The Grass Is Greener…


“Not About Me” painting
December 22, 2010, 5:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

“Not About Me” is a piece I’ve been working on for Painting I (240). It is strictly an oil painting on canvas, 30 inches by 50 inches. I was looking around at some contemprary artists, and I love Guy Dennings work. I’ve been pretty concerned with the meaning and deep content behind my work since university started, but Guy Dennings paintings were very aimply, emotionally based, with a vulnerable quality. That feeling within his paint moved me, and I thought I should try just putting some of my personal emotion onto a painting. “Not About Me” was not supposed to be a self portrait, but it was inspired by personal feelings.

The colour palate I believe is the strongest element of the painting, which has been a struggle for me in the past. I used Liquin Impasto to speed up the drying process and add a little more texture, and liquid Artist’s Painting Oil Medium to create the runny drips (Windsor and Newton brand).

Other possible titles for the painting brought up from the crit was “the sweaty lady” ;). That really made me laugh.  Some problems with proportion arose out of combining two pictures to make one painting, but for my next work I will pay more attention to the drawing. I realized the problems when it was too late.

Thanks!

(also shout out to stephen, thanks for taking the pics for me :))

Laina



Online Profile Complete
December 12, 2010, 2:42 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

My Online Profile is complete, thanks to Wix.xom, I got to create something completely my own without having to use HTML or hosting. It really is a fantastic site for hosting and web-building.

In my Online Profile I included:

Artwork (including descriptions of my work on a slideshow), Essays, Video, Photography, Resume with links to websites of my employers, Resources and Tools, Links to my various online accounts (youtube, twitter, flickr, wordpress), a contact form, an educational statement, and a cute little bird that flies across the page! (probably my favorite part, besides the slideshow). Oh and a “whats new” part. There’s also a link to more about me, if you click on my name on the top of tha page.

This has been a lot of work, trying to maneuver my way through a new program, and not working from a template, but it’s been so rewarding and fun. I wish I could be a web designer!

The link to my site is.. www.wix.com/ellainabrown/1

Next step.. domain name and webhosting! (looking into that..)

check it out :) Thanks!



Once Upon A Messy Room… (stop-motion Final Proj.)
December 5, 2010, 7:29 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

DONE! I can’t believe we did it. After days of filming and editing and putting on clothing and makeup, I can finally say I have completed my first stop-motion video! Of course, I couldn’t have done it without the artistic eye of “AshleyVis” ;).

I was laying in my cluttered bed one morning, trying to figure out how my room got so messy, and then realized that it was because I just have to try on so many things before I can get the right combination. I might sound a little obsessed with fashion, but I think it’s just another part of my creative side.. manifesting itself in my closet.

I thought, how could I keep my room tidy? Well, if I could just snap my fingers and have the clothing appear on me, that would help. Of course that’s only possible in the virtual world of stop-motion. PERFECT! Final Project, here I come.

Ashley and me decided to team up for this feat, and sadly she found videos that were almost like the idea I had in my mind. Roadblock #1. I didn’t feel so original and genius anymore, but we decided to go along with the concept anyways. 

The next question was how to shoot it? Originally we had planned on doing three different people’s “dream morning’s”, a mother and a son as well as a girl, and even incorporating a breakfast segment, but being the last week of classes, we chose sanity over complexity.

Because I have the program Pinnacle studios, it has a feature that lets you select and grab certain frames from video and create stills with those frames. I knew this would save a lot of shooting time, but we would be editing for a while. We decided to do a combination. The make-up portion was shot with a camera, and the clothing portion was with video. The camera shots turned out to be pretty high-quality. I was pretty nervous that I wouldn’t be able to put my face in the correct position to make the shots have a realistic flow, but it was fabulous! And indeed very simple to edit.

The video allowed for really easy filming, I don’t think we would have been able to shoot as much as we did without the video.. but boy was there a tedious amount of editing. We considered just leaving the frames as they were, without taking all the stills, but in the end it just didn’t seem as cohesive, and we buckled down to finish the stop-motion.

Adding sound was fairly simple.. www.findsounds.com is a great site for sound effects. And Ashley had the prefect song on her mac, “Shine On” by The Kooks.

