Thursday, October 30, 2008

Photography: Giant Hairball

Photo by c.bayrak aka moi

Okay, it's not a real one, although the hair on it is real. My fellow jafa Nancy made it for a prize drawing and a talented local artist, Sarah Strong, was very happy to win it :) She has plans to use it in an art project, which I look forward to seeing. The background was filled in using adobe, but otherwise I haven't altered the photo.

Bizarre Hairball Story
Hairball Art Pic

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boo: The old and the new

I don't have a particular attachment to All Hallows Eve or Halloween . When I was growing up in England it wasn't celebrated in the way it is in the US. I don't' remember it being a commercial holiday, no trick or treating (that is an American tradition brought by Irish immigrants) and no pumpkins. I don't think my family encouraged participation either (guy fawkes night was more favoured and enjoyed) We did carve out turnips to scare away the evil spirits though. Well things have changed and now there is trick or treating and more of a commercial Americanized way of celebrating it but it is intertwined with many ancient traditions which adds a different twist than the American version.

Below is a video performance of Thor's Hammer: Wild Hunt. The Vikings had a powerful influence in the North of England, so it isn't unusual to see their influence intertwined with christian holidays or held around the same time.

Asia displays a newfound embrace of Halloween: Taipei Times
Check out these fabu Halloween costumes in Taiwan where Halloween is now popular amongst students.
Halloween around the World

Halloween Origins and Customs

It may be considered bad luck in the USA but NOT in the UK

Pumpkins and Photographs by c.bayrak

Monday, October 27, 2008

Using Resin for Painting

I use two types, one is envirotex and the other is Glaze Coat.
Setup: latex gloves, clear disposable plastic cups for measuring, brick, jumbo craft stick for mixing, hairdryer
Paintings:For the above panel painting ((17"x 24") I measured equal parts to fill 14 oz in a 16 oz plastic cup.
For my heart paintings (8"x11") I used equal parts to fill about half of a clear plastic cup (shown below) I balance the painting on a brick (two for larger one's). That way I can hold the paintings from the underside as I tilt it to get the resin to coat the whole painting and the excess drips off the sides. Once you have poured the resin the air bubbles start to come to the surface and you can either exhale on them or use a low setting on a hairdryer to get the bubbles out. It takes about 12 hours to stop being sticky, about 48 to really set. once it is set it is crystal clear. You need to do this in a ventilated area and when the weather is warm. I tried to do it in the garage in the fall with the doors open but the resin got too thick when mixing and it was harder to spread. In the summer the resin is nice and runny and easier to spread over the painting.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Car-less and Visual Literacy

Walking into town on Dayton Yellow Springs Road

I haven't had a car all week so I've been doing a LOT of walking every day, and really enjoying it .The nice thing about living in a village is that everything is within walking distance and you get to notice and enjoy things that one normally sees in passing.
Our village was voted one of the "top ten coolest small towns in America" by Budget Travel and I would say for good reason. I listed a few of them on the Yellow Springs Arts Council Blog.

Meanwhile back in the studio, NOT!
Haven't got much studio work done. I seem to be in a bit of a funk and not wanting to get my teeth into anything, YET at the same time itching to start on a few ideas.

It is NonStop Festival Week and so I went to listen to
Deborah Curtiss give a talk on the subject of her book (Visual Literacy) and her work.

To explore the subject further here is a link to the International Visual Literacy Association.

"“Visual Literacy refers to a group of vision-competencies a human being can develop by seeing and at the same time having and integrating other sensory experiences. The development of these competencies is fundamental to normal human learning. When developed, they enable a visually literate person to discriminate and interpret the visible actions, objects, symbols, natural or man-made, that he encounters in his environment. Through the creative use of these competencies, he is able to communicate with others. Through the appreciative use of these competencies, he is able to comprehend and enjoy the masterworks of visual communication.”

In layman terms, as described on Wikipedia,
"Visual literacy (or, as it is colloquially known, visuacy[1]) is the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image. "

Here is an interesting article talking about visual intelligence and the importance of teaching it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TAG Your NOT it!

Walking along Xenia Avenue, Yellow Springs

I got tagged by Snap out of it Jean

Here are the rules which must be posted:
1. Link to your tagger
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird and list these rules on your blog
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Err, well hum okay, here goes
1. I have just become a flexitarian2. I am tattooless
3. I'm in the Shakespeare Club
4. I love eating winkles dipped in malt vinegar
5. I enjoy being a little bit of an iconoclastic imp
6. I am quite shy.
YES! it is TRUE. I hate being filmed or photographed, or speaking in front of a crowd or being the center of attention (doing art receptions are really hard for me). It is assumed that because I do a lot of work that might draw attention, I am not shy. Well I am. What I am NOT shy about is my work being the center of attention, talking about it, or it being photographed/highlighted.
7. I don't like memes too much, but value and appreciate that others want to include me.

Since I am a bit of an iconoclast I will forgo rules 4 & 5 and leave the meme open for others to participate in if they wish.
Let me know so I can add your link below.

Meanwhile, back in the studio


I used an image of mine to collage and paint a crushed can for the "12 pack show" coming up at the Nolaa Gallery next month.

Monday, October 20, 2008

FAF piece: Greed

Lucite box, paper money, plastic skull
made in china stamped on bottom of box

Now that the 6 month obligation for Third Friday Fling in the Springs is over I will be getting back to doing pieces of work that make more of a statement. We were putting out about 20 to 25 pieces of work for free each month, so we had to make quick and fun pieces. The jafa girls will be getting back to doing just a few pieces now and again and on any given Friday.

