Monday, March 24, 2014

phase 3 redux - don't be afraid of a big project, but try to go about it the smart way

finished carving and printed the crown! I'm so happy with how it turned out :)
It's been a busy art week :). Early in the week I went on a visit to the studio of Ed Rice in South Carolina. I love visiting other artist's studios and hearing about their work! This visit was especially fortuituous. Ed recently completed a large series 50 paintings of Fort Frederica, in which he set the iconography and composition while changing other variables (scale, color, material, support). The paintings are at the same time similar and unique, and the tension between the collective and individual is something that interests me.

This week also marked the beginning of spring. I feel like my mind is like a projector going from "standby mode" (winter), into "warm up" (spring), to be followed by "on" (summer), and cool down (fall).

Spring figure drawing has also started up.
15 minute
20 minute

Philosophia (personification of philosophy) - Albrecht Durer
Philosophy by Albrecht Durer, 1502

It was almost exactly a year ago that I went to VCCA and made the first giant collage Lacrimae Rerum, which paved the way for The Forest of And, And, AndEros et Thanatosand Spes

A year ago, I didn't know that I'd have the opportunity to learn engraving in Colorado with the American Numismatic Association and in Massachusetts at Zea Mays with Barry Moser.

When I ask the question: "what do I want to make most," I have the beginnings of an idea. It's something much bigger than my work space, so I won't be able to see it until its installed (surprise!), and I may need some additional technical skills. 

Which brings me to phase 3 redux - don't be afraid of a big project, but try to go about it the smart way. Before I jump in, I'm researching and trying to come up with a game plan to address/refine things that have come up from making the other big collages

I've been mulling over Durer research for months. One piece that I can't get over is The Triumphal Arch of Maximillian I, 1515. It's gigantic, almost 12 feet tall, and made from 192 separate blocks - Amazing! I heart Durer.

He wasn't alone on this. The architect, Jörg Kölderer designed the overall appearance and structure. Durer drew the scenes with the help of assistants, and master printer,
Related pieces are at the Beinecke Library at Yale
and the Morgan Library in New York
I particularly like the Visconti-Sforza Tarot Decks
Hieronymus Andreae carved and printed the blocks.

Other things on my mind: tarot cards, tapestries, and Byzantine icons.

Heroes Tapestry, ca. 1400–1410
South Netherlandish
Wool warp, wool wefts; 168 x 250 in.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY:,47.101.1
Icon with Christ, the Virgin and the twelve Great Feasts and Saints,
The Byzantine and Christian Museum:
memories of  my student work - faux-stained glass, 2009 
From my own archives, I've been reminiscing about this piece that I made in 2009 while I was in school. I think of it as "faux stained glass." It's 6 translucent pieces, about 45 x 45," and it covered the window of my studio apartment. The materials were picked up at the local stationers for probably less that 2 fancy cups of coffee - sharpie and acetate stuck to plastic with electrical tape. Now, I think it's really funny - because how obsessed with stained glass does a person have to be to decide that this is the best solution to the problem: "my window looks into a building"? hahaha. Not coincidentally, the figure in the center bottom row is based on a Durer.

Possible reasons this is on mental refrain? (A "things I like" list):
-it's a conglomeration of pieces made up of more pieces
-it has a limited color scheme which helps unify it
-there are lots of intricate patterns as well as areas of flat color for visual relief
-it has translucent layers with drawing on both sides of the material
-it shows things I like (a bird and plant, figure, unicorn, patterns)
-it became part of the architectural structure of the room
-it has both detailed elements and an overall design so that it works up close up and far away.

I haven't quite figured out how to put all these elements together, but I feel like I'm getting closer. I like the idea of building a massive multi-part architectural installation, but I feel like I need to be strategic so I can make, pack, move, and assemble (and then store) everything by myself. And there's a timeline...