Thursday, December 30, 2010

Najas at the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos

I went to the Millicent Rogers Museum today in Taos. I feel in love with the Najas even before I learned their names which is close to mine.

Naja: (or "Najah") From the Navajo word "Najahe", meaning "crescent". A crescent-shaped silver ornament believed to go back to Moorish designs that was originally a forehead pendant on horse bridles. It is now commonly found pendant from the bottom of a squash blossom necklace.
My mom fell inlove with the black pottery of Maria Martinez

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Georgia O'Keefe

Jerry Wrightmas did a lecture today on Art and Architecture of New Mexico centering on Georgia O'Keefe.

O'Keefe first came to New Mexico and stayed with a crazy lady Mable Dodge Luhan. She moves to New Mexico permanently in 1949. She doesn't put people in the lanscape but she does anthropormize the landscape. The lanscape is sensual but with O'Keefe sensual and sexual get confused.

Some things he touched on but I need to research

Taos Society of Art
American Modernism
the Stieglitz Circle

Artists come to New Mexico because of health, light, expanse and the idea of breaking away fromt the European Tradition,

The were believers in Thoreau and Whitman and their ideas about the transcendental quality of nature.

O'Keefe works with the V shape and the spiral. She also reads Kadinsky about the spiritual quality of art. Her work references music. With the advent of photography it was imperative to put emotion into paintings. But she takes from photography ideas of abstraction and framing.

Stieglitz photos of O'Keefe always emphasize her hands. Often he puts her infront of her paintings. He cultivates an image for her.

Gallery 291 (I need to figure out who they are)

Arthur Dove (I need to look into him)

O'Keefe is Stieglitz's woman child.

I love her New York paintings. She does some paintings in Lake George but misses the west.

She is friends with Ansel Adams.

F64 - Ansel Adams photo group in San Francisco

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Santa Fe

I'm on an Elderhostel went to two courses today one about a woman named connie that built her own adobe and one about the literature of the Southwest. In the afternoon we went down to Santa Fe and I drew a little.

Here are some things I heard about that today in fragments and my attempt to figure out who are what they were

"Michael" a poem by Wordsworth

William Wordsworth's "Michael" is a narrative, pastoral poem with 484 unrimed lines. The speaker's purpose is to praise the rural life, lived close to nature.
Adventure in the Unknown Interior of America

Rhetoric of Empire
The white man's burden, darkest Africa, the seduction of the primitive: such phrases were widespread in the language Western empires used to talk about their colonial enterprises. How this language itself served imperial purposes--and how it survives today in writing about the Third World--are the subject of David Spurr's book, a revealing account of the rhetorical strategies that have defined Western thinking about the non-Western world.Despite historical differences among British, French, and American versions of colonialism, their rhetoric had much in common. The Rhetoric of Empire identifies these shared features—images, figures of speech, and characteristic lines of argument—and explores them in a wide variety of sources. A former correspondent for the United Press International, the author is equally at home with journalism or critical theory, travel writing or official documents, and his discussion is remarkably comprehensive. Ranging from T. E. Lawrence and Isak Dineson to Hemingway and Naipaul, from Time and the New Yorker to the National Geographic and Le Monde, from journalists such as Didion and Sontag to colonial administrators such as Frederick Lugard and Albert Sarraut, this analysis suggests the degree to which certain rhetorical tactics penetrate the popular as well as official colonial and postcolonial discourse. Finally, Spurr considers the question: Can the language itself—and with it, Western forms of interpretation--be freed of the exercise of colonial power? This ambitious book is an answer of sorts. By exposing the rhetoric of empire, Spurr begins to loosen its hold over discourse about—and between—different cultures.

a potter named Maria Martinez
Maria Montoya Martinez (1881 in San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico – July 20, 1980 in San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico) was a Native American artist who created internationally known pottery. Martinez (born Maria Antonia Montoya), her husband Julian, and other family members examined traditional Pueblo pottery styles and techniques to create pieces which reflect the Pueblo people’s legacy of fine artwork and crafts.

Navarre Scott Momaday (born February 27, 1934) is a Kiowa-Cherokee writer from Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona.Momaday's novel House Made of Dawn led to the breakthrough of Native American literature into the mainstream. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969.

