Creating Art with Art.

For today’s roundabout I used the threshold photo of my dog to print onto paper. The image was printed onto a woven stencil, which I used to print my image using paint and water based inks. I placed a piece of paper under the stencil and dropped some ink over the woven mesh. I then used a speedball squeegee to press the ink through the stencil and onto the paper.

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I really enjoyed the printing, it was great to experiment with and I’m really glad I could do something else with the photographs that I had taken.

Hot Wire, Blood and Blisters.

During my sculpting roundabouts, I had the opportunity to do a little spot welding. I enjoyed it at first, but eventually it got a little frustrating. Nothing I did wanted to work and I look at other peoples projects and they all look incredible. I started with a small idea that was inspired by the Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery. I wanted to make a small church out of wire and hang three small windows inside from string, then photograph it by shadow casting. This didn’t work out to say the least.

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You can see in this photograph that my work wasn’t what you would call ‘Grade A’ art work. In fact, after all the effort from lining it all up and after a few cuts and burns, it all snapped and fell to pieces. I was ready to give up at this point. However, I didn’t. I actually sat and thought about what other things I could do. Maybe something a little more easy. I then remembered the documentary I tried to make. There was a shot of a Japanese warrior stabbing a guy in the heart with a spear. I thought about how the piece made me feel. It kind of made me feel a little angry. The fact that these two men, who probably had never met had a fight to the death because an authoritative figure told them too. It kind of made me think about how everything has changed, but at the same time. Nothing has. If someone told me to jump off a building, I wouldn’t. However if I was at war, I would probably shoot to kill. It’s quite sad when you really think about it. How people react differently in situations you cannot control. It makes me look at the art piece and wonder, ‘what would I do?’

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This isn’t the same image, but it is very similar in style.

So, I decided that I was going to create a 3D model of that section of the painting. Again, it didn’t really work the way I wanted too, but I want to try and photograph it while shadow casting. Here are some photographs I took of my sculpture.

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The first thing I did was make the head. I did this by wrapping the wire around a lead casting block. I then made the body and the stand by bending the wire. It wasn’t really all that hard to do the first part. I then needed to weld the head and body together, so I welded it at two points at the bottom of the head to make it stronger.

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The next thing I did was make the spear and arm. For this I got a piece of thick wire, welded it to the body and curled it at the end for a hand. I then wrapped some thinner wire around the base of the hand to hold the spear in place. I also started to (try) make the facial expression on the head by curling a small piece of wire and welding it on the inside of the head.

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The rest of the facial expression was done with thinner wire. I wrapped the thin wire around the mouth to attempt to make gritted teeth and I also welded a bow of thin wire to the top of the face to create an eye. It doesn’t look very good, but I’m sure it will look better during the shadow cast.

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I then followed the same steps to try and make a victim of my sculptures wire spear. However, this really didn’t work. My victim looks a little like the cartoon character Salad Fingers.

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This is Salad Fingers.

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I learned a lot from this experience, even though my work wasn’t really all that good. I learned how to spot weld wire and I even got a small qualification in spot welding. I really enjoyed it and I would love to play with it again some day.

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Experimenting With Photoshop, Again

After playing with the threshold of the image in Photoshop, I decided I should take it further but I didn’t really know how. I looked at both of the images and thought about what I could do to progress my experimentation further.

 I then remembered an artist from my roundabout in Fine Art. John Stezaker from Worcester, uses two or more different images and merges them into one. This technique is incredibly simple but also very beautiful.

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This image is my favorite.  It’s called Pair IV and was created in 2007. Both images were found by Stezaker from either magazines or even from bins. Pair IV is a picture of a couple staring at each other, however Stezaker has placed a postcard over the top with a photograph of a valley between two cliff faces. The postcard has been strategically placed to replace the faces of the couple (or pair) with the rocky textured faces of the cliff. This is the photo that kind of inspired my progression.

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So, I took these images and added threshold until I came up with something I liked. This is what I finalized after adding threshold.

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I took a minute to look at the images and my inspiration from John Stezaker forced me to want to merge the images together somehow. So I noticed the cat has no eye, the threshold was to low for it to be visible. The dog however, did. I then used the Lasso tool to cut out the dog’s eye and add it to the image of the cat. I instantly fell in love with the image. I liked it because the eye made the dog look quite sad. In fact her eyes were the reason eye photographed her. When I placed her eye over the cat, they became different. As if they were meant to be there. The sad eyes of the dog became the shocked and almost alert expression of the cat, but I still wanted to take it further.

I took some photograph’s of the process and one of them stood out.

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Here is where I printed the images out to merge them, or to have a good look at them. I also used the image of the dog for ink printing.

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In the screen you can see that I am playing with the eye on Photoshop.

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This is the point where I lasso’d the eye out. I wanted to take the black strip to see if it could work within the image of the cat. Unfortunately, it didn’t. The texture from the dog’s fur differed too much from the fur of the cat.

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I purposely put all the pictures on the screen to show my progress. I wanted to show how I got from two photographs to a single image.

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This is the final image. I photographed the image on the screen to see what kind of effect I could get from it. This image, I do like but the image below is my favorite.

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I absolutely love the border around the image of the cat. The screen also gave it a kind of pixel effect, almost as if a mesh had been placed over it. I am really proud of this photograph and I’m really proud of the process I took and the progress I made to finish it. These photographs were never intentionally used for work. I was actually testing the camera but managed to get some photographs that were personal to myself. I love the eyes of my dog and the lighting on the cat was purely experimental. The eye is the main focus of this piece and I really feel like I have captured something I can be proud of.

