Friday, February 19, 2010

02/19 Crit

It was a confusing day at Livingston, spent nearly 20 minutes finding a parking spot, but finally made it and got a lot of good feedback. I was concerned about a couple things for my thesis project and figured out what I plan on doing to finish it. I am doing a grid of 20 or 24 1x1 ft little canvases, and using a corner space so it can be on two walls, but still one piece. They will be bright colors and dark colors, overlapping and showing through, dripped, scraped away, etc. I hope to use the gallery space that is the first room on the right after you enter the initial room, and on the left far corner. That's my hope, because the windows opposite are in a grid like pattern, small squares and it would reflect on my work. Good suggestions today:
AV Ryan suggested using the floor space underneath, maybe that would add to the layout and make it more interesting. Both Gerry and Chris suggested not to paint the sides like I was thinking, because it would unify it too much, and the style I paint is spontaneous so it wouldn't work well. I agree completely, I just was considering it. Vinny pointed out that people usually tend to read horizontally from left to write, so to consider that when choosing the layout and which colors are next to each other. Also a good point. So in conclusion, it was a successful day, despite the attempt to find the building in the first place.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Crit 2C by Paul

Today for my group crit, i brought in two paintings I did towards the end of last semester, and have been thinking of using them in my thesis exhibition.So I wanted to bring them in to see what everyone thought, since I am considering using them in my show, and/or the basic idea of them, as my show. The two paintings are each 12inches by 12inches, and are a combination of drips, poured paint, overlapping colors, and the paint underneath showing through. The one was blueish and the other more white, but they both had several colors mixed throughout them, pinks, reds, grays, black, etc. Paul suggested doing several of these, as individual fragments of a larger painting. Using different color themes for each one and combining them as a grid of a "larger painting." Joe also suggested trying the "pouring medium" by latex. I just want to say, that after thesis today, I now know exactly what I plan on doing for my exhibition. Thank you Paul!! you are the shit!

Friday, November 13, 2009

MFA Show Review

When you first walk in the photographs on the right two walls are amazing. There isn't a name or title about them posted on the wall, but they are interesting and creative, quite literal too. The photo of the girl with the small cherry pie over her mouth, as if shes eating it, and the drip is great, very suggestive. Also, very literal, the photos, I believe of the same girl, with cigarettes over her chest up her neck, is suggesting "lung cancer," is creative and her make up really gives a full effect of what I think the artist is trying to convey. And the only other thing I found interesting and aesthetically pleasing were the two larger paintings on the far back wall of the main room. Not only are the impressive by their size, but they resemble Cy Twombley and Kandinsky, which are two artists whose work I personally like. The non representational shapes are dark and compelling, they can be interpreted in anyway, and I think that's important for an artist to do, and involve many different types of viewers. All in all the show was nice to walk through however a lot of the work I found boring, especially the sculptural work in the back right room. The curation of it I feel is a thousand times more interesting than the BA/BFA Art Open show was curated. I feel that I was cheated by wall space, and the lack thereof of quality work. I had two paintings I feel should've been chosen and put into the show, but they weren't, and I saw work that I felt wasn't even good quality to have been in it. I know some people submitted work and it wasn't chosen but maybe should have. The set up of the actual show sucked and I don't know who curated it but they didn't do a good job. I had a painting in that show and it was not displayed appropriately by any means and the placement did nothing for the painting. And the MFA show I believe is curated the right way, the pieces are displayed nicely, really giving the viewer an understanding about the work, and letting them get a feel of it. That's about it.

