Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vignette: "Ominious Artifact"

Couple weeks back in this semester's Beginning Drawing class we started work on the upcoming pen and ink 3-page vignette critique. Did a test run by creating a one-page demo while on the field trip to the Bear Gallery. Fortunately for us on display was the annual "Interior Artisans" juried exhibit - even though submissions were less than half of the normal turnout, which resulted in an overall sub-par exhibit, this particular show is always a guaranteed gold mine of visual resources. Along with an in-class exercise in spontaneous, impulsive juxtaposition of image and text by sampling and remixing from random sources, the demo page also doubled as a quick & dirty refresher on making marks and exploring textures. Never miss an opportunity to make something outta nothing.

I'd taken a few halfhearted passes at finishing this mess up over the last couple weekends, dabbling around in Photoshop in-between some other juggled projects. Actually, after scanning the linework (posted down below) the file "got lost" and then completely forgotten about - such spacing out not an infrequent phenomenon given the constant turnover of the mulch-pile: only after a monthly cleanup session organizing the exponentially increasing number of files on my desktop did it materialize again. What with the new desktop screen-saver (new image of "ripening stars" in the Rosette nebula taken from the Herschel Space Observatory: more info from NASA's site) it's awfully easy to lose stuff - there's an entire universe to scatter art around...

Working low-fi first with pencil on smooth Bristol board and then Sharpie and ball-point pen, I culled inspiration from: a bone mask, a bird sculpture, the detailed guts of a mechanical assemblage and a quilt design (none of which is now remotely reminiscent of the source material); also everything was built around an aborted demo on sketching from an iconic Fred Machetanz print that had been laying dormant for months, and lastly the verbage was excerpted from random phrases in the juror's statement. Pasted in a black & white picture from my front yard - it's actually a reference shot for a different pen & ink drawing that's been getting poked at over the past coupla weeks. Everything else was just swinging from vine to vine, reaching out in hopes there'll be something else out there to grab onto that will get you artistically over to the next tree (might somewhat explain the inclusion of the topographical map of Denali). This'll make for a fun 11x14" print at some point later on after the dust settles from the semester.

 "Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." - Danny Kaye

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