Tuesday, March 22, 2011

some projects. it's a long one.....

Sketchbook stuff….
Drawings from the surgical museum in Chicago.



Here is the stuff I started as a warm up exercise to get me back into the game at the tail end of February.....

I got a medical word of the day from a medical dictionary site and then did a drawing.
It ended up being more of a challenge and I was second guessing everything I tried. I didn’t really want to post these but eh….

1)   Fibrous dysplasia (basically your bones are destroyed by this fibrous bone tissue)




SOOOO logically… bones…X-rays….  I experimented with acrylic and wax /watercolor pencils on transparency film.  I also made some dark splatters on other sheets to play with the layering. I made 5 different versions.

What I liked: the layering qualities of the transparency and the wax pencils

What sucked: acrylic is not as cool as I thought. I feel like I stuck with what I knew how to do.











2) Familial Mediterranean fever- Familial Mediterranean fever is a disorder passed down through families (inherited), which involves repeated fevers and inflammation that often affects the lining of the abdomen, chest, or joints.
I was stuck on this one. I just drew a family with a fever halo. And some anatomy. My logic… how do you show a fever? Its warm and radiating… so I went with that.


3) Prepatellar bursitis: known as housemaids knee. Which really got me riled up. I purposely looked up descriptions of  what people felt when they had this issue.  People described the pain as burning and  similar to kneeling on lava.  So I went with it.

4)   Williams Syndrome- a rare genetic disorder. One of the trademarks is particular facial features like a flattened nasal bridge and prominent lips.
 I took a cue from my girl Aris and made a creepy collage of perfect kids faces from a parenting magazine and then redrew them. I was thinking about people who have children and all you want is your kid to be perfect. But what happens/how do they feel if they aren’t. 


Fibroid Tumors of the Uterus 
I liked re arranging the collage elements and redrawing.  Aris also sent me an artist (Wangechi Mutu) that does collage over medical illustrations. I would like to use this collage then draw process in the future.



5)   Branchial cleft cyst. I actually found surgical images of the removal of this cyst. The cyst itself was a really interesting shape, color and texture and I tried to emulate that. I wanted it to look slimy and also emulate  flesh. I used gel medium within the painting to achieve that.

I liked the texture I could get when using the medium but I think I should have built up the layers slower.



More drawings…..
First while at my parents I found some of my pieces from my last semester of college. This work is starting point/similar to what I am doing now. It was great to see them again.  Brought back some confidence that I was on to something.




Some anatomical studies from actual dissections.  These are slightly smaller than life size. Nice to change up source material.  Not sure what to do with them right now.  Loved looking at real anatomy. Not sure about color? thoughts?


To break up my time and on nights when I just couldn't get it going or got frustrated... I drew my sleepy partner in crime. Ruby is the best dog in the world. She just sits next to me and just sleeps while I work. 

























Also started with some portraits which I attempted to keep close to life size.  From observation and pictures. 



Lastly I did some drawings of my old sculptures with the skins on them. Actual size as well (on 18x24 paper) .  I kind of lost interest with these because the skins didn't really fit and felt a lot like stickers. 

The wax incident …..
I tried to do some drawings with wax and wax elements. I made copies of my drawings (same size 18x24… thanks kinkos) so that if I liked the elements great but if not it wouldn’t be too heartbreaking for the drawings I just spent 2 weeks on.  Major fail… I almost burned down my kitchen. ruined like 3 pans ( wax overflowing out of double broiler into the side of the pan ect….) and I'm not super happy with the results. 
I had a batik pen that decided it didn’t really want to work so I just tried to pour/paint the wax.  I tried to carve back into it. Broke a pen…  ink and wax everywhere. Which lead me to think that I should carve into the wax and then stain the creases with ink for better visibility. The wax also just cracked off the paper and left a stain… 







So long story short…
I really like the texture and the sculpture element that the wax brought to the work but  I don’t have the control of the medium or any specific use for the wax at this time. I’m going to get a hold of  a new batik pen and perhaps try to build up the layers more slowly if I decide to try it again.

The best thing I made from a small sheet of wax was a little heart vessel.


I continued with some portraits with combining everyday objects and anatomical elements. I like this idea because everyone knows what dead flowers or a rotten apple looks like and most likely have experienced these things but most don’t know much about human anatomy.


I also used the copies of the portraits and put gel medium on them… I was thinking that if the anatomy pieces were too muddy would the opposite work?  Like if the anatomy was the background and the person was the ghost or skin? The skin layers are drying and I will soak and re-dry them tomorrow. So I will add pictures then.
So for example I did this huge (24x36?) watercolor/ink painting of microscopic cancer. It is really pretty and could almost be a pattern on a fabric. I am hoping to add a “skin” of a person’s portrait over it.

The last thing I have is decomposed paper. I spent 2 days of spring break researching paper and how it is made and how cellulose is broken down. I am even more confused… science wasn’t my forte.  I was going to make a box of sorts to essentially create a compost and bury the paper. I was going to add worms but it is still too cold.  I left 3 different hardware stores with nothing. 
I though about adding chemicals to break down the paper but thought it might defeat the purpose/concept of decomposition. I took the advice of my dear friend Ashley ( “just go bury it” )and while we still had snow I went and just buried some in the yard. A few that were drawn on and a few that were scrap paper. I used lighter paper and some old printmaking paper.

Here’s the deal: bodies decompose. Paper will decompose. I want paper to decompose like a body might.  So I don’t really want to use any chemical  or oven. But I don’t want to wait weeks for paper.  I also just want random holes or gaps in the paper so that I can draw/create layers.

I unburied one pile after a week and it just tore in separate sections.. … left the other piles… I guess I will dig up in a week. any other ideas are welcome. I am going to try and sign up at red line ( a artist/printmaking/paper studio)  for a paper making class. 

Moving forward….. Meeting with Rory one more time before midterm this week. Looking forward to having someone look at my work so far.
I like a lot of the things I have been working on but I consider them more studies than final pieces. I will be trying to clarify these in the next few weeks.

I want do tie up the skin drawings. If they work… more!

love knowing that I can get huge copies at kinkos… life size skin? Yessssss.

I am also going to do some drawings on Velum. 

I am really looking forward to more sculpture work. I set up my basement for ceramic work over break as well.  I wedged up some clay but couldn’t get much further past that… I was thinking too much about the drawings.


 Also, looking at the Mark Bradford show when I was at the ICA i loved the idea of layering paper and string. I think I'm going to try that next with some anatomy and portraits. layer string and paper and then gesso/plaster over so it just has a relief effect. 



 

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