Thursday, November 13, 2008

The BFA Critique

last evening's BFA critique raised some interesting points about how we each perceive CREATIVITY.  It was during the discussion of Ben's work when Nate stated that Ben's sculptural pieces were allowing him to "exercise his creativity", thus relegating his functional work to something perhaps less creative.  Rob then interjected distinctions between "producing" brochures in graphic design and images "created" in more traditional studio practice.  Forgive me, Nate and Rob, if I've mischaracterized your comments, but the gist of those thoughts was on some level a bit disconcerting.  It made me realize that we don't spend enough time looking at or thinking about creativity, about the nature of it and how it impacts and influences how we live.

Creativity is a way of both thinking and behaving with both subjectivity and objectivity.  It's a combination of feeling and knowing between what we sense and what we know.  When we're aware of both, when we embrace both, there is a sense of wholeness. Of course I don't think it's possible to have a perfect balance of both, and it's that imbalance that makes us unique to each other.

Our society, in general, is either subjective or objective; in fact, that split kind of typifies the individuals of our society.  The objective person is a knower after the fact, the one who kind of senses the situation and then makes a determination based on that experience. The subjective person is sort of a here and now type, savoring the sensory experience and caring little for the conclusion.

When we combine the two, as I hope we all do, we gain more than both.  We have a more natural conscious balance between extremes. It allows us to see ourselves from a more unique perspective and our wholeness becomes more apparent, more palpable.  We can lead and follow, we can determine our goal and go toward it - - we can design the stimulus and experience the response.

Creativity is expressed in so many ways, infinite ways.  Such as designing a brochure, or throwing, glazing, and firing a mug or a platter.  Creativity has been expressed it the chairs we sit in, the benches we sit on, the orange tables in the studios, the colors of our walls, the patterns in the carpeting, where the little trees have been planted out by the 'lodges', the way we install exhibitions in the gallery, even how we light those exhibitions, and on and on.  I even get creative when I cook, sometimes when I shave.  When we each have an idea that we want realized, we're being creative.  Sometimes our creative solutions may not be as strong as we'd like, but they're still our creative solutions; we're exercising our CREATIVITY.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday's Solarday

After what seemed like an interest in doing Solar plates turned out to be very different.  I went in earlier this morning to do a test plate, an image I put together in Photoshop about my recent dental bridge replacement and that may be the image for the Tension portfolio.  I tried one plate with an exposure of 35 seconds for the aquatint screen and 30 seconds for the transparency. It was over exposed, the teeth looked like big white boxes and the hand-written text was nonexistent.  I tried another plate and cut the exposure back to 30/25...still too much.  My time for experimenting was fading so I decided that for the in-class demo I would use a 25/30 exposure.

When we finally focused on the project of the day, only one person had an idea ready to roll.  So I went through the whole process, how to use the exposure unit, and exposed the plate to the aquatint screen and the transparency, developed/etched, and then proofed the plate. Everything showed up in the proof, but the dense blacks had light areas.  I had printed another transparency and layered it one on top of the other, and as Rob pointed out to me, the density of the layered blacks had blocked each other out thus producing an area that didn't have enough tooth to hold the ink.  That made all kinds of sense.  Good thinking , Rob.

I'm going to try combining the various over exposed plates into a separation image and see if there's anything there.  If not, I'll look for another alternative. Anthony has an image ready to go that's pretty nice, so I guess he'll attack that this weekend.  Everyone else got solar plates and we'll see what happens with them.  We'll look at collagraphs on Monday.

So, when do you want to do a print-a-thon?


Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday's Discussion

Seeing where we are with things was helpful, I think, in getting everyone to realize how time moves more rapidly toward a deadline.  Obviously, the work to date has not been proportionate to the amount of time that has passed, especially when you consider the expectations of work outside of class for a 3 credit hour class.  However, as I mentioned, many students today work better under pressure, and the amount of work that needs to be done in the amount of time left in the semester is what I would call pressure. So go at it.

Wednesday we're going to do some experimenting with Solar Plates and Collagraphs.  Perhaps that will spark ideas and motivations consistent with those media.  It might also be a fun idea to have a Friday or Saturday print day.  Turn on some music, grab a box of Krispy Kremes, brew some coffee, and print, print, print.  Think about it; could be fun.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Monday's Discussion

Tomorrow we'll be looking at the progress that's been made on the various print projects going on in the studio.  We'll be looking at the intaglio prints that have been cooking in the S240 section, and the beginnings of the relief prints.  Those reliefs, I think, are moving a little faster. Any of the portfolio prints that explore the concept of Tension will be looked at in-progress. We should discuss the actual portfolio: what will we create to contain this group of prints?  I'm still looking at possibilities for my contribution, but I think I'm going to go with an intaglio print for a break from the computer.  Some of you may have one layer of black on your B/W monotype ready for discussion and I'm anxious to see how those develop.  The advanced folks have several things going: intaglio, relief, silkscreen, collagraph, and litho.  I'll be interested to see and hear how some of those projects are pulling together.

It's a fast moving semester and there's still alot to accomplish with your work.  Take a close look at the calendar so that you can budget your time in the print studio to meet the needs of the minimum expectations established for your final portfolios.  And remember, the studio is open for you seven days a week, so some of you may want to take advantage of the other five days that are at your disposal; they'll prove to be invaluable to your progress.

Happy printing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where are we?

Let use the first part of class on Monday, November 10, to see where we are and where we're going in the next few weeks.  There's a lot of work that needs to happen and a lot of activity in the printshop. There are only seven class periods remaining, and if you're one of those who only works during class time, you may find yourself with an incomplete portfolio by the time the semester ends.  Please take advantage of the printshop during times other than class times, it's the only way to get your work accomplished.  Bring your current state of your current projects for discussion.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Black and White Monotypes

I will have the transparent black ink mixed for B&W monotypes that are to be included in your final portfolios.  The image size is variable, but no smaller than 11" x 14" and no larger than 18" x 24". The image should be one that you create for this project, no old drawings from previous studio classes.  The process is just like the reductive three color separation monotype you did at the beginning of the semester, only this time you'll be layering transparent black.  It will require at least three runs through the press to achieve black. The darkest darks will have multiple layers while the lightest greys will likely have only one.  The ink will be a mixture of process black, tint base, setswell compound, and linseed oil.  Each layer is reduced the same manner as before, and registration is the same as well.

Have fun!