Angela's Digital Sketchbook

January 23, 2012

Surrealism

Filed under: Assignments — Angela @ 6:07 pm

This artpiece represents my dream. There are many elements that appear repeatedly in my dreams: elecator, gears, and death. I seem to always die in the dreams that I remember, if not, I am being chased or watched or waited upon, like they are suspecting me in some nasty way. I see blood, and I feel pain and uneasiness when I wake up. Usually, my dreams are in the colour theme of dirt and yellowish-brown.
My first nightmare that I remember really well was when I was about 5 years old when I repeatedly have a dream about gears appearing and rotating. It makes me uneasy because mechanical things scare me. I also was eating a piece of candy before I see the gears, then I started to cry in my dream and when I woke up, I had tears around my eyes too. Elevators appear a lot in my dreams as well because when I was young, my sister was trapped in an elevator before, this probably worried me and traumatized me because after that, I had a dream about my sister being trapped inside an elevator again. Recently, I had a dream about me going on an eleventh floor where people were expecting me in an uncomfortable way, which is also related to elevators.
The blood and dirty fingers represent deaths and killings in my dreams where people are killed brutally. It also represents counting up and down because I would look at the time and count how long I’ve slept after I wake up from shock and the fingers also kind of represent the hands of the clock.

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January 18, 2012

Surrealism: subconscious

Filed under: Assignments — Angela @ 10:21 pm

Miro – “Carnival of Harlequin”

This piece is surreal because there are elements of suprise. First of all, it has many familiar objects that can be seen in everyday life, yet there are sujects in the piece that cannot be recognized or abstracted. For example, one can easily recognize the music notes and violin, but the person holding these are abstracted and surreal. Also, there is a large hand that can be recognized, but it doesn’t have an arm to support it, instead, it’s coming from a line, which started in open space. The title suggest that it is a carnival of harlequin, so one can presumpt the human characters, who are abstracted (such as the one holding the violin with a clown-hat liked figure, the two descending from the ladder, one with horn which leashes the cat, etc.) These characters represent something in real life, yet they look nothing like what they represent. That is the element of suprise and that is what makes it a surrealist painting.

Magritte – “La Condition Humaine”
La condition humaine
“La Condition Humaine” is surreal because it represents the reality that is not real. In the composition, there is a painting, and the painting blends in with the background (the scenery of the outside). The scenery is in the background, yet the painting is in the foreground, but it appears to be ron the same plain because they blend in. The element of suprise is the illusion that the painting is a part of the background, but it actually isn’t, so it gives the audiences the shock. It plays with the audiences’ mind and alter their preception of space and plane (what is in the forground/cloaser and what is in the background). It seems like they are within one space, but they’re not, that is the surrealist concept.

Salvador Dali – “The City of the Drawers”
The City of the Drawers
Salvador Dali’s sketch, “The City of the Drawers” is a surrealist artpiece because it tests the psychology of the audiences by challenging their preception of reality. In the piece, there is a obvious figure of a women’s body, but instead of flesh and blood, the body is composed of drawers. The drawers are of different forms and shapes that is porportional to those parts of a woman’s body, so it is interesting and a shock to the audiences because having drawers as a part of body is not the reality, yet it seems realist and possible. In the background, there is a road of houses and people walking like a city, and the woman’s body is in the foreground. This represents the idea that women are looked down upon by the society. Although they seem like they need desperate help, no one is willing to grab her hand and help her up. They are like objects/drawers, where people abuse and throw them out after they’re old or damaged. Using art to deliver ideas with an indirect way is also the surrealist concept.

January 16, 2012

Diverse Origins

Filed under: Assignments — Angela @ 7:50 pm

Photos used in background (not taken by me):

Q: Explain the process behind your artpiece. How did you narrow down the images you chose to use? How did you come to the decisions you did in regards to the images you chose to use, the colours, layout and other elements and principles of design.

