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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I’VE BEEN FEATURED!: my works have been selected for display on RAWZ


"Jacksonville Landing at an Angle". Manipulated photo, 2013.

“Jacksonville Landing at an Angle”. Manipulated photo, 2013.

I am really happy because, in the hard-to-get-noticed world of art, my work has been featured on a site called RAWZ, again! Click HERE for my first post about a RAWZ feature. Any artist knows that any amount or form of recognition is VERY valuable and VERY  appreciated. And in a world big on re-blogging and sharing, this is great for exposure. Things travel fast on the web! I will continue to submit work into RAWZ and check out other artists on their site: it’s AWESOME and INSPIRING!

For those whom are not familiar with RAWZ, it is a site connected to abduzeedo.com, which is a fantastic art and design site I found many moons ago and I even have a link to it here on my tumblr. RAWZ offers people the opportunity to post their art. So my art is alongside the awesome works of other artists!

Below is a RAWZ slogan:

“Share what inspires you or what you have done. We will select the best images for the Daily Inspiration on Abduzeedo.” Thank you people at RAWZ for selecting my work!

Here is the page link:

“Jacksonville Landing at an Angle” on RAWZ 

Also, here is the post I wrote about my work on this photo that I actually shot in 2011 (but re-worked in 2013): CLICK

And please make sure to read my recent post about my first solo art exhibit HERE! Thanks!!

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UPDATE: how to photograph how-tos


The first photo of the six.

The first photo of the six.

Hi, readers! Thank you for stopping by and feel free to navigate around this blog!

I have just completed a project for a client. Well, it’s a trial project. I had to shoot images for a wikihow-type article (or maybe the author will actually be doing an article for wikihow). This is not exactly Gordon Parks or Ansel Adams caliber work, but it is a photo project, so it is an opportunity. The how-to subject: how to make sugar goo. Sugar goo is edible stuff you can also play and craft with. It’s made with corn syrup, sugar and water. Sounds like a good way to get dizzy if you eat it. A good way to become a diabetic! Also a good way to get sticky stuff ALL over the place if kids play with it…good luck cleaning that up! But anyway, the project seemed easy enough; I got the ingredients together, took my first shot of all the ingredients together. Then…I had to cook the mixture. I was thinking it would instantly thicken after stirring for a while (taking the necessary photos as I stirred for demonstration sake). NOPE. It became more liquid with the heat. So then I figured it would thicken as it cooled, but since I needed to get a move on to edit and email the images, I put the small pot in the freezer. When I took it out a few minutes later, it was goo alright…MEGA thick! Good! I took a shot of the goo pouring from the spoon. A good goo-pouring-from-spoon-and-into-the-pot-shot.  Then I loaded the images and edited them properly.  Then I emailed them to the client, today. Six images in all.

When one shoots how-tos, as I am learning, it is very direct: shoot only parts of the process that are necessary to shoot, make sure to include images that would clearly illustrate each of the important parts  of the how-to (and only the important, stand-out parts so that you won’t have a slew of photos to edit…too many photos to select the best from would waste time). Make sure the photos are clear and that all objects are visible and easily visually decipherable so that viewers know what they are looking at. When one is finished with taking the photos, they should be cropped (don’t want too much space around the objects) and color-corrected. Wa-la!

This project reminded me of how much I am not a fan of crafts. As a fine artist, I adore everything about the wonder of fine arts. It is a very purposeful thing. I can also say that crafts is also useful in its own way. But the difference between fine arts and crafts is this: fine art is based on individual expression and even though fine arts utilizes the foundations of elements and principles, one can still use those foundations toward a unique self-expressive goal and the end result can vary as there is no real rule; crafts is based on point-by-point steps and self-expression is less pronounced, the end result is often certain and many times does not end how it is planned to end. Case in point: the art of photographing the sugar goo allowed me to photograph in no particular way so long as it helped to illustrate the how-to, but the craft of creating the sugar goo had a certain end that I had to force, by the way, with freezing it. So although crafts has its value, too, I am not a craftsperson by far. It drives me nuts!

I hope the client likes the photos! I am really enjoying this freelance thing…so many projects!

