I absolutely loved Ally Moore’s work. First off, I really enjoyed her fingerprint installation. Maybe it’d because I’m drawn to 3-D media, but I really enjoyed the effect it had when looking through all the layers.

To start off, I attended the SMP gallery opening early on in the semester and I enjoyed her work then too. There weren’t any talks about those works, or I didn’t go to them, so I didn’t have as much personal insight to the works. So it was nice hearing her talk to wrap it all together. I like what she had to say about her earlier pieces, the portraits of strangers. That all I knew beforehand, but I loved her materials. She explained how she went dumpster diving to find old materials, and she didn’t stop there. She explained the meaning behind trash and used objects. Her whole focus was on the past and the present intertwined. I loved this concept. She used trash because it had a previous life. Other people touched it, used it, and we have no way of knowing who did. She touched on this when she talked about her experience at the gas station. We all handle the pump and pump gas into our cars without a second thought as to who was there before us. But the truth is that people have been everywhere we have, and everyplace has a history.

I have felt this exact feeling many times in my life, and especially last semester. I was in the museum studies class entitled Post and Beam where we studied timber framing as the colonists would have built houses. We visited many of the old houses an structures in the area. When we went to the Brome Howard Inn, and we had a personal tour where visitors weren’t usually allowed. I had such a feeling of walking over history. We visited the slave quarters, and I saw graffiti that people had carved on the fireplace from over 200 years ago. Running my fingers over this graffiti made me feel so young in the world. I wondered whose names these were and who these people were. These people had lives, and they had lived there. I got the same feeling when I went to Sotterly Plantation. The house was in perfect condition, and was exactly as it was when it was new. People had walked over those same steps and held onto that same banister. But who?

Perhaps this is why I enjoyed her fingerprints so much. It’s true, there is history wherever we go, but we may never know what happened or who passed by. She said that fingerprints were material markers of where we have been and where we overlap. I think it’s one thing to say that, but with her SMP I was actually able to see in its physical form, which I thought gave me new insights to this iea of overlapping history.

I also liked how she enlarged the fingerprint. We think of fingerprints as being small and usually not of a bunch of people at once. I loved her installation. I enjoyed the transparency and her technique. Some were actually carved out of cardboard and others seemed to be drawn on. It created a lovely layered effect and the shadows were awesome as well!

Photographs with a void

I am not particularly drawn to photography, and I was surprised when I found myself gravitating towards Kathleen Overman’s work. I first went to the gallery opening, and even without an explanation, I found hers to be very intriguing. Her photographs were mostly of objects, which seemed to be important in her life, and places. The subjects of her work seemed to exude a sense of loneliness and emptiness, almost as if something or someone was missing. I got this immediately without any explanation. During her talk, she discussed the relationship between the past and the present. She talked about her works as still lives with a sense of emptiness. She said that “greatness exists in the details” referring to her photographs of small objects or objects without immediate meaning.

Her photos stem from the feeling of loss. She didn’t go deeply into the story behind the photos, which I found fascinating. It was almost as if the story wasn’t as important as the feeling that her photos evoked. I liked that. From what she told, her mother had died, and possibly also her father. She had to go through her empty family home, with all the memories of childhood, now filled with a void. She described her photographs as “parts of a sentence” which I thought was fitting. Her pictures definitely told a story and all together formed a dialogue of emptiness.

She also mentioned how she had diverged from writing about people, and focused on objects or places. I think this concept definitely is conducive to her theme. Without people, in her photographs you can still get the idea that people were once there, and have left their footprints. That’s what I got from her photographs. I definitely see the presence of people, but the fact that they aren’t there anymore gives a haunting feeling, a feeling of inhabitation.

One series of hers, the smaller collection, and the only ones, interestingly enough, with people also drew me in. The series of photographs are of what seems to be a dresser drawer with photos and boxes and other mementos on top. There are blurred figures, almost like the ghost outline of a human. She set the camera up (I’m not too technical with photography, so forgive me!) and the shutter speed so that she could record her, as she was moving, but in one still shot. She had no idea what the camera was recording, and let herself look at the objects. She said this was the first time she had come back and was looking at the old objects and reliving her past. She called these “lucky shots fragmenting my exploration of the past” which I thought was absolutely fascinating. She said that she developed a relationship with her camera. She treated it like a friend, talking to it, and sharing the experience of looking at these objects with it. For these pictures, I didn’t get a sense of importance regarding the aesthetics as much as the meaning. The story is what really made me like the pieces a lot more. First looking at them, I wasn’t too intrigued, but once I heard the back-story, I began to like them much more.

I really like her photographs, and I think she did an excellent job conveying meaning. The photos give a personal insight to her life, but they also speak for themselves. I think they are a wonderful collection, and I loved the feeling of emptiness I received when I looked at them. For some reason I couldn’t tear myself away from them, and maybe it was the simplicity of the photos, but for me, they really said something.


rib cage and birds....