It was hard work, but honestly the time flew by. I think we were a great team too. DEFINITELY will be making one again someday :). Possibly part 2?

Thanks for reading!

E



I was a guest on Dating 101
November 30, 2010, 3:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dating 101

This project was in collaboration with Ashley, Brittany, and Kelsey. In this podcast I am Bengamina, the girl who has been with 50 different boyfriends in the past three years (she has a few committment issues).

Garage band was a great program once we got the hang of it. It was a fun project that took just over an hour to complete (from scriptwriting to posting on soundcloud).



We’re Gunna Need A Big Diaper…

Ron Mueck’s larger than life installation of “A Girl” is more than just a realistic sculpture of a baby. Extending over 16 feet in length, this infant demands attention. It is also fresh from the womb, umbilical cord still taking the place of the yet-to-come belly button. Mueck’s formalistic, realistic approach brings the viewer to an immediate state of shock and awe, every gory detail magnified twentyfold. Ron Mueck’s “A Girl” demonstrates exquisite hyper-realism in the uncanny form of a newborn baby girl so that the viewer considers the true significance of birth in life.

“A Girl” is at the Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina) from September 25th, 2010 to January 2nd, 2011. The cross-Canada exhibition is called Real Life. “A Girl” is in the first room of the exhibition, and its size makes it an obligatory starting piece to the show. It is 1.1 meters high by 1.3 meters wide by 5.0 meters long. If its mother were in the show, she would be 17.8 meters tall.

Producing this level of realism on such a scale is a painstaking process. From miniatures, to molds, to castings, it takes months to make such true to life figures. Each synthetic hair is put in place one at a time. From hair follicles and skin blemishes to wrinkles and natural discolorations, no detail is overlooked, and the result is a strikingly realistic three-dimensional portrait.

There is an odd sense of the uncanny as the viewer approaches the baby; it is as if she could come alive at any moment. The viewer is left with an anxious feeling of uncertainty because, although intimately familiar, it is not of this world. Mueck even includes the bloody mucus that would appear on an infant to further the grotesque, but accurate qualities of the baby, disqualifying any presumptions that the figure is idealized. The painted skin blotches and vein coloring furthers the tromp-loi effect, making it difficult for the viewer to restrain from touching the object. To touch, the sculpture would be smooth and hard, but the fiberglass and matte paint causes its appearance to be that of skin: supple, soft, and still slimy from afterbirth. Her fists are clenched, and her face strained as she rests naked upon a cold white platform, giving the viewer further discomfort. This presents an incongruence of emotion for the viewer: sadness and angst. It creates an uneasy feeling of wanting to flee from the creature, but one’s instincts make the viewer want to care for it. Ron Mueck has done nothing less than create a perfectly life-like replication in a much larger than life form and by doing so raises radically different emotions from the viewer than if one were to see the baby in a merely life-size re-creation. His creative decisions have great purpose, forcing the viewer to consider birth in a new, much more real sense.

The space is also interesting. The sculpture is placed in one of the largest rooms in Saskatchewan, so it is not the baby that is out of place; the large room fits the baby easily. Rather, it is the viewers that are the intruders, not the child. The large room adds to the sensation that the viewers are out of place and the baby should be looked at as a realistic form, not as a ‘freak of nature’, as many might feel without such a space surrounding her.

The baby should resonate as familiar for the viewer, but there is no denying the feeling of absurdity regarding the object. It results in many questions. Babies should be precious, gentle, little gifts, but none of those descriptions register here. With this gargantuan infant, the viewer can more accurately view the reality of birth, or at least consider the other elements of bringing life into the world. Humans come into the world kicking and screaming, covered in blood and mucus, demanding to be fed, nurtured and held; yet they are helpless. The weight of this sized object represents that a child puts a large burden on those who choose to raise it. Birth is not peaceful and quiet, but very painful and immensely intrusive, but even when we see birth for all it is, can we still not find the beauty in it? “A Girl” is more than just a realistic magnification of a newborn. It is posing a question: “What do you think of me: absurd, disgusting, helpless, even wrong?”  Feelings and emotions are present when viewing the piece which appears to point out that humanity sugarcoats reality.