If you are interested in freelance work, check out sites like oDesk, Guru and Freelancer (these sites incl. arts/design, writing, IT and office-type jobs to name a few)! Make sure to read their terms because while some do not, other sites require a fee for upgraded accounts. And here is a freelance site that is strictly focused on vector-based graphic, web & logo projects: Mycroburst.com. I am looking into that one, too. It doesn’t hurt to have a few freelance accounts. Happy freelancing!

This is how it ended up. This is the last image out of six.

This is how it ended up. This is the last image out of six. Not as sharp an image as I was going for, but hope it will pass…

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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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UPDATE: working is the new blogging


The iMac's that we use at work. Awesome device and I haven't used a Mac since college, but I've adapted! iMac's are on their own computer planet of operations...it takes some getting used to!

The Apple iMac that we use at work. There are 3 listers and we all have our own station and iMac. Awesome device and I haven’t used a Mac since college, but I’ve adapted! iMac’s are on their own computer planet of operations…it takes some getting used to! It seems as though if you are an artist, a designer of some sort or work in media, if you do not ever touch a Mac you are an alien… I, of course, utilize it so much at work (as it is the center of productivity besides the digital cameras) that I am very well maintaining LED Screen-itis.

Hi, all! I hope all my readers and those passing through and deciding to stop and read my blog are well!

I haven’t posted anything in quite some time because I am so busy working as an e-commerce lister (I photograph and list merchandise for a company’s online store). I started Jan. 7th. It is a very cool job, but I have to say the friendliness and neat vibe I thought my boss had (That I was shown during my 1st 2-3 times around her) was just a facade. Apparently everyone else in my dept. is knowledgeable of this fact, too, and we all seem to bond in this knowledge and look out for each other. She has deeply negative and nit-picky issues about her character and how she manages/treats employees. But one should never let outside forces deter them. I am going to keep working as I’ve been hired to do. I am improving a lot and I still love my job and what it all involves, but I don’t have to stay there for an eternity! Life is a journey and noone can mess that journey up for you unless you let them.

I hope to be posting, again, soon and until then, please keep visiting my blog (even re-reading past posts). Thank you!!

I've had headaches for the past 2 or 3 days, thanks to high level work and NO friggin breakfast. I started skipping breakfast somewhat often in college, but it looks to be a habit I need to stop before my head EXPLODES!

I’ve had headaches for the past 2 or 3 days, thanks to high level work and NO friggin breakfast. I started skipping breakfast somewhat often in college, but it looks to be a habit I need to stop before my head EXPLODES! I had to take Advil today. Not as many as in the photo…I am trying to cure it, not DIE!!

This weekend, I want to go to see a movie, but I also want to make my occassional trip to the bar, too. That'll erase a headache before it even starts!

Ending the Work Week: This weekend, I want to go to see a movie, but I also want to make my occasional trip to the bar, too. Where I live, there’s bars all over the place! That’ll erase a headache before it even starts! Hey, as an artist, I should know how to PAINT the town red!! Harhar…bad joke, I know…………………

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THE LORD LEADETH ME TO A COOL NEW JOB: and it’s in my field of study!!


GE x500; a gift from a friend a couple years back. I've two digital camera, but this is my my main one and it's almost for me what that blanket is for Linus. I HEART it!

GE x500; a gift from a friend a couple years back.
I’ve two digital camera, but this is my my main one and it’s almost for me what that blanket is for Linus. I HEART it!

A new year can often mean new beginnings that you didn’t see coming, but had hope for; my hope was fulfilled Jan. 3rd….

…I GOT A NEW JOB!

