The World of Color

What is color? How does it affect what we see? How does it effect our emotions? Color plays an essential part in not only the visual arts but in all aspects of life. Could you imagine a world or black, white and grey? Color transcends the ordinary into the extraordinary. Color is such an individualized experience for each and every person. The experiences and travels of life are different for everyone and plays into the experience of color and the feeling or emotions that it can evoke. Color can remind us of a specific place, memory, or feeling. It can even transport us to a different time.

IMG_2889This spring I am in an art practices class. The first class project was a two-part project. The first part was the creation of a color wheel with the use of full saturation colors, tints, shades and the neutrals of all the colors on a traditional color wheel. I did not find this first part of the project particularly engaging but it was not without value.

Color has always been something that has challenged me in my work. Anything from the color mixing to the choice of color and emotions or feelings you are trying to achieve through a particular work. The process of the color mixing was enlightening and I felt some kind of color light bulb turn on. For that experience, I will be forever grateful. The actual process of painting the color wheel I found to be a tedious and ungratifying assignment. A lot of work went into without much return. As I look back, I know it had value.

The second part of this assignment I found very engaging. Part two of the assignment was to create a temporary art installation of 1″ color pieces, minimum of 100 pieces. The placement and design of the installation needed to take the environment it was being placed in. During one of the many conversations we had in class, I latched onto the concept of color bias and how color adjacencies can affect the color the brain interprets. Neuro-science is fascinating so I decide to focus the installation as a study of the concepts of color bias and adjacencies.

I chose to place the installation outdoors on the school campus. well because its nature. Knowing that it was going to be outside, I chose to use plexi-glass for the INSTALLATION-PLEXI IN PROGRESS-2materials. I chose them for durability and just happened to have some left over pieces on hand. “Use what you have” philosophies.

I chose purple and yellow complimentary colors along with a handful of black and white pieces. I think my thoughts with the white and black pieces were to see how they would also affect the color of the adjacent pieces. There were pieces painted with full saturation, tint, shade and neutrals of each of the colors. Then there was a mix of their complimentary color full saturation, tint, shade or neutral added to all of the color pieces to study how they adjacencies and natural light affected the perceived colors.

INSTALLATION PLEXI MOUNTING-2

 

The next step in the process was to figure out a mounting system for the plexi-glass. One of the main mounting criteria was that it needed to be temporary but could not damage the environment it was being placed in any manner. After considering several options. I decide some common nails glued to the back of the plexi- glass. I used common 4″ nails found at any local hardware store. The nails were glued to the plexi-glass with my favorite E6000 epoxy. It worked quite nicely. I was happy with the results.

 

INSTALLATION-ASSEMBLAGE-1The process of making the installation pieces was fun and very engaging. The next step was to get the installation setup on campus. Off I headed to the location with all the pieces, back-up tools, and extra epoxy. I had a design layout all plotted in my head on how to arrange the installation. I had about half of the pieces laid out and realized my vision was much larger than the number of pieces that I had made. I tried a few different configurations before I settled on something that actually worked for the space. The final configuration was in clusters around the trunk of a really cool tree. The tree added interest and also some different lighting scenarios depending on the time of day you were seeing the installation.

INSTALLATIONOverall, I was pleased with the outcome of the installation. Are there some things I would have done differently? Absolutely!

It made me realize the importance of starting in the environment. To make the art fit the environment and not make the environment fit the art.

I found the process of making the pieces for the installation much more engaging than actual installation of the work on site. This reaffirmed that I am definitely about the process of getting somewhere. It’s all about the journey.

 

Upclose look of the installation. Keep in mind I have never claimed to be a videographer.

 

 

 

Journey Into Bookbinding

I have been intrigued with bookbinding for quite some time. on my list of things to try for a while. It seems like a natural progression to where I am trying to go with my art and printmaking. This past summer I was able to take a few classes with the very talented Pam MacKeller. I took away so much from this class. Not only was I able to learn some of the basics of bookbinding, but she deepened my excitement and fascination with books and bookbinding. There is just something so special about holding a book in your hand and flipping the pages and letting it reveal its story.

Here is the first journal I made on my own from the different techniques I learned and some that I researched on my own. It is a 9×12 journal with 11 signatures of watercolor paper.  Heavy duty paper will let me use the journal for what ever medium suits me that day. I will never buy a journal for myself again.

