Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Final Observational Drawings

This isn't necessarily my best drawing of the entire semester, but I really like it. It was done on the day that we had the drawing competition and it was a timed drawing, 10 minutes. I like it because, even though it is just the back of her head, Sarah recognized that it was a drawing of her. The scanned image is not the best quality, but I think I did a pretty good job showing the values in her hair, which I have never really been able to draw. I won the category of "best line weight". I also appreciate the fact that it is "unfinished" because it was a timed drawing and I think that is an important aspect.

This drawing is out of my observational sketchbook. It is a picture of Zooey Deschanel. I am still not the best at drawing realistic faces, but I am proud of the shading that I did on her lips and in her sunglasses. This is also a little hard to see, but her lips actually look a little glossy and I definitely spent the majority of the time on her sunglasses which I think look pretty good.


This is my final luminaire. The materials I used were trace paper twisted and braided, glue and some fishing line.

This is a view from underneath, looking up into it. The shadows that it casts in the far left corner are the best representation of the intended "light effect" and what it actually does on the wall. It was really hard to capture with a camera. The shadows are very organic, free-flowing mimicking how light dances on water. When the fixture moves and spins which it easily does, it shows this even better.

The previous two pictures don't quite show the quality of light honestly either. I took them in an otherwise dark room so the lighting is very low, but I actually used a very shockingly bright bulb. I wanted the shadows to be dramatic and for the light to be bright white and very strong.

These two are detail views of the twisted and braided paper.

Some process work...

 This is a previous version that I made, I experimented with using black paper as well as trace paper, but it was not what I wanted.
 As I constructed a sphere which turned out to be a huge challenge, I made two halves with openings at each end and then connected them.

I had initially thought of using mesh wire, the screening that goes in windows and doors and I was going to manipulate it like it was soft and lacy. I was toying with the idea of using the twisted and braided strips inside overlapping but it started to get very busy. It was a cool idea but it didn't work well with light and it just ended up not looking at all how I had imagined. This is a detail view of how I experimented with folding and overlapping of the wire.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


When looking at light reflection in art/ interior spaces online I came across Kazue Taguchi, a Japanese artist who uses reflective materials and surfaces within spaces to play off of natural light. For my project that I'm in the process of making my goal is very similar, however I'm using paper as my main material to shadow places and let light through others. I thought about using mirrors or shiny surfaced material but I changed my mind. I love her work though it is really simple but powerful. Here are a few more examples:

These next two are just photos I liked that were taken underwater showing light coming through. They show how water starts to distort things in a beautiful way and the organic, ever-morphing shapes that have inspired my luminaire concept.

General inspiration "collage" of images I really enjoy right now...

Sources from top to bottom: Yayoi Kusama, "Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli's Field (Floor Show)" (1965-98),  The Jimi Hendrix Experience taken from, Inside Maximilla Lukacs and Guy Blakeslee's home from, personal, and the last is from

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Obeservational Sketchbooks

This is a drawing that I did of light reflecting off of water. I think it was my most successful of the light through water series. It captured the abstract shapes that are created in the movement of both the water and the light. 

This is actually unfinished at the moment but I think it it my most successful self portrait so far. I am not as confident in drawing faces, especially my own, but I think I did a good job with technique. It was a lot easier to get my face closer to accurate because of the shadowing and hatching. When this is finished contrast will be very important.

This last drawing from my sketchbook is of my wood system. I think I did a good job showing detail.

This is a drawing out of Alex Pokas' sketchbook. It was my favorite of her self portraits. She did a really good job capturing the expression in her face which is not easy to do. I can tell it's her, and there is a minimal amount of lines or shading on the page.

