Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lots of Art!

Hello again.
Sorry I haven't been so great about updating lately. After midterms I was so busy with the end of the year, packing, storage units, job hunting for the summer and getting ready for New York, I just couldn't manage to squeeze blog time in! But now I'll squeeze all that was missed into a couple blog posts.

First off: my second Lithography assignment! This is a two plate run, and a rather large print. These are aluminum plates, which require a lot more processing than the pronto plates from the first assignment. One run is the brown line work, done with Litho Crayons, and the second (yellow) created with washes. Overall, a pretty successful but not quite portfolio-worthy project.

"Catnip" AP, Lithograph Print, 2010.

Moving right along! Kellan and I, as mentioned previously, were participants in the Sidewalk Chalk Festival. No luck again this year as far as winning goes, but we had fun with it, as usual, and got a lot of good feedback from the people walking by. The weather wasn't as good this year, but we stuck it out, and it was certainly worth it!

The proud artists!

The final product! Children playing pirates in a treehouse with their imaginary friend.

Me working on our piece.

An interesting thing happened to me when I went into Panera for lunch with my roommate Maria a few weeks ago. The cashier, when I handed her my card, said "Oh! You're Caitlin Alexander!" I was pretty confused, and agreed with the statement- yes, that's my name... She then went on to say, "You're really good!" I had no idea what she was talking about, and it was pretty clear, so she continued, "You're illustration, right? I've seen your stuff, it's awesome! You have a boyfriend, Kellan, he's good too!" My department is pretty small, and I didn't know this girl from any of my classes. Needless to say it was very flattering to be recognized by my name as an illustrator! And she even knew about certain details of my life. Celebrity status, woo! Just kidding, but it was pretty exciting.

The third assignment in Poster was very frustrating for me. I actually did the project twice, starting over a day before it was due because I was so unhappy with what I made. I still wasn't thrilled about the final result, but it was better than what I had in the beginning. It is a poster for a band called Horse Feathers. The event in New York is real, and I wanted to show the concept of a indie-folk band taking over the big apple. Here, the chickens are coming out of an apple, like worms. I feel as though my color choices here are poor, and the composition was difficult to understand. A lot of people didn't see this as an apple, and I didn't like the aesthetics of the chickens.

"Horse Feathers take 1" Gouache and Photoshop, 2010.

In the second attempt, I limited my color palette, and removed the harsh orange. I made the chickens more readable, and the top of the apple makes a more iconic image. I used watercolor paper instead of bristol to help with the texture, making my technique a lot better here. I am not, however, as fond of my hand-lettering in this work. I think it looks a little sloppy and rushed (because it was) and, as nice of an idea it was to use the leaf for text, I didn't get it working quite right here. Oh well, learning experience!

"Horse Feathers" Gouache and Photoshop, 2010.

I actually started over my third Lithography assignment as well, although I don't have any scans of the first attempt to show you. This was less of my fault as an artist and more of my fault as a chemist. One of the many steps of the stone process I managed to goof up, and my first print filled in really badly. In a post following this one, I will give a step-by-step of the stone lithography process. So, I started over, and came up with this simple little illustration. The colors are done by hand, not print, with watercolor. The drawing on the stone was done with autographic ink.

"Too Many Dogs" AP, Lithography Print with Watercolor, 2010.

I was actually printing this edition (I pulled a grand total of 21 prints!) during Open Studio Night, where I also had working hanging for sale. I was essentially a demonstrator of lithography, and had people asking me questions about the process. It was a lot of fun, and I'd love to do it again.

I finished my final Litho print as quickly as I could, since I knew I had so much more work in other classes to do. This is also with autographic ink, but there is another run of monoprinting for the the balloon colors and background blue. This is when a printmaker basically paints on a sheet on plexiglass with ink, and then runs it through the press. To get a consistent edition this way is very challenging. The chine-colle (basically collage glued down as the paper is run through the press to print at the same time) of the balloon was done with the linework. It was thought, after seeing these results, that the work still seemed incomplete, and I was considering hand-coloring a little bit of it (which I did do with the hats later), when one of the printmaking professors came in with a box of goodies, showing us little tricks. I tried out her craft Martha Stewart flocking powder out, and it actually balanced the piece perfectly! Flocking powder, in case you aren't familiar with it, is a powder, that once glued down, feels like a fake velvet texture. Very retro greeting card. I love it!

"Balloon Brigade 2/3" Lithography Print with Watercolor and Flocking Powder, 2010.

I had three works in the juried show Alexander Ink at the end of this quarter. Two of them were in the main gallery, and I even got the "Sentient Bean Award" for one of them. The printmaking department announced my name as Caitlin Anderson, though, which was a little awkward. Oh well!

Me with my works in the main gallery.

My other piece framed.

I decided that I really needed to pull out the best work I could do for the final in Poster. I had to redeem myself after that Horse Feathers piece. I looked a lot at the work of Mary Blair and other 1950s illustrators, and carefully worked on this poster for a documentary. I am very pleased with everything about it. I think I finally hit the nail on the head here with the painting style working with the subject matter, and my hand-lettering. And I think the professor agreed! He was a difficult one to please sometimes, but I'm pretty sure he liked this one from me.

"Died Young Stayed Pretty" Gouache, Pencil and Digital, 2010.

And finally, I had to do a piece for the New York trip coming up. I reviewed my portfolio with my professor, and he told me that I have a style for people (gouache) and a style for animals (printmaking), with crossover between (people in printmaking), but I needed something of animals in the people style. So I came up with this! I had been dying to do a piece with a city backdrop, and it was kind of wonderful to have freedom in what I wanted to do (but not too much! That usually ends badly for us illustrators. We need just a little direction to find our own creative method within). I am very happy with this piece, too.

"Worm!" Gouache, 2010.

I also had some work in a Litho show with my class called "Polyautography: Science of the Handmade." It went well, and I even traded prints with some of my classmates. Hooray free wall decor!

And Ancient Art and Architecture, well, was difficult to say the least. Lots of memorization, and in that sense, kind of the art history class from hell! But I pulled it together and ended up getting an A in the class. All A's my entire Junior Year! I have been on the Dean's List my whole college career so far and have a 3.88 GPA. Let's just hope I can keep it up for three more quarters! In the fall I am taking Introduction to Psychology, Humorous Illustration, and Intermediate Lithography. But before then I have a few months off, and a trip to New York to show some important folks my portfolio. I am very excited and nervous. And I will update you again on how the trip goes!
Have a fantastic and lovely summer!

1 comment:

Daniel Woodling said...

I'm loving the worm piece. I'm pretty sure I know exactly who the girl was that was like "you're famous!" haha