For this next critique, I've focused on finishing my NOVA piece. While I haven't been able to finish it to my satisfaction due to its scale, I have been able to finish some parts I am especially proud of (depicted above). I've enjoyed working on this piece, and although its been close to a year coming along, I hope to finish it before needed for the senior booklet. I'll be working on it even after this critique, but it seems I keep on forgetting how much detail this work actually takes. In the process, I have decided that the focus on this piece should be the engine, and that I'll finish color blocking the surrounding parts to resolve the piece. Around the edges, the different hues have been hard to mix and blend well, but I think in staying to the colors of the reference picture, it'll turn out better :).
Well. After trying to finish the hands painting, I've gained a newfound motivation to return to painting cars. Finishing the NOVA painting (and the back) will have been a year-long project but hopefully it will all be worth it for the senior show at the end of whatever Corona brings us. After talking with Coach Hall, I'm excited to plan for the senior show, especially with Nova being a central focus. Hopefully, I'll know whether or not I got a Scholastics Award too, so then I can plan to include those works in the show too. As for the hands painting, I added some oil pastel accents, made parts of the background darker and tried to make the hands more opaque, but it still looks unfinished. I know that not all works will be good works, so I don't mind leaving this work unfinished. Maybe I'll take Coach's advice to add an outline on top in pink of some sort of car. For now though, I think I'll working on finishing the NOVA for the critique.
Five hands down! The process of taking pictures of hands and painting them has been pretty relaxing. Stepping back however, the detail of the hands is definitely lost in the mass of parking tickets. The messy brushstrokes also aren't helping, but I think if I push the brightness of the skin colors and contrast with some shadows and details, I'll be able to resolve the painting. Coach hall also added tips on pushing the contrast with the background and maybe adding another hand or another element entirely. I think over this week and weekend I will definitely have to push the contrast between the hands and the blue-green, but I'm losing a little steam. I think putting the tickets in certain spots is preventing me from creating texture with the colors of the hands, but it is what it is. There was no way I could've known I was going to be painting the hands like this.
I've added two hands. The original pictures I took in the last post seemed too "social action!" for my style, so I dropped the idea of one of the hands holding a key. Originally, this work was supposed to steer clear of car connotations, but after others pointed out the parking ticket connection, I tried to force the theme with the key, and I wasn't as satisfied with the idea. Afterwards, I kept the strict reference to the drawing in my sketchbook, and I like the way its developing in the painting. The flashes of pure color are most attractive to me right now, but I'm losing parts of the paintings in the strength of the background. I'll try to resolve that and add some more hands this week, but I'm pleased with how this painting is working out.
After watching the video of the lunch lecture, I feel that I was able to learn about the price of the eggs and a little about their history of being passed between Stalin and eventually modern-day buyers. However, whenever I see this exhibit in the VMFA or whenever I see a picture of a Faberge egg, the buyer history is not what attracts my attention. What I think of when I think of these eggs is the intricate details found on the outside and inside of these tiny sculptures. While I do love the romantic aspect of the origin of the eggs and their war-torn context, I also don't think I gained any insight that would impact my art.
Ms. Kitts, a teacher program educator at the VMFA, earned her degree in Russian history and fine arts. Knowing this, I think I was able to learn that an art history degree can specialize so much, especially since she knew so much about the eggs. Also, I enjoyed the part of her talk where she described the story of the eggs as a doomed love story and the search for lost treasures. I think she was able to satisfy the title of her presentation well, following the path of buyers and sellers of the eggs. However, I wish she went more into "Why" the eggs were so obsessed over. Overall however, I was able to appreciate the eggs a bit more after hearing this talk. Although I was not able to find a link between my work and Faberge's, I think after scrolling through the VMFA's collection of pictures of their eggs, I was able to enjoy the excruciating details much more than what I see in the dimly lit room.
Now this painting has taken an even deeper turn away from continuing the cell trend. I really liked the hands drawings I was doing in my sketchbook, so I think I'm going to replicate one of the drawings I have and paint realistic hands but with blocks of color. I'm interested in the turn this is taking from the car idea, but I also really like the contrast between the skin tones of my friends and the blue green base. I'm really interested in how I'll be able to mix the colors, but I'm especially thankful for the Sta-wet palette I found from a couple years back. I can't believe I didn't think to find it while I was doing the Nova painting, especially because I can leave paints in there for days and not worry about having to remix a dried-out color. I want to bring out more yellows and pinks to match with the underpainting as I keep working, so I'll continue to post updates on here.
