Tag Archives: creativity

Growing – Natalie

Thanksgiving break was a welcome and necessary reprieve for me. Although I did not get as much actual painting done as I had wished, I got an incredible amount of planning and idea generating done. I now have a clear vision of my path in preparing for my gallery show, and an idea of what my finished body of work will look like. This past week, I finally dove in to creating this body of work. Yesterday evening I had Gwyneth sit for me, and the Alex painting is almost done. Finally, the fantastical elements are beginning to incorporate themselves into my serious portraiture. I will be beginning my self-portrait soon, and have an even better idea now of where it is going (especially seeing as I got quite a few spider-slug studies done over break).

Below is the sketch and imprimatura for the Gwyneth portrait. I’ve included the imprimatura in both warm and cool light, because I think each holds the space a little differently, which is interesting to me. I haven’t yet decided which direction I will go with my color palate, but it is good to be able to see both possibilities. In addition, there is a close up of the face detail. As can be seen in the sketch, I am planning on giving her a dragon.

Gwyneth’s hair is certainly going to be the most difficult (and most fun) aspect of this one. I am not incredibly familiar with painting hair, so I have compiled some references for myself. First, is the work of Alphonse Mucha, one of the most prominent artists in the Art Nouveau movement in the 1890’s and early 1900’s He has an incredible knack for the silhouette and shape of hair (you can find some examples here). Second is a portrait of Alice Guérin done by Paul César Helleu. This one I had not previously known of, but found in my investigating. The hair is nearly identical to that of Gwyneth’s, although not quite so curly (here is the painting). Third, we have the famous Lady of Shalott, by John William Waterhouse, another example of beautiful long red hair (find it here). Fourth, comes the work of Sandro Bottecelli, who very much enjoyed his depictions of goddesses to have long curly hair. The one painting of his which I have singled out is Pallas and the Centaur, which can be seen here. And finally, there is the work of Gustav Klimt, another famous Art Nouveau painter. I have chosen the painting Danae, which features another woman with long curly red hair (here).

To finish up this blog post, here is the progress on the Alex painting, which is getting very close to done.

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Some unique little dudes have wandered their way onto her painting, and while not originally intended, I think I like them, so they will be staying.

In the light of these new paintings and plans, I think I am certainly going to revise the background of my Maggie portrait to tie in these fantastical elements and creatures.

I am excited to see what I will get done over the coming month.

I’ve Scrapped All of my Sketches-Cleo

…and I’ll tell you why. This semester a key part in every piece that I have done is improvisation. The guitar line and drum beats in the song were improvised. Much of my dance was choreographed in a trial and error improvisation method. I went in with a clear head, and allowed art to happen. I’ve never thought of visual art that way. It’s always been something carefully planned or meticulously copied from reality. But when I was gathering sources for my project’s Works Cited, I gathered lots of sources focused on creating visual art using musical improvisation techniques. As someone who primarily identifies herself as a musician, this speaks to me. And since reading these articles I’ve become infatuated with the idea. And so I’ve decided to try something entirely new to me. I want to improvise my final drawing. Continue reading

Reflections – Natalie

I’ve done a fair amount of reflection in my past few blog posts, but I suppose there’s always room for more. Over the course of this semester I’ve both achieved and not achieved my goals. I actually have a much clearer and more long-term view of the trajectory of my work, and a vision for what I want to achieve not only in this semester, but further on in college. Continue reading

Final Stage! – Cleo

Yesterday was the arts festival, which means that the dance section has been put to rest. Last night T. Will, in introducing the performance, laid out everything that I have done thus far. That conveyed the gravity of it all to me. I hadn’t even considered it up until that point. In my mind I was just making art. It’s what I do. Continue reading

Miracle of Miracles / If I Were A Rich Man – Tray

Hello everyone!

