly on top of or directly below, depending on their previous
orientation.  The picture above is how I originally framed this idea and that is exactly what I did in my first version.  However, this felt much too simplistic to be called a final product, even with proper sanding.  I thought the piece would be more interesting if I found a way to elevate the rounded cuts off of the main wood piece.  I'd also need a way to anchor them in this raised position.  My solution was to cut a 1/8" strip off the side before building the main body. At the same time, I cut two parallel slots of a corresponding width down the length of the 2x4.  When the time came, I was able to successfully elevate rounded wedges by implementing my make-shift dowels.  The picture to the left is what my final piece looks like.  I feel it is most successful when positioned vertically like this because it draws along every curve to the top.  When left positioned with two of the rounded surfaces as its base, it seems very awkward.  
My main issue with the piece lies with the negative space spanning through the entire length of the work. Perhaps an additional wave going through here would help fill the space, while also having continuity with the rest of the form. I feel that had there been another prototype before my declaring a final piece, there would be much better balance in the later version. 
          While writing that last section, I felt I should address my self critiquing process a bit.  Several people have mentioned how it seems unusual for me to be harsh when discussing my own work.  I don't think it's strange in the slightest, rather a necessity.  It's important to be able to point out one's own failures, because its only from here that it is possible to learn and grow as an artist. 

It's 'posta be me

Sunday, November 28, 2010

couple of my own

This sketch was done during the time I was making the first version of my luminaire.  This is originally how I was planning on holding my bulb in place.

I dropped my mouse the other day.  That's when I thought, "Well, that's kinda funny looking. Ima draw it!"

Metal is actually one of my favorite textures to draw.  It took a while, but by layering light pencil strokes, I was able to get the smoothness that exemplifies this aluminum cup (on the outside, anyway).  Honestly, it was late so I resorted to a rough hatching for the inner portion of the cup.  I plan on going back to fix it.

 I also thought it would look cool to outline the glare on the front of the cup....I think I was wrong :(

Spheres are always great for shadow studies, or in this case, eggs.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Peer Sketching

The above picture is a sketch done by Ashley Bennett.  When I first started flipping through her sketchbook, I thought I would pick the drawing that initially struck me most.  However, it is also important to look at ways that an artist tries to challenge his/herself by choosing a difficult subject matter.  I appreciate the glass above because, the artist has struggled with its portrayal and through that, it has more character and honesty as a work. 

Above is a sketch of Beckie Yohn's wood sculpture.  I enjoyed the simple contrasting color dynamic that was created through the shape of the piece. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

12 sticks?

This project felt like it left off right where the last one ended.  The task was to incorporate 12 sticks and some paper product into a design.  For me, the most logical thing to do was to start with the prototype from the leaf assignment (right). I had rolled several paper skewers and lodged them in cardboard with the intention that they would hold the leaf in place.  Unfortunately however, due to the prohibition of certain materials, that model wasn't allowed to progress any further.  Luckily, with the twig assignment, I had only to replace the skewers with sticks.  The twigs had a very dynamic look but, I felt it was lacking something.  The upper portion of the prongs felt naked.  I knew some kind of form had to be placed up there.  That is when I saw Alexis' prototype with the stacked cardboard circles; I adopted this idea.  But instead, I cut the cardboard into shaped so when glued together, they would form varying 3 dimensional shapes.  These would hold the twigs together, but only at different heights and depths.  In retrospect, my final piece is still only passable as a prototype.  The corrugation in each piece of cardboard clashed with the others because, for the most part, they lined up at the wrong angles.   Had I invested more time in creating and learning more from the process, I would have been able to create a much stronger piece.

Leaf sketch

 When I went looking for a leaf, I really wanted something different.  I found the one above.  I appreciated the weathered and aged look it had.  I tried drawing it, but found it very difficult to do the wrinkles and micro-tears along the surface any justice.  I resorted to a rough hatching technique but looking back, I feel that it clashes with the length and smoothness of my lines on the lower left portion of the drawing.  In the end, the sketch took on a look that didn't have the roughness I was hoping for.  Initially, I may have captured that but continuous shading has hidden it.  Also, there should be much more delicacy about the northern edge of the leaf.  Ideally, I would have included so much more fraying along this torn edge.  Overall however, I feel that this sketch was important; I experimented with several new techniques, failed with them, and learned.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Place for a Leaf

From the first time I read the prompt, the word 'belong' really stood out to me.  Everyone ended up taking that in a positive direction, for lack of a better word.  I decided to interpret the prompt differently by incorporating the idea of 'detainment'.  In the end, detainment is really another take on belonging.  For my project, I wanted to make some sort of structure that would appear to be holding the leaf in place, but with a certain violence about the action. The first model featured matboard, rolled up as thinly as I could manage.  Then, at differing heights, I stuck them into cardboard as if they were spines protruding from the ground.   The leaf was then pierced into the upper prongs.  Unfortunately, the leaf was vastly overshadowed by the massive paper structure.  I decided to go back to a form which would focus on displaying the leaf, rather than overbearing it.  My second model was a simple leaf with strips of paper woven in.  The weaving had a good look so I ended up incorporating it into my final design.  In this design, I wanted to bring back the idea of detainment.  I took a strip of paper about 6 inches wide and on one end, cut parallel strips extending about 4 inches into the paper.  These strips were woven into the leaf.  At this point, the model was still a 2D object; I preferred to make it a 3D one.  I lined up the intact edge of the paper with a pencil and rolled it until the paper would retain its shape on its own.  In its final form, my design had a spiral shape in which the leaf was detained.  I say detained because, the form of the leaf yielded to the form of the paper.
Final design.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration from many different places, but mostly from the natural world.  Think about it.  It's impossible to create anything whose simplest form does not  stem from nature. If you ever just sit outside and take in the world around you, even the little things are enough to get anyone to appreciate and inspire.