Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ornamentation, Abandonment, and Lost & Found

Contemplating abandonment, questioning what it means for something to be abandoned, I saw it as something that was once used, cared about, and then, left behind. What else shares this fate? Lost and Found items.

[Materials] I began calling local businesses, specifically hotels and gyms, asking if their company would be able to donate any items to me for my project. All businesses, by law, have a waiting period of approximately 90-days/three months that they must hold onto items that have been lost, before they donate them to charity. Due to such stipulations, finding and gathering materials for this project was difficult (especially becasue it had to be done in about a 1-2 week time period). Luckily, some area businesses did donate items and I was finally able to get this project underway.

[Location] In the UW-Stout Applied Arts building, on the 3rd floor, a small room is designated as the 'student lounge.' When considering what a typical lounge environment would include, I think of an area where one can go to wind-down, relax, eat, talk with friends, etc...; and area that would include a fridge, microwave, television, radio, etc... - basically an area comparable, to some extent, with a "teachers' lounge" and/or "breakroom." In the past, the student lounge had furniture (couches); they have been removed. There isn't (and has never has been) a fridge, microwave, television, radio, or any of these accomodations. The 'student lounge' is a small room that has been pushed aside, stripped down to a few tables with chairs, a rug and a lamp. The room, in my opinion, is used by students few and far between because it lacks the 'lounge environment.' The student lounge is lost by the majority and is found by very few; it has been abandoned by large majority of the student body and many don't even know it exists. The 'student lounge,' was the location that best coincided with the concept of this project.

The 'student lounge' is shown in the images above. To view more pictures of the student lounge, click on any of the images or click on the following link:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ornamentation and an artist

Ornamentation is the subject of our next project. When I first started to think about ornamentation, I was drawn to textiles - specifically the patterns and decorations of the 1960s and 1970s. As I was searching through different fabric swatches, I remembered an image I had seen of a gas station covered in fabric. The gas station I am referring to was the work of Jennifer Brooke Marsh (along with a collaborative effort of many other artists).

"Artist Jennifer Marsh covered a 50-year-old former Citgo station with a giant blanket. Jennifer was sick of paying high gas prices and bothered by the abandoned gas station that was an eyesore on the drive to her studio each day, so she decided to do something about it."

[To view more images of the gas station project, click on any of the three images above or click on the following link:]

This served as a starting point for my investigation...

Finished Science and Nature Project

The following images are of my finished 'Science and Nature Project,' which was photographed in the photography studio located in Millenium Hall (UW-Stout).

Overall, I am happy with the finished 'drawing.' The finished project measures [approximately] 5' wide (from the two furthest points of the fallopian tubes) x [approx.] 3' high x a foot and a half to 2' [where the base (vagina) extends outward]; in addition, it has approximately 10-12 lbs. of wax covered over the surface area, with the majority of the weight from the wax located on the base (vagina/battlefield). I haven't calculated the exact number of army men used throughout the composition, but I assure you, it was a lot!!

I do wish more time would have been allocated to complete this project because of the technical/structural issues I encountered. Ideally, I would have preferred to use wood, rather than foam core, to stabilize the drawing, wax, army men, etc... The foam core, as suspected, didn't withstand the weight of the wax too readily. Complications especially arose during transportation. The problems primarily occurred where the base connects and forms a 90 degree angle (in the 'vaginal/battlefield' region).

If you would like to see more photographs of this project, please see my photobucket account, which is where the images have been downloaded. You may click on either of the images above or click on the following link:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Science and Nature Project - Process images

The following images and links provided are intended to give an idea of my process for the Science and Nature Project.  

First, I did an under-drawing of the female reproductive system. It was a pain in the a$$ because of the scale.  I ended up having to use 4 different sheets of paper (i.e. the 22" x 30" artist-quality paper).  To the right are images of the pencil underdrawing(s).

The first underdrawing pic is of the central area (i.e. the uterus, cervix, the 'branches' to the ovaries, the start of the fallopian tubes) and it also shows a few of the reference images I was looking at for this project.  The second image also shows the central area with the addition of a one-dollar bill placed next to the image to give a sense of scale of/to the drawing.  (Note: The dollar is not part of the composition.)

As I went along, I did more experiments with the materials I would be using on this project.  As you may have seen in one of my earlier blog posts, in which, I placed images of two of my pastel/wax on paper drawing experiments; these earlier studies were done on sketchbook paper and were not attached to foam core.  However, the images on the left consist of pastel on [artist-quality] paper which was attached to foam core using 3-M spray adhesive.  The drawing was set with a [pastel] spray fixative, I then used wax to hold the army men in place.  

On the left is an image of some of the egg experiments I did for this project.  Each egg has a gold-colored ball inside of it.  The balls were made using Sculpey clay; then, after the balls were baked, each was painted with (one of two shades of gold-colored) 'Liquitex Glossies' acrylic paint(s).  The egg on the left looks 'foggy' because a different technique was used on it, than the other two (to the right).  My 'normal process' consisted of (1)pouring wax into each 1/2 of an egg mold, (2)placing the ball in one of the sides, and (3)connecting the two sides of the mold together to create the egg.  For the egg on the left, rather than using my 'normal process,' I tried painting in between layers of wax.  I didn't use this technique for my project, but it was still worth the learning experience.  

To the right is my project drawn in pastel, before the vagina was added to the composition.  At this point in the process, the drawing has already been attached to foam core (using 3M spray adhesive).  [Note...I had started to cut it out prior to taking a process pic, which is why there are small gaps in some of the areas.  Also, the blue (painter's) tape was used to connect (hold) the sheets of paper together while I was drawing the image and while I spray-mounted it to the foam core.]  

This last image, on the right, shows the final stage of the drawing process and the beginning stage(s) of applying wax to the piece (as seen on the left ovary and fallopian tube in the image).  The entire drawing has been attached to foam core and, also, has been cut-out (i.e. the white paper behind the image is for background purposes only, and is not part of the piece.)  (Note...The bucket, also, is not part of the composition; it was used to temporarily stabilize the piece while I photographed it because it was a little 'top-heavy' prior to adding the wax and army men.) 

If you'd like to see more of my process images, I have posted the vast majority of them on my photobucket account.  To access/view these images, click on any of the images above, or follow this link:

Some of these photos may also be viewed on my flickr account.  To access/view my flickr page, click on the following link:

Note: If you're viewing images on my flickr page, see the 'sets' entitled (1) "pencil underdrawings," (2) "Egg Experiments," and (3) "Pastel Drawings."