WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 16


Hey, everyone. I am hoping you are well, safe and enjoying some art or something cultural, lately. Right now as I type, it is April 5th, Wednesday (so when I actually PUBLISH this post it will be Thursday because I want to post it early, right now it is too late on Wednesday; I do not like posting too late). It’s been a while since I’ve done an artwork analysis. Right now it is also raining pretty heavily (and lightning!) which is nice because it seems to make things more relaxing & calm. Great way to get myself in the mood to work on a post! Also, as I type, have my Google Play set to the Santigold station; listening to eclectic stuff from Santigold, M.I.A., La Roux, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Little Dragon, Grimes, etc. I listen to all sorts of music across musical genres. Helps to feed my creativity! Currently, I am also working on a few new drawings (the progress of which was the subject of my last blog post). I was drawing before I stopped to write this post. I hope that you will enjoy the following artwork analysis! 

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“Escaparse (Escape)”, mixed media on paper, 2016.

WHAT: As you can see, this is a woman’s head floating in profile with feathers seemingly growing from her head & face. There are also colored abstract shapes radiating from the side of her face. What if you saw someone with feathers growing out of their head? Would that freak you out? Or would you be silently amazed and still slightly uncomfortable? The closest we can actually get to having feathers coming out of our heads is to wear them in our hair.  ………..I did that in college. Yep. I wanted to express myself and I wanted to connect to the indigenous (Native American) lineage I have, so I placed feathers in my hair. My beloved Grandmother (my Mom’s mother) talked some about her Native lineage. She has passed away, but to look at her you would think she was full-blooded Native American. She was part Afro-American and part Native American (maybe other types of lineage, too).  When I look back at my feathers in hair days, I think, “What was I even doing? Oh, well.”

WHY: This drawing visually expresses the need and want of freedom (hence the title of it; “escaparse” is Spanish for “escape”). The feathers represent the freedom birds have through their ability of flight. People love to be able to take flight and go places, even without the use of feathers/wings. I love to travel when I can. Near or far. I hope to travel more! Travel takes you out of your comfort place and expands your geographical and sensitivity walls. Travel gives you opportunity to see, hear, feel and just simply experience new things. Meet new people. Appreciate the blessing of people & the blessing of this world even more. So the “why” for this drawing comes from an internal love of travel and the desire to be kind of a wanderer. Priorities and money issues get in the way, so often people do not travel as often as they’d like to. If I could, I would be that constant traveler who is often away from home. I’d go with companions at first, but then after a while, I’d probably be that type to be brave and start doing it on my own around the world. I would also not mind being a travel photographer. So if there is anybody in the industry reading this: hire me, please! I take great photographs, too! I thank God for the places I have been able to go, however. Different states I’ve visited. Also during cruises with Princess and with Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, I’ve visited a few gorgeous islands (St. Lucia and Barbados are favorites) & also Mexico. I will always remember those times. I will also always remember that during my first cruise in 2009 (on the Ruby Princess), I was strolling happily around the ships levels and I stopped to listen to a lady playing the piano so beautifully. I got out my camera to record, though, because the bizarre thing is she was playing the theme from “Titanic”!! On a ship! I was like, “What?? No waaaay!” I wonder if she did that to be funny or if it was an irony she did not catch. Lol. It was creepily hilarious. I will ALSO never forget that when we returned from the cruise, a few hours later we went to see the world disaster film “2012” that just came out. To see a movie scene of a sinking ship RIGHT after ending a cruise trip is indeed many insane levels of ironic and highly unforgettable…………

WHEN: I produced this drawing last year! This is my shortest explanation in this post. Lol.

HOW: I produced this with a post-modern art frame of mind; utilizing realism blended with abstract elements. The material I used is paper, of course, worked over with graphite (pencil) for the laying out and the groundwork detailing, charcoal (black and white) and colored pencil. I do not often do a sketch (which I call the “bones” of a piece of art) first and then lay over that with the final workings, instead I most often just go straight into the fleshing out. I also used a real feather to model the grouping of feathers from. I love the beauty and technical, structural genius of feathers. As is said, God is the Original Artist. Indeed! I am fascinated by His works (which include our own bodies) everyday. Intelligent Design from Supremely Intelligent God. 

I hope you have enjoyed my post and there will certainly be more coming; I have ideas for so many! Util then, please visit often; even re-reading posts! Thank you!

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WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 15


manga.happy, mixed media, 2013-2014



What: This is a graphite (pencil) drawing of a manga character which I conceptualized. While anime is Japanese animation, manga (漫画) is Japanese comics and cartoons. Through reading about manga, I learned that a mangaka (漫画家) is translated as a comic artist or cartoonist and also refers to the manga author whom is often Japanese. I guess because I am getting more into this art form, then I am a wannabe mangaka!