Santa Fe Trail
The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century transportation route through central North America that connected Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pioneered in 1822 by William Becknell, it served as a vital commercial and military highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in 1880. At first an international trade route between the United States and Mexico, it was the 1846 U.S. invasion route of New Mexico during the Mexican–American War.
Treaty of Guadeloupe Hildago

Lew Wallace

Lewis "Lew" Wallace (April 10, 1827 – February 15, 1905) was a lawyer, governor, Union geral in the American Civil War, American statesman and author, best remembered for his historical novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

D.H. Lawrence in Taos

Harvey Girls
In 1883, unhappy with his customers' deplorable behavior toward his predominantly black service staff (who often carried firearms to protect themselves) and the business it cost him, Harvey implemented a policy of hiring only female waitresses. He sought out single, well-mannered, and educated ladies, and placed ads in newspapers throughout the east coast and midwest for "young women, 18 to 30 years of age, of good character, attractive and intelligent".

Sisters of Chairy

Chatauqua Movement

The Woman at Ottewi Crossing

History of Witchcraft in the Southwest

Turquoise Trail

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fashioning Fashion at LACMA

Saw this exhibit today at LACMA. It was very beautiful. I am going back to draw in detail. I will add a few quick sketches to this post I did there. It's amazing how much architecture there is in clothing and how some silhouettes recall famous movies to me like: Gone With the Wind, Wuthering Heights, Little Women

This cloat reminds me of Wuthering Heights.

This reminds me of Sarah Bernhardt after being on stage.

This reminds me of the Gibson Girls.

Gladiator Workshop - Karl Gnass - "Try Something that Turns Your Fork into Chopsticks"

Linda and I went to Karl Gnass's Gladiator workshop again this year. I can't believe a whole year has passed. I felt like he talked about different things this year the last year. I will have to check my notes maybe I just didn't remember what he said last year.

This is a work sheet he handed out in class. He really stressed drawing the two figures as one. Not doing them as cookies on a sheet.

Here are my notes:

Drawing 2 figures doesn't mean they are separate. You need to think about them as if they are one. Don't Figure one figure out and then the next - they need to integrate. Integratre lines of action. Integrate lone lines of expression. You need to draw energy. You need to figure out what the story is.

Relationship! Feeling! Synergy! Think about the point counterpoint. Ask yourself what the story is. Axis. Revolving. Ask yourself what is going on.

What is your point of view? What is the mood? What is the style?

We don't want decals. What are these gladiators telling me? What do they want to express?
Don't get lost in the buckles and rivets. If you start figure out the buckles and rivets too soon you are lost. Indicate the story elements. Because without the story we miss the boat. You need a good concise story. Try not to be subtroverted too fast. Think about composition. Break apart you habitual procedures. Try something that turns your fork into chopsticks!
Think : up-down, left-right, forward-back. If one head is tipped toward maybe the other is tipped away. Remember to create out of your head and not to rely totally on the model. Open up your imagination. Need to know the two figures are responding to each others' moves. You are not obliged to repeat what you see.
Remember a battle is more about strategy than swords clanking.
Remember to take care of the ground plane and really decide where the legs are going to be.
Don't get lost in swords and rivets - but remember hands and feet can be very important. Draw what they are wearing as it relates on figure to another.
Simple Shapes. Simple ideas. Rendering is not the story. Grapple with long lines and how they relate to each other.

Think of Cezanne as he considered the whole picture. He did not just place objects.
Everything is related to the frame. A cookie sheet is more interesting if one cookie has a bite taken out of it.

In Western Art we enter the frame from the lower left. Large against small is another strategy. One is responsible for every square inch in a picture not just the subject.

There is music in the visual experience. Nothing is accidental. Every mark has a reason. Finally, it is about orchestrating a whole movement. Once you put your figures in a frame every quadrant is important. Good design is important - but good design doesn't necessarily tell a story. Good design strikes the eye. Good design doesn't mean there is a pay off.

A picture wants a graphic sense and a pay off. The impressionists did that.

In a picture with borders every quadrant is important so every shape is important. Shape, Color and Intensity all play a role in pcitures. Shapes have angle of force. Every mark you put down effects in some way.

