Thursday, February 19, 2009

UWEC Drawing Exhibit

Tuesday, February 17 our Drawing III class took a field trip to the Foster Gallery at UWEC to see the drawing exhibit.  The title of the show was appropriately entitled "Drawing Beyond the Edges."  The class was instructed to pick three of the works of art displayed and to take notes on the observations we make about each piece (also instructed to spend 1/2 hr. in front of each of the three works we chose).  Thus, below are the three works I chose, along with my observations. 

Edward Mayer

-Repetition; contrast; found objects; bed/mattress springs; 
-maze/entrapment; different paths one can take; climbing rope ladder (e.g. used in training courses to go over walls)
-heavy vs. light (the foam looks heavier and lighter in different areas because of the color and how it's displayed) 
-chaos vs. simplicity; spiraling effect(s); control of balance
-white-colored central 'springs'/'coils' in middle = nucleus/heart (?) 
-obstacle course; miniature golf course; connections (and transitions) between the various different materials utilized 
-scale (it spans from one end of the gallery to the other)
-interacts with the other artists' work in the gallery (at times, it almost "frames" the other work)
-display/presentation choices -> hanging from rafters, sitting on the floor, taped to the floor, hanging on
 the wall, etc...

(More images of Edward Mayer's work are available on my flickr page -> click HERE)

(Or go to Amy Fichter's flickr page -> click HERE)
(UWEC gallery photos on Amy's flickr account are around pages 7/8 and up)

Cal Lane 

-Religious iconography (crosses; cathedral floor plans, etc...)
-Repetition within and between pieces 
-Playing with contradictions (e.g. feminine vs. masculine; relationship between rectangle and circles; etc...)
-Intricate/delicate/dainty lace motifs around the
 borders/edges [delicate = generally is a characteristic attributed to women]
-Maps w/grids and/or graphs throughout
 images(s) [navigation = generally is a skill attributed to men]
-natural objects on something man-made 
-Imagery Examples -> world map; lace; astrological signs; family emblem/'coat of arms;' castle; trees; mask; compass w/face above it [controlling (blowing) compass direction(s)]; anchor; dragon; doe and buck; human figure (in Buddhist-like pose); semi-truck; foliage; 
-ready-made objects -> cut-open, flattened, transformed, etc...
-specific r/m chosen = significant to the concept/theme/mood of the piece as a whole --> oil drums (and/or cans) [reference to the war in Iraq and religion(s)]
-color = rusty -> gives the work(s) an aged/ancient/old feeling 
-intricate lace motifs around the borders/edges 
-Functional change -> barrel/can with the function of holding oil has been transformed into a decoration-based form 
-three "barrels" on one wall displayed next to each other and three "cans" on a different wall displayed next to each
 other -> create 'triptychs' = symbolic of the 'Holy Trinity'

(To view more photos of Cal Lane's work, visit my flick page -> click HERE)

(Or, visit Amy Fichter's flickr page to see more photos -> click HERE)
(For the UWEC gallery photos on Amy's flickr account see pgs 7/8 and up)

Fraser Taylor 

-sexuality and decay 
-abstract drawings 
-the letters 'i,' 'o,' and 'u' intertwined in various components of the piece
-display/presentation choices (1)two pieces shown here on the left were sitting/resting on the floor and were also separated from the larger body of the composition (located near one of the gallery
 entrances); which was basically at the other end of the gallery--and--(2) the 'larger body of the composition' was displayed off the ground on various forms of fixture-hanging devices (e.g. 'L's,' nails, hangers, etc...)
-varieties in surface treatments (high gloss vs. matte vs. textures vs. etc...)
-Variety of mixed media (e.g. wood; paper; paint; nylon, jean, & other fabrics; metal; etc...)

(To view more photos of Fraser Taylor's work, visit my flickr page -> click HERE)

(Or visit Amy Fichter's flickr page -> click HERE)
(For UWEC gallery pics, see pgs. 7/8 and up)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Science and Nature Project - Experimental Drawing Pieces

These are a few practice pieces I have done.  My drawings were done in pencil and pastel, then 'Delocroix' spray fixative was applied.  I then used 'GEL-WAX' (a type of candle wax) over top of the drawings.  

 I like how the wax is working (i.e. the visual effects of it).
 However, after letting my 'test pieces' sit over the weekend, there is some sort of oily residue around the images and thick areas of gel-wax.  So, I will probably need to reinforce my paper with something to help stabilize it - because I am guessing that the oils from the wax have weakened  my paper.  As of now, I do plan on cutting away the negative space of the drawing in the final piece (i.e. all areas where you see white paper will be gone).  

