Exit Through The Gift Shop

Exit Through The Gift Shop is a movie about notorious graffiti artists such as Shepard Fairey and Banksy.  It’s a glimpse into the exclusive world of street art.  I watched this movie because of my secret love of street art but I’m very glad that I did.  It was a behind the scenes look at a world that not many people get to see.  Check out the trailer below and watch it (it’s on Netflix).

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Picasso’s Prints

Earlier I posted a few of my intaglio prints.  I actually had the chance to go to the Picasso print exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  There was a wide variety of prints displayed from etchings to engravings.  Picasso began making prints in 1905.  He made lithographs, etchings, drypoints, lino cuts, woodcuts and aquatints; so basically he tried it all.  Much of his work was inspired by his background, the subject matter often being a bull fight or a matador.  I can relate to this because every artist is inspired by their beginnings.  The show was set up chronologically and was easy to follow.  My favorite pieces were sugar lift etchings, one of which I have attached below.  I have also attached a kindof intense video showing what sugar lift technique is exactly.

Technique

My most used technique in my artwork would have to be the layering of colors.  I like having a heavy application of color to create a depth in the piece.  When working with acrylic paint I use several layers of paint to create textures and dimensions that I love.  I use unexpected colors in the layers, like using shades of blues when creating the contours of a face.  When using my favorite dry medium, oil pastel, I pile on the colors and when the surface gets too slick I scrap off excess pastel with an xacto knife blade.  I also use a blade to blend the colors together when they get really thick.  Sometimes I think of myself as a color fanatic, I can’t choose just one color so I need to combine them all to get the perfect hue.

How to Incorporate Collage Into Your Life

Collage is defined in Webster’s dictionary as “a technique of composing a work of art by pasting on asingle surface various materials not normally associatedwith one another, as newspaper clippings, parts ofphotographs, theater tickets, and fragments of an envelope.”  Collaging might be intimidating to incorporate into your work or confusing in general.  There are several types of collage such as photo collage, minimalist collage, and  using collage as a type of mixed media.

In Artwork:

Tools You’ll need: xacto knife, ruler, matte gel medium glue works the best, assortment of paper, cutting board

Step 1: You can get started by looking up some collage artists to get ideas of the various ways collage can be used.  There’s Romare Bearden, David Hockney (photo collage), and Nerina Cocchi Zecchini to name a few.

Step 2: Get together different magazines and types of paper, newspapers, even old photographs that you can use in your work.  Don’t be afraid to rip up old sketches and paintings to build off of for a fresh new piece.  I recommend keeping these miscellaneous pieces of paper in a shoebox so everything is somewhat organized.

Step 3: It’s usually easiest to begin with a scrap of an old drawing or painting as I mentioned earlier.  Another option is to use an old drawing or painting as the background paper and work from there.  I am beginning with a failed watercolor drawing and then gluing on a scrap of an old sketch.

                                  

Step 4: Experiment! Try sewing wire onto canvas or beginning with a drawing, collaging, then painting over that.  Collage is a great way to get eye catching textures in your work.

In the Home:

Why not collage personal home decor when it’s so easy?

Tools You’ll Need:

All tools above, family photo and frame

Step 1: Begin with a family photo, a portrait works best.

Step 2: Cut out the family using an xacto knife.

Step 3: Here you have two options: a)You can then trace the cut out picture of the family onto another piece of paper to get an interesting silhouette, and paste this new silhouette portrait onto a new surface.  An example would be putting the silhouette on an old piece of recycled wood or a canvas.  or b) You can paste the picture silhouette that you have just cut out onto another picture making a cool collaged image.

Research, sortof

Research is a crucial part of the process of creation.  However, it is something that I never really enjoyed.  When looking to research a specific type of art I’ll go to my favorite search engine, stumbelupon.com.  This is a search engine, but a sort of random one at that.  By typing “painting” into the search bar a list of current and past painters is brought up that I can search through.  For example, when looking for images of blurred painting I searched “blurred painting” and several artists came up.  By hitting the “stumble” button you can randomize the list of results and browse at all of the new artists you have just discovered.  When I find an artist that seems relevant to what I’m working on I google them first to find out if they have a website and where their work has been exhibited.

I’m aware that this method of research is not the most direct, but I’m not a person who enjoys the methodical and straightforward.

Some more distinguished magazines that I also like to look at often are Art in America, Artnet (online magazine) and Art Forum (this one is mainly for the pictures).  If I find something of interest like a show or an artist then I’ll do further research on them online, but these magazines are good starting points.

Obliteration Room

Artist Yayoi Kusama’s installation, titled Obliteration Room, at the Gallery of Modern Art is something that caught my eye.  He created a completely white room, then over a period of weeks he allowed for kids to put stickers wherever their hearts desired.  By looking at the before and after pictures you’d never guess it was the same room.  This takes coloring on the walls to a whole different level!

Studio Work

I’m currently in an Intro to Intaglio Printmaking studio and before I took the class I didn’t really understand what intaglio printmaking was, in all honesty.  I have attached a youtube video down below that explains it pretty well.  So far I have done a line etching plate and an aquatint and I am currently working on mezzotint, which is a non-acid technique.  I chose snakes for my first plate because I thought the patterns and linework that they have to offer would make excellent subject matter for the medium.  I still am not sure that I’m finished with my first plate however, because I have re-etched it three different times and there are still things that I’d like to change.  The second plate with the dog didn’t work out as planned because I don’t feel I understood the effect of aquatint.  Initially I wanted to incorporate the blurred effect into my printmaking by having a dog running.  Ultimately, it looks like this dog is swimming.  So even though it wasn’t exactly a success there was much that I learned from this piece.  The third plate that I’m working on is still in the early stages so there are no prints to show yet.  The subject matter is a snake because I feel that there are many interesting ways to arrange the textures.