Hello, blogreaders and -viewers! This is my first content-focused blog in a long while and I am soooo happy to be posting, again! As you can see from the photo above, this is about a piece I am currently working on. I haven’t decided on a title for the piece, yet, as I am trying to make sure I decide on one that is not BEYOND corny. I think artists (visual, theater, any type of artist) should avoid corny, trying to be hip titles like the Art Title Plague.
The above photo is actually what it DID look like before I progressed adding more detailing and tonal values. I began this drawing last November and got back into it this May. Now, this October, I am finally finishing. This is one of those working-out-the-vision-in-your-head-and-that-is-why-it’s-taking-so-long-to-complete artworks!
This is not an artwork conveying violence, but rather the opposite: protecting the human heart. If you read my earlier post (“Back to Basics: drawing in progress 1”), you can read more what I mean.
By now, in the photo above (and this month), I have worked out the weaponry details (making sure the look of matte and gleaming metals is believable), but the heart is just linear (lines) work. I have the blood vessels and aorta & so forth…even a band-aid to cover up a wound. I modeled that off an actual band-aid. Imagine if actual cardiovascular problems could be healed with the help of a band-aid instead of surgery requiring the chest to be opened up like a stuffed chicken? Oh, well. Some things can ONLY exist in ArtVille!
Also in this stage, I have started on the dreaded background. I say dreaded because, just like deciding on a title, deciding on a background to play along with the subjective or foreground work is tricky. Unless it suits the work, if it is overplayed, it could really make the work look overdone, over-sentimental, over-EVERYTHING! Just a BIG, FUGLY mess. And unless it suits the work, if it is underplayed, it can look super boring. Art is about balance & harmony in many areas of a work. Even more free art that doesn’t appear to have involved alot of work or thinking behind it or just looks thrown together…even THAT art has balance & harmony in it in some way.
In the photo above, this next stage, I have gotten further with the background design. I, as you can tell, am utilizing some graphite (pencil in the layout and detailing), but mainly charcoal. I love its deep, bold blackness/darkness. It really pops! Though this work is not violent in meaning, I do enjoy the menacing effect charcoal gives and lends along with the weaponry. I am not too much of a flowers, puppies playing in a grassy field artwork type girl (though there is nothing wrong with that…and I do draw & paint sweet things on ocassion). I like in your face-type stuff. Emphatic. With or without weapons.
The loop that morphs out of the black-I wanted some organic shapes, lines to work with the forms (shape and form are different, form has mass) of the weaponry, instead of just a black & flat ground. As you can see, there is a spraypaint or aerosol effect edging the black background. I figured out a way (by chance, accidentally!) to make charcoal residue imitate spray. It was a BEAUTIFUL moment of discovery…*I swoon*
Okay. Art is messy (refer: photo above). Never mind those movies that sometimes show a scene with an artist painting or drawing looking all clean and perky. BULLshkit (that is fake cursing, by the way…but I use REAL cursing when I am not getting an artistic result I want, mind you)!! Like I said, I scoff like an elitist at those unrealistic, clean & perky artist movie scenes.
Perkiness is not a constant. Artists (me, included) have been known to stay up until 4am (or no sleep at all) knowing they need/want sleep, but fixated on achieving something with their piece before they are satisfied enough to quit. Eyes so doused with exhaustion, they feel as if they will slip out of their sockets and rest on your paint-staind cheeks. Or, for graphic work/web work, the eyes are straight MAGNETIZED to the screen. Worn out & LCD-screened to death. I once spent the night in my art department trying to make the grade in print class. I finished my prints & slept on the freakin table. As far as messiness: Oil paint is messy as hell. It’s OY-YUL…OIL-BASED! And if you don’t wash that stuff outta your jeans or whatever with a quickness…that’s your a**. It’s not coming out. And as far as cleaning brushes and skin? You gotta use soap or orange stuff or turpentine up the wahzoo to get clean! So, I come to MY POINT: the photo above shows a charcoal mess all over my hands. Thanks to trying to achieve that dark, menacing, brooding background. I even had the stuff all over my face (thanks to rubbing my face) and arms.
I was gloriously dirtied the hell up. I made Pig Pen jealous. He told me so.
And now we have come to THIS (photo above)!! Charcoal pencils, sticks all askew and strewn. The heart a minimalistic, simplistic presence with its band-aid (my mother once suggested I add more blood for a a more realistic look, though I was going for a more symbolist look…but I may). The knives, guns & rifles in menacing array, radiating about the heart…protecting it from hurts. The background JUST the way I want it. Not overdone or underdone. Just right to me. A visual cornucopia of objects, details, values and textures. JUST how I like to create my art. Variety and a study in…things. I just have to finish a couple of bullets, but it is basically complete-bullets being such a small task.
I don’t know if anybody, say if I made some reproductions, would buy this piece. I think some would, actually. It’s a pretty cool piece, I admit. However, it takes an eclectic mind to buy some types of art. The right places and the right people. If they do buy, it’s maybe the very artistically adventurous. People who are weary of safe (though lovely) work involving children playing in a field or flowers hanging from their walls. Someone who doesn’t mind some menacing messiness.
View more art at: http://paintingsilove.com/artist/caloniejohnson