27 September 2009

Star Shapes from Coloured Papers

image 2.7

Now that I stand back and look at the page I've just completed [image 2.7], I see that I haven't developed much at all from the foundation Module. I'm still pretty much stuck in the explicitness of representations, not interpretations of them. I had fun using a craft knife to cut tiny details in the stars, but it's just reproducing what you can print out from the computer. Nothing fancy, interesting, or original there. With the extra space I had left, I started tearing paper. Also played a bit more with scissors (I don't have pinking scissors) to give the stars rough or frazzled edges (kind of like the fringe on leather bags in the 60s). The big "comet" toward the bottom-right was done with a cutting wheel. Instead of the "correctly" folded paper for the first set of snowflakes, I mis-folded some paper and cut the shape to see what would come out. Sort of hard to tell where one flake ends and the next begins.

It will be interesting to see how distorted shapes will look in Chapter 3.

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We went for a walk to the store and I saw this bush with these tiny star-shaped flowers, emphasis on tiny! [images 2.8 & 2.9]

image 2.8image 2.9

Another star:

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21 September 2009

Star Stamping [Chapter 2]

image 2.1

Painted papers yesterday. Have chosen blue and orange, turquoise and reddy-orange as the colors I'll be working with.

I've been toying with the idea of using silhouettes of stars such as Bette Davis, classic icon Marilyn Monroe (a la Andy Warhol). Yesterday I spent some time trying to carve out a silhouette of Michael Jackson [image 2.1]. I thought it turned out pretty good, but when I asked Mayumi who it was, she said "You, sitting down?" (Never ask for comments on your art ;-) Sigh. Oh, well. I played with that stamp a little, just for fun. You can see it above in yellow...

But seriously, folks, today I carved out one "finger" of the star that I found on the box of dates [image 2.2] and then found different ways to use it on some of the papers I painted yesterday [images 2.3~2.6].

image 2.2

image 2.3image 2.4image 2.5image 2.6

The most fun/interesting was using just one end of the stamp (the pointy end) and developing patterns with that. I managed to make small stars with it, as well as a kind of pattern that looked a little like scales on a fish. Which reminds me. Dinner time. More tomorrow!

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18 September 2009

Color Wheels in Your Eyes? [Chapter 1]

image 1.4

A few days ago I started on the line drawings and rubbings (not enough of these - still looking for objects) [image 1.4]. The rubbings are of jewelry. I thought it would be relatively easy to find stars at places like temples or cemeteries here in Japan, but so far, I haven't been able to find any. Will continue my search.

image 1.5

Am now on my 3rd attempt at the color wheel. The first one did not have enough distinction between the reddish-orange and orange. The second one not enough between the red and reddish-orange, and I made a mistake with one of the yellows. Here's the 3rd attempt [image 1.5], but again, there isn't enough distinction between the red and reddish-orange. Will do this a 4th time to see if I can approach more closely the colors I want.

Working on this color wheel every morning from 4:45 puts me in a frame of mind in which the rest of my day is colored. The rice field out back is no longer rice, but a particular tint of a yellowish-green with shades of darker green. The logo at the gas station across the street isn't just red any more. I'm aware of the slight oranginess of it. Colors have become more vibrant - on the subway, in my office, walking along the street.


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16 September 2009

A Star is Born!

Well, that's one kind of star, I think. ;-)

So here we go with Certificate Module 1 - *Stars in Your Eyes*

To begin with, I've chosen to work with stars in this module for the simple reason that I have always had stars in my life. As a kid born on the 5th of July (right after Independence Day) I was very patriotic and loved anything with patterns of stars and stripes.

In junior high school I started watching old movies and studied a lot about Hollywood stars. I also started signing my name with an asterisk and a period/full stop (few people have ever asked me why...). In high school I started acting and wanted to become a "star". And, living in N.E. Los Angeles, would often drive with my friends from h.s. through Hollywood and Beverly Hills after school, looking for movie stars. For years I've been drawn to military insignia (though am a pacifist at heart). I loved staring at star patterns in the old Jewish temple in Cordoba and at La Alhambra in Spain. Like most humans and a cat I used to know, I love the night sky, gazing at constellations and the Milky Way. My 2nd favorite song is "When You Wish Upon a Star", so I used that for the cover of my journal for this course (img 1.1).

image 1.1

I've been looking for star shapes in particular the past few days. Just as in the Foundation Module (through which my appreciation of walls was permanently changed), it's amazing how stars pop out at you in the most unlikely places if you are vigilant. Here are a few that I've photographed (click on the images to enlarge):

image 1.2
image 1.3

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