Monday, November 2, 2009

Studio Critique 10.27.2009

Studio Critique: 10.27.2009

R: I don’t have any finished work to show, so what I’m looking for is a process based critique. Talk a little about coming to school with one idea and then changing it

mL: so how to start out work and how to go about.

Rc: so that mural inspired me a lot. And I wanted to add 3d elements to my murals, and I wanted to come to psu for access and ideas. So I wanted to do this ginormous mural with fire and water and mixed media. So I had a pet rooster named the hulk, so I took tons of pictures of him and really looked at birds. Cause I painted that phoenix and it looks flat I wanted to get more 3d, so I have been sketching the hulk and still not much depth. So I started to work on this.

Then pat came in last week. When joe was here he showed me some basic painting 101 stuff with atmospheric perspective and lighting. So I feel like in my mural work I have been focusing on design and not drawing/painting skills.

So pat came in last week and said to put the idea of the mural out of my mind and really working on drawing and painting. She suggested using color saturation so I have been working on this painting here. And there is my color scale.

The hulk died last week. I put him in a still life. I have been looking into still life from the baroque. I wanted to emulate the fall harvest, killing a rooster and having squash. Fiery colors for the living hulk and super muted down for the dead one. I am trying to get a sense of light and depth and I am wondering if I have done that. Pretty basic stuff, but since I am going back to the drawing I want some basic input.

Eg: so you worked from life or from the photograph.

Rc: both

Eg: so you eliminated stuff.

Rc: yeah

Eg: so how important is it to you to render stuff, is that important?

Rc: yeah, I think I want to get there and this is a step toward that. Yeah I have worked a great deal in the time I had. So this is a study for another painting.

RP: it does sort of have this feeling that it is an under painting.

Ml: your not using black
RP: you should look at Mark Tansay

eG: he pulls painting off the canvas.

Ml: I would like to talk about the giant bird versus the drawings. It seems like there are a lot of big steps.

Rc: I am getting him back in 6 months. That is the shortest taxidermy.

Eg: it is a long process.

ML: do you think your work is going to go in a 3d direction toward taxidermy?

Eg: you want to use this in a piece

RC: more as a study

MH: why is rendering important to you?

Rc: one thing that has come up for me as a mural artist and there is community collaboration, and it is at the point when I am organizing and hiring artists and rendering and rendering quick is something I can use professionally,

DB: I think it is a good idea taking a step back. This will definitely help you more if you want to get those skills. I think that is a good idea just practicing painting.

EG: is it hard for you sometimes to step back.

Rc: I feel like now I have to have a mural to be painting in the studio. I get really excited about it. I feel like my mural skills are going feral.

Rp: Whey don’t you set up your own mural. I get not wanting to see it. So that you get that energy from doing the murals. Cause when I know it’s going to be seen I am going to keep working harder.

Rc: I am really hungry to do my own work.

EG: if you really want to work, it is much easier to use oils. You could try.

Eg: how it it working for you that scale, cause you are so used to working large.

Rc: I like working large it is harder.

Eg: I am just wondering when you do the mural process how open are they. That ultimately affects the work.

Rc: it is different if I am proposing to a group and they like the idea I am pretty autonomous. But then the last mural it was totally decide by the community I was working with.

Eg: Sometimes murals look like collage. Which suits the medium

Rc: I am so

NP: we have talked about the value to increase your rendering skills but we haven’t talked about how this gets at your ideas. We haven’t talked about how this process will help you

Eg: are you open to identifying with your idea one of our artists who uses taxidermy really successfully is carlee Fernandez.

Rc: yeah there is always the appeal of the macabre.

Jn: have you ever thought of how to do taxidermy or something, a lot of the time they would just find dead animals, it doesn’t require going out and killing things.
Another guy would find dead things and he did an apprenticeship at the natural history museum. Cause they did their own.

Ml: speaking to that it said you wanted to add 3d elements to you could try foam.

Eg: what is your interest in combining different parts of animals.

Rc: that is what I was talking about with my murals.

DB: I think this is probably a good opportunity to develop your style, like what your voice is. Cause a lot of times with public work the group decides what the style is and this is a time to find your voice. I always like public paintings where someone comes at it with their style.

Mh: do you REALLY want to paint photo realistically, cause you have to decide if you want to spend the time really getting good at rendering.

mL: but didn’t you say you want to be quickly able to render, so you can execute it quickly and accurately,

rc: and really take the opportunity to know yourself through I don’t think photorealism is where I want to go, doing studies of a bird

Lori: I am thinking about realism versus hyperrealism. So the things that murals do its not like rendering, it is achieving a different think. in drawing 2 I tell people dramatize it.

