Throughout Printmaking, we have learned a lot of different techniques. The latest thing was using soft ground. Before, when I was working on the mechanical project, we used hard ground (it was the tar-like substance we would paint on before scraping off and immersing in the acid bath). With soft ground, however, you can’t scratch it off the same. Soft ground doesn’t completely dry, so you can press textures onto it and make some cool patterns.
For this project, our assignment was to choose a sound and represent it through texture. The sound I choose to represent was the sound of a saxophone. I used ropes and made a snake-like pattern along one side of my copper, to portray the soft flowing sound the saxophone can make, as well as show the shape of the sax. On the other side, I found a bunch of threads that were all tangled together, and then outlined the border. This portrayed the quick unexpected sounds the saxophone makes in both jazz and blues music.
One thing that comes along with being an art student is the crazy amount of time you spend in Lubbers Center for the Visual Arts. Just this past week, I think I have spent an additional 7 hours there, as well as the 9 hours of class time. During this time I have been finishing my printmaking project. The process of making a print is long and can be tedious. Since last time I have learned more about printmaking. If you wanted you can have one color filling the lines in your copper and another on the top, that way when you make a print the background will be one color and the picture another.
Since my piece included bees and honey comb, I decided to use black for the lines and a golden color in the background. This in itself took a long time because we don’t have a gold color ink, so I had to mix my own. Finally after a lot of trial and error, I found the color I liked.
Before you can print your final print, you have to take out all the scratches that have made their way into your piece. In order to do that, you have to engage in my least favorite part of this process—burnishing. This is where you use a tool to “rub out” the scratches. The tool looks almost like a screwdriver, but thicker. Instead of a straight point, the burnisher is slightly curved—this is the part that rubs out the scratches. In order to use the burnisher, you have to put oil onto it to work properly, which gets everywhere. There is also a scraper for deep scratches. This works much like the burnisher, but after scraping you also have to burnish, too. I think I dislike this part the most because of the time and arm muscle put into it.
Finally, once you have removed all your scratches, you file down your edges and you’re ready to make your final print!
Here is a picture of my final print. Though printmaking takes a long time, I really enjoy the class, and am excited for our next project!
My name is Heidi Heckenberg, and I am a freshman art student at Central College. I love to make art, and always have. My favorite medium is metals, though I am thoroughly enjoying printmaking as well. This semester I am taking one art history course and one studio art class.
My studio art class this semester is printmaking and is a lot of fun. Printmaking is when you take a piece of copper and apply a tar-like substance on it. You then take a needle tool and scratch off the designs you want. After that you put the copper in an acid bath. The acid will eat away at the exposed part of the metal, creating a design in it. After that, you can then apply ink and put the copper plate through a press so that your design comes out on paper.
So far we have learned how to take one word and make it into an interesting picture. It was interesting to think of all the possibilities to make out of one word: mechanical. For my piece, I decided to use an animal and completely re-imagine it with mechanical parts. I chose the honey bee. I also created honeycomb in the background as a repeating shape to make the image interesting. Another project we have been working on is taking existing materials and creating a pattern that relates to the theme of sound. Thinking of one particular sound you find and using different materials to portray it.
Although my art history course is not a studio class, it seems to still be very beneficial in learning about art. Not only do we learn about the history of art, but we also learn the different ways a painting can look based on origins and location. That in turn helps me to more better understand why I might choose a certain style.
Overall, I love my art classes, and I am excited to see how the rest of the semester is going to go.
Another neat aspect of my artistic life is that I work in the music department. This year, I was presented with the opportunity to create posters and bookmarks for concert and performance marketing. I’ve learned a lot about Photoshop, developing images, selecting proper file sizes and printing proofs and posters in bulk. I’ve created posters for Symphonic Wind Ensemble, A Capella, Flying Pans Steel Band and the Jazz Combos group.