The cover was made with book board and then covered with paper from Creative Culture, the best paper store ever. I am absolutely like a kid in a candy store every time I go into this place.

The stitching for this book was quite a challenge for my novice skills. I used a running stitch to connect the signatures together and then a kettle stitch was used at the top and bottom to join the covers to text block and solidify the structure of the entire journal. Fun project and I was happy with the results. Many more journals and creations in my future.

Life is Crazy Good

As I go through the struggles and opportunities of my life, I can lose perspective on how good life really is, the value of the lessons we learn, and that we really aren’t alone in our wants and desires. Everyone has them, we are just scared to share them, we hold back and keep our suffering to ourselves. I stumbled across this poem this morning and it just seemed to resonate with where I am and where I am trying to go. It inspired me, reminded me that I am on a good path no matter the obstacles, and that life really is crazy good!

As I Begin to Love Myself

I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning

signs  that I was living against my own truth.

Today, I know, this is Authenticity.


As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend

somebody if I try to force my desires on this person,

even though I knew the time was not right and the

person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me.

Today I call this Respect.


As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,

and I could see that everything that surrounded me was

inviting me to grow.

Today I call this Maturity.


As I began to love myself I understood that at any

circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time,

and everything happens at the exactly right moment.

So I could be calm.

Today I call this Self-Confidence.



As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time,

and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.

Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness,

things I love to do and that make my heart cheer,

and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm.

Today I call this Simplicity.


As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything

that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations,

and everything that drew me down and away from myself.

At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.

Today I know it is Love of Oneself.


As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right,

and ever since I was wrong less of the time.

Today I discovered that is Modesty.


As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past

and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment,

where everything is happening. Today I live each day,

day by day, and I call it Fulfillment.


As I began to love myself I recognized

that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick.

But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally.

Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart.


We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations

or any kind of problems with ourselves or others.

Even stars collide, and out of their crashing, new worlds are born.

Today I know: This is Life!




Accredited to Kim and Alison McMillen (Rumored to be Authored by Charlie Chaplin)

Solo Exhibition

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I remember the first time I put my work on exhibit, it can be such a vulnerable place. So many thoughts went through my head: Will people like your work? Will it be rejected or criticized? I think all very human reactions to putting yourself out there. I have a different perspective these days. I am grateful to get the opportunities to share my work with the world. It is like I need that endgame to have something to work towards. Art shouldn’t be kept in a drawer, it should be shared with the world.

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I just put up a solo exhibition of my Infinity Series 2019 at the Central New Mexico Community College. It will be running through December 1 at the West Side Campus. A couple of special thank yous. First, to Lea Anderson for encouraging me to put this series on exhibit.  Secondly, a special thanks to Lyn Pierre for being my mentor, pushing  me to do more with my work, and always encouraging experimenting and “what-ifs”. IMG_2777

Woodblock Adventures

I always enjoy my printmaking adventures. This past summer I had an amazing experience attending a workshop with Karen Kunc. I have admired her work since I first got interested in printmaking. I remember spending hours trying to deconstruction her work and figure out how she was able to do what she does with color.

During the workshop she introduced a two block reduction method that was a challenging to wrap my head around at first.  It made me adapt my creative process and think a little differently.  Challenging but also offers opportunities to build layers you wouldn’t be able to with a single block reduction method.

After months of experimenting and hours at the press, I am glad to say they are finally finished. They are going up next week in a solo exhibit at Central New Mexico Community College. It was honor to be invited to show this series in a solo exhibition.

Looking back on this series, this workshop helped me take my printmaking to the next level of progression. My registration was solid. I made huge strides in my use of color. Traditionally I also stay within the same color palette. I really ventured out of my comfort zone with color and felt good about it. I also saw strides being a little more loose with experimentation an it felt natural. I originally chose a simple subject matter so I could focus more on the process than the imagery, but I also found the simpe imagery was speaking to me. Piece by piece I am finding my artist identity.

Feeling energized and new motivations!

 

Color Challenges

I’ve been thinking about color recently and the impact it has on my prints. Colors carry so much impact with them. The role color plays in art work is endless. It can evoke emotion, convey the mood of a piece, and convey shadows or shape just to mention a few.  Color is essential but color choices and mixing always seems to challenge me. I find myself selecting colors I like or gravitate to for my artwork instead of the color that is best for the image.

