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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Personal and art Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/calliehj1220/

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INSTA-BUS: i hopped on the instagram bus


I finally started posting stuff on Instagram (since last week)! I’ve had an account for a while, but I never took time to post anything. I’ve so many social accounts that I just wasn’t feeling like posting to Instagram. Well, I decided to finally go ahead and be active with that account. I posted this today. It’s a drawing In working on! 

If you think you can guess who I’m drawing, post a reply! Here’s another hint: the subject’s adventures have FINALLY been scripted for a long awaited film! Gamers, rejoice!

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Art Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/callie.artistry/

Personal and art Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/calliehj1220/

UPDATE: my second time with five minutes of artist fame!


Hello! Quick post, here!

On March 19th, I published a post that was about my drawing of Psycho Les from the rap/hip hop group The Beatnuts. Here is the drawing I did in 2002:

Psycho Les Charcoal on paper. 2002.

Psycho Les
Charcoal on paper. 2002.

And here are the two posts about it (both posts are identical) on WordPress and Tumblr.

Well, I shared both the WordPress and Tumblr links with my Twitter timeline and it was Favorited and re-Tweeted (“RT’d” in Twitter speak). I appreciate the Favorites and RTs from everyone, by the way! Well, one of the RT’s was from Psycho Les himself!!!! He re-Tweeted my Tumblr link!! I totally geeked out, too!! It is really cool and nice of him to have liked my post and drawing enough to have shared it to his timeline… When cool stuff like this happens, it’s much less about bragging and more about self-promotion. Here is the evidence below (his Twitter tag is “Psycho Les/Beatnuts!”):

Notification. I was like..."Waaaiiit a minute. Is that????..."

Notification.
I was like…”Waaaiiit a minute. Is that????…” 

This is what the RT (re-Tweet) looks like on his timeline.

This is what the RT (re-Tweet) looks like on his timeline.

This is when I thanked them both for sharing my drawing & post and also when I had my geek out moment. I'm not ashamed! Lol... Famous people are people, too, but it is still cool that this happened.

This is when I thanked them both for sharing my drawing & post and also when I had my geek out moment. I’m not ashamed! Lol… Famous people are people, too, but it is still cool that this happened.

Yep, my sister wanted me to do a shout out to him, so I Tweeted that, too! Then I took a break, lol!

Yep, my sister wanted me to do a shout out to him, so I Tweeted that, too! Then I took a break, lol!

Well, there ya go! My second five minutes of artist fame with a famous person and it is appreciated! My FIRST five minutes of artist fame involved President Obama. You can read about that HERE. A humbling moment (I geeked out profusely, though)!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and feel free to explore around my blog. Thank you! (More posts coming…) 

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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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2nd TERM ARTWORK: the President Barack Obama portrait


“The Realization: Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States”.©
Mixed media on paper. 2009.

Felt this was appropriate to re-display considering the circumstances…

This was done in 2009, not too long after President Obama was announced president for his 1st term. I mailed two prints to the Obama family in early 2009 and in early 2010, I received a thank you card signed by President & First Lady Obama. I thank God for that opportunity and I thank them for responding!

You can read more about the story behind this drawing & my creation process in the blog post titled: “WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 1″ on this site!

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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!

BACK TO BASICS: drawing in progress 2


Remember this from an earlier post on the same drawing? This is how it started out...

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.

Finally finished the detailing & tonal values for the weapons and started the background work.

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.

I have progressed, here. Fiiinally!

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*

This is what happens when you fool with charcoal. It is gorgeous, but messy as HELL!!!!

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.

My drawing is nearly finished!! Taking me long enough...

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

And for a view of some nice, wild abstract art, visit: http://andrelevine.wordpress.com/ !

WHATWHYWHENHOW: Artwork Analysis 6


“grimy self portrait”, charcoal, 2010.

Another in a series of analyses on my art. This one is that requisite artist’s show of silent narcissism…the self-portrait.

Feel free to comment with questions you may still have.

grimy self portrait

WHAT: It’s me. Really, that is all I need to say, here. It’s me in one of those artist silently and serenely posing in order to render a silent and serene portrait. It’s me looking all artist-like. But I actually AM an artist…not like one. AND that’s me. Up there. In that square…I mean, rectangle. I did that. That’s me.

WHY: Why? Why do artists create artworks featuring themselves? That would be a good way to put it, too. Lots of artists create self-portraits to try their hand at drawing, painting, etc. themselves. Lots of artists render themselves to leave visual evidence of their artistic existance. Lots of artists create portraits of themselves because they figure if they can draw houses, OTHER people, grass, animals, squares n circles, why not draw their own dang self? Lots of artists render themselves so that they can look at it and be like, “I look so cool! Much cooler than I do in life!” Imagine Albrecht Durer, for example, looking at his self-portrait (below) & in 1498 saying in modern American English slang, “@%**%!! I look AWESOME! Germany, give it up for ya boy! My a** can PAINT!”

Self portrait. Oil on canvas. Albrecht Durer. 1497 (some say 1498). He was only 26 when he painted this.

MY reason, however, for doing my self-portrait was one of the reasons above actually. I wanted to do a cool drawing of myself. I wanted to do a cool portrait of myself with nice, dynamic black charcoal. If you have never tried charcoal (whether you’re an artist or not) TRY it. It is like black gold it’s so RICH! It is a dramatic medium. I also did the portrait because I like to add to my portfolio and also to continue creating or else I could risk falling off the artist boat and watch my desire for it or practice of it float away and crash down a sad waterfall. wow…

WHEN: I created this last year. 2010. The year I had a new spurt to draw! I need to steal last year’s urge to hit the pencil n paper and drag it to this year. Like a productive rollover.

HOW: Charcoal was utilized for this piece. Also a bit of graphite (pencil). I used graphite mainly for layout work (like a framework, scaffolding on paper if you will) and some finer details. Then I went nuts with the charcoal. This psycho burst of energy especially evidenced where my fingerprint spots are involved. I didn’t want to do the rest of the figure in completion. I wanted to fade it off (as in my Obama also on this site) for a funky effect and because if I continued it with my shoulders and a partial chest, it would probably not look as great with such a straight, realistic & boring look. In my art, I like to mix it up. I am a Sagittarius and those horoscopes say we get bored quick. Horoscopes I do not follow, but this is an interesting truth with me. I enjoyed creating this portrait, which is why I finished it so quickly. Unless it has a deadline, if I am bored to my skull with a piece it will get done when “The Bad Girls Club” chics develop a habit of wearing more clothes. And since that will never happen…

Thank you for reading my NEW POST! Be sure to check out caloniedoesart often!

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

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