Thank God most definitely! After months of searching (yes, in this economy, weeks become months), I have been sent what I need (a job) and what I want (a job doing something in my field of study-in this case digital photography)! I know this will be awesome on my resume. My title is an e-commerce lister. That’ll look and sound good on a resume, too. I explain more about my position below; keep readin’! I mean, I am so happy to have gotten this opportunity after sooooooo long, I wish I could put star stickers around this job on my resume, but I would NEVER be taken seriously by any future employer, so I guess that is not realistically possible.  : (

Here is a run-down of what happened toward being hired: One day, I went to a job center that I’m registered with, as I built an occassional habit of doing, to write down a slew of jobs off their helpful board. I also went there to get advice on re-doing my resume. One of the receptionists there, Laurie, gave me great instructions on re-doing the resume and she also told me about some positions that their company was hiring in (they are a job center connected with that company). She felt my experience with computers, administrative assistance and my Adobe Creative Suite knowledge would work well with a few of the jobs. So, I went home feeling more confident & renewed (if you have ever spent a LOT of time job-hunting, it can have darkly depressing moments). I redid my resume and I also applied for the e-commerce lister and e-commerce scanner jobs the receptionist told me about. I didn’t know how many people might apply, so I wasn’t going to wait even a day later. (By the way, e-commerce, as you may know, is electronic commerce: it is the buying and selling of product or service over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks). Maybe about two or three days later, I received a phone call from the company about an interview. I was psyched just by that! It was as if “interview” really means “you got the job”!

So, the next day (Jan. 3rd), I prayed, also asking God to go with me and to help me to say the right things (if you pray and if you are connected to God, you know about prayer; I often pray about things & about doors opening for me career-wise) & went to the interview. At the interview with the e-commerce dept. head, Amy, I was just myself and natural. Everything she asked me concerning my skills I answered with belief in myself. And I also kept constant eye contact (a mark of sincerity). She noted many things I related on my resume with pen and seemed enthused with me and about their fairly new e-commerce department. She also perked up more when I talked to her about my enthusiasm for digital photography, saying it would work well in this field as products are shot and posted online in their online store. After the interview, she said she’d follow up with me on Monday via phone and that she still had two more interviews, but that she really felt I fit the position. I smiled beams of sunshine inside myself when she said that! She showed me around the facility and introduced me to some of the staff in the e-commerce department, telling the dept. supervisor that I was “friendly” and other positive things… *sunshine!*

When I got home, I still felt confident and just resigned my spirit to wait until Monday. I made any jitters hit the bricks (being nervous doesn’t help). I was positive. Instead of waiting until Monday, a few hours later I got a call from Amy. After the greetings, she said something along the lines of: “Would you like the job?” I said: “Hell friggin YEAH I want the job! I want to cartwheel into your office right NOW!!” LIE. I didn’t say that, but I felt that way. What I REALLY said was: “Yes, I do!” And then a slew of ‘thank yous’ spilled forth like suns, smiles and hearts exploding out of my mouth like a manga character or something. My roommate smiled because now I can help MUCH MUCH better, lol). I smiled so widely at my roommate, I think I may have verged on this:

The good news matches this awesomeness...

The good news matches this awesomeness…

Amy even said, “I just wanted to make sure noone else gets you.” Now, I am one of the most humble persons one can meet, but that there made me feel pretty dang good…

I am the 2nd spot. One more person will be hired to work with me and one other person in that position (3 people). I will be starting Monday as an e-commerce lister. I explained e-commerce above (though most people know what it means, anyway). I will be one of the person’s behind the listings and descriptions of merchandise on my company’s online store and I will also be photographing the merchandise…right down my alley, yeah!! I won’t be using my GE x500 camera (shown in the 1st image above), but I will be using their Nikon, also a fine camera. I will also be using the fabled Mac computer (I haven’t used a Mac since college). If you are an artist and you are found out to not have a Mac as an artist, people look at you like you just morphed into a villainous purple and green monster before their very eyes! “You don’t use a Mac??!! Get thee back with your error!! Gaaaasp!!” Yes, Macs are like computer gold in the media world. Amy even said that with my art degree, I can add an artistic bent to the photographs. Even when I was being shown around the photographing/staging area, my brain generated images of the cool perspectives I can give a skirt on a mannequin or an electronic device or a pair of shoes. If you love photographing things and have a creative slant on it, you know how exciting that would be! A photographer can find artistic value in a beat up garbage can on a lone, grimy, bare street by using the right angles and filter…and it will become the classiest, most sophisticated garbage can on a grimy street that you EVER laid your eyes on! But I digress. I remember telling my new boss how excited I was. Goofy, yeah, but TOTALLY sincere…

