maximum capacity


desert board
so my art tends toward the cluttered side.  i guess it fits with the saying that 'art follows life' or 'life follows art' or however you want to arrange that.  it took me a long time to be comfortable with white showing on my walls.  still, some might consider my room a bit over-decorated.  and my work might follow suit, according to some.  but i like it.  i like things being full and bright and busy.

i can appreciate minimalist art, i wouldn't mind it in a sitting room, but i have difficulty being very moved by most pieces.  if i tried to make something minimalist i wouldn't know where to begin.  i guess that's why i respect it, i have no sense of how it works.  but at the same time i don't connect.  a massive expanse of canvas all in one color is impressive, but in the same way a skyscraper is.  it creates a sense of awe and power, but i'd prefer a gaudi building any day, information overload and all.

memory box

i think it goes back to the need to distract myself.  minimalist art leaves me alone with my head.  my thoughts are focused, but on what?  the open ended question presented by those sorts of paintings and sculptures makes me uncomfortable, i think.  i feel more at home when i can occupy myself trying to put the pieces together instead of trying to find the puzzle in the first place.

however, as always, there are exceptions.  throwing out the whole concept of minimalist art based on principle is ridiculous.  there are, of course, artists considered minimalist that i do quite enjoy, although they are usually the minimalists-with-a-lot-happening sort as opposed to the minimalists-with-nothing-to-look-at sort.
alan mccollum, plaster surrogates

alan mccollum is one of those that i wouldn't mind spending a day looking at.  his work, of course; i have no idea what he looks like.

look at those walls.  overly full.  wonderful.  personally, i don't think i'd categorize him as a minimalist, but i'm not the one writing the art history text books.

allan mccollum, each and every one of you
this one over here is pretty fantastic.  the most popular girls' and guys' names as of 2004, 600 of each.  i wonder if my name is on there?  i'm not sure what about it i like so much.  i think something about the repetition that is actually quite different, each and every one.  but then again, those names are the most popular in the states.  the prints are unique to themselves but the names are far from it.  ah, the wonderful loops.

kenneth noland, beginning
and i guess there are many who are considered minimalist in some ways and something completely different in others.  obviously, it depends on one's definition of minimalism.  kenneth noland, for example, is just great.  i could see how he could be accused of being a minimalist, but at the same time, i feel like the rough edges of his paint pull him away from being on that side of the fence fully.  i mean, there's a lot to look at there.

judd, untitled
but then there's donald judd.  so very minimalist in so many mediums.  the iuam has one of this works.  actually, they might have a few, the storage there holds some ridiculous number of works like two or three times what they have out.  anyway.  he's great and all, but it just doesn't hit me.  again, i can see the beauty, but i move on quite quickly.  i can't quite put my finger on what's different, visually, from this piece and mccollum's plaster surrogates.  but there's something, maybe the sense of slight chaos, that judd doesn't give me that i can't do without.

the world may never know.



it was awesome.  highlight: the conservation science lab.  brand new, beautiful.  the conservation scientist in charge, greg smith (very nice, extremely smart ... obviously),  designed every inch from the ground (well, second floor) up.  and its arts and crafts themed.  fully, down to the doorknobs.  and all state of the art equipment.  really, one thing they bought (whatever it does), they're the only museum to have one.  uuuuugh beautiful.  he did all of the footwork himself, too.  most of the arts and crafts things were donated by local artists or companies that specialize in such designs.  he said a lot of people were really excited to have their arts and crafts work in a place other than a bungalow, especially in a place as impressive and unique as the ima's conservation chemistry lab.
periodic table sample for the lab

their periodic table is made of wood, everything carved into it and all in arts and crafts font.  the floors and cabinets and frames on the white board and prints (yes, arts and crafts prints) are all a deep cherry/mahogany wood.  green walls.  unlike any chemistry lab i've ever seen.  completely unique, i'm sure.  i just hope that other labs follow the way.  where else should you study beautiful works of art but in a beautiful space?  who said chemistry has to be all white lab coats and sterile rooms?  i like how this man thinks.  and designs.

