Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Exaggerate to Express

We are working with clay on Friday. We will do expressive 'character heads', and we can consider making bodies, and bases, for them too. They may go into our diorama's...but let's talk about that on Friday.

Here are some links and terms to consider for creating features for our clay. (back in a minute)


Going with the Flow

Our studio time this session started by asking everyone to think about how we perform in a given situation, and to consider what is left behind by - or constructed by - that experience. We discussed Plato's Allegory of the Cave, and I suggested we construct two-faced identity masks as a way of thinking through ideas of Persona and Shadow, while also building our sketchbook and journalling in the process.  Some of this has changed, and some of this will be pulled into what we are working on in May.

Here are some of the masks we worked on for the conference. You were all given free space to work through the materials as a technical challenge - using plasticine, paint and paper mache, and came up with very evocative, dynamic and expressive pieces. (pics here shortly)

Sketchbooks: You can use your own work to draw from, literally in your sketchbooks, and question and even challenge yourself on the choices you made in your work. You can re-draw elements, explore different colour combinations, play with scale and detail, or draw what an alternative mask of different choices might look like.
You can do some free association with words or images to try to tease out an idea you might want to work on more, or that you found exciting about during the process. Perhaps you would like to work with a someone else on something. Keep it positive by finding something you really like about what you've done, and working on it more, or something you thought you would have liked to have done (critique), and so will investigate now.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Quick Friday!!

Today was quick yet quite involved. We have revised our project approach to fit in to our new schedule and I wasn't sure how it would look today but am so happy with everyone's efforts at being creative. Thanks you for some really interesting ideas and work!

Plasticine designs on our masks was productive, and very individualized, with quite different ideas and approaches to the process, including pencil and pen line work or sketching, paint, and full-on building through the plasticine colours.

The original process is 1) plasticine "maquette"(sort of plan or model which in our case was to get us inspired) made right on our masks,
2) papier mache to cover and secure soft spots, and allow for
3)painting and design details.
So for Monday, I will have torn paper and glue for anyone to papier mache over their work, to add some to create a base for new work or to just try and incorporate into their designs.  We will have paint and plasticine out too...and we can just work it out as we go.

Keep in mind that wet paint on wet glue has a different effect than wet  paint on dry...
Now that I think about it, I will bring some gems/jewels, feathers and streamers(thanks Imogen!) to
add as well.
We may find time on Friday again, if needed, to finish. I'll confirm with Erika.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

First Meeting

http://chroniclesofharriet.com/tag/dieselpunk/ Feb11

We met in Burlington over some simple mask templates, markers, a little bling and a discussion of Shadow and Persona. I left you with Plato's Allegory of the Cave with little explanation... and some ' face' page templates and asked you to start to think about our project and time together. (see sidebar...?).   Tanya brought in some sketchbooks for each of you and I understand we are going to try to find some interesting ways to link our work to journals. 
The idea of Persona masks is in part derived from  psychoanalysis(Carl Jung), which has it's own origins in imaginative and speculative scientific enquiry into the possible nature of the 'the mind'.  A big part of this exploration of the personal involved dream analysis, so I propose we each keep a small aspect of our journals open to dream imagery and dream analysis - either remembered or imagined(if these are in fact different)...And, coincidentally, a good way to hold a dream or realize a dream is to imagine one, and then speculate on what that might look like by drawing and writing in sketchbooks... and journals.

Traditionally, journals are mainly text-based records and sketchbooks are mainly visual records. Personally, my sketchbooks are my journals: rich sources of my own images and ideas, more and less private, that are most often very interesting, sometimes beautiful, exciting and unlikely, often cringe-worthy, corny, funny and very often flawed. My own ideas are a source of  inspiration, reflection, healthy embarrassment, changed mind, experimentation, and hopeful starts. With journals and sketching, we creatively - or constructively - enter into a very useful dialogue with the narratives of our own ideas and concerns, as we practice routines of  problem-solving and visualizing questions and alternatives, and realize the range of possibilities to our thinking and most importantly, steps to doing.

Words/Phrases to investigate: Allegory, Narrative, Symbol, speculation,  Dream Analysis, Archetypes, Carl Jung, 'Persona and Shadow'(Carl Jung), Plato's 'Allegory of the Cave'.
In the Studio:
I found a great way to make our masks using the paper bases, plasticine, paper-mache and paint/collage. Here is my mock-up.(see below). I left this loose and careless, as a demo of possible techniques we can work on, and test ideas a bit more in studio. I want to reveal the different levels of working through to a finished work, and to offer the possibility to you that while parts might be left incomplete, that doesn't mean the work as a whole is unfinished. Mostly, I wanted to show you different levels where you can invest or leave-off the work using different materials and techniques for your own creative purposes.
These are views of the front. I built up some features with plasticine, planning to p-mache over. As I was working I liked how just the plasticine itself became a way to define the details so left some blank for you to consider. Notice the mouth and nose detail and the different ways of creating pattern with either/or paint, plasticine and p-mache.
I left the tips of the 'horns' exposed because it was interesting. I didn't really paint areas of colour because the p-mache was done in different colours of tissue paper--which is kind of painting with paper...
 Not much on the other side yet because the first face isn't really resolved.  We can play with this example and talk about some ideas for the interior...

Masks by Patrick Riley

please visit http://newsok.com/gallery/articleid/3681742/pictures/1739188
for inspiration.