This is a drawing from Adrienne Boyea's sketchbook. I liked the technique she used here. She creates dark shadowing with different line weights and messy strokes with her pencil. It gives you a good sense of the bark on the twigs.
Check out more work from both of my classmates on their own personal blogs:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dan Flavin

 Trying to define light, without looking up the scientific explanation, is one of those mind-boggling tasks where the only sensible definition is the word itself, which goes against all rules of defining in the first place. Light is everything we can see, and all things are visible through light.
"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again." -Sylvia Plath

Dan Flavin was an artist whose work was rooted in standard fluorescent tube lighting. His art can be categorized with other "post WWII" American artists in different ways. The fact that the tube light unit stands as art on its own makes it similar to Duchamp's "readymades" or "found art". However, the emphasis on color and the very basic ideas reflect influences and inspirations from minimalist artists such as Barnett Newman. Flavin openly addresses, or references, other artists such as Newman and Matisse in the titles of his works. His art surpassed the concepts of these predecessors because of the medium he was using, the light leaves the container/tube and the illuminated space around it becomes part of the piece. His art lies somewhere on its own. I think this quote from The National Gallery of Art sums it up perfectly: " Like sculpture, the lights are three-dimensional objects, yet, like painting, they are often mounted flat against the gallery wall and involve the juxtaposition and mixing of colors".

(Untitled: To Henri Matisse) This work is a combination of pink, yellow, green and blue florescent lights that result in an "ambient", dull white light.

 His art pushed the very idea of "art" to the limit. In the work below, he constructed a florescent light rectangle acting as a frame around empty wall space, poking fun at the conventional ideas of art.

Later in his career he took on a larger scale.

This "green barrier" he created directs the viewer/ visitor around the space and in turn makes them more aware of the architecture. I think that is a very powerful concept; light plays such an important role in architecture and interior spaces in basic ways like actually making the space visible and very accentual ways as well by intensifying or emphasizing certain elements.

“One might not think of light as a matter of fact, but I do. And it is, as I said, as plain and open and direct an art as you will ever find.”
                                                                           —Dan Flavin, 1987


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Light Phenomenon

I photographed light reflecting off of water over the weekend as a jumping off point for this project.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Project 2: A place for 12 twigs

For the second project we were asked to create a place/sanctuary/box/etc. for 12 specific twigs that we picked out, using only paper and one binding agent of our choice.
I started with this strange collage on my parti that represented how I wanted a lack of anything organic, I wanted this industrial, man-made look to be created somehow...
So, I had this concept/idea of the twigs making something on their own, in other words the twigs would be the main structure, not the materials. I wanted the twigs to become something other than twigs. I wanted to use their natural shape to create some "unnatural" forms. I divided my 12 twigs into four groups of three wired together, and arranged them in a gradual sequence. The smallest group has the most slender and dainty twigs and the wire is relatively close to the bottom, they all move up from this. I arranged them in order to create certain intentional gestures, I bound them together several times before I was satisfied with each shape. This project was challenging but I ended up really enjoying it.  Final:

After the final critique and comments I heard, I realized my project was semi-illegal because I didn't use any paper! I read the "only" on the project sheet as what was allowed, not what was required. I also had the idea somewhere along the line of evolution of my project that painted twigs would really show my idea of the natural turning unnatural in a really cool way. However, with the above stated rules I thought that would be illegal so I ditched it.
After the final critique I realized how much I  like these forms that I made but I didn't feel completely satisfied. So I decided to stick with my plan and I came up with a humorous solution to do what I wanted without being too much more "illegal"; I painted them with liquid paper instead of paint! The liquid paper is stark white and it gives them the exact effect that I wanted. Here is a the smallest of the four painted:

Observational Sketchbook

My best twig drawing was done in the studio on September 14. I spent about 20 minutes on it. The bright overhead lighting created these harsh shadows.
The best leaf drawing that I did was done at home on my back porch. We have this beautiful weeping willow tree, which is my absolute favorite type of tree. I think I did a good job capturing the differences in texture between the dead and alive leaves on this small branch that I found on the ground.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Project 1: Leaf place

For project one we were asked to create a "place" for a leaf using a 12.5 x 12.5 piece of white paper only. Upon reading the project sheet over a few times I felt both cocky and confused. Paper seemed like an easy enough material to use, and I had a lot of ideas to start with. I quickly found out how frustrated I could come with simple white paper though. I abandoned several prospects before I decided on the twisted strips composition. I got inspired by the organic shapes of the leaf itself and I wanted to manipulate the paper in some way other than simple folding and cutting.