i would die of happiness if i ever got a job there.  oh man.  i guess he's planning on staffing it with chemists-turned-conservationists as opposed to art-historians-turned-conservationists, which is where i'm coming from.  but even being able lurk around in the amazing storage facilities and conservation labs below would be a dream.  especially if i was allowed to sneak in to discussions in his arts and crafts meeting room.

morris - snakeshead
on the arts and crafts theme though...

when i was in london i took a preraphaelites class.  only place to take one of those really.  my final paper was on william henry morris, who was the father of the arts and crafts movement.  i liked the preraphaelites just fine, but arts and crafts and aestheticism really spoke more to my interests.  but i was in the perfect place to see his wallpapers, prints, furniture, books.  i was staying right down the street from the v&a, a fantastic museum.  their cafe had morris wallpaper.  awesome.

leighton - lieder ohne worte

and sir frederick leighton as well, who was big on aestheticism.  we had a tour of his house and it was amazing.  he collected tiles from everywhere he travelled and filled his "arab hall" with them.  the walls, floor, ceiling, everything.  and there was a fountain in the middle and a balcony at the top.  amazing house.  quite my style.

leighton's arab hall



William McGreggor Paxton,
Glow of Gold, Gleam of Pearl
so i'm going to the ima tomorrow to check out the conservation lab, courtesy of my supervisor doug sanders at the alf.  i'm stoked that he invited me, but i am a bit embarrassed that i haven't ever been to the ima, despite living an hour away for a whole 4 years.

so i figured i'd take a look at some of their highlights.  and then relay some of my highlights of those highlights.

this one just has got to be aestheticism.  turn of the century, english, rich colors, display of the sexual female form purely for the beauty of it.  approved.

and, as a sidenote, my snake is named paxton, so that just adds to the excitement.

Childe Hassam, Cliff rock - Appledore

as far as impressionism goes, this one is alright.  and impressionism paintings are about a million times better in person, so hopefully i'll be able to take a peek at this one...

let's see let's see

Henri Fuseli, Announcing the Birth of Heracles
i like prints.  i like this print.  i like how you can see the process, it seems as if it's still wet.  the addition of graphite washes really does a lot.  the crisp lines are very appropriate for the medium.  beautiful.  simple.  and it's by fuseli, which is pretty great.

and i like print rooms.  in the oasis of quiet in busy worlds that is the museum, they are the fountain of water at the center.

so that'll be fun.  i'm not too sure how much of the public part of the museum i'll actually see... i got the impression that we'll be in the caverns of the building staring at very small tears on vellum or something.  my mother has the idea that as a conservator i will be a hermit, left alone in some dark corner of a museum basement painstakingly inpainting constantly with no social life at work to speak of.  i've gotten a much different impression of what art conservation will be like, but we'll see how the ima fares...


let's swim.

these make me want to swim.  but at the same time i feel very afraid a shark is about to tear my feet off.

they're from a series half awake and half asleep in the water, by asako narahashi

very appropriately named

very almost abstract and familiar and obvious all at once

her other work achieves the same effect (without the sharks) with different subject matter.

this is from her series nue, awesome

something is melting

cindy tower somehow masters a look that implies solidity and fluidity at the same time.  maybe it's the cluttered images that blend to become a pleasing surface, or the way she still maintains an evident structure under all of the chaos.  but either way, i'm a fan.


the lens

i take a lot of photos, but few of them would be considered artistic.  unless you consider compulsively documenting everything the least bit artistic.  but there were the days when i went around with my dad and took pictures on his gorgeous cannon (i think) with his 20+ year old lenses.  the photos (usually of architecture) always were so much more than an image of something else; they stood on their own, apart from the subject.  i miss the days in the darkroom, frustrated with print after print until just the right filter had been used to achieve those rich blacks and crisp whites in all the right places.  one day i will actually own a dslr of my very own.  and one day i'll also get my hands on a film slr of my very own as well, which will hopefully inspire me to rig up a darkroom in the house i will eventually live in.  one day.  in the meantime i will have to be satisfied in looking at amazingly nostalgic photos like these:

timur civan attached a century old lens to a dlsr and had amazing results.  i approve.

