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Archive for the ‘Media Diary’ Category

Media Diary Conclusions: Making Art

A number of my entries in my media diary center on the theme of making art. (In fact, a number of my entries are the art pieces themselves.) Art and the process of making art (digitally or traditionally) are themes that consistently appear in my life, regardless of whether I’m forced to write in a media diary or not.

What sparked this theme this time have been the images I’ve made for my digital art class. They are images that I’ve worked hard to render the final results for. It has undoubtedly made me ask some questions about the process of making art with a computer and the difference I feel from making art in the traditional, non-digital methods.

These questions have led me to some predictable and some surprising thoughts that I’ve found to ring true for me: (your own experiences may be different…)

  1. Figure drawing nude backMaking art with a computer is a results-driven process. It is about the final image. This contrasts with what originally drew me to make art initially. Drawing, printmaking, and sculpture are not necessarily about the results (though getting a good image is always a nice bonus) – but about the process itself. Drawing is more about seeing and observing than about getting an exact representation on paper. Sculpture is about playing with mud. And printmaking – well, I just love the smell of ink, the feel of good 100% rag paper, and turning that press.
  2. What I see on the computer is NOT always what I get, as in: “Wow that looked sooo good on the monitor but what the heck happened to the mid-range???” It’s a frustrating struggle to reconcile what I see on the monitor with the final 2-dimensional tangible result on paper. I experienced that frustration with my final print project.
  3. The marks made with a computer are usually a reflection of the results I am after and a good indication of how well I know the application. The marks made with drawing, painting, and sculpture are usually a reflection of my current state of mind. A confident line is markedly different from a hesitant one.
  4. Making art with a computer is usually a solitary process. Contrary to popular stereotypes, there are a number of traditional media that lend themselves to working among peers. Printmaking is a wonderful example. Many printmakers who don’t own their own press will usually join a print studio, where working in a group is common. Camaraderie is what I miss the most. Drawing from life is another example. Most artists will draw with groups and though most of the time is spent concentrating on drawing, those breaks can lead to some pretty interesting conversations. When was the last time you made digital art in a group? (Lab time in class does not count!)
  5. It’s much easier to carry a sketch book than a computer regardless of how light the laptop is. Because after all, what happens when the battery dies and there are no electric outlets in the middle of the campground?
  6. Computers make me swear. A LOT!
  7. I really miss making art the traditional way.

Media Diary Entry: Pacing the Cage

My final print project was to develop a concept based on text of our own choosing. Our goal was to illustrate the text but to make the print stand on its own merit. I chose lyrics by one of my favorite songwriters, Bruce Cockburn. The song is called Pacing the Cage and is one of my all-time favorites. It begins with these lines:

Sunset is an angel weeping
Holding out a bloody sword
No matter how I squint I cannot
Make out what it’s pointing toward
Sometimes you feel like you live too long
Days drip slowly on the page
You catch yourself
Pacing the cage

And here is my visual interpretation:

Pacing the Cage

(Click on the image to see a LARGE version.)

And here is Bruce Cockburn’s song on YouTube with not so very good photography but it’s worth listening to the song!


Media Diary Entry – Diemos in the Sky with Catnip (or High)

My relationship with my computer has been quite exciting with my recent Photoshop projects. These most recent pieces have shown a merging of my “old media” and “new media” training.

Here are four versions of what I call: Diemos in the Sky with Catnip (or High)

(Yes, this cat is a real cat.)

Diemos in the Sky with Catnip

Diemos in the Sky with Catnip #2

Diemos in the Sky with Catnip #3

Diemos in the Sky with Catnip #4


Media Diary Entry – Old artistic media to new

Monk's headA year ago I was taking a life-drawing class at my local community college. We met weekly and drew from a live model for several months. I loved it! It had been years since I did any drawings, and though I felt rusty, I really enjoyed the tactile quality of putting pencil/charcoal/pen to paper. I’ve written off and on in this blog about some of my artistic endeavors.

This past summer I also spent some time making sculpture, something I had not done for an even longer time than drawing. My transition from the “old media” / non-digital / traditional forms of art making happened drastically. It occurred when I moved from Santa Fe to the Bay Area in 2000.

I can cite many reasons as to how and why this transition was so drastic. However, probably the biggest reason of all was that I poured all my energy and resources into learning a new art form. It was this thing called the world wide web.

However, my love for the old media / non-digital art form continues.


Media Diary Entry – Singing in the car

Yes, I sing in the car, especially when it’s a Peter Gabriel song, but lately, I’ve been singing with the Frames.

I love our car radio. Though I rolled my eyes when the car salesman was trying to talk us into buying the car because of it, I now admit, it was worth his talking us into it. (For the record, we wanted a manual car, and the awesome stereo system happened to be in the only manual car they had.) It plays mp3s and has 6 cd slots, and if I knew more about the bells and whistles, I would spell it out for you. But I don’t.

All I know is that I get pure pleasure out of driving to and from school with my music in full blast and me singing along with it.

It took me a while to figure out that NPR news isn’t exactly the most happy listening. Now, because my head is SO FULL OF STUFF from school and I can’t possibly fill it anymore with things like politics and news and the latest death toll in Iraq, happy time is all about SINGING in the car with our fancy stereo system.