Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scenes from an Experimental Art Class


For the last five weeks I've been taking an art class:  Experimental Drawing.  And what an experiment it's been!  The best way I can describe what we're doing is by calling it "free painting," the visual equivalent of "freewriting." 

Personally I've found the approach both difficult and oddly liberating--a constant struggle between wanting to create the "picture in my mind" and then having to give in to what the images dictate.  It's a lot like wanting to write a contemporary romance only to have it turn into a Norse saga in iambic pentameter with science fiction elements.  All you can do is stand back and say:  "Oooh-kaaay..."

On a more technical note, the materials we are using for this grand experiment include:
  • Stonehenge and watercolor papers, as well as Bristol board.
  • Acrylic paints.
  • Watercolor paints.
  • Pastels in both stick and loose, powdered forms.
  • Acrylic mediums/grounds/gels.
  • Fixative.  (Lots of fixative between each layer of pastel or paint.)
  • Ink.
  • Collage papers.
  • Graphite pencils.
  • And just about anything else that makes, or takes, a mark.
So here's my small gallery of works to date (including the picture at the top.  I like that one in particular because I threw in some words: "The Art of Placing."  I love combining text with visuals.)

Perhaps the hardest thing for me right now is to stop assigning meaning to the work, in other words, to simply let the pieces be.  They are what they are:  surprising, foreign, challenging, and miles--light years--away from the Polyvore creations that usually illustrate my blog posts. 

I still have four classes left to attend, including one tonight, and I must say I'm filled with curiosity to know what's coming next.  It's kind of like waiting for the next chapter of a very strange book--one that I'm writing in my sleep!  Stay tuned. 

Tip of the Day:  S-t-r-e-t-c-h.  Take a class, join a group, buy a how-to book in a new-to-you subject.  It may not be in your comfort zone, but there's nothing like a little creative risk-taking to liven up the "tried and true" and get your mind going in a brand new--and exciting--direction.


olivosartstudio said...

Congratulations! The work is varied and good! My favorite is the black and white piece, second to that the one with text (I also love text in my work!).

I think work should speak for itself...yet so many people need the title to begin the story for them. We are now redoing our websites, and it drives me crazy that Sergio wants me to title all of my pieces.... I like for people to create their own stories/meaning within my artwork... so I think you are unto something into NOT looking for the meaning...just let them be. Each will mean something different to the viewer. Keep it up my friend!
@Olivosartstudio on twitter :D

Charlotte Fairchild said...

Valerie, a Bird in The Hand! When I first saw the collage/art work, I thought--are those ship sails? No! They are finger joints!

Ted.com has a speaker who sings opera that looks like art. No music notation, but singing colors and "doodles." What would your art sound like if someone sang it?

Anonymous said...

good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something new and different. Looks and sounds like you're having fun with it.
walk in beauty.