soccer? futbol? orange?

so clever, so great.  dominic wilcox gave himself a challenge to make something new every day for 30 days, with a £10 limit.  day 15 is my favorite so far:



no. way.

my parents lived on a houseboat before i was born.  how dare they.  thus, it has been a want of mine to try out houseboat living for a while as well.  or treehouse living, which i find similar.  or yurt living, which is somewhere between a tent and a house.

but no matter what sort of building i end up living in for a significant amount of time, i would love for it to be designed by robert harvey oshatz.

furniture is great

i almost went to school for industrial design.  don't get me wrong, i'm loving where i'm headed with art conservation, but i'm also still jealous of one of my best friends who went to scad and is now designing cat furniture in florida.  regardless, furniture is great, i have a surplus - my roommate used to come home and not be surprised at all by new chairs appearing in our living room.  but unusual furniture is even better.  one day, i hope to have a house or apartment or boat filled with things like these:

rob smith
melting table
what?  fantastic.

and right down here is the beautiful work of michel hallard.  i want to sit in this forever.  his furniture has been suggested to be macabre, but i disagree.  yes, it does have a lot of dead animals involved, but it is quite a celebration of nature, don't you think?


i love disney.  cartoons in general, really, but disney has some great artists.  and, of course, artists who draw like disney.  since high school i've loved watching lois van baarie, and she has gone above and beyond disney, but still held on to something from her little mermaid days (which she revisits often).
to the left is one of her drawings from 2004 - adorable, illustrative, and intense colors.  still great, but i'm posting it just as a comparison to what she's doing now, below.  still a beautiful palette, still the sense of fantasy, but her colors and forms are so full and gorgeous.  its difficult to find things that glow on their own, but everything she makes manages to.



and now we approach the end of my past influences, all that will be left to look at after this post will be my very recent and future discoveries.  but first, few of the many artists i have encountered and loved in college, thanks to my many art history and studio art classes, and a few i have come across on my own...

gaudi - casa battlo
gaudi.  i wrote my 25 page senior honors art history thesis about him, and i loved it.  how could someone ever design something like this?  much less over 100 years ago?  and then how could that person find a patron to fund all of these completely insane buildings all over barcelona?  so awe inspiring in so many ways.  if someone asked told me i could live in one of this buildings if i cut off a limb, i would 100% do it.  but don't quote me.  but still, amazing.  love.

hellenistic sculpture.  nike of samathorace is by far my favorite sculpture.  the only other contender anywhere close is coming up next, don't worry.  i was fortunate enough to see her when i went to the louvre and my heart broke and exploded and stopped all at once.  i felt like the grinch when his heart grew.  i could hardly contain it.  my mom was kind enough to humor me as i took endless videos and photographs of it.  look at the movement, the fabric, the lightness.  she is about to fly, victorious.  and she is made out of stone.  what a beautiful contradiction.

rodin.  i didn't see much in his work when i saw it in books.  burghers of callais?  nope, got nothing.  but when i went to the rodin museum in paris, my opinion changed completely.  maybe i was still flying high off of my trip to the louvre, right down the street, but it is by far one of my favorite museums.  a+.  and an exceeds expectations for this sculpture here.  his muse, his meditation (in a more complete form), whatever name you want to give her.  the most amazing silhouette of a human form.  when i saw her copy again in the victoria and albert museum my feelings had only grown stronger.  as opposed to a monet painting, with which i could fall asleep if left alone too long, i wouldn't be able to do anything but sketch her constantly if i were left alone with her for days.