This assignment is about expressing oneself, so the images that I’ve used represent who I am, whom I love, and what represent me.
Process: What I did was choosing the dominant photo first, which is the photo of me on the right panel of the triptych. This dominant photo brings a base to the colour theme that I’ll focus on (blue and white), and highlights (red). Then I started selecting pictures which I want on this piece. Most importantly, I play around with the composition a lot so that I know which one has a better effect. I don’t want to cluster too much together since I already have one main focus on the right, so I made the rest of the photos subtle. More importantly, the photos need to harmonize with the colour theme and they need unify. That’s why the photos on the left panel are in the colour blue and filtered with the stamp filter. The last touch-ups are the brushes, they are very faint and almost blend in completely.
Images: To narrow down the images I use, I simply follow 3 steps: collect, choose, paste. I fist collect many photos that I think which represents me, then I have to choose ones that has a strong emotional impact for me. The large photo of me that is emphasized by the colour red and the bright and contrasted colours. It is a photo that represent my Chinese descent and how I appreciate Chinese culture and its beauty in terms of costume and performance art. The map of Taiwan represents how Taiwan is where I was born and grew up in; it is where my childhood memories stay. The piano’s keyboard represents what I’ve been playing since I was 3 years old. The “Dragon-Tiger Towers” in Kaohsiung is where I visit frequently during school field trips or sight-seeing. The “Emerald Mountain” is the highest mountain of Taiwan, it’s a place where I’ve always wanted to go, yet I never got the chance to. It’s where the Aboriginals live and it’s a beautiful place with an undamaged natural view. These three photos (minus the keyboard) blend in as the background and has little emphasis, but it brings unity in colour. The keyboard is in the foreground because it has a steady rhythm and repetition of black and white, which leads the eye from the middle panel to the left panel. The Plum blossom frames the triptych, which lead the eyes and they repeat throughout the three panels (with the whole stem and petals). It is the national flower of Taiwan, my country. I chose this as the border because the pink is soft, and it brings balance to the dominant colours of blue and red. There is variation in size for every flower, so it brings interest.
Brushstrokes: The brushstrokes are really faint and blend in with the background. They add depth (layers) to the piece, also, the fading effect on the edges brings focus into the triptych. It not only makes it more visually appealing, but it also represents who I am as a person since I love to paint, so the brushstroke I used look like paint on a pallet and real brushstrokes. The wing is also drawn with brush and it represents how I got my name, “Angela”, which originated from my nickname, “Angel”. It’s in the colour white and stands out among the blue in the background.

Q: What do you think worked in your art piece? Why do you think it worked? What would you change if you could? Overall how successful do you think your art work is at representing yourself? Explain your answers.

I think what made my art piece appealing is the unity in colour theme that is constant throughout the panels. Each panel look fine on its own as an individual, yet when they’re all put together, they make one whole piece and there’s no disconnection between the pieces, which I thought was magical and it’s fine because of the colour theme. I also think there’s a good balance between dominance and passiveness between the photos. It worked because the emphasis is clear, but each component can be seen clearly when looked closely. The framework and direction of gesture and objects also lead eyes around the whole piece.
To be honest, I am quite satisfied with this piece of work, however, if I could change it, I would try a different filter on my family members and rearrange the components to see how it looks like, or change the colour theme to, let’s say, red instead of blue to see how it looks like.
I think this piece represents Chinese side of me that appreciates my won culture and its beauty, but I don’t think that it represents all of me because there are many sides to me. I think it’d be too much if I put everything I like and care about into the composition, so I want to keep it basic. My basic wants are: health, family, togetherness, and art, which are all represented by this piece.

November 30, 2011

Background Culture Brainstorm

Filed under: Assignments — Angela @ 3:30 am

Mother’s side: FuJiang, Tainan
Father’s side: Shangdong, Pingdong
Background: Taiwanese
City: Kaohsiung
National Flower: Plum Blossom
Languages: Mandarin, Taiwanese
Holidays: Chinese New Year, Moon Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day
Festival: Sky Lanterns, Dancing Dragon and Lion (Chinese New Year), Dragon Boat Festival,
Weather: warm, no snow, many typhoons and earthquakes
Flag: Blue-Sky, White-Bright Sun, Crimson-Blood
Main Transportation: Taiwan High Speed Rail

(more…)