Otherwise, still going strong with the classes. For Painting I, we are developing images on diptych paintings. This means we have two stretched canvases and paint on both for one assignment. The two paintings, as a whole, share a greater message than each individual painting would itself. The two paintings can be spaced as close or as far apart as the painter wants. Something Mat, my art professor, has mentioned is that he wants to make sure we paint in a meaningful way. By this, he means he does not want us to paint one image and simply cut it in half to put it on two different canvasses. Rather, he wants us to make a story or connection between the two pieces.
My two paintings are a study of the change between gender roles of men and women. Each canvas has two figures, a male and female. One canvas has a dominant male figure in contrasting colors while the female is barely noticeable in the background, while the other canvas is the reverse, the female is dominant while the male can barely be seen. This was to signify the difference in gender roles in the current century compared to how gender roles were fifty years ago. A while ago, it was common for the male to be the dominant figure. However, in the 21st century, women are now the “bread winners” in some families. The viewer would not even have a chance of understanding this message if the pieces were displayed separately. However, when showcased together, the paintings have a greater meaning.
Spending hour after hour in the art building is pretty easy to do. We’ve moved on to another painting in my Painting I class. The goal is to make a pleasing composition while conveying a message. My message or theme I am trying to convey through this painting is “argument.” I’m attempting to do this through the colors I use. Every bottle in the composition is painted with cool colors except for one bottle that is a vivid orange. This is to signify that sometimes everyone’s opinions can seem to be ganging up on your own, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are wrong. I’m planning on putting small amounts of the warm colors elsewhere too, to signify sometimes people may hold the same opinion as you or can be persuaded to believe the same thing.
I’m trying out a new style of painting. I love the fact that we are encouraged to try styles and tools that we’ve never used before. I’m using acrylic paints layered extremely heavily so there is quite a bit of the substance still on the paper. This gives the painting a textured look and, with enough layers, nuances in color that create a certain depth that I admire so much!
In my other class, we just finished up with a project that examined our lives within a 24-hour timespan. We documented everything we did in a day and had to come up with a piece. Some people wrote down everything they did (from waking up to going to bed), some focused on a sport they were involved in and how it influences their day and some people drew shapes that signified something (such as how often they looked at the clock) and repeated the shape as many times as they did that action.
My piece was supposed to show how often I used different forms of technology on a day-to-day basis. I used my phone more frequently than anything else during the day so I scanned my phone and, using Photoshop, duplicated the image. I also used computers, a camera, a USB port, an iPod and headphones. I changed the scale and opacity of the objects depending on how often I used them. I also added texture to show the contagious feeling technology sometimes has. I didn’t realize how often I depended on my phone and computer until I did this assignment.
My name is Breanne Riesberg, and I am a sophomore here at Central College. I’ve always loved drawing and painting, and now I get to spend 12 class hours in the Lubbers Center for Visual Arts on top of going in just for fun. The two classes I have the joy of taking are called Intro to Visual Language and Painting I.
So far in Visual Language, my class has worked with transforming solid, physical objects and themes and abstracting them to imply a broader general concept. This started off with small-scale drawings, abstracting an object that we took out of our pockets. I drew my room and car keys but by the end of the project, it resembled very little of the keys. I struggle with abstract art, so this assignment really stretched what I can do as an artist. Eventually, we expanded our drawings to a bigger sheet of paper, and in the critique, it was almost impossible to identify what each artist’s original object was.
We have also worked on transforming this 2D design into a 3D form. We constructed small paper models trying to imply a theme. My topic was dance, so I tried to imply a sense of movement and flow with the way I cut out pieces in the paper. One of the tougher aspects to these designs is that we were not allowed to use glue or tape. It was interesting to see how everyone’s topic or theme still showed after redesigning our 2D drawings.
Now we have moved on to designing even broader concepts using Photoshop. This class is really stretching what materials we can use to create a work of art.
I had a wake up call today in Senior Sem when Brian said, “You have hit the one month mark.” We all sat and stared at him in sudden panic, knowing that we had minimal time to complete our shows. The semester is flying by, and I cannot even fathom the amount of things that I still have left to do in this short time. On a lighter note I just got back from spring break, which was spent in Philly and NYC. It was nice to get away from the stresses of school for a few days. But, when I came back, reality hit at full force. The little voice inside my head keeps repeating, “you need to find a job, you need to find a job, you need to find a job.” I don’t think that I will be able to shut that voice up until I complete that task.