Speaking of sincere, I sincerely thank God. VERY MUCH. Like THIS WIDE___________________________________________________________________________________________. Well MUCH more than that, I just do not have enough space for all that line. It would go on forever. Just imagine an infinite length…that is how grateful I am! With all of the challenges, red tape, closed doors and hard-heartedness in this world, it’s easy to be refused and; therefore easy to get discouraged. I got discouraged plenty of times. Many times, discouraged enough to wanna smack up every HR department that is in existance. I’m a believer, but I’m also human. But though I was discouraged, I managed to pick myself back up with the strength, endurance and the resolve God enables us with and managed to pick myself up with the prayers and advice of others (incl. good ole Mom!). I kept going.

A journey worth taking in any situation.

A journey worth taking in any situation.

I kept going in large part because I know God knew I needed a job, so of course it would come. I also have long realized what the image below states:

Logic and wisdom.

Logic and wisdom.

God doesn’t do things when WE want Him to, but when HE knows we are ready for it. That is how caring and careful He is…He isn’t going to let us have something at the wrong time, He isn’t going to be so quick to bless us if we do not even believe He can. He also is not going to give us something He KNOWS we cannot handle so that we can hurt ourselves or fail (for ex: like sending someone a car when they are a bad driver; He won’t send that car because He knows you’ll KILL your crazy self…you’ll get it after you’ve improved), He isn’t going to give us something if we didn’t do anything or enough to earn it. He also isn’t going to give us something if we do not pray properly (go into prayer w/ respect, go into it believing, ask for forgiveness of sins-go into it pure of mind/heart, praise Him-He deserves it, be honest, ask that it please be done in His will-it’s not up to us if it happens, end with the prayer ”through Jesus’ name”-Jesus is the messenger). IF IT’S FOR YOU, YOU WILL RECEIVE! IT’S REALLY HARD AT TIMES, BUT BE PATIENT!

I thanked God even when I got the call for the interview; I was soooo psyched!! He is always present; we can’t do it alone! So, thank you God , Jesus, Holy Spirit & Heavenly family and thank you my encouragers!

I went to the job center and told Laurie that I got the job she told me about, I thanked her a mazillion times! I know mazillion is not a word, but it is now! Hahaha!! #obnoxious

Well, I’m out with this post. Into work Monday. Looking forward! Now, when I whip out a camera & take tons of photos around people, the people won’t look at me and roll their eyes with infinite, annoyed agony…it’ll be my JOB to be a photo freak, now!

(PS…My blog was featured on a blog awards list, for a second time, last month. I will do a short post on that, soon!)

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A MULTI-TASKING GALLERY: a day at City Art Gallery


When I lived in South Carolina (I moved to FL, this month!), I made an effort to visit this very chill and awesome gallery in Columbia, SC. I call this a multi-tasking gallery because it is 3 things rolled into one: exhibit/gallery space, a place to buy art and a place to buy art supplies. There are even 3 levels: the basement has a MEGA shipload full of art supplies, 1st floor is an exhibit area featuring  current shows and the 2nd floor is an exhibit area for local artists. Classes and discussions/events on art also take place, here. It’s a vibrant scene. Stopping here is always a treat and I hope I can visit again! Here, I have some highlights of my last visit which took place in April.

(Note: The smaller photos were taken with my cell-yes, I doubled up using that & my digital camera-hence their much lighter coloring-I did not adjust the settings, 1st.  Also, I like to credit artworks by other artists, but the labels I photographed featuring the artists’ names turned out blurry…so I hope I don’t get in trouble!!)

City Art Gallery in Columbia, SC (this photo is from kathycaseyart.net)

  • This is the front of the building, but the way into the lot makes it look like it is the side. and it is in the same area as restaurants, other art venues and interesting little shops. On this visit, I forgot that there is free parking in their lot and, instead, parked in an area you gotta pay to park. Once I had my duh moment, I re-parked in this lot. Saved me some quarters because I stayed longer!

This is the 1st floor of the gallery. There is a wide space for exhibit space and classes, discussions.