November 17, 2011

Research Assignment – Carl Ray

Filed under: Assignments — Angela @ 6:20 pm

Artist: Carl Ray

November 15, 2011

Artist List

Filed under: Assignments — Angela @ 5:44 pm

South Pacific – New Zealand Maori Art
a) Robyn Kahukiwa-Taranga
Robyn Kahukiwa absorbed his background and Maori culture into his art. Maori culture has many stories and myths, and Maori artists begin to express themselves through art after the Pakeha settlers and traders arrived to their land in the nineteenth century. They mostly use natural wood and reddish-clay colours on their creations. Kahukiwa’s Tanranga is the fifth of the series of paintings that she did to present female deities in Maori mythology. The painting establishes emphasis on the woman in the middle, she is highlighted by white lines, her skin is coloured with a shiny texture. She separates the painting into four main parts: the top with coast and woman lying with baby, the left with intervened tree, the bottom with baby floating on ocean, and the right with silhouettes of mysterious figures on top of a mountain-like pattern. There are patterns of triangles and tangled lines in some areas creating rhythm. The colour theme seems constant throughout, there’s large use of brown and purple-blue.

b) Dick Frizzell – three works of art
Dick Frizzell is a commercial artist, so his art style is fairly simple and graphic. He uses vibrant colours and thick outlines. His ‘Legerdemain III’is outlined with many swrling lines, some parts are thicker to create an effect of depth. The colours are simple and primary. His ‘Big Egg Little Egg’ shows strong contrast with the sizes of the eggs and colours of black and white. The writings are also emphasized because of this crontrast. The composition is fairly simple with two objects. Dick’s ‘It’s About Time’ shows an evolution from a popular cartoon/symbol, Mickey Mouse to an aboriginal symbol of Tike Tu Meke, demonstrating how the world, although seems different, is similar in some way.Again, his style is simple, so there are only three specific colours used: red, black, white; brown is used for the outline. It’s very graphic because there’re no depth of objects, they all seem to be on the same plain.The interesting part about this piece is the repetition of the subject (although they’re different, they look the same, and they have the same size and colour); it creates rhythm.

c) Weston Frizzell – three works of art
Weston Frizzell’s work is similar to Dick Frizzell’s, because they are both very vibrant and very graphic. They seem simple because of the colours and composition of the piece, yet the set-up of each creation is sophisticated. Weston’s ‘Ecstacy’ uses a single letter to represent the whole meaning of the word with the help from the background. The word ecstacy is extreme happiness, like euphoria, so with the red and yellow coloured background radiating outwards, the ecstatic feeling is established. The letter E is emphasized because of its size, its placement directly in the middle, it’s the only point of interest in this piece, and because of its colour. ‘Behave A’ is another work of art where Weston used a single alphabet to express the whole meaning of the piece. In this composition, the letter A is emphasized because it’s the only point of interest in this piece. It creates contrast and emphasis with the white background because of its colour black. The faint line at the back creates balance between the piece, like setting a base.’Tree T’ is also symbolic because, again, the alphabet being the only point of focus on the piece. This one has a bit more colours, the background of dark green with some thick brown and beige lines running across. The letter T is emphasized because of its enormous size and light colour on dark background. The colour of beige-brown also represents tree’s colour, the colouring also creates texture like ones on wood.

Canadian – Woodland Artists
a) Norval Morriseau-A Separate Reality, 1984
Canadian Woodland Artists depicts civilization; they express their appreciation for animals and nature through their art work. Norval Morriseau’s ‘A Seperate Reality’ is a mural done with acrylic depicting the First Nations’ belief and respect for other living beings. It was a large piece done with many assistant artists. The piece is vibrant and abstract. The outline is thick, which makes the composition more graphic. The colours are bright and vibrant, have only one value, so there’s an illusion of no depth and the composition seems flat; this factor also makes the piece more graphic. The placement of the elements make the audiences’ eyes follow a spiral motion from the centre.Balance seems to be established because although the two sides have different elements, the basic placement and composition is similar. The elements in this piece seems to be surrounding the green glowing sphere (symbol of earth), which is emphasized because of its placement in the middle and its bright, glowing colour. The elements and symbols of First Nations people are shown with many lined critters/animals and plants are shown and encorperated with the rest of the composition.

