Monday, May 17, 2010

Last Project!

These last two drawings are essentially a continuation of my previous drawing. These are compositional studies of outside spaces which have been abstracted and reduced down in order to build minimal compositions. My goal was to allow more space to allude to architecture and continue with the subtle use of color to add some depth and describe a separation of objects within the picture plain. I am happy with the way that both of these turned out, but I prefer the more minimal composition of the drawing on the left, especially with its more limited use of easily recognizable objects.


This is the drawing that I did to emulate the style of Jenny Brillhart. Brillhart paints very straightforward compositions of interesting architectural spaces. Her work is about composition building and lends itself to the traditional media of painting. For my piece I chose very similar subject matter but chose to use charcoal and introduce color through thin washes of watercolor in an attempt to begin to add color to my work. I feel that this was a good exploration for me in terms of using color within a style that I prefer to work in through most media. Brillhart as a way about describing space through the subtlety of color gradient shifts that I hope to eventually achieve. The over-all consensus is that I should "backed up" the composition allowing more room for a horizon line or other spatial clues that would help allude more to architecture or actual space rather than a Mondrian-esque composition .

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Incluences Paper

My influences paper.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


This past week in class we all took the Meyers-Briggs personality analysis. Although I tried as hard as I could to answer the questions candidly, I immediately began to analyze each question so that I could try to predict what this test was trying to figure out about me (so right away this begins to say something about my personality). As a result I feel my first outcome was somewhat skewed. Also, I am not entirely comfortable with the idea of talking about my "virtues" or other traits that I (or anyone else for that matter) will begin to read into and adopt simply because of 70ish questions and a lengthy webpage description of who I am. With that being said, I will describe my experience and relate to you what I feel is an accurate description of how I think. Just remember, I'm talking about myself, so I'm sure it's biased.

The first time I took it, the test described me as being ISTJ, with only 30 percent introverted.... now wait a minute, I know I'm more introverted than that. This number, along with the description I read of my result did not sit right with me. Later, after we talked in class I re-took the test, this time thinking honestly and completely about each question, applying the idea to multiple situations in my life. This time the test told me I was INTJ. Not a whole lot different, but this time I was 60 percent introverted (ok, that sounds like me) and intuitive instead of sensing, whatever that means. After reading this new description I was much more convinced of this second result (and a little creeped out by it's accuracy). Granted, I do not agree with everything that the description told me, I don't think I'm some master planner manipulator and I don;t sit in waiting for others to fail so that I can succeed (at least I hope I don't). However, one of the main differences was that the first result, ISTJ, described me as being someone who abided by, no cherished, the rules and judged others based on there ability to conform, an Idea that I attempted to read into myself, but did not at all agree with. The second result, INTJ, described me as being someone who understood the rules but did not necessarily agree with them. This is a much better description of who I am. I understand things and use pre-existing ideas if they make sense, but I also look for an alternative that could be better, different, or more interesting. I am very analytical, for me to understand anything I need to rationalize it. With the way I make art, I need to understand pre-existing theory (usually compositional) and apply it to the situation. Is this the best way to think about it? I understand the idea and then decide to apply the rationalization, or CHANGE it to make it work BETTER. Tools not rules, right?
When I critique art, I try to rationalize the idea behind it. Concept is very important, and for me to get behind it I need to rationalize it. this is probably the thinking part of my personality taking over. This also explains why I do not react to art that is purely emotional. Yes, I feel a certain way when I look at something but, like music, these emotions are stirred up by technical things ( line quality, contrast, rawness, texture). If I look at a piece of artwork and can not relate to it conceptually and it also has no interesting compositional characteristics about it, I shut down. On the other hand, art that references ideas is much more interesting to me.
Now, you might say, "Adam, you make pots, what the hell?" I thought the same thing for a while. why am I making pots and not something conceptually important and Duchamp-esque? Well I started with the fact that I like to make, and I hate mass produced, un-personal crap. Then I moved on beyond the obvious and began thinking about art as communication and the fact that pots were also a means of communication; conceptual art is a process of the discovery of ideas, as pots are a process of discovering ideas (specifically personal interaction of maker and object, object and user.) This is not me denying the idea of art vs. craft, Ill be the first to separate the two, but I will not deny the connections that art and craft share. What if craft becomes conceptually charged? What if I make something functional on top of a strong conceptual foundation? From the other direction what if one creates a painting or sculpture or drawing without this foundation of intelligent thought? It looks cool? So what? What is more art and what is more craft?
I made what I do make sense to me, I rationalized it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Project 2