  • As the caption states, this is one view of the 2nd floor. It’s a gorgeous scene and I love the strings of lights, classy piano, gritty brick walls and the natural wood floor and other wood touches. It is about as artful as the actual works featured. This particular floor houses current exhibitons. the exhibit that was up during this period included neat, quirky photography. I strolled around them for quite a while!

Another view. I want a piano! (As mentioned above, this and some others were taken with my mobile, hence the size.)

  • I wonder if I would have played the piano would I have gotten kicked out?……………………………?

A series of photographs depicting night scenes! Makes me want to go out! Lights! Bars! Night time! *sigh*

  • I love the vast perspective in these images and the coloring.

Really?? This was too fun! Photography depicting people sleeping in various places and spaces.

Feel sleepy looking at these people sleeping, aren’t ya?

A triptych of a skyscape. I stared at this for quite some time…

This is really neat, the freeing imagery and the arrange,ment work well together.

This is another room off the 2nd floor space. I felt this was a ragingly perfect photo opp! Reminds me off the Three Graces…

Neat!

Made it to the 2nd floor gallery space which featuresmany local artists. This series of lowcountry scenes are peaceful and light!

A piece by famed artist & SC native Tarleton Blackwell depicts Uncle Sam in the midst of social concern. Read more about Blackwell in the link at the end of this post!

  • When I was in college, Tarleton Blackwell was one of the names our professors mentioned and I took my 1st trip to City Art with my a college art class. I fell in love with the place that day and I saw Blackwell’s work for the first time that day, as well. His work speaks very much on society, racism and politics. His work goads you into thinking and introspection…and into remembering reality.

I really took to the bold industrial paintings of this artist, Joseph Byrne. The details and colors are vivid! Read more about Byrne in the link at the end of this post!

Another dynamic piece by Byrne…

A cavalcade of very unique works by different artists…

  • I trolled this section for quite a long time taking in so much and taking alot of photos!!

 

Like the Great Wall of Charcoal Stuff! *drooooooool*

  • I made it to the basement. I intentionally saved that for last! City Art has more art supply goodies than you can throw a brick at!….I know, that makes no sense. I didn’t know what else to say!! When I was here on that visit, I bought a drawing pad, a compressed sanguine (reddish clay color) charcoal stick, a black charcoal stick and a couple other things. But I think HALF that store would be dry if I coulda gotten all the things I REALLY wanted! But I was glad for what I did get because I needed them!

Paintbrushes and other painting supplies. What I would like to do is position my arm on every shelf in this ENTIRE basement and run my arm down them, knocking every supply in sight down in one fell sweep…right into a HUGE bag. That is what I would like to do.

Canvas. *weep*

And that is IT!! I had a lovely visit and soaked it all into my mind, but I’m glad the post is done. PHEW!! I had to deal with some glitches, but it’s completed. I really hope you enjoyed reading and viewing the photos and there are links below for more info on City Art, Tarleton Blackwell and Joe Byrne!

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HAUTE COUTURE DEATH & QUIRKY PICASSOS: a day at (MOCA) The Museum of Contemporary Art-Jacksonville


My trip to Jacksonville, Florida’s The Museum of Contemporary Art late July 2011 was my first museum trip in a while, admittedly, and so was a welcome and warm reminder of the fascination that museums & their priceless (well, priceless AND price-y to be honest…I can’t afford a Picasso, but I’d LOVE to) hold for visitors. Here, I have some highlights of that visit.

(MOCA) The Museum of Contemporary Art-Jacksonville

  • This is the front of the facility. It is a handsome piece of modern art, itself reflecting the contemporary (or from our time) works inside. As we walked up to the building, I felt this was my best & only time for a good shot of the exterior, as my boyfriend was in the beginning stages of being eye-rollingly annoyed with my disease: photo-itis. Seems like no matter what your main interest is in (painting, drawing, graphics), an artist will ALWAYS suffer from this illness…

The atrium featuring the works of Melanie Pullen. My boyfriend checkin it all out…

When we made it inside, the second thing we took notice of (the first thing was the welcome desk where I picked up brochures like a brochure thief) was the star of the museum show: “Project Atrium: Melanie Pullen”, featuring many pieces from he “High Fashion Crime Scenes” series.  Appropriately placed in an atrium, these massive and impressive (the impressiveness heightened by the scale of the space it occupies) photographs are, I read, inspired by vintage Los Angeles crime photos. Creeeeepyyyy…I like! Pullen adds a dash of further interest by having had the models be their dead best in fashionable shoes and clothing. I am going to make sure I meet my end in a pair of Christian Louboutins.

