Senior Show is coming!

My senior show is fast approaching! It will be a group show comprised of 6 of us at Gallery 100 on campus at ASU. I’m very excited, but also nervous and sleep deprived. Right now I’m hurriedly preparing everything and still trying to finish up last minute projects. I plan on showcasing much of what is in my current portfolio as well as studies and maybe some new large drawings.

For the design of our print and promo material, we wanted to replicate the look of a vintage playbill poster. These kinds of old posters are very much text based, which was fine for us because choosing an image to represent all of us would have been difficult. The members in my group have varied styles and we all differ significantly. So I designed this poster in Illustrator:

elin_anderson_eventide
It was quite fun and interesting to design a poster based around so many fonts. It was a real challenge, but I had a good time with it. It was also fun to use old advertising images. I love those things! For our postcard, I used the same image but cut out a few details- like the part about refreshments and mementos. This way the card wouldn’t have an overwhelming amount of textual information. The key here is to not get too cluttered. Our postcards came out fabulous. I ordered them from Gotprint because they offered thicker paper sizes. Despite having such low reviews on yelp, I was extremely satisfied with their service and the quality of the print. Here is our postcard:

eventide_elin

Anyway, no rest for the weary…on to finishing up work for my show!

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Utsushi – in search of Katsuhira’s tiger

I don’t remember exactly how I came across this video, I think one of my teachers showed it to us. In any case, I’ve been meaning to post it here for some time because it is fascinating. I have a lot of respect for artists who work with metals because I tried to take a class on it and couldn’t stand the stuff! I learned that scratching, scraping and forging just isn’t my thing. But when you watch this guy, he makes it look easy!

Also I would suggest probably watching these on youtube’s website so you can see it large and in high resolution.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Process: Watercolor 21st Century Still Life

For my second watercolor class our first assignment was to do a 21st Century still life.Idea:

“Getting inspiration from the objects & materials you have brought to class, consider what type of 21st Century environment, context, or setting supports your 21st century idea. You may choose to be quite personal with your idea or deal with a contemporary and current issue using still life as a vehicle.”

We had the option to do part of it in collage as well. As what usually happens with me in the first few weeks of class, I had no idea what to do and had a hard time coming up with ideas. I thought of old computers and electronic equipment at the thrift store and thought that might be a neat idea to incorporate that, but I didn’t want to actually buy any of that stuff. Coming up with a theme was difficult, because I didn’t want to do the typical still life with fruit and a laptop and cell phone.

Eventually I came up with the idea of how technology changes. My parents own a player piano- the kind that takes rolls of paper with punctured holes cut out for each note. These pianos are now an obsolete form of technology just like the cell phones and laptops we discard every few years when they become outdated. I thought that the rolls of paper would be a great collage background and then I would combine that with amalgamated balls of tech devices like laptops and cell phones.

After more planning I refined the idea a bit. I decided that instead of doing a static still life, I would combine that with amalgamated balls of tech devices like laptops and cell phones and then use those in a repeated pattern all across the paper (I love patterns!) I ditched the idea of the collage background because not only would it be a lot of work, but if I had a busy pattern then it wouldn’t be a good idea to have a distracting collage in the background. I decided to have clusters of piano keys with cell phones and laptops.

I began to sketch everything out. I do apologize for the darkness of the photos but it’s hard to capture 5H pencil at night.

 

I then went on to coloring when that was finished. This project took me a very long time to do, mostly because I am so exacting. For angular designs like this, flat brushes work great. The paper is 300lb cold press, I think. It’s very heavy and resists curling.

 

 

 

 

 


At the end, I was left with a great pattern, but also a white background. I decided to fill the background with a soft blue, leaving white edges around the clusters. This emphasizes the clusters but keeps the background calm. All in all, it turned out great and I would love to recreate a digital version of this pattern!

