Monday, March 31, 2014

phase 3 - develop thoughtful algorithims

The idea of trying to make a giant installation is a little overwhelming right now, so I'm trying to break it down into smaller pieces and treat the process as an algorithm. (Step 1: clean up and put away/remove anything unnecessary from the studio. Step 2: make a sketch. Step 3: evaluate whether additional research/skills/materials may be needed (gather). Step 4. start with a part for which there is has a high probability of success.)

Voila! My latest block, 12 x 18." I was being hard on myself for posting a little later than usual because this took a few hours longer than I thought...but then I thought, wait - much more surprising than it taking longer than expected is that I managed to carve it in a week at all, haha ;)

The owl is part of a larger plan for a tree with all different birds perching in it inspired by an illustration from the Nuremberg Chronicle (excerpts published by Dover  are available in paperback on Amazon.) I love this so much that I want to make a life size version as a wall-mounted collage (Mmmmmmm)

The owl is on the lower left, eating another bird - I'll be skipping the avian cannibalism in my version ;)

 In other art-related news, I went to my favorite place, the Met for some research and discovered something uncanny. I've been thinking about medallic engraving, since studying with the American Numismatic Association in Colorado last summer (with great thanks going out to the Gilroy and Lillian P. Roberts Foundation!) 

I'm looking forward to returning this summer for the second part of the fellowship and want to practice on a small scale at home before then. Because it's been on my mind lately, in the museum I was drawn to a case of Ancient Greek coins donated by the American Numismatic Society. I don't remember ever looking at this case before, but inside was this:

Compare to one of my mini reliefs from 2012:

Weird no? I tried to rationalize it - the ANA hosts a books sale, and the only book I purchased was one with lots of pictures on Ancient Greek coins. I thought - well, maybe I saw a similar coin in the book...but then I checked the date on the print - October 2012 - 6 months before I applied for the fellowship to study coin engraving. What makes it stranger is that it wasn't the only coin in the case to relate to a tiny print - there was also a pegasus, a winged figure, an owl... It was pretty uncanny, like I've been copying the coins in the case for years without realizing it??
Every time I go to the Met, I see more wings