I've added all of the tickets I have, and mixed in more of the green to cover the pink. I like the direction this painting is taking, and look forward to continuing to integrate some more colors, maybe blues. I'm having a lot of fun, and its a relief to finally not have a stack of tickets accumulating in my room. I'll have to figure out what to do with the other ones I'll no doubt be collecting, but maybe I can continue to keep adding them as this painting progresses. I've left the cell idea behind, especially since I love the color that has taken over this painting.
100th post!!! Also, here is a progress shot of my newest project. Although, I’m not sure if I’ll finish this one before I revisit finishing the big popped hood one. This piece will be a little different than my old works in the sense that it won’t be about cars (finally lol). It’ll be a piece going back to the cell idea, and I’m using old parking receipts from going to mentorship to create dramatic texture. I don’t know how I feel about these colors (I used them Bc they were the only ones I had a lot of) but there will definitely be more layers involved.
My senior show was a big success!! A lot of hard work and staying after school, but I’m so so so happy with how it came together. I was also thankful to everyone who came out to hear my speech and everyone who helped me along the way.
Here are all the process shots from the NOVA painting!!! Although I'm not done, this size has been a challenge and I'll hopefully finish it by the end of this month.
Cheryl Kelley is a professional photorealistic artist, known specifically for her oil paintings of cars. She was born in Texas in 1968, and went to the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. She then continued on to the University of Houston and earned a B. A. in Fine Arts.
Kelley began her career as an abstract expressionist and also painted some portraits. But then she found cars, saying, "The first thing that I am drawn to is the beauty. I find myself getting lost in the reflections of beautiful cars when I stop at traffic lights'.' She paints the cars as objects of beauty and focuses strictly on their form, capturing entrancing highlights and curves. One critic said, "She brings a uniquely female perspective to these objects that are almost synonymous with youthful bad-boy hyper-masculinity." Similarly, I find myself entranced by the forms of muscle cars while flipping through books, and discovered a love for the same muse. While reading through Kelley's process, I found it interesting that she paints on aluminum, and was pleased to find that the medium fit the content. I remember considering painting on car hoods, and even painted on a trunk once, so I like the idea, and could see why that was her medium of choice. She also uses oil paint, and as I have worked with acrylic, I realize that oil would allow the user to perfect the highlights that have caused me to have to repeat color mixing more often than I would have liked. Maybe I'll use oil in the future, but if I do I think it will definitely be on metal or something that is not absorbent.
Kelley describes her work saying, ''These big engine cars, seemingly fueled by raw testosterone, were ironically most definitely feminine in form. As a twentieth century American icon, the muscle car is remembered for its speed and power. My paintings are about the feminine sensuality of the surfaces, the Mel Ramos-like perfection of female form''. While I was definitely attracted to the concept of painting muscle cars because of their form and the concept of the "Golden Age", I hadn't really thought about describing it as a feminine aspect of a masculine item. Most importantly however, I agree with her idea of the memory of the car, and how now buyers focus on convenience and economy rather extravagance and aesthetics. With my work, I hope to call attention to this complacency, and I think in her paintings, Kelley has done an incredible job of doing so. Although her work does not focus on the functions of the parts of the system at all, I hope to learn from her photorealistic mark making to improve mine as well, especially in my NOVA piece. Overall, it was interesting to discover more about an artist who's work focused on cars like those I had been researching like the Nova and Chevelle, especially since it's the form I'm so interested in.
She now lives in Northern California, where she continues to work. She shows permanent collections around the country, heavily in Texas. She also earned the 2012 Pollock Krasner Grant, which brought her to the front of the art scene. Named as one of the best photorealists by fellow artists, her work has appeared in several magazines and books. Also, she worked on several publications and reviews, and has spoken at the University of Houston.
