Tag Archives: collage

American Gothic-eee

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This lesson is inspired by Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

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Students had to conceive an idea for the composition.  I had planned to have them draw thumbnail sketches, as well as lists of what props they would need – but after showing my  accelerated Studio in Art kids the ones done by my students in 2012 and 2013 via my school web-site, they just knew what they were going to do.  It was the craziest thing and really phenomenal the way they all collaborated with one another.

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Each student planned the day for their picture – we had two weeks before Christmas break and it was a tight schedule for the twelve of them.  They all brought their costumes, props and their A games with them, lol!

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I just loved how they were able to count on each other and how responsible everyone was for their respective part in both their own work and that of their friend(s).  Models allowed the artist to direct them.  The poses replicated the ones in Wood’s painting with the person on the right looking straight into the camera and the other one gazing in the distance.  I placed the school’s green screen against a wall for the photo shoots, printed the pictures then cut and pasted them to foamboard.

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They created the backgrounds using a variety of mixed-media including tissue and decorative papers, toothpicks, beads, glitter and more.  The border was done in metallic paint to act as a frame.  A picture from the internet chosen to convey a theme was selected as reference and they attacked the canvas panels with vigor.  It was so exciting to see them work.  There was so much confidence amidst the chaos of all the materials.

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Once the background was finished and dry (everything attached with Mod-Podge and/or hot glue), we placed 3-D Os on the back of the foamboard and poppped the pics on top.  The result – twelve very different, very cool mixed-media pieces that are currently on display in a glass case in the atrium of Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.

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The Destruction of Devices

The famous story goes that Jasper Johns destroyed all the pieces he’d made prior to 1955 to start over, creating his new works as encaustics – the target and flag paintings that Leo Castelli put in his gallery subsequently selling them to major NYC art museums…and an art god was born.

http://www.jasper-johns.org/

Recently I read that Jean Michel Basquiat drawings had surfaced and were going on the auction block.  I think they were sketchbook thing-a-ma-bobs, not intended to be shown as potential masterpieces or anything but I guess once you are dead your immortal soul can command millions.

Basquiat drawings

So what’s the right thing to do?  Keep every single thing you’ve ever made – did Picasso do that?  (I think so.)  Or chuck the stuff you think is junk and not representative of your work?

I do this with my clothes all the time.  I give most of my stuff to the Salvation Army.  Sometimes it isn’t even a year old.  I live in a small space and I don’t keep things that I don’t wear.  Like if I don’t think it will ever be my go to for an event, it doesn’t matter how nice it is; it needs to move on.  I regret some of those chucks.  I’d gained some weight a few years ago and thought I’d never get my twenty-five inch waist back so I said good-bye to some pieces that would have transcended time if I would have allowed it.  Oh well.  There are always new clothes out there.  New ideas in shape and fabric that make a person feel current.

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If I were immortal, I think I could hack the changes, at least in fashion and art.  In technology, not so much.  So I guess that’s why I choose edit/delete.  The three paintings illustrating this blog post are long gone.

I gessoed over their surfaces because I just didn’t feel good about them.  They were 24″ x 48″ paintings, all framed in maple wood gallery style frames that cost a small fortune once upon a time in the ’90s.

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I came across the pictures while hunting for the one of Evangeline Peters.  These three were part of that exhibition I had at the May Memorial Unitarian Church in Dewitt, NY circa I don’t remember.  I want to say 1999.

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I kind of miss them, but that might just be the silliness of all of this retrospective melancholy.  This series was born from taking devices from all of the other works of art I had created up until then and placing them into segments puzzle pieced together.  The idea is much like my own life.  It is compartmentalized in such a way that you’d really have to get to know me pretty well to really know me.  And I can’t say that there is a single anyone in the world who truly does know me.

Do we all think that of ourselves?  Do we all wear masks as Billy Joel sings in The Stranger or are some people truly transparent?  I’m not sure.  At any rate, these pieces just didn’t make the cut.  There are portions of them that I feel a connection to and other areas that fall flat.  I have the pictures at least, and if I want to incorporate them somehow into the newbie Futura series this summer then maybe they will in a small way be resurrected.

I plan to reuse the frames so I will replicate these dimensions – and puzzle it out.

On Pins & Needles

I’m on Pinterest now.

It is very addicting, especially when you start to see all of your boards come together.  I found pictures on the site to illustrate found object items I use, like game pieces and fabric.  That was fun.  I still need to figure out how to add the widget to this site and all of that computer speak in order to successfully link the two, but I am working on it.  The site is a business site rather than a personal one so it will feature primarily art and art inspirations.

The paper collages I recently “pinned” haven’t been uploaded to this website yet so here they are –

Karen Tashkovski, Joie de Vivre, 11" x 7 1/2", 2001 mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, Joie de Vivre, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001 mixed media paper collage, $50

 

Karen Tashkovski, Throne, 11" x  7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, Throne, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50

I created these in February 2001.  This was around the time my maternal  grandfather passed away.  I was living in Eastwood in a two bedroom flat where there was not much space to make art.  These could be constructed while sitting on the sofa.  I cut up some abstract oil paintings created on paper canvas.  Some of them have abstract watercolor hearts as well and so, these pieces combine literally all that I am as an artist!  Sewing, drawing, collage, painting, and two of my favorite motifs – hearts and kittens.

Karen Tashkovski, 40 Days, 11" x 7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, 40 Days, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50

 

Karen Tashkovski, Pink, 11" x  7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, Pink, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50

 

Karen Tashkovski, Ruby, 11" x  7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, Ruby, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50

 

Karen Tashkovski, Bien, Merci, 11" x  7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, Bien, Merci, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50

 

Connect, 11" x  7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, Connect, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50

 

Devices, 11" x  7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, Devices, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50

 

Karen Tashkovski, La Tete Me Tourne, 11" x  7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, La Tete Me Tourne, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50

 

Karen Tashkovski, The 5th, 11" x  7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, The 5th, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50

 

Karen Tashkovski, Rhythm, 11" x  7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, Rhythm, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50

 

Karen Tashkovski, Sands, 11" x 7 1/2", 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50
Karen Tashkovski, Sands, 11″ x 7 1/2″, 2001, mixed media paper collage, $50