My on-line art class

 I have taken a number of on-line art classes in the past and enjoyed them a lot. When Coursera offered an art class, I was right there. Of course, 30,000 other folk are, too. I've been out of town and busy so I am just barely keeping up with the class. There are 5 assignments, only two of which are required. I am planning to do all of them though and I'm not sure about submitting any of them for a grade. I hate the pressure of getting it done by "x" time. So, I have decided to post my projects here on my blog and welcome feed back. No rude remarks please. Constructive comments are what I'd like.
This first project is a self portrait college done in a fantastical art style.

Self Portrait - a Fishbowl

Artist's Statement

This work is a collage of both found images and created pieces. Items were cut with a craft knife or scissors and assembled on Strathmore Multi Media paper with Golden matte gel medium. The green damask wall paper was a scrapbook paper from DCWV's The Luxury Stack which did not handle the gel medium well. I considered this carefully and decided to proceed since older wallpaper is often found on walls peeling and with imperfections. I believe that placing a hole in the paper to lay the blue-green cardstock below for depth added to my difficulties with the paper. The floor uses a frottage technique with Conte crayon on grey cardstock. The fish images are PS manipulations of a Clown-fishI used them with a seascape created with cut patterned green tissue paper. The easel is from an internet ad for the Lyre Easel Adjustable B 174-1 The painting is a photo transfer black and white cropped copy of a painting I've done in the past. I used an inkjet image for a dreamier quality than a laser print and did the transfer with the gel medium on Claudine Hellmuth's sticky back canvas. Diana is a PS manipulated image of the Louvre statue and the shelf is from an internet ad for a shelf on E-Bay, also PS treated. The table and tablescape are from an internet ad for a writing desk at The scissors are from an article in Creating Keepsakes magazine and the yarn and needles are from magazine ads for Manos Del Uruguay yarns, the Olympus camera T-2 and from an article in Vogue Knitting magazine. The scrapbook albums and camera are from magazine ads for Pioneer Photo Albums and Michaels Stores. The sword of Asclepiades is drawn in AI and free hand. These photo realistic objects with the not perfect perspective and a variety of mismatched shadows enhance the dream-like quality of this art piece. The color scheme is red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green, green and blue-green with neutral white, black and grey. By not using the violet tones the work has a warmer more inviting look. The neutrals add a more dream-like quality to the work. This is a glimpse into my life right now. I feel self-portraits elicit a bit of a voyeuristic quality; so, I used the fish swimming by the window, as if the room is in a fishbowl. The contents of the room reflect many things about me. I perceive Artemis to symbolically be my dominant goddess so she is looking over the scene as the statue on the wall. Art is and important part of my life as is my computer, scrap-booking, needle arts, reading and photography. The sword has a female symbol as a handle and is broken because my disability has prevented me from moving forward in my career as an OB-GYN physician. The Fiskars scissors are there to represent my on-line communities; the first I participated in was Fiskateers. The scrapbook and photo albums represent more than my hobby they also represent my family and friends and my memories. The significance of items on the floor only reflects my somewhat-messy self.                                                                   I believe I was successful in getting my audience to feel they are looking in on my life. I believe this represents a lot of where I am right now. While this was created as a specific assignment, I found this fantastical approach to be one that let me organize and synthesize my thoughts about not just my life but the process of art and its place in my life. I hope the viewer is intrigued and finds reason to linger over the image and consider the person who lives here; maybe,even to reflect on what kind of room they would construct to represent themselves.

Note: PS is Adobe Photoshop CS6 and AI is Adobe Illustrator CS6


Cindy deRosier said...

I think it's amazing. At first glance, I liked the visual impact and was intrigued to know more about the symbolism. As I read about the art techniques, I kept scrolling back and forth to really look at each element. Then, when you discussed the symbolism, it all came together. I'm very impressed.

Carrie said...

I really enjoyed this, Karen. Thanks for sharing!

I really have lingered on the work and felt like I got a sense of who you are-- mission accomplished. I love how made (wall)paper work despite issues with the gel medium. Love when things that seem like they are going wrong actually end up enhancing a piece. That's life, really, isn't it?

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