Find out more about her work at:
Recent Solo Shows
Although she has had solo shows since 1998, the following are from the past 10 years:2018 Bernarducci Gallery, NYC
2016 Scott Richards contemporary art, San Francisco, CA
2015 Seven Bridges Foundation, Greenwich, CT
2013 Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
2013 Bernarducci Meisel, New York, NY
2012 “Detailed” Scott Richards Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA
2010 Bernarducci Meisel, New York, NY
2010 New Gallery, Houston, TX
Group Shows from the past 10 years:
2019 Bernarducci gallery, NYC
2018 Art Museum of South Texas, Luster, Corpus Christie
2018 Museum of Arts and Sciences, Luster, Daytona Beach, FL
2017 Bernarducci Gallery, NYC
2013 Route 66, Skidmore Contemporary art, Malibu, CA
2013 Photorealism Revisited, Oklahoma City Museum of Art
2012 Photorealism, The Galerie de Bellefeuile, Cananda
2012 Beyond Reality. Hyper Realism and American culture Vero Beach Museum, Vero Beach, Florida
2011 Hunting Prize finalist gala, Houston, TX 2010 Grand Re-opening, Bernarducci Meisel, New York, NY
2010 “Four Women”, Bernarducci Meisel, New York, NY
This break has been very productive. I spray painted the backdrop for my senior show (all that's left are the measurements, cuts, and installation). I painted the frame for my SEC picture and ordered it in poster size. I ordered vinyl stickers of the SEC, SS Cheville (its spelled Chevelle I realized later), and the set of the 8 photoshopped together. I found a black background for the other two walls, one that doesn't require me to paint the walls black, and one that my dad can use after (all thats left is to measure and cut and install). I started a new painting on the back of the cells because I don't want to work on it anymore. I bought a new 24"x24" canvas on sale that I'll prob do the cells on instead. All that's left is to give out the invitations, install everything, and figure out what I'm going to say, but I'm super excited for how this show is going to turn out, starting next week.
During this DC trip there were a lot of interesting works to see, especially those that were similar to the work I'm doing right now. I took photos of my favorites (above), and included detailed critiques about them in my sketchbook for the assignment. I think after seeing all of these new works, I want to try reincorporating light into my works, and may try abstract expressionism with my cell piece after all. While I would like to bend more metal, I really liked the pieces with the neon and the beehives, which showed the sheer variety of media that can really be incorporated into art. But.! BUT! My absolute favorite thing that I saw at D.C. was the tiny Duchamp mini sculpture set. I definitely want to make mini collectible versions of my work. I think I'll do that for my last piece this year, and I'm excited.
I'm so pleased by how the car turned out. I would have liked to add a darker color to contrast the edge between the wall and the ground, but scholastics said otherwise. However, I'm ok with the painting without that addition! Also, I LOVED how the pictures of the disco ball turned out (so much that I changed my website photo). I also included my other portfolio compilation in here for reference. Also, I made three more sculptures but only liked and used two of them. I liked how the tire rims turned out and the simplicity of the exhaust pipe (when I saw it in the junkyard pile I knew). Scholastics was hectic, but I'm impressed that I was able to knock out two portfolios and look forward to finding out if I got any awards.
Now that scholastics is around the corner, I need to finish my favorite painting and make three more sculptures. We bought tire rims, which are way more expensive than I thought they would be, and more from the junk yard, and I'll work on finishing them this week. I'm having some trouble with crowding from the grass and pebbles and part of the graffiti, but I think I can fix it by pushing contrast. Overall however, I am very proud of myself working on such a big scale. Also, I finished the disco ball, and am bringing it in to take scholastic pictures soon. It turned out well, but I wish I could've figured out a way to make the glass stick better as a base. It's very fragile and I haven't figured out a way to support it for traveling, so I hope everything turns out alright.
THE CAR! THE HEADLIGHTS! THE GRAFFITI! This piece is basically the culmination of my work so far and I love working on it. It's taking a long time due to the level of detail I'm trying to achieve, but it's so worth it.
After painting the cells for a while, I decided to pull an abstract expressionist. Honestly, I don't want to ruin the painting anymore, so I'm going to leave it for next week and work on the car instead. I started adding the graffiti, and it's going well. In my sketchbook, I drew out a plan for my senior show, and I have a lot of work to do, but I'm excited for how it's going to turn out. I'm going to have to finish the cells eventually, but again, there's other things for me to do in the meantime.
