Monday, October 26, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Memory: Project 2

Our next assignment in painting class is to answer the question: How would you transform the recollections of past experiences into a painting?
We are to explore the concept of personal or cultural memory. I was thinking of making a painting of my first childhood memory: I was sitting on the floor in the kitchen at our house on Newcastle. I was playing with a matchbox car on the linoleum tile and my mother was washing dishes in the sink. She had her back to me, but I remember she was wearing shoes and had a long skirt on. The sun was shining through the window and I said proudly: "I'm three years-old."
I want to use this Matisse still life as an inspiration to create a stilted and active space.
I haven't decided how I want to represent my mother because I feel like my memory of what she looked like is false: my mother wasn't a cliched 1960s housewife, she was a working mother and wore jeans. I'll probably draw from Tuymans or Borremans.
Matisse, Still Life with Magnolia, 1941
This painting might act as a nice tribute to my mom who died five months ago now.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Assignment One: Art 310

You Are What You Eat, 60" by 36", oil on canvas, 2015
Here's the results of my first painting assignment for the term. It was on the topic of the mundane, "the lure of the ordinary." This assignment was to explore the simple and prosaic and express it visually with emphasis on letting the painting start a dialogue with you as you paint (a la Guston).
I thought it would be interesting to paint what I ate during the day/week and place all the food in a pile on the canvas. It started out fairly photographic but soon became indecipherable. I lightened up the colours and began to rework the piles of food using my photo and sketch references but found that my imagination started to take over while trying to build up the piles. I added a few things, took a few things out and the painting became a real dialogue and surprised me at several turns. At one point the painting seemed dead, lifeless without any warning. Since the food piles were taking on an aspect of rotting food, I thought it might pump some life into the picture if I made the colours annoying, unappealing, irritating. The more I tried to make it annoying, the more I was interested in it. I feel like I succeeded in creating something visually interesting that expresses the mundane, and I think that surface quality (which you can't quite tell from the image) is quite nice because the painting is really build up it some places. I'm not sure the painting is visually unappealing but there is a sense of waste, entropy, and decay.
Some of the comments from my prof and other students were: it had a sense of playfulness, visually unusual and exciting, like a lot of tiny paintings within a larger one, there were an interesting use of forms that were not nameable, solid vs. opaque, and some sweet painting. :)