thesis proposal 2009

Thesis Proposal/BFA 2009
Hannah O’Brien
My fascination with the process of painting, the application of paint, and the different behaviors it can comprise has brought me to the idea of “action painting”. Experimenting with different qualities of the paint and the response that I get from it becomes something persuasive and inviting for me. I want to change the paint by moving it around, adding more, thinning it out, over lapping, and layering. Through this manipulation, I am creating interesting compositions, new textures, and exciting effects. I have been searching for artists that would be helpful in modifying and creating my own color palette, trying to limit the amount of colors I use in my paintings. I use a lot of bright, iridescent colors, seemingly neon, in simple non representational forms. An artist whose work has been helpful is that of Wendy White. Our color palette is very similar, almost exactly the same, mainly greens, bright pinks, and black. Her use of black is inventive, one would think too dramatic, but it works for me. So for my thesis, this artist will be serving as an inspiration for me. I am interested a great deal in drips, and how they interact on the canvas. I have discovered that just by using gravity, and rotating the canvas, it enhances the drips, and gives better control, guiding them where to go. My curiosity behind this is to see how the paint changes form and creates its own path, as it works its way through wet on wet paint. The idea of paint dripping from one canvas to another, simultaneously creating a second painting, while still working on the one, is also an idea I have toyed with and will be focusing on while I create work for my thesis show. I paint with an uncertainty; the aspect of not knowing exactly what will happen in my work. I am creating the brushstroke, the movement of my hands, and the movement of the paint, and with that creating something almost impossible to mimic. Not only have I been inspired by the artists I have been researching but music has been a huge inspiration to me, and a lot of my work I have to thank to The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Elliott Smith and varieties of trance music. All of these musicians and bands have in common is tranquility in their songs. Peaceful, encouraging lyrics mixed with psycadelic sounds of techno and new wave makes me want to paint. I cannot paint without music, and this is why I feel it is important I include these motivations into my thesis research. I can easily get frustrated and that is my block, the music keeps me focused and the rhythms coincide with my gestural marks of the paint. Listening to this music brings me to a happy place, and I think about my childhood a lot while painting; about playing outside, creating things, the curiosity I had as a child, and the curiosity I have now, in general, my adolescence gives me insight to what my inner thoughts are, and how to portray them in painting. Making work is not easy, even though I am painting abstractly, it does not mean, “you’re six year old” could have done it. It takes much time and a lot of ‘feeling’ to make abstract work. Personally I find it more difficult to paint abstractly than realistically. My work is meant for the viewer, it is meant to extract emotions, a deep hidden anger, spiteful feelings, unconsciously finding the inner ‘you’ while I have found myself making it. I am attached to my work and it is difficult for me to sell, or give my paintings away. I feel like each painting I have done is marking a moment of my life, and it can never be recaptured. I have to be concienseous of my actions and my creations, understanding them on my own before I can share them with others. It is an intimacy between me, the paint and the canvas. I kind of know it immediately. Sometimes I'll keep it in spite of myself, because there's something about it. Maybe I don't like it, but there's something about it that makes it difficult to erase-and quite often that'll be a particularly good painting. I guess that's because what I'm after is to surprise myself somehow, to kind of step out of the picture and let it surprise me. I guess that's what all artists do, in a way. I do feel that I've reduced my painting work to this one thing, but there's a kind of endless range of expression within that very simple structure that I've given myself. It's like there's an element of music, there's an element of movie, there's a beginning, a middle, and an end-there's a little narrative there. My work is indicative and genuine. I love color, texture, noise, handling of the paint and the canvas; becoming part of the work while making it, really feeling what I am trying to convey is so important to me. Marks that are gesticulate, quick, slow, accidental, come out of my personality, and I see that in my work, and that is something that no one else can claim. I am unique and creative, and I want my work to illustrate these characteristics. I want my body of work for my thesis to be compelling, and thought out, colorful and stimulating.