This week, I worked some more on the disco ball, and started a new painting. I bought the canvas for really cheap, and decided to follow Coach Hall's advice to make a second muscle car painting to match with the muscle painting. Drawing the car didn't work out to well so I projected it instead and I'm so excited to work on it and go back to my car part painting days. I'm combining two reference pictures for the painting because I felt like this was the time to go back to my graffiti theme. By starting this project, I am now working on three projects, so we'll see how good my time management is.
This weekend, I went to Inlight, which was in Chimbarazo Park this year, and chilly as always. It seemed like there were less works this year than usual, especially in the performance art area. However, my favorite piece was "The Memory of Now" (depicted of above), where the artist, True Harrigan, used acrylic and projections to question how people leave memories in places. By forming acrylic sheets around sitting, walking, and lounging figures, Harrigan created sculpturally interesting installations and allowed the viewer to walk through a dream-like space. Personally, since I know the difficulty of using heat to form PVC and pouring resin, this piece captured a medium I am interested in, and one I would like to work with in the future. The use of light in her work also reminded me of a theme I tried to incorporate into my work last year, and one I was considering using in my sculpture this year. Although I know the show is "In Light", I still thought her projections to be a tasteful addition to her already interesting acrylic wraps. Harrigan's work was the highlight of the show for me, and there were only two or three more of the works that I could appreciate. I look forward to next year's show, and am curious to know whether or not it will be back at the VMFA.
I painted the cells light pink, but I think I need more contrast like it was originally. This project is taking a lot of time, and I'm starting to lose steam but maybe it'll pick up when I take it home for break. Also, I started a new project, one I've been planning for a while now! The emblem disco ball is on it's way to being a success!! I'm having some coverage issues between the adhesive and the spray paint and the glass bits, but I like how it's going so far.
After going back to remove the sharpie from the mask, I realized some of the lettering was coming off (I used nail polish remover) and so I decided to remove parts of the labels!! It turned out more interesting that way I think, and later when I was taking pictures it added nice contrast. I ended up taking pictures in the dark with flash, and the effect made the sculpture look 10x more complex and the details and scratches are more visible because of it.
My final First Friday Art Trek!! Once again, I was pleased to see the new shows had strong works. We visited Quirk, the ICA, Ada, Gallery 5, black iris and a Gallery 6's new location at 8 East Broad Street. The Gallery 6 showcased the same artist we visited a year ago at his open studio, and so we were very excited when we found him again at the new location, especially after looking up and down the street for a while.
My favorite pieces were at Quirk, ada, Gallery 5 and the Gallery 6, where the artists layered their colors to create their desired patterns well. Gallery 5 had a show called Hail Sagan with space-inspired works, like I am the Comet, shown above, and their proceeds were donated to a local astronomy program. Although Gallery 5's exhibits are now smaller due to their loss of their second floor, I still liked their music lineup and the theme. At Quirk, the artist used paper bags to create large sculptures like Thank You, Thank You, No Thank You, which I appreciated as they related to my found object works. The artists' works did not speak to me content-wise, but I liked their scale. Finally, Gallery 6's artists created works on 9 square foot canvases, so I understood the efforts they made and really enjoyed their execution. I considered making my piece in a similar fashion, building up layers and then covering them in resin for a finished look, but that's something I will have to consider more once I finish my piece.
Overall, this First Friday was another lineup of good memories and good art, and I look forward to the next Friday I attend--hopefully I can see at least two more before college. The works I saw made me consider how to finish my work, and taught me the importance of building a mark consistent across my works to develop my own artistic language.
Nils Westergard is an American street artist who paints murals and creates stencils all over the world. He is currently based in Richmond, Virginia but thinks of Amsterdam, Belgium as his second home. (see his works at http://nilswestergard.com/ or follow him on instagram @nilsrva. I had a lot of fun interviewing him and learning more about the street art world.
In a one night fury I ended up cutting and putting together my home project. I ended up having four license plates left over, but the cutting of the license plates was hard enough that I didn't think to make anymore adjustments to the size of the mask. It looks kind of like an African mask, but I was debating adding more form. After an in-class process critique, my classmates suggested that I spray paint the mask silver to keep the identity theme. I ended up buying some silver metallic paint, and so I think it will turn out nicely like the back of the plates. Also, I will be bending the mask in half to add more form, and overall, I think that will resolve the piece.