b) Daphne Odjig- Roots
Daphne Odjig’s ‘Roots’, like Norval Morriseau’s ‘A Separate Reality’ is very abstract. It is, again, symbolic of their civilization, their worship, and their every-day-activity. Although it is abstracted, many elements of people, animals, and trees can be scene through the difference of line drawing and colours(e.g. the tree roots at the centre). The colours are very specific, only the minimal amount and one value of colour is used、such as brown, blue, yellow, red which all only have one value, only tiny parts are shaded with a darker colour. There are a variety of lines in terms of whether it is straight, curve, or bent. The piece is very graphic because of the thick outlines and flat colours. The lines also guide the audience’s eyes into moving around the piece back and forth, like a replaying motion.

c) Carl Ray –choose a couple
Carl Ray took simplicity into a whole new level. He uses only one colour to compliment the black outline and white background. ‘Skunk Spirit’, for example, uses different shades of blues to colour in. The style of art is very graphic, again, because of the thick black outline. It seems flat because there are no shadows to bring depth. The black outlines on white background create a good contrast and emphasis. This piece demonstrates, again, on Woodland Artists’ appreciation for animals. This strong and powerful feeling for the subject is created because of the spiral composition, which leads the audiences’ eyes, and the defined and clean brushstrokes make it even more effective in terms of leaving an impression. ‘Communication’ is one that is similar to ‘Skunk Spirit’ because it also has black outlines, white background, and only one colour (reddish-brown, clay colour) to compliment the outlines. Although the style is similar, there are still differences. ‘Communication’ has a lot more thin lines; the variety of line sizes and thicknesses is what makes this one different. There are spiral lines, straight lines, curved lines, thick lines, and tiny-thin lines. The parts with thicker lines tend to be the main body, thus showing emphasis. The tiny-thin, and densely compacted lines create a pattern and shadowy effect. There are many repetitive patterns on the moose’s body, representing muscles. The lines, again, direct one another, thus guide the audiences’ eyes across the whole composition.

d) Jackson Beardy-choose a couple
Jackson Beardy, like other Woodland Artists, express his appreciation towards animals and their spirits. He does a lot of spiritual, symbolic, yet abstract paintings. Unlike other Woodland Artists, Beardy uses a variety of bright, vibrant colours. His ‘Spirits of Duality’ is a good example. In this painting, thin, yet defined outlines were shown (The thickness changes a bit; some are thicker for emphasizing purposes like the sun). The use of animals is seen again, showing his appreciation for animal spirits, and they are hollow. The hollowness is justified by the smaller animals. The smaller ones are coloured in, giving more density. It is like the animals (coloured) have spirits (hollow) coming out, and they are bonded through sun. The colours are all bright, giving a very energetic feel, especially the sun, which also has curved lines radiating out. Another piece that demonstrates the relationship between spirits and the First Nations people is ‘Bird Calls’. This piece is composed of a native woman’s head, but projecting out of it is a bird, and two snakes. The use of colours in this one is very different from ‘Spirits of Duality’; it focuses on wood and warm colours like brown, red, and yellow. These colours are dim, unlike the bright, vibrant colours used in ‘Spirits of Duality’. The focus of this piece is the woman’s head, wrapped around by the black, thick outline of her hair. The red and yellow streaks on her face represents the tattoos and emphasizes her features. The curved lines guide the audiences’ eyes around the piece, from the woman’s face to the bird’s spirit, then down the snake-hairs.

e) Goyce Kakegamic-Family Unity,1981
Goyce Kakegamic’s ‘Family Unity’ is a picture that is, again, recording realistic event with a graphic drawing. The outlines are black and defined, there are difference in density. The shapes are varied, but the basic shape is a sphere/oval. There’s repetition with the shapes and there’s repetition unity with the colours of bright blue, orange, red, etc. The lines are all curved, creating an organic feeling. There are shapes of animals like fish and birds around the two individuals, showing the Woodland Artists’ appreciation for animals. The piece is pretty balanced in terms of symmetry because the curve can be cut in half, one individual and two spheres would be on each side. This piece of art represents the tradition of an older person passing their knowledge and experience to the younger person. This process of eductaion in their culture is seen.

