F402i WEEK 08

05 AUGUST — Weekly packet added to the online studio by 12 noon
06 AUGUST — Return to online studio to discuss fellow artists work by 8a
06 AUGUST — Group feedback provided by professor by 2p
08 AUGUST — 45-60 min group video session via Jitsi at 12noon
 
COURSE VIDEO MEETINGS /
Jitsi Meet
https://meet.jit.si/studioELL-F402i-studio
 
GROUP FEEDBACK /


 
 

Discussion

  • Karen Robertson: Always interesting to wander through your musings and explorations with you. I...
  • Karen Robertson: Wow! What a transformation!
  • Karen Robertson: Beautiful
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vlado
Artist
vlado
3 August 2020 5:53pm

I have a ton of work this week to catch up on, so in anticipation of that I’m posting what I’ve accomplished. John suggested several times to turn the camera on myself for the censored pieces I’ve been doing. These are two self portraits I took 15 years ago, not meant for anyone’s eyes but my husband’s, ‘censored’. First one I tried using complementary colors, the second one the grid blends in with the photo color scheme. The fabric was this gorgeous silk taffeta but point and shoot cameras back then weren’t what they are today, so… I have two more images of this series that I could potentially do, however not particularly excited by the outcome. The images are again 8″ x 8″ acrylic and inkjet print on cotton rag.

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emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:26pm
Reply to  vlado

aha ! we see Vlado ! Even if hidden… that is brave and an adventure. Good on John for pushing that envelope. the colours work well and little peeps of strange things like the sole of the foot.

Catherine Harrington
Artist
Catherine Harrington
5 August 2020 5:09pm
Reply to  emma davis

Yes – intriguing mix of skin and textile, where one finishes and the other commences – that could really go somewhere!

Melissa Dunn
Artist
5 August 2020 5:23pm
Reply to  vlado

These self-portraits are both strong and vulnerable. After seeing the rotating mark drawings from las week I’m seeing these works in a new way. The story you’re telling by way of variation throughout all is so captivating. Infinite possibilities!

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
5 August 2020 10:31pm
Reply to  vlado

I agree with Melissa’s comment about seeing these in a new way after looking at the rotating mark drawings. I find it endlessly fascinating to see where and how connections and similarities pop up in an artist’s work.
I especially like the second one with the colors that blend with the photo. When I squint to look at it, the image transforms in my mind into a cohesive abstract image, instead of being perceived as a photo with a geometric pattern overlaid on it.

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 11:36pm
Reply to  vlado

Well done for responding to that suggestion. Not everyone would, and I think it’s so great that you did!
I’ve been poring over these for ages. The details of the skin you’ve chosen to reveal and the fabric are a captivating combination – this series always rewards close attention. And I love the depth of perspective in the purple/blue/green one. Draws the eye in so well.
And I love how the quiet of your position contrasts with the drama of the fabric.

emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:56am

Here is an audio from this morning early – seems to continue being quiet here… we are enjoying the serenity. https://www.dropbox.com/s/xdxot7w64y96jrv/6am%205%20August.mp3?dl=0
Continued with sketchbook daily ritual Now moving towards the spine … I’ve been thinking these marks are a little virus like (?) or now reference private anatomy

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emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:59am
Reply to  emma davis

More of the same drawings

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emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 5:05am
Reply to  emma davis

Finally a close up of the state of the slightly ‘wilder’ marks on the wall. Developments include purchase of a roll of 20metres (about the same in yards) of white cartridge paper which will go on the floor – on the wall! Radical.

I’ve also signed up to an evening course on art theory in November (if we ever get there) which focuses on space and place: “Explore concepts and theories of space and place in relation to historical and contemporary art and making, and engage in discussion and debate related to landscape, urban, site-specific and place-based creative arts.” also considering a course online on how to look at visual art https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/learning-to-look-at-the-visual-arts-online
This is to get my brain more into ideas alongside the rituals and notetaking of daily ‘doing’ and collecting.

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Melissa Dunn
Artist
5 August 2020 5:09pm
Reply to  emma davis

My eye keeps going where the marks cross over form one page to the next. Good job on taking more courses. I feel like I need three lifetimes to get in all the learning it takes to make and think about art!