What is also awesome about these photographs is the bare simplicity of them. No frills. Just straight-forward photography, but with a staging Vermeer would probably be proud of: the off-centered focusing, angled shots. Just very cool. The coloring & lighting in each is masterful & admirable. If you do not mind the “dead”-ness of it, very hip exhibit.

A closer look.

Another on a landing’s wall.

These photos, I believe, aren’t glorifying crime scenes, but the visuals of the photos inspired the artist to produce unique visuals of her own. Art is a capturer.

The Melanie Pullen exhibit runs from July 16 to November 6th, 2011.

The installation at home in the UNF Gallery.

A closer look at the same area.

  • I know what you’re thinking staring at the two images above. “Those outfits are toooo cute.” No, okay, you are reeeaaally thinking, “What the hell is that? Doll-icide?” This may be an odd installation (an installation being artwork created using the space it occupies), but it kind of drew my senses in as I pondered it. What, besides the obvious (dolls) was it? WHY was it?

First of, the exhibit is titled “What a Doll: The Human Object as Toy”, art by Christina West. It is in the UNF Gallery of the museum. As installations’ purpose is to occupy its space, I gingerly walked through it, taking care NOT to accidentally move anything with a misplaced step, and wondered at what I was looking at. The dolls, themselves, are charmingly modeled (with grimacing faces) and positioned in various, isolated or piled-on ways. I liked the exhibit for being fresh & modern. My boyfriend just thought it was weird & didn’t stay long, but I, being an artist, really sought to figure all this out. I knew it had to be psychologically-based and when I read the exhibit statement on the wall, I saw I’d gotten that part right.  From what I remember reading, the dolls are subtly displaying thoughts and feelings we all have, but that others do not see/know. Everyone is only but so exposed, the rest of us is a mystery.

The Christina West exhibit runs from May 19th to August 28th, 2011.

“America Whistles”. Lithograph. 1976. Edward Ruscha.

If you are an artist or even not one, you may have heard of the pop artist Edward Ruscha (pronounced roo-shay & born 1937-still livin’). I heard of him and that is why when I saw this piece, as part of a text as art exhibit around the corner from West’s doll installation, I pretended to faint. I wanted to faint, but I wasn’t going to, really. So I figured pretending was just as well. EDWARD RUSCHA!! Wow! And for this to be a piece from 1976, it very much fots the super modern, minimalistic approach art is taking, right now. What appears to be little specks on the paper are actually colored song notes.

“My Garden”. Lead intaglio. 1971. Louise Nevelson.

I’ve admired Louise Nevelson (1900-1988) since learnin of her in my early college years. Her deeply geometric and complex abstract sculptures, usually of wood, entranced my mind! How could such simple shapes become mazes of wonder?? Above is ot one of her magnificent wood pieces, but a magnificent piece all the same. So happy I happened upon this one & the intricate embossments worked into it.

At this point, my incessant stopping/picture-taking made my boyfriend disappear to look at other things. Oh, well! I caught up, later.

Imaginary Portrait. Lithograph on paper. 1969. Pablo Picasso.

  • Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)…what else is there to say besides that enigmatic, hypnotic name? These works are apart of the museum’s “Pablo Picasso: The Imaginary Portrait Series”. The museum has a great showing of them, but these aren’t NEARLY all the works in that series.

When I saw the space with his work, it was akin to anticipating meeting a rockstar! Picasso, along with many other artists, is to artists what Oprah is to alot of women-an idol. To view, in front of your face, the result of the colors he chose and the way he wielded his tools…WOW!! *sigh*

Me oggling the Picassos.

