Monday, May 11, 2009


Medium(s): Pastels, Charcoal
April 28, 2009

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USD Drawing II Final Porfolio composition using pastel. This was a perceptual and observational piece that was combined with a creative composition. I observed a sculpture on the second floor of the Fine Arts building of an African woman (main subject in the piece) and did a rough charcoal sketch at first, then created her clay flesh tones, which then resulted in the overall color pallete for the rest of the piece.

Basically I saw fear and sorrow in the eyes of the sculpture, and related it to most of my knowledge of Africa and what really happens there. Mostly also how because its a "world apart" and that we know it so much that we no longer really care about it or wish to hear about it. As much as dislike to admit it, in general not just Africa, as a human race could the heavenly being ever really forgive us for what we've done to each other, based on race, sex, religion, politics. In most cases, its the innocent, which I portrayed in this piece, that become the most affected, the most hurt, and the most lost. I created the disturbing, almost ghost-like visual of child soldiers in Africa. Children are usually stolen from their tribal families and brought up in rebellious revolutions and groups that are usually driven most likely by money, natural resource profits, and political affiliations. There is nothing more innocent in this entire world than children. Minds that have no yet discovered or been taught judements, racial discriminations, and hatred overall. We poison the minds of our own children when he automatically affiliate them with our beliefs and use them as tools and billboards for what we fight for.

The same goes for women and mothers. I discovered the treatment of women when they are attacked in their tribal villages. If not shot, are mutilated severely. Used as sexual objects but also are attacked severely by having their breasts cut off and their unborn children cut out of their wombs. Its something that we cringe at and become discusted and possibly nautious. But this is planet earth, and we need to accept and know these things happen.

I tried to be mindful of my color blending as well as color choices. I wanted a contrast between warm and cool temperatures as well as melding and markmaking. We associate colors like purple, blue, and white as "cold" colors, colors that are usually associated with a visual feeling of cold, low temperatures. We also associate cold as something lifeless, which I attempted to show in my piece. A cold area of the body, being where the woman was hit by bullets, also represents death and decompsition of flesh and body tissue. So much interpretation can go into this piece, and I feel that I'll allow it to be so. People percieve many different things from death and visual pain representations. Overall it was a piece I spent the longest on, using it to improve my color attempts, blending, temperature shifts, and markmaking.

--Artist's Critique--
Probably one of my personal favorite, and best technique wise especially relating to a brand new medium I've never fondly used or try to master. I studied mark makers and color users like Degas and Franz Marc who used color and mark making moreso as expressive tools of movements and symbolic meaning rather than attempting to always achieve the local color of objects. How markmaking can create such visual movement and power in artwork, I've always loved how it was achieved but never thought personally it could be something I could get into that much. I'm hoping this piece was a breakthrough.
Otherwise, my professor was not too crazy about my composition as a whole, which I could agree. Sometimes I get confused in basic art classes as to whether I have the freedom to create my own compositions from what I have to draw from observation and how things are realistically. I started drawing the sculpture perceptually but then discovered it was a creative composition assignment. I probably would have made some better decisions in the early stages, but regardless I enjoyed how it came out regardless.
My color blending even impressed me, especially for a person whos emphasis is printmaking. There were some if not a lot of errors in decision making when it came to the location fo certain colors and temperatures, but overall towards the end I felt I had a good grasp and control of what I wanted and where. I tried to combine some realism of the woman's body with a more expressive body of the child, and I enjoy the combination.

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