The colors that I lean towards bold colors that are medium value but then avoid natural earthy tones. I know the lighter tones have their purpose for contrast and creating balance in a print. My color choices usually are not intentionally limited to a specif value range, it just ends up that way. I have been attempting moving outside of my “box” and attempting to making more intentional choices with a wider palette range.

I have been using a couple of different books to help with my color choices. The first one is the Color Mixing Bible: All You’ll Ever Need to Know About Mixing Pigments in Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Gouache, Soft Pastel, Pencil, and Ink by Ian Sidaway.  color mixing bibleIt a great guide for mixing colors to get just the color you are looking for. The other book is the Color Index: Over 1100 Color Combinations, CMYK and RGB Formulas, for Print and Web Media by Jim Kraus. color indexGreat color combinations for whatever you need and recipes for creating the colors.

We must constantly challenge our comfort zone and be open to explore our short comings in order to grow.  Even the basic principals such as color and art principles must constantly be explored.

Until next time. Cheers!

What’s Up With Sorry?!

Am I the only one that takes excpetion with the use of this word? The misuse of this word seems to drive me crazy. This word has began to lose its has meaning and certainly is not being used as it was intended. It seems as though every where you turn there is someone misusing this word. It is as though we can’t get through a day without the use of this word. There are so many other words to choose from, and certainly words that would be much more appropriate.

Sorry has always impied to me that you have done something wrong and should be a precursor to a sincere apology and an explanation on how you are going to make things right. It is not used to give comfort to someone else’s misfortune or emotional discourse for that day. It is used either out of context or it is so insincere. It has gotten to the point that it is so overused it really doesn’t mean anything at all. Can we just all say what we really mean?

Next time you are going to use a sorry, really think about it. Are you really sorry? Have you done something wrong? And are you really ready to make it right? If you can’t say yes to these then find the right word.

Kettlebell Magic

Russian Kettlebells found me back in 2013. A series of unrelated events that pointed me in the direcion of kettlebells. I was really just looking for a fresh workout. I was bored and not getting results with traditional weight training. Little did I know that kettlebells would give me my life back after struggling with disc and joint problems for years. I have been a kettlebell practioner for about 4 1/2 years now. It was really love at first swing. I had searched my whole life for a physical activity that just sang to me and this is it. It has added so much to my life. I can hardly remember my life before being exposed to this great little ball of steel.

As a woman, learning and practicing kettlebell movements has given me much more than physically strength. There was also a mental and emotional tranformation that happened as I became physically stronger and increased my skill set. It is this mental toughness and tenacity that has gotten me through both personal and physically challenges that have crossed my path. There have been times I don’t thing I would have came through quite so smoothly without having kettlebells in my life. It would definitely been much easier to just give up at times but then “how do you give up on yourself”? If you are not willing to fight for yourself then who will? Kettlebells are definitely an integrated part of my life. It has completely changed my perspective on health and fitness. I only seek to only be better today than I was yesterday. I am fortunate enough that I can say this is true most days.

This past weekend I had an oppurtunity to attend a kettlebell partner passing workshop (KBPP) with Michael Castrogiovanni and assisted by Zar Horton and Mark Padilla. Who even knew something like this existed? I had previously done a little bit of what I would call “trick” kettlebells but nothing like passing a kettlebell to another person. When I first heard about it, the concept seemed fun and a little exciting but also a little intimidating at the same time. I mean someone was going to be throwing a kettlebell at you! How could that not be a little intimidating?

The first exercises were simple but certainly not easy. Each exercise building of the previous exercise. And then it was time to start passing the bells! Holy shit, really? I remember the first time I threw the bell at one of the instructors, I was scared to death. I really didn’t feel like I had any control or even a solid understanding and I was going to throw it at someone.  But then with each pass,  confidence with the techniques crept in.

There were so many aspects involved with the KBPP. There was a physical aspect to this workshop but then there was a completely unexpected spiritual connectivity, let’s call it kettlebell magic There was certainly a level of vulernability that I was not expecting. One of the most critical aspects is connecting with your passing partner. This introduced a vulnerability I definitely did not expect from KBPP.  The vulnerability was most challenging part of the whole experience.