Ralph: can you talk more about that project?

RC; yeah I was really interested in looking at how the bird looked coming out at me. So I cut it out and put it on foam core. So I cut it up in all these different pieces
So I sandwiched it all together and I kind of liked it.

Ralph: I like it too.

Eg: I like the chaos of it. I read it as flame, but it is also kind of abstraction

RP: you should look at Damien Gilley, his website is

MH: is that a piece

Rc: it is kind of a piece for me.

Mh: I like the way that wall looks. There is so much action in it.


Working with quilting and maps, using maps to create patterns for quilts. I started sewing with the small shapes, but because they are so tiny it was difficult.

They dimensional. I wanted to create complexity for complexity’s shape. So what you are looking at here is a mock up of what the quilt might look like. So I am experimenting with different arrangements and color schemes. The color scheme for this quilt comes from a satellite image of the place that the quilt is based on. I started to use all the colors. My partner is an accountant and he uses this software to do audits for companies. So we used that to make a randomized sample of what the colors should be. So my work is creating systems, taking an idea and seeing where the idea takes me, more process focused than product focused.

AG: it is interesting that it it looks like an animal.

N: I am working with this playing around with different patterns. Trying out different things to see what might be more interesting pattern. I like what I am getting, but I felt it was kind of stepping away from what the neighborhood means. So I started going door to door collecting fabric samples. And collecting patterns from the neighborhood. So it becomes more of whats in the neighborhoods.

Lori: does this piece map your relationship to the neighborhood.

EG: you said you were going to do everywhere you have lived, so would you go back to the other places. What comes out of it is so unexpected.

AG: it is interesting though because it makes me look back at the process and it is all very abstract. It is not like you are ever working with something concrete. Except maybe the conversations and going door to door.

NP: that is maybe why I started going door to door. Abstracting is a theme that everyone is beginning to understand. Because everything is abstract. So making your process more transparent might be more interesting.

NP: If I were to display this piece I would display all this too. I’ve done other projects where the process is part of the display.

AG: taking these sort of patterns and applying them to the fabric. So the fabric is also derived from place. So you would screen-print the sighting onto the fabric.

NP: I think that is a great idea. I was thinking of embroidering.

DB: you can even print photo imagery. On that.

Lori: I can see this project being Seattle or other places., but when I first walked in, it is almost a crazier idea if it was just Portland.

Db: I almost get a ranger station vibe from your studio, but with more of an art vibe.

EG; you talked about showing all the element of your process.

JN: I feel like you have so many ideas going into one product. I would like to see one idea for one project. I guess it depends on how much you want the audience to get from your piece. And if each system is really important to you as being understood by the audience, then

NP: right I was trying to come up with one system to take multiple places through.

Ralph: just to give you more tools has a great deal of maps and info that might be helpful.

RC: how do you think the overall aesthetic going to change from collecting samples door to door?

NP; I think it is going to change a lot. I don’t really know what kind of patterns/fabrics I’ll be getting.

RC: I think it would be an interesting thing to get fabric from the area that the drawing comes from.

NP: I like that a lot that is a good idea.

EG: you can depict this multiple ways. You don’t feel like you have to choose one method or one process do you.

NP: that is why I keep thinking of new systems.

E: it is an interesting starting point. Interesting way of thinking about how we relate to a physical space.

AG: do you think about thinking ahead do you want to the system to be more streams lined, or do you want it to be more complex. I think you could go simpler so there is access points throughout the system. It is too messy without a guide. Do you want to stream line the system, so the viewer could implent any place into the system.

NP: I like that idea, I was inspired by j morgan pruits algorithm for clothing and she explained it all so anyone could use it.

JN: there are arbitrary systems and strict systems and if you want other people to use it you need to have more strict systems that aren’t as arbitrary.

NP: I guess I am striving toward stricter systems but to make it more interesting I let the abstraction in along the way.

MH: but also all systems have points of abstraction

DB: I like old maps with sea monsters, so they really do change, maps.

EG: what happens if you maps spaces yourself. So it has to do with how you perceive it.

ML: if you were to walk through a city block and

EG: a more abstract way of perceiving the space.

N: I think it would be interesting to find out more about the object. But I am not sure how to go about that process of door to door. Is it intrusive?

Motoya: I think it is all about explaining why you are there. Some people say “no” I just got rejected. He doesn’t want to do it anymore.

Eg: how have your neighbors reacted to it so far.

NP: well I have started in my apartment complexes with mostly young people and they are mostly excited.