Why: I am in my 30s and yes…I am a “girl gamer” or more correctly “WOMAN gamer”. Or how about “lady gamer?” Not ashamed! Nope! Video games have come a long way from Mario and Duckhunt (although I did play those & I respect early games for being foundations of the gaming we have now). Games are very visually and technically sophisticated now. Also being that I am an artist, the visuals appeal to me very much (there is a debate on whether video games, visually, can be art and I say “yes”). So I have a PS3 and have gotten quite serious about gaming (I do not destroy TVs or spend every waking hour playing games, though, so not THAT serious). The characters from the Persona games inspired me to get more interested in manga and anime. I’ve had an interest in that already and did a couple of earlier art pieces (which I’ll do posts on eventually), but my interest became more concrete around 5 years ago. Manga’s outlandishly fun and highly creative appearance fascinates me. By the way, I’ve never finished a Persona game! The battles get super hard as you progress! I am currently playing “Mass Effect 3” (the imaginary characters, the missions and exploring so much in the games is fun and challenging), have played many Call of Duty games, Assassin’s Creed games (started 2 or 3 of them, but not finished them…those are unbelievably long games, amirite!?), Remember Me, Shadow of the Colossus (gorgeous game), some of Mirror’s Edge (which simply pissed me off, but it’s still a very cool game), Heavy Rain (which has to be the MOST EPICALLY depressing game of ALL TIME) and others. My favorite is the Uncharted series. The adventure! The interesting characters! The dynamic scenery! I’ve played the 1st three. When the 4th was introduced in PS4, I became sad because I don’t have a PS4!! Cruelty! One day, PS4, one day… I will get it just to be able to play Uncharted 4. By the way, I am glad Mark Wahlberg (whom was to play main character Nathan) dropped out of the Uncharted film production. Mark is a very neat actor and all, but, no…….  Just NO. Mark playing Nate Drake? No all day. Amirite??


When: This drawing was started in 2013 and finished in 2014. So sometimes I’ll date any posting about it as 2014, even though I wrote 2013 on the drawing. 


How: This drawing was achieved using graphite and colored pencil on paper. The drawing is very linear, the main element focus being the line-work (in the contours and detailing). I wanted to base the character on something in order to build. I built upon the emotion of happiness. To relate the work even more to the Asian culture, I used other Asian elements: the Japanese characters (in glowing orange) translate as “happy” (kofuku 幸福) and on her clothing there are clouds; in Chinese culture clouds symbolize happiness. I even used the traditional style these is seen in Chinese drawings and paintings of clouds. The color blue is a calming color, calmness being as emotionally positive as happiness. In the background is, of course, the familiar and bold Japanese representation of the sun and its rays. The sun is also very often representative of happiness, joy, life. All in all, this character is an imaginary figure conveying happy vibes! I plan on doing more manga characters representing other emotions.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I actually published an earlier post while on the early stages of the drawing. You can read that HERE.

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WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 14


Sunlight Breaking I, digital photograph, 2015

Sunlight Breaking II, digital photograph, 2015


“Sunlight Breaking I and II”

Hello, precious blog readers! I hope all are well! I have not posted on WordPress in so long! I am now 80 years old and enjoying the geriatric life. Just kidding. Still in my 30s and enjoying the pre-geriatric life. But it has been a very long time. I am glad to be back posting. I missed doing so!
I had to take a long hiatus. Partly out of being busy with other things (with life and with art) and partly out of not motivating myself to post (aka, laziness). I have a lot of things to share from my hiatus (new artwork, exhibits, new devices even – I am typing this on the cool RCA Viking Pro tablet after my HP Pavilion laptop display screen fritzed out, my fault installing motherboard-crushing software, and much later my Polaroid tablet fritzed out in a weird way). I will be posting more often since my situation has changed! Yay! Well, on to the post. Please enjoy!


What:  As you can see, these are two photographs of clouds. I didn’t really need to tell you guys that, but I did for the sake of writing and description. Rocket scientist not needed to know this is the sky, sunlight and those other forms are clouds!

Why: In the town I live in, I was taking a walk down the road as I do sometimes to enjoy a nice day. The day was divinely gorgeous and the why of these photographs is that I love nature; admiring God’s supreme creativity. I seized the moment to capture these scenes! Photographers know: don’t let a moment get away from you! The sun blooming brightly and gloriously from behind the ethereal clouds just reminded me of how magnificent God is. Gazing at creation is to be in complete awe of God’s work.

When: I shot these last Summer while taking a nice, leisurely walk. I saw a fox recently (the 3rd one I’ve seen since living in the South). I am glad there were no foxes around the day I was out walking and shooting these photos. I would never have shot the photos. Would have run. When nature presents a challenge, all activities take a back seat. Lol! Well, maybe I would have taken a photo of a fox if one had been around at the time…..while trying to steady my bladder. 

How:  My Polaroid tablet was what I used to shoot these images. I have a Polaroid A7 tablet. Recently, the USB port fritzed on me when I plugged charger in. Then, at same time, the screen display did some weird, fritzy, freaky stripe-y thing that was like a horror disco mess. I did that thing where you freeze and horrifically stare at what’s happening, not wanting to touch anything! Not sure why that happened. Maybe something I did, maybe not, maybe a combination of things. It doesn’t charge properly now. Thank God I was able to get a new tablet this month, the RCA Viking Pro I mentioned above. 