Midterms went alright, mostly just thinking of the relief of having them completed. Now this second half of the semester I do not have my props class anymore. I really enjoyed that class, and the final for it was pretty fun. We received a script and had to create a props list of what was needed in the play. Then we had to go “buy” the props, which consisted of going to antique and thrift stores (which I happen to love) and taking pictures of the props required. It was a very hands on class, and I am glad that I took it. Something I haven’t mentioned in awhile is my service learning project with the Marion County Humane Society. My friend Sam and I are painting a mural there. We went yesterday and got quite a bit accomplished. It is great seeing the project finally get carried though.
Lastly, but mostly first on my brain, is Senior Seminar. My work has been developing a lot over the course of the semester. I finally have a definite plan of where I am going with my pieces–which is a relief, but at the same time I am nowhere near close to completed. That is where the worry of one month comes into play. But don’t fear, most of us have already been talking about bringing our toothbrushes to Lubbers and just hanging out there day and night to finish our pieces. It will somehow get completed. At least those are my thoughts as of this Wednesday evening–those are bound to change in a hurry.
Wish me luck!
I am of course writing this blog post, to procrastinate from finishing a paper that I have been working on for over an hour. Welcome to my final semester. The time is definitely picking up speed as deadlines quickly approach and each day is filled with either running all over campus or spending almost all of my time in Lubbers. I even think Mat, my professor, caught me taking a quick nap on the couches upstairs the other day. If you are an art major and have not done this, just wait until you are a senior and it will happen.
As far as my classes go, I enjoy my theater class and getting to work on actual props for the current musical Guys & Dolls. I have always found it fun to be part of a production. On that note, I decided to help out and do lights for the show. It will be an experience to say the least…we shall see.
Art Theory and Criticism has actually been extremely helpful with my Senior Seminar. There are a lot of connections that I can make with the works and artists that we are reading about and my own work that I am trying to create, so that is a good feeling. All of this reading and papers is actually relating to something, what a relief! Papermaking/Bookmaking has really challenged me. I have done a lot of papermaking on my own before this class, having learned from a friend a few years ago, but the bookmaking aspect I was a little hesitant about. Needless to say, it has been a blast. I love the group of people that are in the class, and it’s a great environment. Our latest book involves documenting our days throughout the week and then figuring out how to visually turn this into a book. It has been an adventure, and I enjoy seeing how we can get one assignment and it can be taken so many directions with everyone.
Senior Seminar deserves a paragraph on its own. It is by far the most emotionally stressful class that I have been in. But on a good note, I somehow enjoy that. You get so see what it is like to actually be an artist and be able to do anything you want basically. I now know why Van Gogh cut off his ear…kidding!! But it is great experience to work through problems on your own and get great feedback from your peers and professors. It is extremely eye-opening. I am intrigued to see where my show ends up going because my ideas have constantly been transforming.
Well, the last semester of my college career has begun. I cannot explain the mix of emotions, and the only people that will understand are students that have been in this position. I would consider my self an odd mix of super excited and absolutely terrified. The first two weeks have already flown by.
The classes that I am in this semester are Papermaking and Bookmaking, Art Theory and Criticism, Properties (a theater class about props), and last but certainly not least, Senior Seminar. Oh, and also I am going to be doing some service learning with the Marion County Humane Society to paint murals on their walls in hopes to increase adoption and the environment of the animals. It is looking to be a very hectic semester. Yes, your last semester is often thought to be an easy one…false alarm.
My first two weeks of classes have been alright. I truly will be learning a lot this semester. Too add to the hectic-ness, I have been constantly been on the prowl for a job. As to the question many of you may be wondering, “What are you doing after graduation?” I must say I am unsure. But, have no fear, I am working on it. For the rest of you in this same boat, you are not the only one!