Motoa: no matter what information you get I think a list of that information would be interesting.
JN: or you could do it in a couple of rounds. Putting flyers and saying you would come back whenever, so if your worried about being intrusive.

RC: there is an idea about how people are so overloaded with methods of communication. Between email, face to face, letters, phone, texting etc. So, I think face to face simplifies things. The way of having totally at random and making intergenerational. You have no idea and have the system become the gift to you.

Motoya: and I think people love that to get involved.

Lori” there is a photo project called I’ve never been to Houston. Where he asked people who had never been to Houston to take a photo of what they THINK it would look like.

Motoya: I don’t use the word donate, I use the word contribute.

DB: using the word quilt might be good to use too, because there is a common understanding for what a quilt is.


The work is kind of, I started off working on this series with deer it started off to be about the idea of animals having to adapt to civilization, and this sort of rural sprawl as opposed to urban sprawl animals coming into human habitats, and I am kind of trying to exaggerate the absurdity. So they are starting to get more surreal, where they started out more representational. So the deer camping, so animals having to go camping to get back to nature.

So these smaller drawings here are taken from actual images. The first two I got interested in that awkward overlap where people and nature collide. The idea that this is seen as an entertaing video, but if you start thinking about it it is actually kind of depressing and sad. Bear piece is way to show I am thinking aobut the negative aspect of this thing. Working with real life experiences of clashing on the edges of society and nature.

Motoya: why are the first two jumping?

JN: it seems that people just kind of coming up on this incidence.

Video does just make me laugh but it makes me think about what is happening. I am kind of unsure about my work right now. This is really honest work for me. If I was to stop doing this I don’t know what I would be doing right now. I like to work really sparsely like this and I have this fear of people thinking it is unfinished when I think it is finished. I was looking at naturalist painters. Doing opposite of aesthetic and concept where nature appears small in civilization instead of vice versa. Strangeness of people trying to keep nature in their lives artificially.

Eg: I don’t think you should worry about these looking unfinished. To me these look very finished.

Ralph: did you also, you wrote something in your blog about camouflage.

I was interested in technological edge over nature. But in reading the article, I kind of resigned myself to the fact that I don’t know enough about that yet to tackle it.

Lori: how is it important is it that you know this is from real life?

JN: I don’t know.

DB: the thing I like about the dart is up until that I thought these were post humanity, but the dart kind of brings that back.

EG: subway seems very post apocalyptic.

JN: there was some deer grazing by a crashed car. But they are going from more believable t o more absurd, but I think I like the idea of some of them being from my mind or from reality.

Motoya: have you seen the movie “Lord of Heaven” so basically nature takes over.

NP: did you say you did or you did not want to them to be more apocalyptic?

JN: I Don’t I feel like I am using the animal as a big metaphor. When I have a big idea in my work I find it is better when I break it down into a smaller idea. I think it is kind of absurd when we refer to a species as being “overpopulated” when we have so many unnatural means of survival ourselves. It’s not an animal rights thing necessarily it is more about the absurdity, that people think they have such authority and such control

RC: I was thinking that with you over the weekend. And I remember when I sat down with my crow and asked him not to crow. And it does have this whole idea that we think we can control things.

JN; yes it is about the idea of human control over animals.

Lori: do you look at like scientists or explorers who have lost their legs? Or even the movie about people fucking horses. Like extreme examples.

JN: there are psychological profiles of people who do this.

AG: what part does beauty play in your work, thinking about how your making things.

JN: I am not trying to make things beautiful. I think it comes from thinking when I was a child and thought I would be an illustrator.

EG: how do you feel about the ones on the gray paper vs. the white paper.

The white ones are much more stark versus gray paper is more quiet. You are focusing on whats really essential.

MH: deer in subway looks realized; little jumpy animals look like studies

EG: I don’t think you have to worry about being illustrative.

AG: Using that reference to contrast with what the source actually is.

JN: that is what I have going back and forth on.

AG and RP: I think having the YouTube connection would be interesting, for viewers to possibly go back to.

Lori: I think that it is funny that was an officials had an idea of how to get out of the tree.

AG: have you thought about drawing in sequence?

JN: I have

AG: or even another animal coming down. So even if it is another animal, all four animals complete a movement.

EG: You were looking for source material it wasn’t super important that it was from you tube.?
IS the source important to the content? Are we talking about appropriation?

RC: you might look up a bear swimming, you might find similar movements.
JN: I don’t think of myself as a painter. I just want the color,
ML: Do you want to work with any other media? I am really excited that you are working on paper.
EG: what about the scale of your work.
JN: I’ve thought about working on a more giant piece of paper

EG: I like the more intimate quality. That would be interesting to work on more expansive canvas.

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