The Polaroid did take lovely photos on that particular day. There was a quirk to work around, though. That tablet only has ONE camera. A front camera mainly useful for selfies. When I wanted to shoot photos of anyone/anything facing me, I had to angle my tablet just right so that the camera itself could focus on the area I wanted to shoot. The only preview screen the tablet has is the one screen that is facing the subject, so I can’t really see HOW I am shooting what I’m shooting. So photos get taken, but not without some clever effort! Just a weird thing to install only one camera. My new tablet has dual cameras; I’m immensely glad about this. MUCH quicker to set up a shot, now! I also have a GE X5 camera, but I might have to get a new camera soon, too. I’ve had that one since 2010 as a gift. It seems like it might have done its job after so long. It did it very, very well indeed. Got a lot done with that camera. Back to the point: God supplies the awesome scenery and I just take photos of parts of it! 

Note: I also posted another piece involving a storm cloud I photographed some years back (just click the following link): Artwork Analysis 12.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this new post as much as I enjoyed writing it! I hope to not be a stranger anymore and that I won’t disappear from blogging long, again! As always, thank you for reading!

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ETCH ABOUT A SKETCH: my sketches 4


Hi, all! Every now and again, I will post sketches I’ve done. Since they are my sketches and not my fine art pieces, they do not see a whole lot of light of day as they are holed up in a notebook, computer/laptop or flash drive. These are some examples of the bare bones of my art. Some are quick sketches, others look more complete. Please enjoy! Thanks!

Psycho Les Charcoal on paper. 2002.

Psycho Les
Charcoal on paper. 2002.

Really, this is not a sketch (since it is a finished piece), but it has a sketchy look. I like the hurried, frantic look of it. 

Remember The Beatnuts? Oldheads (like me…I am in my 30s) will remember. If you are a youngster who only listens to Bieber, Selena Gomez, Drake & so on, might not know The Beatnuts unless you appreciate any music done before 2005 or if you Google. The Beatnuts are a rap/hip hop duo from New York. They were quite big back in the day (1990s-2000s).

The two guys went by the names Psycho Les (Lester Fernandez) and JuJu (Jerry Tineo. Here is a quick drawing I did of Psycho Les. I was visiting family near Atlanta, during the Summer, when I did this. I was trying a new style technique that communicates nearly every detail into exaggerated line-work. Depending on how it is used, line can be very expressive and can communicate a lot of feeling.  

By the way, this post marks my 100th POST on WordPress (and that’s not counting my 16 published pages-pages are my minor publishings, here, while my posts are the main)! Cartwheels are in order!! But I will not attempt to really do cartwheels at home because I might break stuff. So, I will do cartwheels in my mind…  : )

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WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 13


Survive, mixed media & a bird feather on mat board, 2004.

Survive.
Mixed media & a bird feather on mat board, 2004.

“Survive”

What: There is quite a bit going on in this piece, so much so that I did not know how to start this post off! I sat for a while just looking at the screen & at the random things in the room and, I kid you not, I said: “Aaaaaahhhhhh!” Writer’s block is as bad as artist’s block. I would have screamed louder, but I have neighbors & they’d think I am nuts. Then again…………….they know I am an artist, so they would probably think I was being normal.  Anyway, this drawing features, as you can see, a grouping of hands with some religious & cultural objects and also some other elements. And a lot of lines and a lot of yellow!

What II: This work, as I said, is a religious piece (though, due to its subject, it is also a social piece). By now, many who know me personally and those who frequent my blog know that I am Christian. Naturally I am going to create art centered around that because it’s a part of me. To explain it quickly, this work is about the survival and endurance of three particular groups of people: Africans and those descended from them, indigenous (in this case, Native Americans) and Jewish (though being Jewish is not a race, but is the culture of a religion). I, myself, have descent from a few groups, including African and Native American, so that made this work even more personal. Every race has and most cultures have struggled one way or another through history, but these three groups have more than others. Africans & their descendants dealt with major slavery for many centuries (which includes being forcibly displaced from their original home), and discrimination, Native Americans dealt with some slavery, being forcibly displaced from from their homes and discrimination and Jewish people dealt with major slavery in ancient days, the Holocaust and discrimination. Since people are not perfect and choose to practice evils, hatred and stereotypes still exist (but in lesser degrees, thank God), but there were days when such hate toward others was WORSE. And, so, this artwork conveys God’s grace, mercy and healing on three peoples. Evil slavery no longer exists among these people, the selfish practice of displacement is no longer practiced, the nightmare of the Holocaust is over, the ignorance of discrimination has lessened greatly. Mankind is so vulnerable and exposed to the dangers of fellow mankind, that we need Higher Help. This help comes from God (Yahweh: LORD). The fingers above are larger than the hands below and these fingers are lighter in color (having a subtle glow) than the hands below, as well. These fingers represent divine help and guidance from God. God is present in Spirit and present in all of His creations. The hands below, from your left to your right: 1) the Jewish (represented with the Star of David containing God’s shining name in Hebrew: YHWH-they spelled it without vowels to prevent being able to pronounce His Name since God’s Name is Holy), 2) the Native American (represented with turquoise stone and an actual feather I employed) and 3) Africans and those with African heritage (represented by the familiar Kente cloth in the form of a sheath). God has brought all of these peoples through their struggles, He destroyed evil practices that threatened them and they SURVIVE. God gracefully and mercifully intercedes for mankind, but when you are in spirit with God & Christ (having accepted Them), He intercedes even more with those of FAITH. That being said, these groups contained many people who, before and during their now annihilated struggles, had come to accept God as Father & Jesus as Savior (Jesus is more than a great prophet), but for those who had not yet accepted God & Jesus, I can only hope that many made the choice to do so as they saw the power of God at work in destroying bondages & hindrances that humankind creates. Many still come into personal acceptance of God & Jesus into their lives everyday. I know people have to make their own choice to accept God & Jesus into their life & spirit, but since I am Christian, I naturally will mention the Father and the Savior.