Experimenting With Photoshop

Today during the second half of roundabouts, we inserted some photographs or images into photoshop and played with the threshold of the image. I chose to use photographs that I had personally taken on the camera I acquired. The pictures I decided to use are pictures of my dog and my girlfriends cat. I was just experimenting with the camera at the time and had no intention to use these images in my work.

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Once I put the photograph of my dog into Photoshop, I changed the threshold of the image to make it black and white, then printed it out. I intend to use paper to evolve the image into something else.

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For the image of the cat, I changed the threshold and decided to experiment a little with typography. I am a huge fan of Lewis Carroll’s, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and decided to use a famous quote from the Cheshire Cat. ‘We’re all Mad Here’.

I used different brushes and tones to try and capture different images.

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Roundabouts – Day 3

This weeks roundabouts has been a breath of fresh air to me. I finally have a taste of what is to come and I love it. The mornings session was quite interesting, working with low shutter speeds to capture light trails was quite exciting and really fun to experiment with. I attempted to get some good photographs, however my skill isn’t really what I would call good. At all. In fact, it took me a while to manage to even capture the light trails. I was unaware that in order to capture it, you had to hold down the capture button down to let the light in before letting go. Even with my lack of skill, I really enjoyed the session and look forward to more on Thursday.

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My work wasn’t nearly as professional as this, but you get the idea.

After a short break, we were then told to capture an image of something without being able to distinguish what that object is. This was what I thought, a really simple task,. But it wasn’t. It gave me a chance to really experiment with photography and see what the camera can do. I changed a few settings and played around with the camera. I took some images of some simple things such as; keyholes, door signs, cars, etc. All of which were distinguishable. I tried fiddling with the settings again and nothing was visible in the images. It was pitch black. It reminded me of the light capture in the earlier session and I took what I learned and used it to my advantage. I started using the low light aperture speeds and photographed some lights in the hall. I got a really dark and almost lunar effect from the lights. They looked like moons. Some of the photographs I took really impressed me and made me proud of my work.

The afternoon session was something I am more familiar with. Media. In this session we talked about the history and evolution of film and cinema. Starting from the earliest art form, cave paintings. It’s strange because painting or art in that context, never really interested me, but I was inspired by the idea of our ancestors recording their lives through a very simple way. We also talked about other art forms such as; architecture, poetry and eventually photography and film. I learned quite a lot about the film culture when it started in 1895 with The Lumiere Brothers and their footage of the train.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dgLEDdFddk

We then talked about scratch film and how painters and other artists such as Stan Brakhage created art using clear 35mm film. We watched a film called Mothlight which was created by Stan Brakhage using the wings of moths. The film itself is very poetic and to me, represents life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaGh0D2NXCA

We were also shown a scratch film made by students and discussed the pro’s and con’s of the film in preparation for our own scratch film. I particularly enjoyed the animation side and the small cartoons drawn by the students. It reminded me of the cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid, so I think I will focus on a small animation when I come to play with a 35mm film and some paint.

 

Experimenting With Photography

I started to experiment with my work and a camera, so I pulled out a tripod and started taking images. I also experimented a little with light and shadows to see what kind of effects I could bring out,

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Here I used a lamp to light the piece,

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For this photograph I sued both the lap, and the flash.

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I like the half point shadow, it could represent (if sticking with the Eastern Asian art style)

Ying and Yang.

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Here is the image again with flash activated.

Roundabouts – Day 2

Day two of our roundabouts was much better. I felt like I had accomplished something different by the end of the day, which I guess is a success. Textiles, again for me was absolutely awful. I really had no idea what to do. I tried stitching but I kept pricking fingers, and it all just came out at the end anyway. Fine Art however, I really did enjoy.

 At first, I was quite lost on what to do, but eventually I found the courage to actually try and make something I can be proud of. I had a look around and found an advertisement, advertising clothing or perfume, I can’t really remember. I also found a cut out of these Korean soldiers on parade. I cut off the models head and replaced it with the tiny cut out of one of the Korean soldiers marching.

 I looked at the piece and thought it was missing something, I didn’t really know what it was missing so I picked up some paint. We had been looking into some famous pop artists and some of the work was done by painting postcards. So, I thought I could incorporate some of that into my work. I picked up a postcard provided by one of the lecturers and painted it red, I ten took the handle of a paint brush and painted a cross. I then took the postcard and printed the cross onto the paper. After this, I glued on my Korean model. I used a cross to represent what had inspired me at the museum, but even after this it still felt like it wasn’t finished.

 I liked what it looked like, but I still wanted to do more and include some more inspiration. I thought about a haiku that one of the other students had written about a painting they liked. I remembered what the painting looked like, so I used my fingers to mimic it. (I will say I tried to be creative, but there just wasn’t a paintbrush spare)

This is my final product.

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I really liked the finished product as it reminds me of a cartoon I saw about the illusion of free will. The cartoon is of a cow who has two choices, to take the left door, or the right door. But both doors inevitably lead to the slaughter house, giving the cow the illusion of free will.

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My piece reminds me of this because to me, the bright colours represent how life is supposed to be this wonderful thing, the Korean model represents something being controlled and the cross means a higher power. This is why it reminded me of the cartoon of the cow. It represents that life is controlled and everything you do is monitored, giving you the illusion of free will. Just like the cow.