­For this final project, I encountered many more difficulties than the other projects. At first I wasn’t at all sure what I wanted to do. One night, the idea came to me, but at that stage, it was still in 2-D form. I thought of the concept of a rib cage and how it resembled a birdcage, or a cage. I wanted to put little black birds inside. I wanted to paint this, using acrylics on a large canvas at first, so I began with concept drawings. As I struggled to make this idea more lifelike, I struggled with how to make the creepiness stand out, and the message really come forward.

I eventually decided to make this idea into a sculpture, and I briefly thought about making it out of clay or plaster. My whole idea was that bones are not a cage, and the odd relationship between birds and a rib cage. In order to carry this idea out, I wanted to use real bones.

My friend had mentioned that he found a dead deer on the side of the road, and my friend and I went investigating. We found a mass of bones, fur and yes, dried flesh. The first set of bones I cleaned got moved or thrown away by maintenance, in which instance, I am partly to blame. I did, however, find two more sets of bones more scarcely scattered, and managed to find enough ribs for my project.

The goal of my project was not to create a bird cage out of ribs. I want the ribs to still be a rib cage, and the birds are inside, which makes the ribs resemble a bird cage. I do not want it to become one, which I think makes the art object creepier. I wanted to keep the skeleton look, so I strung it as closely as possible to the way skeletons are strung up. The birds I made to look like scrappy birds, not clean or friendly, but almost like scavengers. I played off of the juxtapositions that Magritte presented, and in the end I am quite pleased with my rib cage and birds


Movie Post

One thing I loved while watching the films in class was the diversity of the way people handled their footage. Some people had the same footage and made the mood drastically change due to filters, sound and color.

I really liked the fairy tale movie, because it took something so familiar to me [St. Mary’s campus] and the way the film was handled, it really became fairy tale like. I definitely think the narration helped it as well.

All the footage of the flowers made the film seem as if it took place in some magical kingdom.

I liked the music used as well, I recognized some of it as the instrumental parts of more well known songs. The narration was interesting, because no one else chose to narrate theirs.. Her whole film had a tone of a children’s fairy tale which I enjoyed immensely.

I also liked the how the movie was filmed. In the beginning, there was a part where the camera was facing and the ground and it took the viewer up the steps and you wouldn’t see what was coming up, but you were being led on a magical journey. I also found the part where the door seemed to open by itself to add to the mystery and magical energy of the film.


Artist Post...

The three artists I have interest in, [at the moment] are: Georgia O’Keefe, Renee Magritte and Salvador Dali. I love these artists for various reasons. Originally, I considered writing about someone more modern and interested in new media, but I cannot help my love for surrealists.

Salvador Dali is my all time favorite artist. I have multiple works of his hanging in my room. I love the way he paints so realistically, yet the situations are impossible. I fell in love with his works when I saw Dream Caused the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Awakening.

Dream Caused the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Awakening

I don’t know what is is about this particular work, but it just grabbed my attention. The tigers are beautiful and very realistically rendered. It’s such a fantastical piece, though, with tigers coming out fo a fish mouth, seemingly to originate from a pomegranate. The spaces Dali creates are very dreamlike, and reminds me of my own dreams. Who doesn’t have dreams that don’t make complete sense? I often base artworks off my own dreams, such as my comic book for this current project. I also love his Swans Reflecting Elephants because it is such a whimsical idea that plays with reflections and our perceptions. I also love the idea of a world like our own being parallel, sort of like a parallel universe, which is what I did for my digital project.

I love Georgia O’Keefe, and have loved her ever since I was a little girl. My parents of course told me about her and Mary Cassat and the like, because of the whole ‘female artist thing” they had going on. I have grown to love her more and more over the years. When I was little, the artworks of hers which stood out to me the most were her skulls. I love her flowers of course but her skulls are probably what I want to focus on for this project. Well, not just the skulls. I love the works of hers, with cow skulls and white roses next to them. I know many people may not feel this way, but I see a strong sense of beauty in a skull. I love bones, and love to find them. I found some deer bones, which I have yet to clean, and I plan on painting them in the near future. I love how she paints them, and I feel there’s almost a surreal like quality to them as well. I love flowers as well, especially roses, which I think I could incorporate into this project.

I also love Reneé Magritte. I love his idea of art portrayed through his works, such as in The Human Condition. I like the idea and would like to expand on it further because it makes me wonder how we all see the world- how does everyone else see the world? How is it different than how I see it? I also love his Attempting the Impossible because it deals with how we create representations on canvas or paper, and how they relate to the actual subject. He has a less realistic style than Dali, but I love the way its simpler, and bolder in a way.