Catherine Harrington
Artist
Catherine Harrington
5 August 2020 5:11pm
Reply to  emma davis

every week that I see your work – I sit and stare at these markings – always see these as micro / macro environments. Love these, they must be fun to make!

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 10:38pm
Reply to  emma davis

I’m loving the energy in these wilder marks. Looking forward to seeing what marks you make on the big roll. 20m is ginormous! 🙂

Those courses sound really interesting.

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
5 August 2020 10:40pm
Reply to  emma davis

Classes can be such an inspiration. I definitely applaud continuing to explore, challenge and just enjoy expanding horizons of thought and practice and skills.

emma davis
Artist
emma davis
6 August 2020 4:35am
Reply to  emma davis

Just wanted to say how much I appreciate being part of this group, the energy of everyone’s production, the honesty and vulnerability exposed. The experimentation which John has encouraged. I feel i am in a different place and have got through the lockdown thanks to the comfort of strangers, the strong background presence of John and the tutors at Ell.

vlado
Artist
vlado
5 August 2020 6:27pm
Reply to  emma davis

These are really interesting. Unlike the others you’ve done I get a sense of “collapse” as the marks hit the spine of the book – completely different experience for me visually, and remind me of the fans, perhaps because of the saturation of charcoal on the fold. Keep learning/taking classes!! (Coming from the serial student here ?)

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 10:42pm
Reply to  emma davis

The creases here are so strangely… intimate. Amazing how marks on paper can be so evocative of the anatomical.

Melissa Dunn
Artist
5 August 2020 4:57pm
Reply to  emma davis

Oh, yes, the spine on a blank page is so alluring. My first thought when I saw these was ‘very sexy!’ It’s amazing the power of placement.

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
5 August 2020 10:37pm
Reply to  emma davis

I didn’t see the private anatomy aspect at first when I was looking through the pictures. It wasn’t until I read your comments that I thought “oh, yeah I can see that!” Also a few of them look almost like a reflection on a lake with a flock of birds taking off with great fanfare.

Melissa Dunn
Artist
5 August 2020 9:34am

I haven’t talked in this class much about how I utilize life experiences and biography in my work. This week I wrote about two recent experiences that are bubbling up in my studio. Sorry it’s so long. I’m breaking it up into parts so it’ll fit. 

Part 1

I make art to help process everything from the tragic to the euphoric. This is a slow process, as I have to both let life happen and have some distance around the experience in order to visually abstract it.  I come up with a painting based on an experience by way of photography, drawing from memory, and writing.  

The first of the two experiences I’m thinking about now is a film I worked on with my friend Brian from November to when the world shut down in March.  I’ve known Brian since I was 20 and we have a deep creative connection.  He’s a filmmaker and had a residency at an arts organization called Crosstown Arts, located in a converted Sears warehouse.  The film is called Jody, named after his 15 year old standard poodle, and is about me being in a magical parallel universe where I’m searching the monolithic building to find Jody, who is lost.  Along the way I find clues about Brian and his family history.  It’s also a film about our long friendship.  

Shooting this was so fun!  We’d load up a little red wagon with his gear and find the most amazing nooks and crannies in the building to shoot, then we’d go back to his  studio with huge windows and look at the footage and smell perfume.  (Brian collects perfume.)  We had 14 more shooting days left, he’d even hired a sound guy for the scenes with dialogue, but then the pandemic hit.  Also,  Jody died in April and Brian’s day job as office manager at his partner’s dental office went from being a perfect gig alongside a creative life to a very stressful and dangerous job.  Understandably, Brian’s not doing great right now and I wonder if this film will ever get finished.  