Robert Hale’s Anatomy Videos

I was pleasantly surprised to find a series of anatomy tapes by Robert Beverly Hale at my schools library after doing a catalog search of his name. These were just what the doctor ordered for me! I’m not going to lie, I often find it difficult to sit down with a book and study anatomy. I have this little voice in the back of my head that tells me I should be doing something else that is higher on the priority list and that anatomy can be saved for later. However for some reason, I can seem to justify watching an anatomy video for an hour or two. So I was pleasantly surprised to find these because I figured it would give me a more personal tour of the human body.


Robert Beverly Hale is mostly known for his books and teaching at the Art Students League of New York. Here is a brief biography courtesy Wikipedia:

Lived: 1901-1985

“Hale was an artist, curator of American paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and instructor of artistic anatomy at the Art Students League of New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. He was also the author of the well-known book “Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters” as well as the translator of the classic anatomy text “Artistic Anatomy” by Dr. Paul Richer.

Hale was born into a prominent family in Boston, Massachusetts, but grew up in New York City, and studied at Columbia University, where he did post-graduate work at the School of Architecture. He also studied at the Art Students League under George Bridgman and William McNulty, and at the Sorbonne in Paris.

From 1942 to 1949 Hale worked as Editorial Associate for Art News magazine. In 1949 he became curator for contemporary American art at the Metropolitan Museum. A long-time Instructor of Drawing and Lecturer on Anatomy at the League, and Adjunct Professor of Drawing at Columbia, Hale taught and wrote on the principles of chiaroscuro and observation from life, encouraging his students to see and draw forms in nature as the geometric “mass conceptions” of cylinders, cubes, or spheres. His lectures at the League included demonstrations of life-size figure drawings, much as had those of his teacher and predecessor, George Brandt Bridgman.”

 

There are ten videos in all- and I thanked my lucky stars that I have a TV with a built-in working VCR! They were recorded in 1985 and it’s pretty amazing that I can even still watch them. The cassette labels on some of them even started to come off when I took them out of their packages. I’m sure these tapes haven’t been viewed in years. The tapes say that their runtime is about 80 minutes each and they were recorded in the 70’s by a student named Tom Hall for the purpose of documenting Hale before he passed on. So, they are not formal videos and weren’t made with the intention of showing them as an instructional aide to students. Imagine if you went into a class with a video recorder and recorded your professor giving a lecture- that is what they are like. By this time Hale was quite old and I think his style of teaching in the videos is a shadow of the way he must have taught in his younger years. In these videos he’s a little forgetful and loses his place at times, nevertheless there is much information to be gleaned.

The tapes consist of:

Tape 1: The Ribcage
Tape 2: The Pelvis
Tape 3: The Leg
Tape 4: The Foot
Tape 5: The Shoulder Girdle
Tape 6: Shoulder Girdle cont.
Tape 7: The Arm
Tape 8: The Hand
Tape 9: The Head
Tape 10: Head and Features

At some point, the rights to the films were acquired by a couple whom I don’t need to name, but they are selling these videos as DVD’s for 800 dollars. As good as Hale is, I can assure you that for the exorbitant price of 800 dollars, you can certainly find other ways of teaching yourself what Hale teaches here and more. For 800 dollars, you could:

~$200.00- enroll in an anatomy class at a community college.
~$165.00- Buy yourself eight 4-5 star rated anatomy books on Amazon.
~$225.00- Buy yourself four 4-5 star rated anatomy DVD’s on Amazon. (One set on there even contains 8 DVDs.)

Wow, we aren’t even close to 800 dollars yet. You could still probably hire a bunch of models and buy yourself some art equipment to make it come to 800 total. In fact, once again- if you are enrolled in any kind of college, chances are you have access to borrowing material from another college. So you could pay 200 for an anatomy class and then just borrow Hale’s videos from another college! When I do a search on worldcat.org, it shows about 160 library institutions around the country as owning these videos. Chances are, there is one near you. I’m just saying that as nice as Hale’s videos are, you would be nuts in my humble opinion to pay 800 dollars for them. Even the pay per view option for the online videos is a rip off. Don’t do it.