What III: The colored rays are light rendered in an abstract way: as a series of lines. The semi-circular lines at top represent earth. The yellow background just seemed like the right color to help every other color and object stand out. They vibrant yellow also reflects the Glory of the Divine. The various-colored purple circles in the background (there are three) represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That was a LOT of background, huh? But that is the gist of this piece! Struggle becoming survival and endurance! Amen…

Why: Why did I draw this? Well, I will answer in parts.

1) I wanted to have a reason to draw on some more mat board that I had on hand. Mat board is described here: “A mat board, sometimes referred to as a mat, is a cardboard-like material, which sits between a frame and your photograph or artwork to give it a more finished look. Mat boards range in a variety of colors and cores (…mat board core is the center material of the mat board. Mat board cores come in a variety of thicknesses…), depending on your needs.” – definition from wholesalematboards.com. You can read more about mat boards at their site HERE. I discovered drawing on textured (not all mat board is textured) mat board in 2003 some time after graduating from university. I think my first drawing on mat board was this piece titled “when It’s Hidden”: CLICK HERE. It is partially a self-portrait (the subject at front being me). I will post an art analysis on this piece one day. I like drawing on paper a lot, but drawing on textured mat board gives artwork an interesting visual result thanks to the little pits all over the surface of the board. The texture is even more defined & visible when using dark, rich material on it like charcoal. Drawings take on more textural character. 

2) Another reason that I created this piece was so that I could add to my portfolio of work. All artists should have an ever-expanding portfolio of work for personal and commercial reasons. Sometimes we do not feel like creating or do not have the motivation (artists aren’t always on a creative high as some people may think), but we must renew our creative fire and use it to go berserk producing, again! 3) I also drew this piece so that I could test my own skills and also to make sure I do not lose my ability to render those skills and do not lose my ability to come up with new subjects (I like to try interesting subjects rendered in interesting ways…I get bored kinda easily). Artists must always challenge themselves and must always progress in skills and ideas. 4) Yet another reason I created this work was to produce a work with a specifically religious subject.

When: I created this in 2004. A year or close to a year after I graduated from university (I like to say it like many Europeans say it: “university”). Americans usually say “college”, which is just as well, but my school has “university” in the title (Claflin University), so I think it more correct to say that word. But I digress!! I know!!

How: This part will be somewhat shorter than the above paragraphs! I utilized mat board, oil paint, colored pencil, black and white (for tints) charcoal pencil, black aerosol/spray paint and a feather. Yes, a REAL feather! After I finished plucking the bird, I prepared it and roasted it. It was one fine bird.  ………… Just kidding. I did not eat the bird. I do not even know what bird this feather came from! I just saw the feather laying on the ground in my yard. I have a thing with collecting feathers, cleaning them (because the bird it detached from may have been sick) and keeping them just to look at them (and since I am an artist & so fall into some artist habits, I actually decorated my hair with real feathers when I was at university, like you would put a rose in your hair…but I have since stopped doing that far-out kind of thing!). I think feathers are beautiful & their fine, orderly detailing (again, God at work) is fascinating. I used this particular feather in this artwork. Art can employ all types of objects! I have used wire, thread and even pencil shavings in other works.  Art is FAR from boring, that is for sure! I also utilized my own hand in this work. My left hand I used to model ALL four hands (this is including the fingers above). I had to twist my wrist around a lot (especially for the hand at the right) and hold my hand in place in front of my face to render the three different poses, but yes, all three are my hand. I just visually altered the size of the one at the left to appear like a man’s hand (notice it is larger than the other two). As you can see, everything from the hands, to the turquoise stone (modeled after how they can really appear), to the Kente cloth flowing over the sinews of the hand…I incorporate a lot of detail. In my artwork, I am heavily influenced by realism, naturalism and the Renaissance masters. I love detail and modeling. My Mom says I have “eyes like a microscope”! I gotta humbly thank the LORD for that. Anyhow, back to the major wrist-flexing to accomplish the hand poses…I had a slightly sore wrist after the work was complete (this work took me less than a month to complete)! It was like artist’s carpal tunnel, but it was worth it!

Survive. Detail.

Survive.
Detail.

Well, that wraps up this edition of WhatWhyWhenHow. Thank God for art and thank God for survival!!

I hope that you enjoyed this post and feel free to comment! Also feel free to return to my blog and read this, older & future posts! Thanks!

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WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 12


Caribbean Storm Cloud, digital photograph, 2009.

Caribbean Storm Cloud, digital photograph, 2009.

“Caribbean Storm Cloud”

What:  Unless you have never seen a cloud or a sea (if that describes you, you need a hug), I do not have to express what this is a photograph of, but if you want to know exactly what TYPE of cloud this is, thanks to Google I know: cumulus clouds! And the expanse of water that you see is the Caribbean Sea as the title of the photo conveys. That is a LOT of water, so for any seasick-prone people who also may not like even LOOKING at water-y photos…please do not throw up on your keyboard and take steady, deep breaths!

