Sierra Blackwell Honors art iii Portfolio

First Project: Stop Motion

The pieces above are a part of my series of skill building series. I practiced techniques of combining watercolor, ink, and graphite to find the sort of style that I wanted to incorporate into my film. I used these drawings/paintings to explore color schemes and the general atmosphere I wanted to express with the film.

This is the result of painting the first few scenes of my stop motion. I began with the roots of the tree, and took a picture of each sketch or paint stroke as I went along. These images above took up around the first forty seconds of the movie as I put all of the frames together. Those first scenes were a representative of growing into a soul in need, one who's emotions could be expressed with blues and purples. The flower that is shown blooming is meant to depict the relationships and bonds that can be formed when reaching out to another.
These pieces were scenes in the film just toward the end that were meant to express the feeling of being trapped and enveloped in hopelessness, as well as the feeling of being dreadfully attached to the emotional instability you've taken on from another's shoulders. The dismal colors each represent emotions one would associate with being battered and bruised by the unhealthy relationship you've managed to entrap yourself in.
The ending scene of the film was meant to be a visual for how it feels to finally break away from the seemingly endless emotional trauma and allowing yourself to grow. I studied images of mandalas to get the idea for this scene, and wanted to use colors that spoke of warmth and light.

Art 21 Inspiration

The pieces imaged above are some of the works of my art 21 artist, Andrea Zittel. She does art under the theme of consumption, of being consumed by materialistic ideas and tries to express in her work how little we really need to comfortably live. I related my work to hers in that she uses very neutral colors and earthy tones, and after beginning the project I found that I was using those colors very frequently in my work. The research that I did on her was very prominently shown in my work.

Puppet Collaboration

This September, our honors art class got the opportunity to work with Donovan Zimmerman to create a very unique production called 'One Home'. For this production, I was one of the three stage managers. I created all of the cues for the hand puppets, as well assisted in operating Mantis and Elephant throughout the show.

Working in a group for this project gave me several new insights in regards to collaborative art. I gained several new skills when working with the puppets, primarily paper macheing and forming newspaper into facial features and structures; something I got the hang of a lot quicker than I would’ve thought. I also gained a little more confidence in acrylic painting while painting the face of mother lion. Working in a group definitely gave me some perspective about how valuable time is during these projects, especially for this particular project. This experience showed me how easy it is to waste time on something like this, considering we had a rather minimal amount of time to get these puppets done we got to master the ability of managing our time efficiently.

Using the concept of collaborative art impacted the entire show in a very significant way. This show was meant to bring audiences together in unison over one message, and by using the concept of collaborative art we really exercised that. Everyone got to contribute their advice and ideas to their puppets. Each idea and artistic suggestion was shown on the puppets themselves, the pieces were representatives of our whole class’s mindsets. Without having the puppets be made by collaboration, the show would not have had the most important trait; unity.

My group was in charge of creating the lion puppets for the show, this was the first sketch that I did to get an idea of the style, features, and color schemes to use for the lion heads.

Working well collaboratively is an extremely important skill to have when going out into the world. This production was a perfect example of how important it is to come together and work and improve off of each other. There are people around the globe making vigorous attempts to bring everyone together and work as a team for the greater good, and that is just what we did for this show. Our arts wing came together and created a beautiful show on the premise of collaboration itself.

The character in the show that I was assigned to was Mother Lion, who has very regal and elegant features, as well as the expression of intense happiness of being reunited with her child. First, we shaped the flat piece of cardboard into the rounded structure of a lion's head by 'worrying' the cardboard, which was one of the techniques I acquired during this process. The next step was to construct the facial features of the lioness by molding newspaper, and attaching/covering the features with masking tape across the entire surface. The image above pictures the finished paper mache process before beginning to paint.

The above images are process images of the head of mother lion. I used techniques of dry brushing to blend, and found reference pictures of lionesses to most realistically depict the appearance of mother lion.

Third Project: Print Making

This is my watercolor painting that I derived my inspiration from for my block print. I had never done a block print with small details and shading, nor a reduction, and found that it would be a new challenge and interest. I've always found that humanity is constantly making attempts to grasp at the small and the fragile, and always fail.
This image was the graphite on tracing paper to place onto the linoleum for the outline to begin carving.
The image above is a process image after having carved out the first outlines for the reduction. I used the carving tools to carve out everything that I wanted to be 'white', and left the background for another ink color.

These are the final results of my creative reduction prints, I first printed black ink onto brown paper, and brown ink onto white paper. After, I carved out the background and printed in purple, blue, and red ink. In my print I wanted to depict the feeling of the brutality of humanity finally being able to hold something as delicate as a bird in their hands calmly and peacefully, without even a thought.

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