The runtime of these videos are about 70-80 minutes each so they are pretty lengthy. The most I can seem to watch is two of them in one day. Anyway if you have a chance to view them for free then you might as well try taking a look. Here are a few excerpts from them:

That’s all for now, back to making art!

Process – Study for Limerance

In my color class I was given the assignment to create a piece of art using only one or two colors based off of a photo of some kind. I won’t go into what my color class entailed, but let’s just say this wasn’t the kind of assignment I expected to do in a color class. (Whatever happened to doing serious color charts people?) Anyway, I decided to go with a scene from Giorgio Moroder’s version of the movie Metropolis. There’s one scene in the movie where the female villain (Hel) is dancing in front of an audience of men. Here is the image:

By the way if you haven’t seen Metropolis, PLEASE go do yourself a favor and watch it. It is definitely in my top 3 favorite movie list. So I really liked the vibrant color in the still and thought that using black paint and alizarin crimson would do the trick in replicating it to some degree. I thought that doing an oil painting would be a good idea, especially since there was a show coming up and I figured I could kill 2 birds with one stone and submit my piece to the show when I finished.I had this idea floating around in my head for a while of a woman coming out of the background with a sort of floral arrangement all around her and I decided that I would try to explore that idea with this assignment, hence this being a study for perhaps a future drawing. Continuing to look for more inspirations, I also decided to use Ingres’ The Vow of Louis xiii, also pictured below:

I decided that I wanted the main figure to be strong and dominant. In the movie, Hel is somewhat like Kali, a bringer of destruction aimed at destroying mankind and society. I decided I would incorporate that idea as well as making her appear over a dead body in symbolism of that. In this picture, the young Christ child would no longer be salvation but doom. Now unfortunately I don’t know of any men who would be willing to pose for me in the nude as a dead man (haha!) But that was okay, because I remembered that I could gain inspiration from the dead men scattered in the painting The Raft of the Medusa. (Let me tell you kids, art history really does help you!) I hoped that there was at least one sketch of the dead man almost falling off the raft and to my luck that was the only preliminary drawing I could find of the painting! (That pic is a few down.)
There’s nothing wrong about letting the old masters help you!So now it came down to combining everything. I slowly worked on the drawing in-class but never finished the whole thing. Although I understand the idea of wanting students to stay in a studio class and work for 3 hours- I get stuff done so much faster at home. Plus I don’t always feel comfortable with others watching me work. After I had done about half the sketch I started transferring it to the canvas just by eye. I had prepared a thick amount of gesso and applied it with a roller so it was extra smooth and good for drawing on. I used a charcoal pencil (don’t use pencil under oil paint, in time it will show through) and then afterwards I sprayfixed the charcoal so that it wouldn’t rub away or into my paint.
So here is my preliminary sketching on the right and canvas on the left. Sorry for the blurry pic: For some parts like the dead man, I drew on the paper still just to make sure it looked good before I did it on the canvas. I changed various parts of him so that he would fit in with my picture better.

 

 

 

 

 


And all done! On to the painting.

I had about 2 weeks to do this painting along with work for all my other classes. I rushed through it, staying up until 3 or 4am some nights. I made a lot of mistakes, but I was really aiming to get it done by the deadline. The hardest part was finishing it before the paint dried. I would blend the top layers into the background and if the background dried then I was rather out of luck. I went section by section…

Do you like my taboret? Haha! I have a new one now, no need to use that car cover box anymore.

 

 

 


Towards the end I ran out of time and literally threw paint on to the left side of the canvas.

 

That’s it!

And ta-da! The completed picture. Sadly I didn’t get my painting into the show, probably because the paint was still wet when I submitted it and they said that wet paint was not allowed. (You still have to try, right?) But it went into another show this past semester, so all was not lost! I really enjoy it even though I wish I hadn’t needed to do a rush job. Finis!