well, i know i'm leaving endless things out, but this is the best i can do for now.  i'm sure i'll wake up in the middle of the night suddenly remembering a painting that almost brought me to tears.
egon schiele, for instance.  see?  i just did it. look at that face, how could you not fall in love with that face?  ah, young protege of klimt, we lost you too soon.
well, there will be time for all of that later.

high school

moon & north star
come high school i found my love: art noveau.  alphonse mucha blew me away.  something about his prints - the thick lines, the celebration of nature and the female form, the stylized and flat surface that still told so much.  amazing.  i was obsessed, and remained that way throughout college.

by far he has been the most influential artist i have encountered.  i love his fabric, his hair, his compositions, all of it.  my room is plastered in him and if i had endless money i would have a huge tattoo of his work.
dawn and dusk, amazing.

apotheosis of the slavs

in high school i had my first art history class as well, and was introduced to both fantastic and unimpressive "masters" - for example: 

i am not a fan of impressionism.  i'm sorry.  when i told my best friend this in high school she tried to convince me to change my mind by insisting that everyone likes impressionism.  and maybe the part of me that still doesn't like it is that angsty and rebellious high school kid, but if you left me in a room with a monet tomorrow,  you'd find me asleep in there an hour later.  i appreciate what they did with color, what they were saying, what lines they pushed.  i can easily find the brushstrokes and colors they chose interesting.  but most impressionist paintings just don't move me in any way.  there are a few exceptions, of course - caillebot's rainy day in paris is wonderful, but that is on the side of impressionism that is less about sudden instances of light and more about sudden instances in time

i am drawn towards more representational things, in general.  i have trouble being moved by many abstract works, and i myself have difficulty creating anything satisfyingly so.  in my mind there is so much that the eye sees that seems almost impossible for me to reproduce in any medium that when i find an example that succeeds, like this rainwater between the bricks, i become drawn in.  i guess the works that speak to me have an obvious technical skill involved and a very keen eye for what is right in front of us.  where else have you seen rainwater look so beautiful?  besides on the street right in front of you.

jr high

come junior high, my sister introduced me to anime. i loved it. my two favorite shows, which let me to their infinitely better manga, were:
sailor moon

this was when i really started drawing. i wanted to be able to draw exactly what i saw in the books. i practiced, read endless drawing books, and read and reread the manga. i think what really drew me to these two particularly (besides their psuedo-girl-power characters and endless plot twists) was their lines. i can still get wrapped up in looking at the details and movement of the illustrations.  looking back, my love of and urge to imitate this type of artwork was a definite precursor to what i soon fell in love with in high school...

elementary school

in elementary school my best friend and i made comics.  a lot of comics.  and we (she especially) loved reading archie comics.  or betty and veronica.  or josie and the pussycats.  we weren't too particular, as long as it was something from that family.

(and while i was searching for a good image, i came across news that archie proposed to veronica.  then to betty.  then it turned out he was taking strange magical walks that showed him his lives... i guess they ran out of material since i read the comics...)


so this is a blog for my painting 3 class, but i figure it's about time i hop on the blog bandwagon anyway.  as a way to begin searching out new art i think the best place to start is with what first hooked me.  at the moment i'm a student at indiana university finishing up an undergrad degree in art history and studio art.  i plan on attending graduate school for art conservation and one day working in a conservation lab.  my decision to pursue a career in art conservation came from my love of art, art history, and chemistry.  since my high school ap art history class, when we talked about the conservation of the sistine chapel, conservation had my attention.  before that i was drifting between wanting to be an artist or a chemist, and art conservation is the perfect mix.

in terms of art, i have many sources of inspiration and many areas of experience.  i was lucky enough to go to a high school that had a very good studio art program.  i took photography, ceramics, painting, graphic design, and drawing classes and loved each one.  because of this early exposure, along with my art history courses, when i look at a work of art one of the first things that catches my attention is how it was made, what order things were done in, and what techniques were used.  besides that, i am strongly moved by vivid colors and a celebration of the human form. 

and now, the artists that first inspired me growing up, in a somewhat chronological order...