As I continue to reflected on that afternoon, I am still amazed that what you would think was a purely physical activity was more about connectivity in a world of disconectedness. There is a level of minfulness and being in the moment when KBPP. I am on a minfulness journey and can struggle with staying “in this moment”, not thinking about the past, the future, or any other random thoughts. This was a great exercise for that. The possibility of getting hurt or hurting someone keeps focus on the moment. There was also a lesson in listening, the type of listening that doesn’t use your ears. You had to be in tune with your partner and pratice reading expression, body language and their general aura. In the end, the physical part of  KBPP was definitely secondary to the exercise in minfulness, listening and connectivity.

I am not sure what my expectations were going into this workshop other than to learn something new and hopefully have some fun in the process. There is not doubt that my expectations were exceeded. I am so grateful to have had the oppurtunity and the amazing and profound experience. It is not one I will soon forget soon and it will certainly not be the last time I do this. I would definitely recommend this experience, if you ever have the opportunity don’t pass it up. Thank you to Michael, Zar, and Mark for sharing your knowledge and showing your patience. It was a great afternoon with some great people.

~Cheers

 

 

Critique Night

It was mid-term critique night recently in my print class. I remember the first critique I had my very first critique. I was so nervous and anxious, so much so that I thought I was going to throw up when the butterflies started flipping in my stomach.  There were so many thoughts going through my head, all the negative self-talk. Does my work compare? Will they like it? I think this is especially true when you are still finding who you are as an artist. In that time before you have found your artistic identity. My thinking is much evolved from that first critique.

I haved learned that these critiques are so much more than having your worked judged by an instructor or another student. I have come to look forward to these critiques, almost to the point of needing them. The provide such great insights to a work. Your vision or intent of your work may not be perceived the way you intended or the beholder could see something entirely different, both positive or negative. The comments, as long as they remain productive, are an essential part of developing as an artist.

It is also a learned skill to be able to give and take constructive criticism. We can only be responsible for how we deliver our criticism. It is up to the receiver of the criticism how they take it and then what they do with it. The comments should be truthful and be substantiated. If they are not genuine, it is usually quite obvious. Speak from your heart. Comments should not be given if they can’t be substantiate. I think one of my least favorite comments is “I like it.” But why do you like it? What appeals to you? Why do you think it works or doesn’t work? How do you think it could be improved? Better techniques? Improved Composition? Visual interest?….Substantiate, substantiate, substantiate.

Anyways, the print class this term is amazing. A great instrutor that continue to inspire me, a great supportive class, and some amazing work. Here, check out what we have been up to:

Note to the class: I tried to capture at least one piece from every one in class. It has been a great so class so far glad to have all of you in class this term.

Finding Your Passion

We all have been given the advice to find our passion. That we must find our passion to truly be happy. I remember hearing this catch phrase and asking myself what my passion was. I really had no clue what it would be or even how to find it. I continued to try and find this. I had many things in my life that made me happy but were they my passion? How do you know when you find your passion?

We do not find our passion, it finds us! It was by a seires of circumstances that I found what I currently consider my passion. I was taking a drawing class any by chance the instructor had an art exhibition and was going to be away from class for a few weeks. The instructor filling in just happen to be the printmaking instructor and did a three week printmaking intro to monotypes. I thought his was such a cool art process but little did I know where it was going to lead.

I had previously seen some of the work that the printmaking students were doing and thought it was amazing but never thought it would be something I would be interested in. The semester following my drawing class I took the printmaking class. I was totally enthralled by the whole process. One of the things I like most about it is how it engages so many parts of the mind. There is creativity, technical skills, and the analytical planning of the print. It completely takes your brain to another level of thinking, planning, and understanding of what is possible with this art form.  I loved it. I didn’t know it then but I am definitely a process artist. It is the process that making it all amazing.

After two semesters of printmaking classes, I decided to take a semester break from printmaking. I was still doing some visual art work but nothing that was capturing my soul. This semester I took another print class and it was immediately clear. This was my passion. This is what makes my soul sing. There is nothing like finding that “thing” that makes your soul sing.

You don’t find your passion, it finds you!

The World Accoding to Daylene…adventures in printmaking, wanderlust, inspirations, and life…