“Dead Dad”, another work of Mueck, gives a similar opportunity to look at life. Both “Dead Dad” and “A Girl” were treated with the same care to detail, but “Dead Dad” is fragile and diminutive, lying just over a foot in length. He appears quite emotionless, but peaceful. Both of these pieces are precise depictions of Mueck’s family members, suggesting that the scale represents his response to both the death of his father and the birth of his child. Death is quiet, lonesome and insignificant, while birth is the beginning of so very much. Birth is the beginning of opportunity, burden, achievement, revulsion and beauty.  Birth is large and loud.  However, there is a clear connection between the two pieces and what they represent. Both are naked and exposed to the world, allowing the world to make judgments upon them — and the world does judge. The world judges what someone has done and what they will do. The world judges what they are, what they have left behind and what they might become.

The question remains; can people truly see something simply for what it is, or are we destined to always add our own ideas of how things ought to be, and thereby become closed-minded? One might be inclined to say that Ron Mueck merely enlarged an element of real life, but this overlooks the fact that those who view “A Girl” will be compelled to consider the deeper truths of reality in birth.

(an art review; ART100)



Video’s of Lyndal Osborne
November 23, 2010, 12:39 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I already mentioned that I was assigned to do a project on Lyndal Osborne for my Art100 class, so here is the final product of the video introduction I made for our presentation (there are 4 more online).

Program used, Pinnacle studios.



My Life In Shambles Club
November 23, 2010, 12:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

I’ve recently been thinking about this “club” I was part of in highschool. The name: My Life Is In Shambles Club. I don’t remember really how it started, how such a diverse group of us got together to be completely open with each other, but we did.

About 8 of us met at Moxies once a month-ish (at the table in the glass room), and every member had to vow to tell nothing but the truth, give completely honesty, and not let anything leave the Moxies table . We all signed a treaty of confidence, vowing to secrecy. We were all from the same highschool, but not many of us had really hung out together before. But we all had something in common; teenage drama.

The gather consisted of spilling stories about our lives and troubles, one at a time. Our Parents, cancer, fights. We would listen, but then we would have question asking time, where anyone could ask any question of anyone else and they must tell the truth. It was really like an older version of truth without the dare. First kiss, crushes, the ‘dirt’. There was a desire to get all the stories and gossip straight, but there was also to just get to know each other. Of course, everyone puts on a reluctant act, but behind every facade was a story that wanted to be told, a person who wanted to just be asked, forced to tell, so they could be the interesting one for a little bit. It was almost equally about the helping and encouraging of one another, as it was about the gossip, which is saying a lot for teenagers living in highschool drama, but both showed that ever-present need for being noticed and affecting others.

Most of these friends I have lost this kind of bond with. Which makes me sad, but I also wonder about what how our underlying desires translate into adulthood. Truth or dare, clubs and groups, do we ever really grow out of that?Maybe we just learn to hide our motives better with formal, educated vocabulary. We always want to know and be known.. so how does that evolve throughout our lives?

I suppose, personally, I’ve never really been good with opening up. But living away from home and seeing the larger picture of life has made me realize some things: if you invest in people, you will be invested in. And now that I am out of the highschool bubble I’ve had more real vibrant relationships than ever. I think now that I’ve learned who I am a little better, in relation to a bigger picture of what life is about, I’ve gained a confidence that is part of discovering who I am as a grown-up. With confidence, I’ve become more honest and real with people. Good friendships can take time, or you can dive in create and something worth-while now. Share your story, ask about people’s shambles. You don’t need to have a great big dramatic story to be interesting to people. I guess that’s been the biggest difference for me, I’ve semi-grown out of this fear of other people not caring about me, or judging me, and realized that this is how people care for each other, they share. Investing in people is what brings you the most joy. 

My question remains, how does this need to know about people and be known evolve throughout life.. but maybe this is just something to be experienced individually, every ‘grown-up’ for themselves. I wonder if those 8 people would go to a reunion MLISC meeting…




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