f) Alex Janvier-Morning Star, 1993
Alex Janvier’s symbolic art work is ‘Morning Star’ that he made in 1993. This piece is a ceiling painting (spherical). This piece is composed of a spectrum of colours. The variety of colours and pattersn are what makes this so eye-catching. The colours are all very bright. Since the sphere is divided into four sections, each section has a main colour theme; there’s blue, red, white, and yellow. Although there are various of colours, the repetition in colours is also present within the four sections. For example, the yellow is the dominant in one section, but in other three sections, they are used in a minimal amount, yet they create unity within the piece.The lines are barely visible in this piece, or there’s barely any outlines, simply colours. Like the sun, this piece is radiating energy, but instead of the literal energy, it radiates the energy of originality, colours of comfort, and contemporary Aboriginal art.

g) Jim Logan – A Rethinking on the Western Front
Jim Logan’s ‘A Rethinking on the Western Front’ is, like the title, a rethinking on the western front. It is a parody of Michaelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’. Again, focusing on the idea that the world is one place, Jim Logan changed Adam into a First Nations man. Unlike Michaelangelo’s heavenly background and clouds, Jim Logan painted Earth and children, so it is more earthly. It has many components to this piece; there are stars, planets, and a giant Earth at the background, the mid-ground has a giant red bird-block and green turtle-block as a base for the people on the foreground, where the Aboriginal man and the children carrying a woman is on. There is also a picture of evolution on the top left corner, which shows how humans evolve from half-ape, to Aboriginals, then to a white man. The writings also express his thoughts of racial discrimination. He is against the idea that caucasian men have more power when Aboriginals are the first people to appear on the earth. The colours vary and they are all very bright. There are almost no shading in this piece, except for the people, so it creates a very flat surface; this represents the flat and graphic style that Native artists have.There are also, almost no outlines, which is copying the Western style of art where it is more realistic and less graphic. It is a piece that mixes different styles together.

h) Carl Beam- choose a couple of artpieces
Carl Beam’s artwork are ones with mixed media; they are mostly composed of a photograph and collaged with something else. He is passionate about world issues, so as an activist, he makes the message really strong to get across. ‘Sauvage’ (1988) is a piece that puts emphasis on the red, blood-like writings since the message is war. The photo is divided into many pieces, which symbolizes men who fought lost parts of their body and families are broken because of the lost of lives. The whole composition is monochromatic except for the red writings, which really puts emphasis on it. On the bottom, there’s a gun, again, symbolizes war and fighting. It is remorseful and expresses the theme of war, loss of lives, and blood shedding. ‘Sitting Bull and Whale’ (1990) is dealing with another world issue: whale hunting/killing. He is made with etching on Arches paper. It is, again, like a collage that puts two pieces of art/photograph together. There is a red photo of an aboriginal man on top of a black and white picture of whale being “taken care of”. More emphasis is put on the top red picture because of its brighter colour and also because it is bigger, placement is on top and centre of focus.

Plains Art
a) Jane Ash-Poitras – Living in the Storm Too Long, 1992
Jane Ash-Poitras’ ‘Living in the Storm Too Lon’g looks like a collage of paintings and other components of stereotypical First Nations peoples throughout the centuries. These tiny paintings symbolize their cultural and political oppression. Jane is trying to tell the society to respect their culture and history instead of making fun of them. A lot of the symbols are meaningful to the culture. The four skulls, for example, symbolizes that the ancestors of the First Nations are buried in the land. There are many elements to this art; it is composed of many photos of historical figures, exerts from articles and written information, date, symbols (skulls), and drawings for stereotypical First Nations symbols at the bottom. Every piece of information and multimedia component is emphasized due to its light colour on the black background. This work is symmetrically balanced by the components, and it’s seperated into two parts: the factual and multimedia top part and the black background with drawings’ bottom part.

