Summer II / 2021
Practices and Techniques in Studio Art - Professor Patricia Dye
This blog post will cover the entire period of Summer II. It includes some notes from the class, as well as ongoing work that I am making that is not part of any assignment other than that it is work I will present in the fall for critique. We have worked on the artist statements for our current work... Here is mine for the installation, e/Mergence, that I am making:
"My work is about the poorly understood effects of the many systems & structures that represent the hidden aspects of racism baked into our society; many of which have affected my life in post-Civil Rights Act America.
Still working on the actual ceramic face for the Ascendant, to replace the study piece. I am continuing to learn more about clay, with the help of my cohorts, and some really good books. Im reading The Craft and Art of Clay, by Susan Peterson; learning as best I can from a book, some of the fundamentals of working with clay.. The executed piece will compensate for shrinkage, color changes that will come in firing, and some changes that will capture more of a semblance of the subject in the video (the artist). I am not aiming for realism, but the form I've created is overly disparate from my own face. The face seen below is not the final face, it's a study, and my first clay work:
August 2, 2021
Continuing to work on Deferred Hopes (referred to in last month's post...as well as work on a new idea. The new idea centers upon exploring making wall hanging sculptures out of flat materials such as sheets of cast acrylic sheets, plywood, and others. I'd love to make this out of steel, however, I do not believe our Glowforge cuts through metal...I will investigate. These will be cut and then layered sort of the way that Marisol Escobar created her flat-faced sculptures in wood. This is the cutting template. Blue lines cut & red lines engraved. 24 white pyramids, and another smaller set of black pyramids which will be combined to create a piece I am titling Integration.
Summer I / 2021
Studio Hours II - Professor Marilyn Thompson
During the bulk of this class, I worked on completing the first piece of an installation project I have titled e/Mergence
This first piece is a notable progression of my work as I consider abstraction, and new materials.
Ascendant is the first piece in the installation and may liekly be seen as the center-piece of it, if I get to produce it in the scale I intended. What I am completing during this class is, more or less, a proof of concept.
During this class, aside from Ascendant, I worked on exploring a variety of concepts that would support the piece and express the conceptualizations through additional pieces that pull in key forms, hues, and details which speak into the subject. I worked on some acrylic and clay mixed media pieces, which for me did not feel successful. Principally due to my lack of familiarity with acrylic painting techniques. I will retry the concepts using spray painting and possibly some other types of paints.
However, I've also got to be sure not to get distracted. Professor Thompson was very understanding and provided great guidance for every direction that I was looking. In fact, even though we did not talk about metal much, her feedback regarding the form itself was encouraging.
The summer began with finishing up the metal work for Ascendant... There were many more sketches, and a couple of 3D CAD type works I made in order to aid my efforts.
The experimentation with combining painting and clay pieces is ongoing, but here is where I started. I made a bunch of backgrounds on canvas with acrylic paint, and planned to suspend (using some simple magic) a clay inverted pyramid in front of each.
The painting is not strong, as one would expect, and I want to explore other types of painting; such as spray painting. But I will still suspend the clay pieces in front of each background.
I took a little breather for a few days and started some work on one of the next pieces of the e/Mergence installation. These metal pieces will become a collection of inverted black pyramids, which will be suspended in mid-air. They will be varying in size from as small as 8 inches to 16 inches high. Here are some concept sketches and photos of the advance work.
In finality, during the Summer I session, I did create the clay face part of Ascendant. The piece has not been fired yet. I am letting it dry very slowly. I looked at quite a bit of other's work, and the first image was the best summation of what aesthetic I was drawn toward.
During Summer II, I will continue to work on the video component of Ascendant, but will be working on Deferred Hopes and Whispers (2.0)
Artists of Direct Inspiration...
This is a sublist of the artists that I would consider having a meaningful impact on my initial direction. I believe I'll likely post at least 2 or three of these brief notes on who and why.
These would be the foundational artists for me, though there were and are many other historic artists whose work gives me inspiration and direction. In fact, much of my work now is being driven by artists who work in the mediums I am focused upon, and writers who write and speak about the subject that is the content I am making work about. Those will be the subject of my future notes.
Here is my foundational short list:
Rob J Phillips