Why: As a photographer, you see an opportunity and you TAKE IT, otherwise; that moment could disappear if you just sit and think about it or if you do not realize it is a great visual opportunity at all! A storm was developing and I took notice. This group of sunlit clouds, heavy with water and hovering over the deep, inky blue sea, was a shot I could NOT miss! I ran to get my camera, selected the settings quickly and snapped away. I snapped two photos and this one was the best out of the both of them!

When: This was taken November 5th, 2009. I and a group of friends were traveling on Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess liner (this was my first cruise; I’ve been on two). Having left from Princess Cays (an island that Princess Cruises owns), we were on the way to St. Thomas (one of many islands we visited on this 10-day cruise…and yes, being a girl, I DID pack a LOT in a HUGE suitcase & one or two smaller bags). One of my friends also shot this storm cloud with their camera. Our photos are noticeably different in what we captured of the cloud, but theirs came out very nice, too!

How: I guess the BEST way to start the “How” part of this is to mention that God/Yahweh (Yahweh being Hebrew & meaning LORD capitalized) placed this stunning display before everyone’s eyes! I am Christian, so I tend to have no problem with mentioning God in my posts at times. I marvel at His creations. All creation has order. Even genetics has coding (as I often remember when thinking about God and Creationism)! A non-thinking, chaotic & rather sloppy “big bang” can not create order & can not create complexities like coding, but a THINKER and DESIGNER (in this case the Highest Thinker and Designer in existence being God) CAN produce ORDER & CAN create complexities like CODING. For those who haven’t thought about this, please think about it… To continue, the next part to how I snapped this photo is the type of camera I used. I used an Aiptek DV-S ISDV32B MP4 Digital Camcorder. The Aiptek was a gift and is my second digital camera. My first ever digital camera was a really cheap one that I bought from Family Dollar. It was not quality at all, had an LCD display screen the size of a fingernail and the pixelation was SEVERELY lacking, so I did not use it, really. Hey, I didn’t have cash weighing my pockets down at the time to buy one of the better cameras at that store and I really wanted a digital camera, so I bought it!

Anyway, the Aiptek is my second digital camera and it also is a camcorder & has mp4 ability. I didn’t use the mp4 much. So, anyway, I am going to continue explaining the “how”. I was sitting on the balcony outside of our room and we looked and noticed the storm cloud. We saw that as a great nature photo opportunity! I got up off the deck chair, ran to get my camera, was back out on the deck and after adjusting the settings, I snapped a couple of images. I tried to get the most awesome perspective possible. Shooting fine photos is more than just point & shoot since there is a big difference between a just a regular, basic photo and a photo that stimulates emotion and is visually exciting. A great fine photograph takes a great subject, a good to great camera, good timing, a good eye for angles & space and the ability to use the tints and tones that are naturally available to your advantage. I did not use a flash since, thanks to the strong sunlight enveloping much of the clouds, the flash was not needed. The F stop: f/1.4 and the Exposure time: 1/7812 seconds.

Note: For a somewhat lesser known camera, the Aiptek surprisingly shot awesome images. Clear and rich. This camera stuck with me through a bad drop on this trip (the battery cover actually broke off!), many more photos and also another cruise (Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas in Fall of 2010). Unfortunately, it seems to not be working right now. I guess that fall it took and all the use took its toll.  : (  But I still hope I can get it working, so I kept it. For my birthday, in Winter of 2010, one of my gifts was a new (and third) digital camera, my GE X500 Power Pro Series Bridge CameraThis camera is a few steps up in pixelation, color and setting options and is an excellent camera. I still use it and, THANK GOD, I have not dropped it, yet! I use this camera to shoot all of my images since Winter of 2010. I want to get more into photography and so I need to buy lenses and filters for it; I’m trying to be more serious about the beauty of photography. I am also working on compiling a digital photography portfolio so that I can apply for some photographer positions (including travel photographer positions).

And as an extra, below is an image that one of my friend’s shot of me drawing this same cloud. After I photographed it, I sat down with charcoal sticks to draw it (I still have to finish it, though; I stopped to go explore the ship…distractions!).

Drawing Caribbean Storm Cloud with charcoal sticks. 2009.

Drawing Caribbean Storm Cloud with charcoal sticks. 2009.

And as an extra, extra, here is are two posts I published about one of my more recent fine photographs: CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE!

I hope that you enjoyed this post and feel free to comment! Also feel free to return to my blog and read this, older & future posts! Thanks!

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ETCH ABOUT A SKETCH: my sketches 3


Hi, all! Every now and again, I will post sketches I’ve done. Since they are my sketches and not my fine art pieces, they do not see a whole lot of light of day as they are holed up in a notebook, computer/laptop or flash drive. These are some examples of the bare bones of my art. Some are quick sketches, others look more complete. Please enjoy! Thanks!

Drawing of Taboo from The Black Eyed Peas. Graphite, 2002.

Drawing of Taboo from The Black Eyed Peas. Graphite, 2002.

Technically, this is not a sketch, but a finished drawing. It has a “sketch-y” appearance, though. I didn’t write the date on the front like I do with my art, now. The date is on the back of the drawing. I do not have the drawing at desk with me right now to look at the date, but I think it was done in 2002 because I remember going to Atlanta, for the first time, to spend part of the Summer with my family the day after the funeral of my beloved Grandmother (my Mom’s Mother). 2002 was also the year prior to me graduating university with a BA in Studio Art, cum laude.