I’ve been under the weather this week, so, unfortunately, I can’t record the monologue just yet, but there’s something big happening very soon! If you couldn’t guess from the title, auditions for Fiddler on the Roof start on Tuesday (Monday consists of introductory activities)! I began taking voice lessons at the beginning of the semester in preparation with T. Rebecca Field, who is a great teacher! Continue reading

The First One – Natalie

Tonight I submitted the first of three college portfolios I will submit this year. T. Chris was incredibly helpful in the process, choosing work with me and then photographing and editing it. This past weekend, I measured and resized everything so that it was the proper dimensions according to the Slideroom guidelines, and I uploaded and named it all. Continue reading

Can’t Shake the Feeling – Cleo

For those of you who saw Big Love last week, you’ll understand why I was so sore walking into the studio today. Last week I made a lot of headway on my dance. I ruthlessly choreographed until my body simply couldn’t do more. Today I walked in and my body was already at the point of giving up, still aching from tossing myself all about the stage. And so I had a dilemma: how do I meet my impending deadline without hurting myself? I decided I would mark through those last few counts of the song. Continue reading

Fly Me To The Moon – Tray

Hey! Long time, no see! I missed a week of school with my fly-in programs at both Pomona and Williams (which were both amazing!), and have been working to get caught up on my work. Let’s get to it!

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I have spent this past week finishing Uta Hagen’s Respect for Acting, along with a book review and a presentation to the Acting Workshop class (presentation on 10/25). Continue reading

The Theater of it All – Cleo

As I stepped into the studio yesterday, I knew that I wasn’t feeling it. My body and moving were not things that I wanted paired. But I had to get going. So I thought, “How do I loosen myself up?” What I ended up doing was putting on some Frank Ocean and dancing my ever-loving heart out. I didn’t think about my movements (or anything else for that matter.) I just moved. I danced and danced as song after song played. Continue reading

How on Earth – Natalie

This past week I ran into a pretty big issue that may take a little time to resolve, it’s honestly pretty embarrassing to me but I’ll just go ahead and put it out there: I don’t remember how to paint portraits. Imprimaturas? Fine and good. But actually putting color on the canvas to resemble skin tone, depth, shape, and shadow? I’m having a harder time getting back into it that I thought I would. When I actually think about it, it’s been probably about two years since I last painted a portrait. Here’s the comparison between my two year old portrait (still unfinished) and my progress on the Maggie one:

It’ll come along, I just need to take some uninterrupted time to sit and work on it. I’m thinking of playing up some of the yellow highlights, like it appears in my reference photo. I do like how the eye is coming, though.

This past weekend, I began the process of migrating all of my portfolio works over from home to Westtown, so that I can begin photographing them properly to upload into my college applications. I have an email into T. Chris Willis to set up a time to meet about beginning this photographing process. I also need to contact T. Joyce Nagata about photographing my pottery. I’ve found two good articles on photographing paintings here and here. It looks like I may also need to contact T. Sarah Sullivan about setting up some lights with gel filters to balance color.

In looking ahead, I have some ideas for new paintings. I know I don’t want to stick solely to portraiture and abstract and fantasy separately, but rather I would like to merge the three to start to string together a coherent body of work. I am still mulling over how I will do this with the Maggie painting, but I am thinking of pulling in some elements of my floating amoebas with abstract tendrils of paint and a focus on mixing color.

Next, I am planning on doing a self portrait with poison ivy and a spider-slug. I know, I know. You’re wondering about the poison ivy. Well, in addition to gathering up portfolio pieces over the weekend, I also waged an itchy and exhausting battle against the poison ivy covering my arms, torso, and yes, even my face. I did, however, get some pretty gnarly shots of my eye all swelled up, and I thought it might make for some interesting and out of the ordinary subject matter (like the grotesque work of Jenny Saville which I mentioned in an earlier post). I also am looking to start bringing my creatures into realism, and what better way to do so than with a spider-slug on my head?

I am toying with the notion of doing a series of portraits of my friends, all playing with the abstract and fantastical. I think I will consult T. Chris Willis on this, but I am feeling hopeful. This weekend I will be staying at school and am planning on holing myself up in the studio to get some actual work done. Hopefully, I will be able to finish or get closer to finished on the Maggie painting, and begin the self-portrait.