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emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:28pm
Reply to  Melissa Dunn

Incredible images. Captivating. Filmic. Mysterious. A little Hitchcock meets Cindy Sherman. More please. What an furrow to plough! Esp with your interest in your personal family history…

vlado
Artist
vlado
5 August 2020 6:32pm
Reply to  Melissa Dunn

These are so fascinating and unexpected and a completely different side of you! I keep looking especially at the two with the stairs-compositionally and color-wise just great for me. And to see you “dolled up” – so great you’re also exploring a facet of you – look forward to seeing where it goes. Sorry about all the health drama you’ve had to go through with family. If only healthcare were a human right…

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 10:30pm
Reply to  Melissa Dunn

So much rich insight into your process here, Melissa. The vibrancy and the struggles. Thanks for sharing it all.
These images are absolutely stunning. The aesthetic is just delicious. I so hope the time comes where you can finish the film.
(And that lipstick looks so bloody great on you.)

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
5 August 2020 11:27pm
Reply to  Melissa Dunn

I love these images and the character that comes through with you dressed up and in the role. I’m sorry to hear that Brian’s life has been such a challenge with the pandemic and the loss of Jody and that you have also had challenges with your family and health care, etc. Ugh. (That’s my new favorite word to sum up 2020 in a ‘yeah that’s an understatement’ kind of way). May there be better times for all of you on the other side of this and I hope you get to finish the film.
I can relate to what you said about becoming a different version of yourself that you would like to get to know better. In one of the expressive art therapy workshops I did we chose a wig, costume and props and then talked and wrote about who we were, our personality, our name, what we wanted to express,.. It was interesting the kinds of things that came up for me and the other participants. I have never done any acting at all, so it was a completely new experience and a way to explore parts of myself that I don’t always acknowledge or let show.
Love the videos you shared too. The trees are so full of movement and sound and I don’t usually get to see them from this perspective. Also love Brian’s whole thing about rotary dial phones. (And yes, I’m old enough to remember using them)

Melissa Dunn
Artist
5 August 2020 9:37am

Part 2:

In the spirit of process over outcome, though, I want to make art about the experience of making this film.  When I put on this costume (from my closet) and makeup, I became a version of myself I want to get to know better. How this will manifest into painting is still seasoning, but here are a few images to give you an idea of the colors and shapes.  ( Brian used these images to test color variation – I haven’t altered anything.)  Also, in the dropbox link there’s a little video letter he sent me soon after we went into lock down and it speaks volumes about how we communicate.  He made it on his phone back in the spring, when were still optimistic that by June we could get back to shooting. 

The second experience bubbling up is that in May my husband spent two weeks in quarantine with my invalid Father after my stepmom tested positive and had to go into the hospital (she’s fine now).  James volunteered mainly because I can’t physically handle getting my Dad in out of the shower and because my Dad is far more patient with him than with me.  It was all very scary because I was the one who took my stepmom to get tested and James was exposed because before she went to the hospital he was spending six hours a day in the apartment because the caregivers won’t go into covid positive households.  This story is actually mild in comparison to what thousands of people are experiencing, but even so, when we were trying to negotiate elder care, a broken medical system, and a dysfunctional extended family, well, it was the kind of experience that I need to make art about in order to better understand.  

Here are two pictures of the many facetime calls we had throughout each day. Also, in the dropbox folder there’s a video James sent me shot  from my Dad’s tenth floor apartment of Memphis’ lush canopy of trees during an approaching storm. 

Brian video – https://www.dropbox.com/s/bokb5v1hm2ewzcj/Dear%20Melissa.mov?dl=0
Storm – https://www.dropbox.com/s/2iecr3a5vwb1aku/storm.mov?dl=0

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emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:33pm
Reply to  Melissa Dunn

the image of you in a mask is a counterpoint to the narrative time before all this happened. and what a lot has happened. I didn’t realise there would be reference to Hitchcock .. but there it is. such a great inspiring collage.

emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:34pm
Reply to  Melissa Dunn

Like the idea of a friend sending a video letter to Dear Melissa. The storm is as though you are in a tree house… the sound is powerful like a flag waving

Catherine Harrington
Artist
Catherine Harrington
5 August 2020 11:09am

I visited the site of Robert Milligan’s statue plinth. See the 19th C backdrop of warehouses and the 20th C frontage of Canary Wharf office buildings! Colonising the docklands each in their own time.

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Catherine Harrington
Artist
Catherine Harrington
5 August 2020 11:11am

Note the statue name censored with a plywood panel insert.