More pleasantly off-guard works in the series.

I really enjoyed these quirky, cubist pieces. Art is an escape!

A close-up of a piece with a date in his hand!!

Apparently, Picasso created this humongous series in just 1969. Look at that, above!! His very own writing! I know I sound wacky, but that is apart of the territory…besides this IS Picasso!!

“Phenomena Alchemist”. Acrylic on canvas. 1983. Paul Jenkins.

  • This was another cool work I happened upon. I thought it was oil, it’s so rich and vibrant, but it’s acrylic!

Paul Jenkins (1923-still alive, ya’ll) is an American abstract expressionist whom I might have to become a fan of right now

“Heaven is Worth it All (5004)”. Enamel on paper. 1985. Reverend Howard Finster.

  • This is yet another great exhibit in this impressive museum. “Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster”. At first glance (literally), I thought I was partaking in some fantastical artworks with creatures of myth, then on closer inspection I realized I was looking at the complete opposite – religious works. And boy, is it sublime! Or, rather in this case, divine! Well, both. There was bluegrass music playing to accompany the exhibit and also a television playing his appearance on an episode of Johnny Carson!

He called (past tense, yes, as he passed in 2001) himself a “Man of Visions”, visually setting down his prophecies. And he did! Not only objectively (buildings, figures, etc.), but also in the text-filled with divine inspiration-lacing the work. It makes you listen. Whether you understand or agree with all of these words or not, it reminds you that God should be reverenced.

Detail of “The Crowded World (Ten Thousandth Piece) (10000)”. 1989. Reverend Howard Finster.

Detail of the same piece as above.

The Reverend Howard Finster exhibit runs from April 22nd to August 28th, 2011.

Before leaving the museum, the security guard that had been very quietly monitoring everyone and was conveniently on every floor I went to calmly walked over to me and informed me that visitors were not allowed to take photos of the work. Something my boyfriend hinted at before we progressed into the museum, but I denied his warning for my stronger need to capture & also convinced it would be no big deal! So I stopped…conveniently so, since the exhibit I have ended this article with were the LAST photos I’d taken, anyway, so I was not mad. Plus, he was just doing his job. Plus he was polite. Some museums allow photography, but I suppose alot don’t, thanks to more smarmy people whom infringe and “steal” images. The bad makin’ it bad for the good. One of those things. As you can see, no stealing, here. I look forward to crediting all work while sharing it.

I very much hope you enjoyed this post. Why not enjoy it even more by visiting this first class museum? You will definitely not regret it.

Just don’t bother bringing in a camera…unless you wanna be the hunted…

The Museum: http://www.mocajacksonville.org/

Melanie Pullen, Official Site: http://melaniepullen.com/

Christina West, Official Site: http://cwestsculpture.com/

Reverend Howard Finster, Official Site: http://www.finster.com/

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My Favorite Art Media: the right tools make the right art!!


 

Drawing a storm cloud, wit charcoal, over the Caribbean Sea. 2009.

I just wanted to put together a list of my favorite art media (supplies). I encourage you to post, in COMMENTS, your favorite(s) and why! (all definitions, in ITALICS,  are  from wikipedia.com)

1) GRAPHITE – The mineral graphite is one of the allotropes of carbon. It was named by Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1789 from the Ancient Greek γράφω (graphō), “to draw/write”,  for its use in pencils, where it is commonly called lead (not to be confused with the metallic element lead).

Graphite is my first media love because, besides crayons, it was the first tool I started to lear my craft with WAAAAY  back as a munchkin of 3 or4. Thanks, mom & teachers! I went from the HB that eveyone knows to more sophisticated pencils specifically for visual art, a cavalcade of posibilities varying in tone & grades (H is lighter and B is darker, HB & F, yes, F! are in the middle): I prefer lighter grades, like H to 3H for ex. for preliminary work. The darker tones, like 6B for ex., for finishing. Graphite is delicate and allows for great detailing! Endless effects!

