Saturday, February 28

Fleisher happenings

I feel so lax in posting. Part of my problem is technology. Ever since I switched over to using my camera phone rather than my actual phone I feel I'm far less likely to post on my blog(s). Has blogging become passe? Well instead of letting things languish on my cell phone, here is a glimpse of some things that have been happening in the courses I teach at Fleisher Art Memorial.
 On Tuesday nights I teach Color Theory, a free class of about 15 students. We develop exercises in a sketchbook to become a color manual for future personal use. We've decided to have each semester switch off between color theory and basic 2D design. It was nice to come back to Color Theory this semester after not teaching it since last Spring. The new availability of projectors at Fleisher has made a big difference in how I teach there too. Above is a color matching exercise from the beginning of the semester, and below is a group color wheel, value scale, and chroma scale we taped to the wall.
 One of the value exercises we do is to paint a small still life of one white object.
 On Saturday mornings I've been teaching a fabric printing class for adults. Here is a found object print from early on:
 And here is a woodblock print one student completed over 2 yards of 45 inch wide fabric with a color gradation!
In the afternoons on Saturday I have 11-12 year olds come to learn silkscreen also. We completed a group tiling project and installation. Everyone started with a simple 4 square layer in one color (3 teams, each picked a different background color). Then each student made a geometric shape collage which we scanned and turned into a rotational symmetry design in photoshop to superimpose on the squares. Finally we took their addition of 6 and installed it in a hallway as a group. I love having the multiples have a purpose, either to create a group thing or a book. Most kids don't know what to do with an edition.
 Our first project was inspired by patterns in Islamic tiles, and we then went into the sanctuary at Fleisher to look at patterns in Christian Icons for inspiration for our second project. I ha the kids draw a pattern or border, design an image for the center, and paint a board with a background color. they printed everything on paper first and then on their board. Only the Katniss Everdeen image really seems to capture the icon idea, but no problem, they're 11 years old!
Registration is open over at Fleisher for the Spring semester. I'm teaching Basic Design and teen screenprinting next session. 

Monday, February 23


For my recent birthday I asked all my facebook friends to send me a pattern as a present. I hate all the monotony of 50 people just saying Happy Birthday on my wall. It was fun seeing what people sent me. And more fun playing with the images to transform them.
 I mostly worked on abstracting and thresholding the images to get a graphic that I could turn into a silkscreen positive. I'm currently teaching a fabric printmaking course at Fleisher, and it was nice to have some examples to bring in of how to make a positive for photo process.
 I don't know where these will lead, but it feels good to be producing something. The exercises in the creativity books I've been working through the last 2 months keep pointing out my obsession with pattern as a way of imposing my personal order on perceived chaos. Life is messy. Art doesn't have to be.
 I also played with digitally collaging all the images that were gifted to me together. There were 2 waves of offerings resulting in 2 images.
 Do they say more about me and my own aesthetic or about my friends' perception of me? Or my friends' sense of aesthetics? I think of the 2 I prefer the one below... less cluttered, more landscapy.
 Once I got started I couldn't stop. So I played some more with the patterns I'd extracted and superimposed them on some photos that have been waiting for me.
 They are both evocative of winter. Cold and dark and snowy. My body is ready for Spring and flowers, but my eyes do love Winter contrast. In Winter you see the bones of everything.
I've been trying to be more creative and productive. All this digital play is fodder for my needle and thread eventually. I'm spending more time in my studio corner than I had been. I also finally got up the drive to launch my own website. It is a start. Check it out (I so love being really the only person in the world with this name....) Thanks to the people at Heavy Bubble for hosting and making it so easy.