I was obsessed with The Black Eyed Peas (I have three of their albums) and obsessed with a linear (line) -heavy and an urban-heavy approach to art. I still am obsessed with urban- and graffiti-style art, but I am not obsessed with The Black Eyed Peas (BEP), anymore because they kind of went TOO mainstream for me. I still like them and realize they still are SUPER talented, but they used to be dope in a more gritty way. Their underground flavor & sound was dope in a more gritty way. Now I just feel like a dope if I listen to them. For my taste, they have not been as musically appealing since after their album “Monkey Business”. After that they went somewhere I did not want to go. Lol. Their albums “Behind the Front” and “Bridging the Gap” are under-rated genius and I think that is one of the reasons (the under-rated part) why they went mainstream, I guess, because musicians still have to pay the bills & also seek to reach for attention! They are super-talented, but their sound is not my style like it used to be. I will sooner listen to the “old” BEP and The Black Keys (I love rock, too) before I listen to new BEP. I think I just wrote a mini music review. I SERIOUSLY digressed!

Anyhow, I drew this in 2002 and I used graphite (pencil; in this case art pencils that come in different grades).  I forget which grade I used with this. It may have been regular HB. I had a thing for playing with line-work in various areas for an abstract, urban look. You may have noticed, from checking out my other art, that I like to add twists to my art. I do not often take a straight conventional or completely conventional approach. I get bored easily and I guess that reflects how I approach my art. I also drew will.i.am of BEP (part of the side of his face is at the right of this image), but it turned out ___________ (fill in the blank with the word that rhymes with “pity”). You get it. It was that bad. I actually cut the paper, cutting him out. Yep. I want to get back into this linear-heavy artwork. I like the look of art spasming out with a sense of control underneath the chaos…

I actually went to a BEP concert in Atlanta, I think it was during my visit (if not, then the next year in 2003, but most likely in 2002). Atlanta has these great FREE Summer concerts. That Summer I saw some lesser known, but awesome, musicians at a couple outdoor concerts. I saw RES (one of her songs is more familiar with people: “They-Say Vision”). The 2nd concert I attended that Summer was The Black Eyed Peas one. This was before Fergie when they had the other singer, Kim Hill ( I actually really liked Kim’s vocals, she was not at this concert, though, as she had left the band in 2000; Fergie joined in 2003). There were two acts before BEP came on stage: a lesser known rock group whose name I sadly forget (they were good) and the more well-known Papa Roach (the lead singer threw up on stage and said, “I think it was the chicken.”) Then BEP came out to perform and they were friggin’, well, DOPE! Awesome! I managed to shoot three photos:

apl.de.ap He's breakdancing here and this is when he had his locs! This dude is legally blind (I am, too, but his is more severe). He has definitely learned to deal with it because you cannot tell. Inspirational for people...

apl.de.ap
He’s breakdancing here and this is when he had his locs! This dude is legally blind (I am, too, but his is more severe). He has definitely learned to deal with it because you cannot tell. Inspirational for people…

will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo.

will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo.

Taboo. When he used to wear those hot jumpsuits. Reminder: this was Summer time. But he was still awesome!

Taboo.
When he used to wear those hot jumpsuits. Reminder: this was Summer time. But he was still awesome!

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REFRESHED ART: before and after


Jacksonville Landing_before

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

Jacksonville Landing at an Angle. Altered photography/graphic design. 2013.

Jacksonville, FL. This is a scenic spot and great for photographing; I take my camera with me often. The photograph is one I shot,  from Main Street Bridge, with a GE digital camera in 2011. The alterations were done in Photoshop CS6. This is called a tilt-shift effect.

This photo set begins a new category I will be posting on my blog: before and after. I am so glad I was able to finally get my laptop screen fixed because now I can get back to doing graphic pieces (for clients and for my portfolio/for practice). The person whose laptop I was borrowing for nearly two years? The person didn’t want me to download Adobe CS onto their laptop because the program is so huge. That is why it is great to have your OWN stuff! Anyway, there is a WHOLE cavalcade of dynamic things to do with Adobe Creative Suite (CS) that I don’t think someone (not even the most gifted professional on earth) could master EVERYTHING one could do with it. We are talkin’ loads of tools and elements that can be experimented with in a variety of ways. If you tried to do the math on all of the approaches that one can take with every Adobe CS program (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, LightRoom and more that I am have not even mentioned), that would be some exhausting math and your brain would probably explode… So don’t try it. The calculations that is. Don’t try that unless you want a brain with destroyed neurons. But go ahead and try Adobe CS. It will never get useless, old or boring.

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WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 11


3 Paths. Oil on canvas. 2010.

3 Paths. Oil on canvas. 2010.

3 Paths II. Oil on canvas. 2012.

3 Paths II. Oil on canvas. 2012.

3 Paths III. Oil on canvas. 2012.

3 Paths III. Oil on canvas. 2012.

Another in a series of analyses on my art. This one’s late! I’ve done separate posts before on  two of the pieces individually (just click or search the tags ‘oil paint’ or ‘paintings’ and you will see all those posts). Most of the posts have just been to do with my progress, but not on all three together as completed works.

