Tuesday, August 16, 2011

365 Day 228

another experimental art night at Art & Ideas Gallery!

This is the message we got from Shaqe Kalaj about the theme for tonight's Experimental Night:

"This Experimental night is one where I will ask you to probe your seeing. You will be given initial drawings that will be incomplete. Your task is to see something in them and then create. This experience will develop your seeing and problem solving ability, while bringing out your inner images. I often do this work in my surrealism classes."

Yeah. I was "in" -- no question about it!

We started out by Shaqe showing us a partial drawing...just a few lines...and she asked us what we thought it could be. Then she drew in a little more, based on what we were saying. Pretty much everyone said it looked like a horse...or a person. Then she drew a little more and I thought it was looking like a mailbox. She added more lines to suggest a mailbox. We went back and forth a few more times and the drawing ended up like in the photo.

mailbox horse

Shaqe added a couple more lines without looking at what she was doing.

Then Shaqe showed us her sketchbook. The drawing looked quite similar to something she was working on.

Next Shaqe explained that she took us through that exercise because we were all going to collaborate with her. She had a stack of partially started images and we were to choose one and without knowing what it was or what it was supposed to be, we were to finish the drawing.

I was grabby and snatched this one right away because I could see a guy with a crown in it.

I don't know WHERE the rabbit came from...you already know I'm afraid of rabbits. Well, okay wait...the rabbit came from the pointy line off to the left of the guy.

When/if we got stuck or thought we were "done" we had the option to scribble/draw without looking...so I did that at the top left of my drawing. I started to get some sort of horned spirit creature from the random lines.

Then we went around the table and talked about our drawings and people said what else they could see in the various drawings. Then we had a few more minutes to go back in and add more details and "finish" the piece. Then we discussed all of the drawings.

Here is a scan of my drawing from tonight. It looks like the guy's ear fell off and now there is a hole into his head. So I added a loose ear behind him that is just sort of flying around. The flying horned creature reminds me of a goat-ish version of a kirin from Magic: the Gathering.

I think I might want to take one of Shaqe's suggestions for a work-around to give the guy his ear back...maybe...I don't know yet.

Then I got up to go get a glass of water. Much to my dismay when I returned to the table what do you think was there?

duh duh duh duuuuuuh...the dreaded paints!

Actually, I don't hate painting at Experimental Night as much as I hate painting in my studio. Like painting my plaster cloth guys.

It is like I have no self-imposed pressure on what I am expecting of myself, so I just go with the flow of the class. At home with the plaster cloth guys I have a vision in mind of what I want them to look like and I just do NOT have the skills set to achieve it.

There were also some colored pencils and twistable crayons available.

Next we were given a choice of mostly completed images. There was a bird, a guitar, a dog-like guy that I was immediately drawn to -- he kinda looked like he could be from that animated Yellow Submarine movie. There were a few other images, but also this eye. (I forgot to shoot it before I started to color it.)

It is funny...I love it when synchronicity happens. Earlier today I was wrestling with the "what the heck is a landscape and when does a picture of say, a horse in a field, stop being a landscape of a field with a horse in it and become a picture of a horse...in a field"? And I tried to imagine something else more specific. And I was thinking of those tall grasses I photographed earlier this morning (in day 227's blog entry) and I was thinking how about if there was a tiger in tall grasses in the moonlight. Would that be a landscape or would that be a picture of a tiger in the grass? And then I drifted to thinking of just a tiger's eye in the dark sky over tall grasses.

Okay. I saw the eye picture was one of the choices. And I was trying very hard not to be grabby on the second round of choosing images to work with. Plus...you know I wanted that dog creature. But I was thinking "don't go for something you would normally do" -- which would be the dog creature. We were down to the last two of us to choose and the dog creature and the eye were still available. Man! The other participant told me to choose and I was still wrestling with the "do no take the dog...do the eye...how weird is it that it is even there" thing...so I chose the eye. Then it turned out she was going to choose the eye but she ended up with the dog creature and made a really cool picture of the dog creature in an outfit and a clown and they are both like racing toward the clown's rainbow wig/hat that was on the ground and you can't tell who is going to get to it first. MUCH cooler than what I would have done with it. I felt badly about the eye, though. But it all worked out I guess.

So then Shaqe was taking pictures of us working at the end of the session. I think I was done already. And I like taking photos of people taking photos...so there you go.

And here is my synchronicity piece...AND it is done in paint. Except for the very inner eye part. I started it with colored pencil, but went back over it with paint...but the pupil looked good with the "lemon yellow" colored pencil...which looked like it should have been chartreuse by the color of the pencil, but it turned out to actually be lemon yellow. (Obviously that little bit threw me for a minute or two when I was first starting...LOL)

So what we have here is a moon with a tiger eye in it shining over tall grasses -- that I am calling "tiger grass" because of the markings. Kind of like zebra grass, but this is tiger grass. And now to answer my own question...no, I don't think this is a landscape.

Synchronicity is pretty cool -- sometimes a little alarming -- but for the most part really great. And I wouldn't have tried making a picture about it and for sure I wouldn't have drawn the eye that well.

SO -- Another great Experimental Art Night with Shaqe Kalaj at Art & Ideas Gallery in Plymouth. I can't wait for the next one!


Carla said...

WOW! Those partial drawings are exactly how me and my siblings used to stay occupied at restaurants when we were younger. We'd have crayons and draw squiggles for each other and then have to make a finished drawing.... cool! Also, your guy riding the rabbit doesn't have to be missing an ear... it kind of looks like a sideburn to me ;)

Took said...

LOL -- the thought of that being a sideburn is cracking me up!

That is really cool that you and your siblings stayed occupied this way!

Woodie said...

i love both the guy/rabbit and the tiger-eye-moon. very cool stuff. What a neat class to shake things up in your brain.

Took said...

Thanks, Woodie!

I am really enjoying Experimental Art Night -- every one of them so far has had ideas and techniques that are carrying over into a lot of my various projects...both new ones AND ones I was a little bit stuck on.

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