This past week has been pretty "artsy" in terms of cultural art and music exposure. I had a few productive a cappella practices, went to the Muse concert, spent a lot of extra time in the Smith warehouse catching up on work, went to the Passion Pit concert, watched Into the Woods, signed up for a spot on the Perkins mural, and registered for an animation class for next semester. So, instead of writing a feature on an artist in particular, I feel like just sitting down on this brisk pre-Halloween festivities afternoon and typing up an informal blog post. Hope you don't mind my ramblings.
So, we had our little individual discussions with Prof. Fick this past Friday and I voiced my primary worries about drawing with traditional mediums. As you may or may not know, this is my first formal art class and, prior to this, I have never even touched charcoal. It has been such a challenge trying to familiarize myself with the tools of the trade as well as the sheer size of the drawings. I mean, seriously, I can barely fit a standard 8.5x11" page much less these giant bristol boards! Utilizing all that space has definitely been something of an obstacle I've been grappling with.
Regardless, my intention isn't to complain. I just want to talk about the merit in exploring various mediums in art. I have only drawn digitally (with a Wacom tablet), so it's easy for me to constrain my innate sketchy and expressive lines through consistent line art-ing as well as cleaning with layers and filtering. Drawing digitally is something of a hobby, and here's a piece I did about a year ago to date -- in which I saved the process of sketch, line art, color, filter correction, etc. This process is seen in the series of photos below:
Basically, this process has been my tried and true method for a lot of these little hobby pieces (1|2|3|4), with a little bit of painterly expression in between. I think it's interesting how challenging/tough it is to translate this method to traditional mediums like charcoal with paper. I supposed right now I'm just frustrated with how to find a way to draw "cleanly" without compromising fluid lines and tonal depth.
Because of this, I want to share a really inspiring artist with everyone. She has (not only) truly created a method totally unique, and it's also a process that really works for her. I find it amazing that Alexa Meade can create such incredible images with such an individual approach. From her "About":
Her approach to her art is so interesting and the product is equally as interesting and innovative as her process:
While this "painting" looks like it was done on campus, Alexa actually painted in a 3D setting -- complete with the man and the props as depicted. This piece is a photograph. Here's a picture from her Flickr of her creating an installation:
I think the main challenge for any artist, professional or amateur hobbyist, is to find a medium that they love to work with. Alexa Meade has found that medium through, I'm sure, a lot of trial and error experimentation. I guess part of that process is to play around with a lot of different methods -- be it sculpture, paints, watercolors, charcoals, etc. Thus, I think that this Drawing 100 class has been an enlightening experience. It has challenged me to find new ways to work with new tools and, hopefully, I'll find a way to achieve expression without compromising line fidelity through charcoal and graphite.
I find Meade to be quite the inspiration. Take those tough materials and make them into something that's yours and yours alone(!)