complete annotated bibliography

1. O’Brien, Glenn. “James Nares.” Interview. <>
This is a great interview I just read, between Glenn O'Brien and James Nares, about his pre painting experiences and post painting experiences. James Nares is just a normal art student it seems, not some famous painter with a whole new insight on life, but a regular artist, that has failures and triumphs, etc. He came from London to New York and was originally trying to be several things, a musician, a filmmaker, and chose painting to be his main thing, which he had been doing since he was a child anyway. His paintings create an effect of no knowing what’s the top, the bottom, how it was painted, kind of like stuck in space somewhere, with no up and no down, no sideways either. Seems he has to create his own procedure to making his paintings, because of the effect he wants to have. I like that he feels it’s all about the brushstroke, the movement of your hands, and the movement of the paint, how it reacts. Very cool, and something that I feel is the way to paint, it’s too boring painting a scenic beautiful waterfall, who cares?! Paint something where the paint looks fucking cool and does something that you can’t mimic. This interview makes me think about what my thesis show will look like, and more so, what I want it to convey to the viewer, the audience, what my painting is about.
2. Spears, Dorothy. “The art of Ingrid Calame: A speedway palette.” The New York Times. 10 Oct. 2007. <>
This article mainly talks about her idea to trace the skid marks on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What is really great about Ingrid Calame’s work is that it offers visual testimony of what usually goes unnoticed: the fuel spills, sprayed gravel, gouges and skids that remain indelible after high-speed courtships with death. She is making work out of the things we see every day, anywhere, where you’d least expect it. These are out of the closet inspirations in which she gathers her ideas from. “One pattern was a famous pretzel-shaped skid mark made by Dan Wheldon in 2005 after his Indianapolis 500 victory. Now an enamel and latex wall painting based on his celebratory gesture is the 76-by-20-foot, or 23-by-6-meter, centerpiece of "Ingrid Calame: Traces of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," opening Friday at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.”
3. Griffin, Tim. “Action and Abstraction.” 2009. <>
Just browsing through artforum I found this article very intriguing. Talking about the future of art, ideas behind art, and what art is really about. “What is the mentality of the art world we actually know, the one we experience day to day, as opposed to the one proposed by Hardt and Negri? My colleague lamentingly summed it up thus: “Theory is bad, political thought in art is wrong, activism is jejune, the free market is good, individualism is great, and the amoral artist is genius.” Even in these fragile days, the institution of art can be a highly legislated and regimented sphere, regulated by subtle codes of behavior and hierarchies of value that are perpetually reinscribed—among artists, critics, scholars, curators, and collectors—instead of being examined anew, openly and in earnest. And yet acknowledging such obstacles is, in a sense, precisely the point of Hardt and Negri’s text: to prompt serious reflection in the face of faltering social systems and conventions, from which the art world’s own instances cannot be exempt. In short, every aspect of art—its premises, its manifestations, and its implications, as well as the audience it anticipates and projects—must be continually revisited and, if proved inadequate, reimagined in order for art to have any persisting salience (to say nothing of relevance). Mere commentary in this regard does not suffice. But it is only by wanting a different language for art—or by recognizing that the times demand such altered grammars—that one can begin. In this way (and perhaps inadvertently), the same gauntlet that is thrown down by Hardt and Negri for the constituents of society can also be said to be thrown down for those who would be constituents of art, in whatever form it takes.”
4. MGMT lyrics. “Kids.” 2008.
Lyrics: You were a child, Crawling on your knees toward it, Making momma so proud, But your voice is too loud, We like to watch you laughing, You pick the insects off plants, No time to think of consequences, Control yourself, Take only what you need from it, A family of trees wanted, To be haunted, The water is warm, But it’s sending me shivers, A baby is born, Crying out for attention, The memories fade, Like looking through a fogged mirror, Decision to decisions are made, And not bought, But I thought this wouldn’t hurt a lot, I guess not
This song, not only the sounds, the music of it, the lyrics are very empowering. It always brings me back to childhood, makes me think more about my importance in life and my reason in life, who am I about? I hear this song and want to paint, I feel like I create the most interesting, colorful, abstract works while hearing it. I pay attention more to the paint and what it’s doing, instead of trying to come up with a concrete idea and sticking with it, I feel more free and expressive.
5. Boddy-Evans, Marion. “How to Interpret Abstract Art, Things to consider when looking at or creating abstract art.” <>
Reading this article has made me reconsider how I evaluate my own work. It has given me several guidelines, suggestions, how to follow through with a painting. The basic questions you professor asks you, or a friend that sees your work. These questions and comments on “interpreting” abstract art are in my head all the time, and seeing them, reading them, reminds me, to focus on them, and not just paint to paint, but think about why am I painting this? It’s going to be necessary, crucial to be aware of these things while preparing for my thesis.
6. Hochdörfer, Achim. “A Hidden Reserve.” Artforum. Vol. 47, Iss. 6; pg. 153, 7 pg. New York: Feb 2009.