This is project number 2. For this project we randomly chose two words others in the class associated with project one, then randomly chose a medium and created a piece based on these three words. My random selections were bathroom, measured, and black & white acrylic paint. The imagery I chose to talk about bathrooms was a photograph of the underside of my sink. I think the image is good because it is everything that the bathroom is about. Clean water comes in, dirty water goes out. The idea of measured led me to cut my panel into squares which correspond to the grid drawn on the photograph. The idea is that I can scrutinize each square in order to accurately render to image. Also, measured= repeated= lots of squares. The acrylic paint was a struggle, but I am satisfied with the resulting image. Conceptually I guess the piece makes sense, although I would not say that I am particularly interested in the ideas associated with a bathroom. I am, however, interested in the architecture and composition of the photograph I took and the industrial aesthetic associated with the fixtures. So, to wrap things up, I feel that this piece is as successful as it could have been and corresponds to my particular interest in the subject.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The d.l. on proj. 1

So here is what I ended up with on project one. The verdict during critique is that it is flat with not a whole lot of depth overall, and I completely agree. I blame that last section of pipe disjointed from the pipe leaving the radiator along with the unexciting grey-hued background. I am happy with how certain parts turned out, like the corner near the bottom and the radiator at the top of the drawing (some gestural/subtle mark making). Looking back I wish I would have put in more time thinking about composition rather than jumping in so fast. It is, however, the first project and I guess I am not too unhappy with the result. I feel like it was a good project to jump back into mark-making with, and I look forward to the next project where I can work out some compositional issues and work a higher level of concept into the work.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

ARTlessons (ch 1-3)

The first three chapters of Art Lessons was largely about what it means to be an artist and how one finds his or her self in this profession. In the first chapter the author talks about art as a vocation and how in that definition, each individual's definition of what it means to be an artist changes. Ultimately, the author says, an artist's life and work are one and the same as they inform one another. The next chapter is called aesthetic education and is not about art school, but one's own journey in discovering an aesthetic philosophy. This begins in childhood explorations and questions, and evolves into adult life as we seek out new information and an understanding of the world. What one creates is bounded only by the knowledge that one has not yet discovered. The third chapter is about the value and place of the institution in an artist's life. The institution is not necessary, but is a resource, and one should not be afraid to leave it or come back to it.

So far, I think that this book is excellent in terms of direction in self reflection. I can't help compare what I am reading to my own life (which I'm sure is the authors intention) and because of this I am able to have a sort of internal conversation with the ideas presented. The predominant idea that I am getting so far is one of hard work and an insatiable want of knowledge. I think that these ideas are good and real. One other theme that may or may not be as strong through the text is one of questioning. As an artist I believe it is important to question what we do. What do we do and why does it matter? Questions are what lead to answers, and knowledge after all. Also, this societal idea of monetary gain as means of motivation is touchy. We don't make art to make money, but we need money in order to make art as often as we can... what a bitch. Finally that chapter on the institution is spot on. I agree that the school should be recognized as resource and point of refuge, but the real world can be just as good of a teacher. School is great for so many things, but at the same time it can be a big bureaucratic mess, and huge waste of time.


Hi, I am Adam and I am an art major. My concentration is in ceramics but I find drawing to be very valuable to the work I do. Ideas often times begin on paper and knowing how to get those ideas out effectively is important, which is how I find myself in this class. I am very interested in line weight and the idea of cross contours, which helps my mind see three dimensionally. Making work three dimensionally as well as two dimensionally is sort of like creative cross training, where each mode of creating lends itself to the other. I would like to push myself in this class to explore some textural venues and hopefully translate that knowledge to my work in ceramics.

Last semester I put in a lot of time building a portfolio to apply
to graduate school with, and this winter break I applied to three graduate programs (ASU, UNL, and Alfred NY), so we will see what happens.
It was a lot of work but a good experience in terms of dealing with deadlines, as well as an eye opener in terms of the work required to funnel information to the right people at the right time. This
is the semester of my senior show so I will be putt
ing in lots of time making work for that, as well as finishing a minor in photography. Ultimately I hope
to enjoy this semester and avoid all instances of stress, because shit, its my last semester.

Here's some of last semester's work