And the top of the plinth – I wrote –
This pitted, pocked and creviced surface speaks of a process of gouging and of something dislodged. The empty space hovering above this arid and dusty landscape is empty but not silent. I can still hear the loud scream of the severing and of the bobbing head being trundled away to cheers and drum rolls.

I photomontaged my image in this photograph.

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emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:37pm

photo montage next to a person is moving – brilliant especially the use of colour. Pockmarked surface yes – and the plinth empty – very poignant.

Melissa Dunn
Artist
5 August 2020 4:49pm

Seeing your image there is reminder the risk of these statue removal without any story of the atrocities is dangerous. Yes, we must remove the statues but we must never forget. Not an erasure of history, but history on it’s head!

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 9:58pm
Reply to  Melissa Dunn

That’s well put, Melissa.

vlado
Artist
vlado
5 August 2020 6:34pm

Echoing everyone on the montage – works really well I think. The empty plinth – you could take your Facebook sculpture and put it on a pedestal? Perhaps too literal but that’s what I thought of immediately.

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 9:57pm

Yep. That photo montage is really nicely done.

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
6 August 2020 6:34am

I like how you are observing, documenting and responding to the process of removal and change that is happening. And your image put into the scene works especially well.

Catherine Harrington
Artist
Catherine Harrington
5 August 2020 11:15am

I thought it is poignant to present some work I did earlier in the lockdown. The act of staining / polluting of a place alongside a vacancy.

The film is called Expire – also on Vimeo



The act of inhalation / exhalation takes on an urgent meaning during the early months of pandemic in 2020, and later on, a more sorrowful meaning following the killing of George Floyd.”

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Catherine Harrington
Artist
Catherine Harrington
5 August 2020 1:24pm

APOLOGIES ALL – I WROTE IN THE WRONG VIMEO LINK – PLEASE IGNORE “VISITING EACH OTHER” – AND ALSO LINKED THE WRONG FILM AS ATTACHED ABOVE (WRONG VERSION – CANNOT REMOVE IT) SEE THE VIMEO LINK BELOW FOR THE FILM CALLED EXPIRE!!

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Catherine Harrington
Artist
Catherine Harrington
5 August 2020 1:32pm
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emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:41pm

something like a octopus or a sea urchin or man o war taking in air / water

Melissa Dunn
Artist
5 August 2020 4:52pm

This is haunting and scary and beautiful. I appreciate the poetic part of your practice. Oh, and congratulations on getting your film in the film festival! I didn’t get a chance to post responses last week.

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
6 August 2020 6:37am

Beautiful

emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:38pm

Remember that visiting each other video – inspired simplicity.

emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:40pm
Reply to  emma davis

what a clever way to suggest exhalation. the ink diluting and moving has a sinister quality like a mask or a face distorting

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 9:49pm

So strange and beautiful, Catherine. Alive and yet haunting. The movement is captured so well in these stills.

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 12:00pm

John gave me some very thought provoking feedback last Thursday.
I transcribed it and there were 9 (possibly rhetorical) questions to consider in there.
So the past few days have involved mulling, cooking, thinking, pondering, gardening, wandering, staring up at the blank wall in the studio, imagining, napping, and considering.
Attached are my notes of the past couple of days.

  • I retraced my process since week 1
  • jotted down thoughts and feelings in response to the nine questions. They are in the sequence John asked them but I didn’t necessarily make these notes in that order.

I’ve thought a lot about negotiating the space between intent and interpretation. I think I have landed on the intent.
I suspect this week will be much more pragmatic – Exploring which medium best captures that intent in an abstract form that I find most interesting and fitting.

This part of the process is vital for me. I need to let my thoughts fall into a coherent order.
It’s a bit like pottering round the garden pruning and deadheading.

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 12:07pm
Reply to  cary

Here’s the garden looking toward the studio first thing this morning. A bit like the inside of my head over the weekend!
Grateful for a few days of cooler weather (Low 70s with a cool breeze!) so I could actually enjoy being outside.

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cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 2:03pm
Reply to  cary

Meant to share these earlier & forgot. These are the notes (& various reference items) on my studio table that the PDF was created from.