This article is about the time period between 1958 and 1965, where artists explored possibilities that were consequently mainly suppressed, until recent practices re-engaged them. These “latent strategies would include the investigation of the dialectic between painterly substance and aesthetic transcendence; the use of the painted gestural mark beyond expressionism and the semiotization of the mark itself.” It’s about opening up unfamiliar territories and placing our long-standing debates on contemporary painting within a new perspective, and the importance of this is crucial to the development of painting, and going back to what painting really is. It makes you think about your own work and why you paint. In my opinion, it is about the gestural mark, completely. The reinterpretations of gestural abstraction, in these ‘narrations of indeterminacy, the simultaneity of competing perspectives and signs confers the act of composition on the viewer, repeatedly urging him or her to form unstable structures of signification.’ Recently it seems that painting has applied itself to those very problems of the 1960’s, which they had declared dead. Minimalism, abstract expressionism, the 60’s, Johns, Kaprow, etc.
7. Sharp, Chris. “The Idiots.” Art Review. Issue 32. May 2009.
This article, is called ‘The Idiots’, namely because of the Danish director, Lars von Trier, whose 1998 film was titled, The Idiots. It’s about a group of nonconformist Danish kids, “spazzing,” rendering themselves useless. They call it, “retard art,” which is that which prioritizes the ‘durr’ factor to an overwhelming, if not exclusive degree. ‘Durr’ means downright, impulsive, idiotic, stupidness, behind a given artwork, (i.e. Jackass). Makes you think about what Andy Warhol, Dadaism, and Duchamp was about, and what they were trying to convey. The idea that, “I know I am shallow.” It allows itself to be vulnerable to criticism by virtue of its nerdiness and apparent critically. It’s about finding a purpose for something that didn’t have a purpose to begin with, the idea that mistakes are necessary for perfection. There is always room for “bad” or “aggressive” gestures in are, you just have to do it, and keep doing it, even if it’s the dumbest thing you can think of. This pushes me to play more with painting, and relax, and be bold. Just start painting and see where it takes me, I think there is a lot behind that, not just, “oh, my 6yr old could have done that,” because I doubt they could. This is what I want to, and know I need to work on, like meditation, or seeing a shrink, it’s like calming.
8. Schmitz, Edgar. “Everything Popular is Wrong.” Art Review. Issue 35. October 2009.
This article I found extraordinarily interesting, suggesting the idea that art becomes popular namely because it is misunderstood. The idea that “popularity” itself, or lack thereof it, has come to determine the success or failure of the artwork. So basically, if it’s a scribble on a canvas, but Lauren Conrad likes it, and all of her friends too...then it becomes popular? I was intrigued by the thoughts in this article, as well as confused, however I do believe that some art is ridiculously honored over other art, namely because it became popular. (I.e. Andy Warhol)
9. The Flaming Lips lyrics “Do You Realize?”
Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face, Do You Realize - we're floating in space -, Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry, Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die, And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know, You realize that life goes fast, It's hard to make the good things last, You realize the sun don'-go down, It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round, Do You Realize - Oh - Oh – Oh, Do You Realize - that everyone you know, Someday will die
It’s hard to really get the full idea about this song without hearing it, but this song I guess always gets me. I may cry, I may laugh, not sure sometimes, but it always breaks me down to how I really am feeling, underneath it all. And this is why I like this song. I makes me think about my family, my old dog, my future, who I am. It just gets me going, thinking, wondering, and it also is quite relaxing. Even if I’m in a room with a ton of people and I am listening to this, maybe with ear phones, I feel completely alone. I find it necessary sometimes.
10. Elliott Smith “Miss Misery” Lyrics
I'll fake it through the day, with some help from Johnny Walker Red., Send the poison rain down the drain, to put bad thoughts in my head. Two tickets torn in half, and a lot of nothing to do. Do you miss me, Miss Misery, like you say you do? A man in the park, Read the lines in my hand, Told me I'm strong, Hardly ever wrong I said "man you mean you", I had plans for both of us, That involved a trip out of town, To a place I've seen in a magazine, That you left lying around. I don't have you with me but, I keep a good attitude. Do you miss me, Miss Misery, like you say you do? I know you'd rather see me gone, than to see me the way that I am, but I am in the life anyway. Next door the TVs flashing, Blue frames on the wall. It's a comedy of errors, you see. It's about taking a fall. To vanish into oblivion, is easy to do. And I try to be but you know me, I come back when you want me to. Do you miss me, Miss Misery, like you say you do?
Along the same lines as the Flaming Lips song, this song puts me in an empty place, alone and dark. Depressing as it sounds, but a lot of the time, with school, the stress, my family and my fiancé, I am stressed beyond belief some days, and this is the music that eases my negative thoughts and is comforting. This song in particular I always play first, when I start a painting. I can relax and let loose, paint freely and I usually come up with paintings to keep, if I am listening to this music, meanwhile making it.