Feel free to comment with questions you may still have.

3 Paths, 3 Paths II and 3 Paths III

WHAT:  These works are oil on canvas pieces and are inspired by the fantastically bold art of Qin Feng. There are a couple links to his work below. They are conceptual (art whose ideas are more important than the traditional aesthetic & material concerns). They are non-objectional abstract (more on that in the next paragraph). All three pieces together form a triptych. Nah, I didn’t make that word up…it’s a real word! Triptych:  (pron.: /ˈtrɪptɪk/TRIP-tik; (from the Greek adjective τρίπτυχοs (“three-fold”), from tri-= “three” + ptysso= “to fold”) is a work of art (usually a panel painting) which is divided into three sections, or three carved panels which are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. It is therefore a type of polyptych, the term for all multi-panel works. The middle panel is typically the largest and it is flanked by two smaller related works, although there are triptychs of equal-sized panels. The form can also be used for pendant jewelry. – wikipedia

WHY: I wanted to step away from realism and naturalism for a while (realism and naturalism are two different styles of art, but with a similar focus-to capture what subjects really look like) and give a serious stab at what I before only dabbled with from time to time: complete abstract. Many people know that abstract is a very altered rendering of an object and abstract art can also be non-objective (just shapes, lines, form or shape othat are not of any object-people, things, places, etc.; my three pieces are examples of being non-objective and abstract). I highly admire Renaissance art as well. I wanted to try something less detailed and liberating as far as the process; something also, to be honest, that I could create quickly! My detailed artworks are like making a 10-course meal. And although the creation process involved much thought, these 3 paintings were like making a sandwich. So, a BIG difference as far as time. When I saw works by Qin Feng, all gorgeous and pow pow pow in your face, it got my mind going! POW! #ObnoxiousAlert

WHEN: I did these over a span of two years (after starting and stopping). The 1st one was done in 201o. II and III were done in 2012.

HOW: I will explain this pretty quickly so as to get to the point about 3 paintings. First, the ground is prepared. For each work, I wanted the ground colors to be visually appealing, but without being usual colors. The first has a deep red brick color, the 2nd has a loud yellow and the 3rd was to be a dark (with black) greenish color, but it appears mainly black.  The next step was to paint the wide strokes across each work. Expansively free lines was what I was going for. An Asian appearance (beauty of line, varied brush widths and directions and coloring to complement the each ground) was the aim as well. As far as the coloring of the strokes, I got stuck on the 2nd one. I didn’t know what color to use against the yellow ground. Then my roommate suggested that I create the pieces to all include the same colors so that they’d go together more. Great idea! It cut the indecisiveness. See? Besides wondering ‘what the heck is that?’ when they are looking at their artist roommate’s pieces, they can also give advice! My first piece was a BREEZE to do-inspiration was high. # II was indecisive-had to figure out the color scheme. # III was like the anti-art monsters just swallowed my brain and sucked out all of my creative thoughts! I even cursed that painting out…LITERALLY (you can read about it in this post: “FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING!: i cursed out my painting…badly” from October 2012). I changed it 50,000 times (well, almost), but it got done. Things worked out, though! I finished them all and, in fact, while I was painting the 3rd (hell-ish, lol) piece, someone wanted to buy all three paintings! Thank God! You can read about that, too (“UPDATE: wrapped up and sent off with a tear…i miss my paintings” from November 2012). The 3rd piece was mailed separately because one area would NOT dry. I think if a tornado blew over it, it wouldn’t’ve dried! I had to actually rub off some of the oil paint layers. It dried quickly after that. I coulda beat myself with a jumbo sable paintbrush for not getting that earlier. Meh…

I am glad that I could finally post this article. Talk about STALLIN’. But I did it and I hope you enjoyed reading and learning about these works! // SHAMELESS PLUG TIME!!: If you are interested in any works as far as questions and as far as purchases, email me: calonie.ct@gmail.com. Thanks!

View more art at: http://paintingsilove.com/artist/caloniejohnson THANKS! // UPDATE: I just completed a new piece, today. Back on my drawing game after taking a long break due to work, involvements and just plain hiatus. I will post it, soon. I want to next create more religious-based artworks (do not have enough of those and they’re important), Assassin’s Creed fan art (but something gritty and naturalistic…no corny stuff) and fairy tale-based art (but not sappy). I also want to work on a book of my art. A long thought of project that is overdue!

Qin Feng sites:

Official artist site- Click Here

Qin Feng on Artnet- Click Here

WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 11


“back off!: the arsenal of a woman’s heart”. Mixed media on paper. 2010-2012. (This is kind of blurry and soon I will replace it with a more clear, crisp image.)

Another in a series of analyses on my art. Kinda belated with this one. It took me a while to complete the drawing to begin with and, now also, to post this analysis, but here it is!

Feel free to comment with questions you may still have.

back off!: the arsenal of a woman’s heart

WHAT:  As you first viewed this piece, without reading the article yet, you probably thought to yourself: We have a psycho in the building!! Don’t worry, I am not psycho. A bit quirky and kinda strange (in a good, artistic and non-creeptastic way that is), yes, but not psycho. This is actually opposite of violent! The image reads violent, the message does not. But more on the meaning below in the “Why” section. For now directly what this is is a heart with a band-aid (I had fun modeling the band-aid using a REAL band-aid…details mean alot to me; I am a realism, naturalism freak…right down to the tiny little holes on the strip) with a radiating field of weaponry and a sort graffiti imagery in the background. I’m not a firearms fan and I haven’t played the game yet, but: This is an NRA-slash-Call of Duty Black Ops DREAM artwork!!