Every mark is a player.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Last Head Drawings

These are the drawings I did the last two weeks in Glen's Class. I have signed up to take it again. I think I will take it four times and then make an assessment about what else I want to do. Glen is so positive and is filled with so much information that I feel like I could learn so much from him. My main problem is I don't practice enough and that I am so tired in the class. The first five weeks of the class I felt like I couldn't even hold my arm up to the paper because I was working right up to class time on Saturday and then after class was over on Saturday night. But in the end I know it was worth it because I keep drawing.

I went out grocery shopping today and it was misty and gray and so beautiful. I felt like I wish i could capture this. I wish I could paint this or draw this. So I will continue in my journey and I hope in the new year I wont be quite so tired,

This is Glenn's correction of my drawing.

This is my drawing with out corrections.

This is my last drawing which I am really pleased with. I can't believe that it came out of me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Scott McCloud Workshop - "We are story seeking animals"

Scott McCloud Workshop

I read Understanding Comics at the recommendation of Marshall Vandruff. I thought it was amazing that's why I signed up for Scott McCloud's workshop at LAAFA last weekend.

My notes:

"At Pixar for a movie first they create the world - then the character - and lastly the story. They say it is important to fail as soon as possible.

Comics are about choices:

1) Choice of Moment
2) Choice of Frame
3) Choice of Image
4) Choice of Word
5) Choice of Flow

A comic page is a landscape of time. There is something to see in the panels and something to see inbetween the panels.

You can take two disparate images and find a connection.
A reader want to find stories. We are story seeking animals. It's not what is in the panels but the context. Your medium is the knowledge and expectations of the viewers. When you read a comic you never see how many panels were edited out.

1) Moment to Moment
2) Action to Action
3) Subject to Subject
4) Aspectto Aspect (wandering camera)
5) Non sequitor

Choice of Frame
- zoom in sometimes
- zoom out and find out where we are
- we need to figure out scake
- You can establish by a few fragmentary shots
-superhero comics have an addiction to the close up. Don't be addicted to the close up. A sense of place is important. But people don't want to pull back because if you pull back you might have to draw stuff. There is a power of the close up next to an eastablishing shot.

Many European comics have a sense of world building. Comic frame has a sense of focus. A close up can stop the reader. Many American comics come out of a vauldeville tradition and feel like they are on stage. There is a power of change but you need non change to show change.

Choice of Image

Context helps us understand a drawing. Clarity is what it is all about. Clarity vs. Intensuty. How you present the work. We are human beings and we expect a protagonist.

This is a short comic I did at Scott McCloud's workshop. A comic based on the word zipper.

A 16 panel account of my life.
Comics -
Moment, Frame, Image, Word, Flow
Creating characters mean creating human being on the page
The knowledge and expectation of the reader helps tell the story. It takes very little to tell a story. There is a willingness in the audience to work with you. You can trigger recognition. Some recognition is learned and some recognition is hard wired. Cartooning is amplification through simplification. In cartooning there is a tremendous differences between character. We find joy in the differences.
One assignment at the Center for Cartoon Studies is to draw 100 characters.
Something that helps is to base characters on animals.
The Fantastic Four is based on elements of the chinese Zodiac.
Some characterics can be based on Joseph Campbells archetypes or Carl Jung - intuiution, thinking, feeling, sensation. The characters should feel like the have different hearts.
Desire is a vital substance of story.
Desire can be fufilled, transformed, denied. "All characters should want something even if it's a glass of water" - Vonnegut
Most stories don't go from birth to death but instead they are a gestation of desire.
semiotics of 6 emotions: anger disgust, sad, surprise, terror and joy (these are the emotional primaries)
Look at
Emotional Primaries tend to be symmetrical.
Artists Guide to Complete Facial Expressions

Scott's recommendations:
Parrallelogram's Revenge
Scott Pilgrim
Save the Cat
Lone Wolf and Cub
Tin TIn
Brian Biggs
Sean Tan - "Arrival"
Craig Russell
Theodor Clijsters

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Head Drawing

Felt good about this head drawing I did last night. I fell asleep right before I was supposed to leave for class so I missed the five 5 minute poses and the lesson but I got there in time for the demo and the long pose.

Turkish Delights

I felt good about my drawings for the first time in a while at the "Turkish Delights III: Sahara Nights" night at the Gallery Girls.