Attempting the Impossible

So far in the semester, the comic book project has been my favorite. I love using ink, and I have always struggled with coming up with story lines. I remembered this dream I had and decided to build up on it because of the connection with time from the prompt. I really like this, and am still working on it. I hope it’s easy to read as well, because I tend to focus on smaller details. I need to work on the graphic content of the piece, and how accessible it is to readers. But what do people want? I have to figure out how I want the viewer to receive it as well.

I liked the chair project a lot actually because I usually don’t think of the negative space like that, and it looks super awesome on a colorful background. It took a lot of effort for me not draw the actual chair, but to focus solely on the negative space, which I liked- it got me to think differently than normal.



I really liked the quotation that the article opened with:

“Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.”

This holds true for me, even now. I feel I am much better expressing myself through art before I can put my feeling and intent into words.

I also find it interesting when the article brought up the question: Are all images man made? Berger brings up photography, and how, yes, photography is technically a realistic representation of the world. Photography, however, is still from the view point of the photographer and is created with their intent.

The subject of seeing brings up a lot of questions for me. Do we all see the world in the same way? Just as we can abstract the world in different ways, perhaps we see the world in different ways to begin with?

I was asked to write an essay about whether or not art was necessary for a civilization. It was one of those college essay prompts. The article points out that art can be a relic of the past. I definitely think this is true. Art is not always objective like a written report, but one’s interpretation. I find art of the past especially interesting, because it really gives an insight to the times in which it was painted.

The section about the camera fascinated me. Cameras changed the way people perceived images, and art in general. I feel that this has changed somewhat. Everyone ahs a camera, and they’re used to capture a moment, but more and more this becomes every moment. There’s a family reunion? A get together? A dog sleeping in a cute position? Time to pull out the camera. Does this become a new art? Snapshots into daily life? It reminds me of an exhibit I saw at the National Portrait Gallery. This exhibit was of exactly this, snapshots of an ordinary family in everyday life and doing everyday activities, but there was such a normalcy, and such a beauty in that normalcy.

For homework, we were asked to read an excerpt from “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” and do exercises from it. At first, I didn’t think it would change my viewpoint on anything- just drawing the same image but upside down. I found this exercise, however very interesting. I thought the proportions of the head were perfect, because I wasn’t seeing it with the right orientation. When I viewed it upside down, it looked fine, but when I turned it around, it looked all warped. It definitely made me see things from a new perspective. I stopped seeing the legs as legs, and started seeing shapes and curves, and started getting into the flow odf the lines. As I let go of my preconceived notions of the body, the second drawing was much, much easier. I let myself fall into the flow, and the drawing turned out much better!


Memory and time.

Last week we played the best game ever! It was a pictionary type game. I've played a similar game online on omgpop.com and it's called "Draw my thing." Basically, it's the same thing, but you draw things on the computer...with a mouse/tablet. Laptop track pads fail miserably.

On Monday, we talked about the reading we had for over the weekend. Overall, it wasn’t too tough a read. For me, memory has always been something intriguing to me.

One thing that stood out to me was how we can alter our memories. For example, the article mentioned King Henry IV who believed he was a present at a battle he never attended because he kept telling himself he did, and thus his mind constructed a false memory. This is somewhat terrifying to me- what if I’ve made everything up? What if my entire life is a lie? How do I know for sure? This is why I shouldn’t be allowed to read articles like this.

The worm section kind of freaked me out, and made me sincerely hope no one ever does that to humans. I don’t think all animals can be categorized like that though. I like to believe that my cat knows who I am beyond scent and daily habit.

The whole animal part sparked an interesting discussion in class. Is it merely chemical with animals, or is there something more? I think that animals can store memories, but can’t associate them the same ways humans can, and cannot pull them out on a whim.

We also watched the movie Memento, well started to watch it. I was very confused at the beginning, but now I am dying to see how all of it began! I do think it’s interesting how we’re experiencing the movie almost like he is, and we have to put the links and facts together, just like he does. It makes is a more active experience.

At the beginning of class, we were asked to draw “How we got here.” [I’ll scan in my drawing later]

When I heard this assignment, I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret this- how we got to the classroom itself or how we came to be in the world. It was very interesting to see everyone’s response. Some people drew maps of the campus or their foot trails from where they were before this class. Other people started with where they were born, one person drew a more abstract sense of being and another person even started with “how we got here” is a concept of time, but what sort of time? Is it physical time, learning over a period of time or certain experiences that make up our past. I made the center of my diagram a tropical place because I was born in a tropical area, and there were three paths branching out. One contained all of the schools that I attended since elementary school, the second path had my interests since I was a little kid, and how I grew to be interested in art. The third path had the actually path that I took from my dorm room.

I love thinking about the concept of time. What happens when someone has Alzheimer’s? What happens to their sense of time? Or people with memory problems?

This reminds me of my friend. She suffers from seizures and had brain surgery, and how her memory is warped. She can’t remember things from the past 20 minutes, at least not in detail, and gets the past mixed up. Memory is a weird thing indeed.