2) CHARCOAL –Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of impure carbon obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen (see pyrolysis, char and biochar). The resulting soft, brittle, lightweight, black, porous material resembles coal. Charcoal in art: Charcoal is used in art for drawing, making rough sketches in painting and is one of the possible media for making a parsemage. It must usually be preserved by the application of a fixative. Artists generally utilize charcoal in three forms:

  • Vine charcoal is created by burning sticks of wood (usually willow or linden/Tilia) into soft, medium, and hard consistencies.[citation needed]
  • Compressed charcoal charcoal powder mixed with gum binder compressed into round or square sticks. The amount of binder determines the hardness of the stick. Compressed charcoal is used in charcoal pencils.
  • Powdered charcoal is often used to “tone” or cover large sections of a drawing surface. Drawing over the toned areas will darken it further, but the artist can also lighten (or completely erase) within the toned area to create lighter tones.

Before my sophisticated (yes…I am now a charcoal sophisticate) use of this medium developed, I was clunky and it was MESSY! I did NOT like it. But as it is dark and rich, not to mention one can get some funky effects from the fact it is messy, I kept being drawn to master it. Now, I utilize it just as if it were graphite. Depending on the grade (light or dark) and the pressure I use, charcoal can result in numerous appearances: lines, value work, textures. Possibilities are awesome!

3) OIL PAINT Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by the addition of a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit, and varnish may be added to increase the glossiness of the dried film. Oil paints have been used in Europe since the 12th century for simple decoration, but were not widely adopted as an artistic medium until the early 15th century.

Oil paint…what can I say? It really is a glorious medium. I have always adored it. Even in the early stages of using it when I had to try and master blending one color or value into another, avoiding the look of color-block. If one doesn’t blend correctly in ANY media (paint, graphite, etc., the result can be a blatant visual jump from one color or value to the next instead of a natural blend. HATE that! Anyhow, I am mentally AND emotionally…even spiritually…taken in by the richness of and the 3D illusion that oils can give! That house really does appear it is in the distance or his skin appears as though one can actually touch flesh. WOW. And the colors & neutrals (non-colors like white, black, brown)  just speak volumes!

4) DIGITAL ARTDigital art is a general term for a range of artistic works and practices that use digital technology as an essential part of the creative and/or presentation process. Since the 1970s, various names have been used to describe the process including computer art and multimedia art, and digital art is itself placed under the larger umbrella term new media art. The impact of digital technology has transformed traditional activities such as painting, drawing and sculpture, while new forms, such as net art, digital installation art, and virtual reality, have become recognized artistic practices.  More generally the term digital artist is used to describe an artist who makes use of digital technologies in the production of art. In an expanded sense, “digital art” is a term applied to contemporary art that uses the methods of mass production or digital media.

I became very aware of digital art in college. Then I fell off of it after graduating. When I was able to get the Adobe CS4 on my laptop (Creative Suite which has programs like Photoshop, InDesign & Dreamweaver in it, CS5 is already out w/ even MORE wicked tricks & applications) I started buggin out with it! Creating graphic art (creating art through digital means) & graphic design (laying out graphics through digital means, like ads) is full of possibilities. It’s also quick (unlike traditional art) to work with, depending on the project. And even though drawing & painting are first for me & are the cornerstones of visual art, there is an endless range & array of visual effects you don’t always get w/ traditional art. It’s like magic using your computer! I have heard even the most professional digital artist say “you can never learn all of Photoshop.” It’s that complex. It’s waaaaaaaaaaay more than simply airbrushing celebrities for a magazine. You’d have to use it to understand…

4)DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY – Digital photography is a form of photography that uses an array of light sensitive sensors to capture the image focused by the lens, as opposed to an exposure on light sensitive film. The captured image is then stored as a digital file ready for digital processing (colour correction, sizing, cropping, etc.), viewing or printing.

Besides digital art, photography is another untraditional art form that is based in tradition. Photography is a fun and creative way to capturethe world and your perspective of it. Photography, in general, is just as exciting s digital really. Digital just makes it faster, more convenient,  less messier and more computer compliant (in application and artistically) to work with. Because of the he ability to upload digitally-taken images to computers, new realms of art creation have opened and are advancing constantly! The views to be expressed with this art form goes on and on.

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