I have talked with a few different people who have used wax in the past on various projects; all of whom, either used bees-wax or other varieties of wax which had delicate working abilities (e.g. the wax cracked very easily when it was moved-esp. in cases where the surface area wasn't
 solid or stabilized, the wax chipped easily, etc...).  The gel-wax, I have found, does not crack and; however, it does pick-up finger prints very easily.  

My 'egg' didn't quite turn out like I was hoping it would, thus far.  We'll see what happens...

I've posted more of the photos I took on  To view these images, click on any of the three images or follow the link specified below.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Group Feedback about 'Science and Nature' Project

My groups feedback, overall, was positive.  I was struggling with a few issues of presentation and received helpful suggestion of different mediums I may want to explore (e.g. 'artist wax').  Discussion of my concept took us in a few different directions, one of which was to U-tube.  Chrissy showed me this video and I absolutely love it!!!  This is a link to it: 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Science and Nature

Within the parameters of 'Science and Nature,' the question I am asking is, "How does the human reproduction process influence gender roles and stereotypes in our society?"  That is, how does the biological behavior of the sperm seeking the egg influence how men and women act in their daily lives?  The areas of science my question is related to are the biology of human sexual reproduction and sexology.  

My exploration of this topic will visually represent the action/process of reproduction (i.e. fertilization of the egg) - bringing the inside process to the outside; which is one theory proposed by certain feminists.  The notion suggested by such feminists is that gender roles are present in the physical biological systems of men and women, specifically in the act of sexual reproduction.  Millions of sperm are ejaculated by the male into the female's vagina, all seeking to 'win' the 'trophy' - which is to 'conquer' by fertilizing the female's egg, and thus, produce offspring.  The female's egg is in a subordinate role as she (i.e. the egg) is stagnant and waiting for the male to woo her (i.e. waiting to be fertilized).  Males, on the other hand, are all aggressively trying to get her first (i.e. fertilize the egg) and will fight (& kill) each other to win the 'war.'  So, if we were to think of this implication in society, men play the dominant role which is aggressive and competitive in nature; whereas women play the subordinate role that is passive and maternal.  The female sexual reproductive organs become a 'battlefield' where the strongest and most worthy male (i.e. sperm) is the one who wins the 'war.'  Men are the 'soldiers/warriors' attempting to be 'king of the mountain' by being the strongest & most aggressive, and by killing all those who get in their way (i.e. they eliminate the competition). 

My representation of this concept will consist of using mixed media.  I am planning on having a drawing of the internal female reproductive organs which will act as a 'landscape' (i.e. the 'battlefield'), and have (3-dimensional) toy soldiers wage war upon each other in their attempts to 'conquer' and 'win' the 'trophy' (the female's egg).  

I am still currently researching for the names of the specific people who have studied similar subject matter with regards to the connection between gender roles and human biological functions during reproduction.  There are many people who have done similar studies.  Darwin's theories, for example, examined human male and female characteristics and gender roles which coincided with his or her sex (e.g. 'sexual selection,' 'survival of the fittest,' etc...).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Past and Present Drawing; Experience, Interest, and Function

In class on Thursday, January 29th, we split-up into groups and discussed questions about what drawings have been used for in the past and what drawings are used for in the present, our experiences with drawing as a viewer and as a drawer, when drawing has been the most interesting to us, and what we think should be the function of drawing. 

Our list of what drawing has been used for in the past included documentation, drafting, under-paintings, maps, decorations, research ('studies') for other projects, recreational, commissions, etc...  We came to the conclusion that many of the uses today are similar; however, through technological advancements many of these have become obsolete.  It has become more conventional to use up-to-date tools (e.g. computer-based programs, documentation w/photographs, etc...).  

Our experiences were based upon design elements & principles and concepts present in drawings, appreciation, and adoration.  As a viewer and a drawer, we learn how to refine our own drawings; we are constantly learning more about how to draw and about what constitutes as a drawing.  Drawing has been most interesting to us, when we have pushed our own boundaries, and in doing so, were able to see the evolution/progression of the work created. Another interesting aspect of drawing, is when you look back at the artwork you did as a child - the simplicity, the freedom, and the use of technical aspects used (which, as a child, you didn't even know existed). The function of drawing is... open ...