b) Joane Cardinal-Schubert 
First Nations Affiliation: non-status Blood (Kainai) (b. 1942)
 Self-Portrait as an Indian Warshirt, 1991
Joane Cardinal-Schubert’s ‘…Self-Portrait as an Indian Warshirt’ is a self-portrait which represents her background and culture. She identifies a cultural arguments and controversies by referring to Emily Carr, a famous Canadian artist in the Group of Seven who has already passed away. She wrote a series of ‘Letters to Emily’ and included in this piece (The letters discuss her every day life, no matter if it’s the political, personal, and artistic aspect which she face problems in). Like Jane Ash-Poitras’ Living in the Storm Too Long, this self-portrait is like a collage. It uses multimedia and placing each component accordingly to create this composition. There are many layers to this composition, which creates depth. Blue-coloured background dotted with white is like a night sky with many shining stars while the projecting triangles are like trees in the woods. The passionate colour of red is used as a second part background where the sun is involved, radiating heat and warmth. The red is also contrasting with the blue background. The red is placed on the same plain as the white, which represents snow, mountains, and trees (some blue blocks represent the warmer areas). In the foreground, lots of personal information are seen because pictures and writings were placed. The picture of herself is emphasized because of the realism contained within a symbolic, abstract piece of art. The placement of each element in the foreground lead the eyes of the audience around from right to left, top to bottom, then back again.

November 4, 2011

Installation Photography

Filed under: Assignments — Angela @ 6:25 pm

October 24, 2011

Sandy Skoglund Q&A

Filed under: Assignments — Angela @ 6:27 pm

Sandy Skoglund

1. Who is Sandy Skoglund?
Sandy Skoglund is a conceptual post-modern artist who was born in 1946. She specializes in photography and installation artist. Skoglund is known for her staged photography. Each stage of her photograph takes months to set up, and after the stage is set up, the actors have to be in tableaux (stay motionless) and blend in with the rest of the stage. She became an art professor at the University of Hartford in 1973. Right now, Skoglund teaches photography and art installation at Rutgers University.

2. What is the philosophy behind her art?
Sandy Skoglund’s installation art is the type of art that unifies reality and fantasy; it captures the true essence and meaning of an event with symbols (like animals) that represent it metaphorically. Skoglund have stated that “Since we, as human beings, consider ourselves the primary form of consciousness existing in nature, I decided to populate my images with alternative awareness (animals) into our experience.” Humans often use animals sometimes represent their consciousness and awareness; Skoglund reinforces the idea that humans are animals as well and the relationship between humanity and animals has always existed. Even though her photos are full of animals and fantasy-like, Skoglund herself does not believe her artworks are dream-like, instead, she thinks that they are simply reflections of reality. Her photographs are, indeed photographs, so she is just capturing a real moment of time.

3. Choose one of her installations to explain its meaning.

Sandy Skoglund’s Fox Games (1989) is another one of Skoglund’s infamous installation artworks. Installation art is a three-dimensional art which uses interior space effectively and change the audience’s perception of space. In this photograph, Skoglund took a, “interior space” photo of a fine dining restaurant. In the restaurant, there is a waiter serving two individuals. The highlight of this photo though, is a horde of red foxes lurking around. Without the red foxes, the photograph would have been a casual moment captured on camera, but with the foxes present, the room’s perception is changed from a normal dining room to a fantasy, dream-like space. As Skoglund have stated before, animals are metaphoric representations of humans, so in this photograph, the foxes are symbols presenting an idea. This photograph is conceptual, so the viewers may feel different emotions from this photograph. From my perspective, foxes have negative characteristics because in fairytales and short stories, foxes are greedy, always in search for food, and victims. In relation to humanity, the symbol of fox often means slyness, intelligence, and cunningness, which means that they are swift and sneaky. The humans in this photograph don’t realize the presence of these foxes, but in reality, if the foxes are representations of other human beings, they are most likely to lurk around and sneak to gossip. The conversation between the three individuals is unknown, yet the foxes give a hint that the conversation may not be a pleasant one and affect the atmosphere of the whole dining room. Overall, the red foxes are eye-catching and it makes the viewers seek their purpose and meaning.
(more…)

September 11, 2011

Photoshop WarmUp— EXTRA

Filed under: Other Artworks — Angela @ 8:02 pm

Pattern in Text:

September 8, 2011

Photoshop WarmUp

Filed under: Assignments — Angela @ 11:37 pm

Wild and Wacky & Pattern in Text


Pattern in Text

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