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Melissa Dunn
Artist
5 August 2020 4:37pm
Reply to  cary

Good job napping! An important tool in my studio life as well.

It’s very cool here in Memphis now too. I’m sitting outside typing at 3:30 as if it were a spring day. Your garden is beautiful! I love the analogies of deadheading to your process.

I read your handwritten notes every week because I appreciate the honesty in your queries and your answers. I write a lot in my studio life but I’m guarded. Reading your notes are an example of honestly looking the wrangling in the eye.

Being comfortable in ambiguity is a highly skilled act – in life and the studio. Your search is art in and of itself in my mind.

Catherine Harrington
Artist
Catherine Harrington
5 August 2020 5:18pm
Reply to  Melissa Dunn

Yes, I too have appreciated these notes and sense of in depth inquiry!! I always make note to self to make notes too, and I don’t – which makes me appreciate yours even more!!

emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:43pm
Reply to  cary

what a space what a garden. jealous.

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 11:47pm
Reply to  emma davis

I’d have gone out of my mind without it.

vlado
Artist
vlado
5 August 2020 6:36pm
Reply to  cary

Monty would be proud of that garden!! I appreciate you’re taking the time to think and organize and reflect, wish I had that discipline.

cary
Artist
cary
6 August 2020 12:48am
Reply to  vlado

Ah Monty! There is truly no higher compliment. ☺️ As the great man himself so often says, gardening is all about process and its gift is that it’s never finished.
I started browsing back through my photos and found this – looking out to what is now the studio – from Aug 9, 2016 when the yard was a blank canvas.

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Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
6 August 2020 6:38am
Reply to  cary

Wow! What a transformation!

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
6 August 2020 6:41am
Reply to  cary

Always interesting to wander through your musings and explorations with you. I have something of a love hate relationship with my own writing and it’s refreshing to be able to get a glimpse into someone else’s thought/writing process.

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
5 August 2020 12:15pm

Finally got some work done on my Covid-19 triptych. I’ve been mildly stuck, feeling unsure how to pick back up. It’s been a while since I last worked on it and even longer since I did anything very big. I usually work alla prima (finish a painting while it’s all wet) so I’m in territory I’m less familiar with at the moment and feeling a little intimidated. Decided to paint the two side panels and then once the ball is rolling already, go back and work on the main panel.

I have posted the original pencil sketch for the right hand panel, the notan drawing and the roughed out painting. I’m feeling really good that I’m making progress, and the painting is still in the loose, beginning stage. It’s a part of the process I particularly enjoy. I also took one shot of all three panels together even though I haven’t gotten anything done of the left hand panel yet. Last photo is the whole pencil sketch as a reminder of the plan. The left panel will be of empty toilet paper shelves in the grocery store

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Melissa Dunn
Artist
5 August 2020 4:07pm

It’s cool to see the different phases of the work in progress and how the idea connects through them. The looseness is the notan drawing and the roughed out painting is beautiful. Fantastic composition. I know that feeling of putting something down and revisiting it later. For me, sometimes i’m in such a different mindset when I go back to that it’s hard to reconnect, but then when the connection happens it’s like seeing an old friend.

emma davis
Artist
emma davis
5 August 2020 4:46pm

i agree with Melissa there is a lag once you go back but you seem to have done so in a great way which emphasises the palette of colours, the simplicity of your metaphor and how instinctively you seem to lay paint down. More please.

Catherine Harrington
Artist
Catherine Harrington
5 August 2020 5:19pm

Thank you for sharing the process!

Catherine Harrington
Artist
Catherine Harrington
5 August 2020 5:21pm

Interesting how movement is conveyed in each image, in different ways. Very striking composition!

vlado
Artist
vlado
5 August 2020 6:38pm

I love seeing these, you’re such an adroit painter, keep posting progress photos – perhaps will rekindle my love of oil.

cary
Artist
cary
5 August 2020 10:58pm

Can only echo everyone else – this is such a strong composition, and it’s wonderful to get to see the different stages of the process side by side. I’m so glad the progress you’re making is feeling good for you. It’s evident you’ve approached getting back into it in a really positive way.