WHY: Why did I want to draw something that causes people to question my mental and emotional health and to scare some observers? Well, 1st of all, being an artist I do not care what people will think when they see it. If you care about scaring people, you will not produce half of things you would like to as an artist. Art is about expressing thoughts and feelings; making a statement (whether personal or societal). The most I’ll say is I try not to be disrespectful while still maintaining being an artist. This drawing is basically a visual and symbolic (not to be taken literally) representation of protection. I (along with countless women) have experienced a few crappy relationships with dudes. And I get that men have had bad experiences with women, but being a woman…I am coming from a female perspective. One very bad, disappointing experience some years back caused me to think about a couple other retarded experiences before that one and so those snowballed into this one piece of art. I have had a better relationship, but with this piece I wanted to focus on the dumpier ones because: a) crappy relationships result in more visually exciting results with artwork and b) I felt like visually venting. So, instead of moping over tirones (‘jerks’ in Spanish!), I put that energy into art. I am not into moping over ingrates. So now I have a cool, awesome-tastic piece of art with guns.

Which leads me to the other part of the ‘Why’. This is where I explain the symbolism. There are some bullets piercing the heart. They symbolize pain that managed to reach the heart. The heart itself represents feelings. The band-aid represents healing. God is the ultimate healer and family, friends also help that along. A woman goes through the motions for a little bit and eventually we’ve gotten over it. Then we’re continuing life’s journey with fun visits to the bar and the beach while the maniquí (‘dummy’ in Spanish!…trying to connect to my Latin side) is a distant memory! You even forget their birthdates-I did! That is the heart having healed. The guns, rifles and knives symbolize protection. If the heart is a battlefield (as some say), then the battlefield needs an arsenal. And so the weapons symbolize a woman putting a wall up against anymore male ridiculousness, untruths, weirdness and those corny lines about taking you out or about love (eyeroll). This work also shows if a man dare to come with that mess, he will get FUDGED UP (you know I don’t mean ‘fudge’, but I gotta keep it clean………..)! All in all, this was not a bitter moment for me to hash out, this was an opportunity to be creative and I had fun doing it. It is exciting & satisfying to see a piece of art go from your mind to reality on a piece of paper, canvas or other medium! And there you have the reason behind the title. And there you also have why this is the opposite of  violence. It is about self-protection. It is purely symbolism and not me wanting to actually shoot a guy. Although I have wanted to punch many a man in the baby-maker.

WHEN: This was begun in 2010. I took a looong break (I lost creative ideas for this for a while) and then, after one or two restarts, finally finished it this year.

HOW: (I wrote on alot of the process in these 2 posts—> ‘Back to Basics: drawing in progress 1’ and ‘Back to Basics: drawing in progress 2′). Charcoal is the main media in this piece. Except for drafting areas and detail (graphite and colored pencil), this is mostly charcoal. This was meant to be a bold piece and so I needed to use bold tones. Charcoal does that. It’s rich and, depending on how hard you go with it, it’s very dark. Menacing. I like menacing. First, I started with the heart and its arteries and veins and all that great detailed stuff, 1st. I isolated some details with color. Including the blood (Get this: my Mom saw the drawing and suggested I add MORE blood to help with the realism of a heart bleeding…wow, Mom! Yikes! Lol… She was right, though. I listened.). I modeled this heart  after the one I ripped out of an ex. Just kidding! Gosh! Some dark, macabre humor for ya, there… Anatomy is fascinating to me and the construction of the body and its organs is, too, and I loved having an excuse to draw the heart, again. As I said above, I modeled the band-aid from an actual one. Just that little detail was fun to render. The bullets and cache of weapons was next and since this was the bulk of the point I wanted to make, I got really into loading the plane (work surface) with a collection worthy of yeeeaaars of jail time. The tonal work and detailing took some time. I did not want any of it to look cheesy. They had to look as menacing and emphatic as possible! The knives were drawn from knives I had in my possession. …that-I-took-from-the-KITCHEN just in case you are thinking: She hoards knives in her room. See?? What’d I tell ya? I told you. Psycho. And the rifles, guns and bullets I modeled from other sources because I don’t possess not one single firearm, let alone a stash that would have me searched quicker than you can say Don’t drop the soap! The last portion of the piece was the background and I wanted it to be gritty, grimy and definitely no flowers or bunnies. I didn’t want a flat, completely black groun, either. That would be too boring and too lazy for such a work. The design of the background, somewhat reminiscent of graffiti, I feel, reflects a few of the shapes in the work and I also went for a somewhat comic-look by outlining some portions with bold contour (outside linework) lines.

Below are more images of this piece:

DETAIL. Upper portion.

DETAIL. Bottom portion.

I am glad that I could finally post this artwork. It took for-EEEEE-VAR. But I did it and I hope you enjoyed reading and learning about it!

Thanks for reading this post and please do view my other posts and also pages in this blog!

view more art at: http://paintingsilove.com/artist/caloniejohnson THANKS!