So I guess if anybody thinks there is a dollar inside the box and opens it they will find a zero dollar printed on paper, all crisp and new and useless.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

And the Plunger Award goes to

"Joe the Plunger"
Joe the Plumber
Samuel J. Wurzelbacher

whose fibbing has resulted in 15 minutes of fame
might prove to be a problem for McCain

Thursday, October 16, 2008

chicken bones

Graphite Drawing in Sketchbook

The Reluctant Vegetarian
Well, not quite, I LOVE meat, but when I read that 27,000 chickens were bred in a unlit room so fast their bones couldn't keep up resulting in them not being able to stand that was it for me. I have always had issues with factory farming methods, and the promotion of mass consumption of meat (which is unhealthy). I am just so grossed out by the thought that animals suffer agony or are in a perpetual state of abuse before they are slaughtered and land on my plate. The decision to never buy store bought chicken again was instant. Bugger it though have you seen how much free range organic chicken costs, YIKES. I don't see me buying a lot of chicken so I am exploring a more vegetarian diet.

Chicken: The Unhealthy White Meat

Factory Farming

Too much red meat could lead to bowel cancer: World Health Organization
American Diet Too Heavy on Meat, Study Finds

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Craftivism: felt skull art

Okay, they are just rather whimsical little things I like to do in the evenings when watching a movie on telly. I mention craftivism in the title because Sarah at The Eclipse Gallery blog brought the subject up and I realized I might be part of an ism movement LOL!
Well not quite, because if you see this artists work it will knock your SOCKS off. What Blythe Church does with felt is quite amazing.

YIKES, check out this felt chicken and other work by Stephanie Metz, WOW!
On POO, now I feel really humbled with my measly little skulls.
But they are fun to do

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Art of Propaganda

"it becomes fact"
oil on wood

Found an interesting post at Palm Beach about selling the politics of hate and an exhibit called Political Circus by Jane Caputi : " The Sideshow: Hating Hillary, Baiting Barak & mocking McCain.

To see the video showcasing the tshirts and buttons stereotyping the candidates just
click on this link.

"“These artifacts indicate the resentment of some quarters of American society against any sharing of power with non-traditional groups, as well as a retrenchment and continuing reinvention of malicious stereotypes based on sex, race, religion, age, sexual preference and gender,” said Caputi. “It is essential to participate in and extend a public airing and discussion of these trends.”

"Curious George publisher may sue over T-shirt" depicting Obama as a monkey"
"Norman, who began selling the shirts late last month, has said they are not meant to be racist. He said he thinks the Illinois senator and the character "look so much alike."

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"That One"

"What happens when America's airwaves fill with hate? BILL MOYERS JOURNAL takes a tough look at the hostile industry of "Shock Jock" media with a hard-hitting examination of its effects on our nation's political discourse."

Some radio hosts have compared Muslims and Liberals to cockroaches.
There is a history of what happens to a society that starts to listen, to name, to accept that those they don't like are cockroaches or rats.

"Sticks & Stones: a prelude"
Genocide in Rwanda
Private Collection

Months prior to the genocide in Rwanda the government owned radio had a campaign in which they fueled the most effective level of hate speech with the specific purpose of preparing the people of Rwanda for genocide. They urged the listeners to kill the inyenzi (cockroach). A seemingly benign word yet this word led to the intentional dehumanization of one group of people, the tutsi and became the justification of mass murder.
When Good People Do Nothing

A Red Flag for the Secret Service: Tony Campbell

Monday, October 06, 2008

What, NO issues to talk about

box, mirror, mesh, oil on wood

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

Screaming guilt by association
(from those involved with keating five and sat on the board of the Council for World Freedom-The U.S. Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America.)
"“And that overshadowing, that economic anxiety is just going to dominate the next five weeks. There’s no way around that. And if they’re not touching that, then they’re not touching the core issue. And John McCain has not done it."
David Brooks

Retirement Funds are taking a hit: Trading Markets
Main Street America angry over credit crisis
Credit Crisis hits Silicon Valley
Credit Crisis spells end for Car Dealer

The Art of Hypocrisy on the Daily Show


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Twilight Beast

Crushed Can Painting
"Twilight Beast"

In the Twilight hours there lurks a beast,
not human, not animal.
whispering horrors into your dreams.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Emotional Drawing

drawing exercise line and volume

Yesterday we had to draw something we owned that evoked feelings about it. I chose a Victorian Inkwell. Believe it or not we were still using inkwells when I was in elementary school (thank heavens the biro pen was introduced shortly thereafter-As a side note here is a cute story about a schoolboys first memory of his biro pen and the teacher refusing to let him use it.) I was given the job of filling and emptying them on occasion. Why I have no idea, because there was never a time I didn't have blotches and spills on my clothes, on my school work. I managed to spill ink every flipping time and the teacher was very stern and always told me off , which made me more nervous, which made me spill more ink.

The top drawing represents how even as a child I enjoyed the freedom, blotches and smudges of the ink. The bottom drawing is what I felt the teacher wanted, perfect lines and clean.
n the class critique many felt that the fact the inkwell lying on it's side suggested vulnerability.
Not sure really why I put it on its side but, I do think it evoked exactly how I felt.
The line drawing gave a sense of what the teacher wanted but technically I needed to do a couple of things. I should NOT have filled in the nose or the eye as they are not consistent with the line drawing. Also the line around the the face should have been broken so as not to give the impression of a mask. There is a tiny break between the nose section and the face section (
minor detail but important when trying to depict an image from life) and so technically I should have drawn it , BUT it has just occurred to me that a mask is appropriate.
I could not see
behind the teachers mask of unrelenting sternness any smidgen of compassion or humanity.
There was some discussion as to what type of animal the inkwell was depicting, but it looks very much like a gazelle.