Today we opened the art exhibit at the art academy in Karlsruhe. I served hotdogs and watermelon outside my exhibit room and had my portfolio and postcards there. My mom and dad and a friend helped with the food and the setup.
The opening was at 7PM, but people didn’t really show up until 7.30 or later. But when people did come, the hotdogs were the hit!
Meanwhile I talked to some people, answered a few questions and spent time with some friends. In short, it was a great evening!
Today was my practical diploma exam. I presented 5 paintings and my sculpture “Greedo”. There were 5 professors and the exam was about 15 minutes.
I was asked about my process and about other (sometimes obscure) stuff: They asked e.g. why I did the American theme and I told them that I was from the US. One of them blurted out “Oh I’m sorry about that” to which I said “Well I’m not”. He didn’t mean to be offensive, just to provoke and see what I would do.
The important thing in situations like these is to keep calm and show confidence and honesty at the same time. If a critic sees a weak point, they’ll dig deep and push you into a corner. As an artist you are (or at least will be) faced with critics, everyone will have a say about what you should or should not do. Part of being an artist is shaking it off and keeping confidence. You have a choice as to how you respond to stuff. As for me, I have the rest of the day off :)
I will be exhibiting part of my work for the diploma exam next Wednesday, and we are into step 3: emptying out the room (step 1: make the art, step 2: start advertisement). The room should be ready to arrange tomorrow. But I already narrowed down the selection of works I will be showing. It will be a collection of paintings, sketches and objects.
“Emptying out the room” is more work than one might think, and in some cases even dangerous: One of the graduate students was moving a portable wall with some teachers. There were 2 walls screwed together and when one of them was moved, the other almost fell on them. They luckily were able to stop and unscrew the walls, and nobody got hurt. But that was a little shocker! Lesson learned: Properly secure or un-secure the things you are about to move!
Have you ever had scary moments during a move/transport? What’s your most dreaded part of clean-up/renovation? Leave a comment if you like, and have a great day!
I got back from the US a few days ago and am still getting over the jetlag. The sun is shining outside and I am very blessed by the people around me. But at the same time I am also kind of stressed:
I was at a class meeting on tuesday, where I presented my ideas for my diploma exhibit to my professor. He shook his head and basically told me to start over. He wasn’t mean about it, but he was firm. The message hit hard and at first I was upset. The art exhibit is in 2 months, what am I supposed to do? And what can I get done in less than 8 weeks?
I’ve calmed down since tuesday, but I still don’t know what to do. This is my final grade from art school and it counts for about 70-80% of my art degree. In other words, this exhibit has to work. No time to lose. I have an exhibition room to fill and won’t be paralyzed by fear.
Luckily I am not completely without ideas. The theme of the exhibit is “Die Statik das Augenblicks”, which roughly translates to “motionlessness of a glimpse”. On the one hand stillness, quiet, standstill and peace, on the other hand travel, restlessness, knowing that anything can change in a second. So far I will include “Devil’s Canyon” in the show.
And then some new pieces:
I will do a painting of the “Open”-sign (about 3’x4′) and maybe a sculpture out of old tires. The tire sculpture is supposed to capture the feeling of travel/motion while being “done” at the same time (the tires aren’t on the road anymore). It could be a tire swing or a stack of tires that look like one of those baby stacking toys.
That’s 3 pieces, I’ll need at least 3 more. So we’re getting somewhere!
I will be graduating from art school in about 3 1/2 months. My final exam will be to host an art exhibit. I have an idea of what it will look like, but just for fun I decided to test-hang my 3 newest paintings. The same picture can look great or terrible just by how it is displayed. So here’s test 1.
I am excited to say that “Devil’s Canyon” and “Water Power Plant” are done! It didn’t take much, but the last bits of painting take everything to the next level. I think both pictures are done, if anything I might add a little refinement to the lighting in “Water Power Plant”.
And here’s are the stages a painting goes through before being “finished”
I went shopping this morning at an art supply store in Karlsruhe. Among other things I got new oil paint and some stuff for the unicorn helmets. In the end my bag was full and my wallet was not… (art supplies are expensive!)
Devil’s Canyon (April 4th 2016)
Water Power Plant (April 4th 2016)
old picture vs new picture
Other Progress News:
-The helmets are looking great. They will be getting their hard shell very soon :)
1. drill a hole into the helmet
3. attach horn to helmet (using angles and screws)
4. cover helmet with rough modeling material (in my case, plastic wrap and tape)
-I will try to make casts of my papermaché-sculptures, especially Greedo and the Rhino-mask. They are currently infested with bugs and are slowly being eaten. Hard lesson learned: If you are making permanent sculptures with papermaché, don’t use flour, use wall paper paste!
The unicorn-helmets are in the works, but that doesn’t mean that the painting side of things will suffer. I got to do 4hours worth of painting today and must say that we are progressing well! One of my classmates commented that the picture sucks you in like a flushing toilet swirl. Some might dislike such a comparison, I took it as a great compliment :)
Life can get really busy and when that happens, it can be hard to get to what you want to do. I had a lot of extra stuff going on and couldn’t make any progress on “Devil’s Canyon” for several weeks. But now I got back to it and made some progress on the “Painting Front”. This is the picture after 2,5h of extra work! It’s still got a long way to go, but we are getting somewhere!
When was the last time you were glad to finally get back to something? What keeps you busy and away from your actual goal? I hope that this week you can get stuff done on your “Painting Front”, whatever that is for you. Have a great week and leave a comment about your challenge, goal or project, I’d like to hear what your thoughts are :)
My paintings are developing. For the most part I’m happy with them, but sometimes things can go wrong, too: the frame for “Water Power Plant” unfortunately twisted because of the primer. The canvas pulled on the frame and now it’s messed up. I tried to bend
it back but then it broke. I will have to redo the frame and maybe even restring the canvas, but we’ll see about that…
“Devil’s Canyon” is starting to get a sky in and a few more (very rough and faint) outlines for the rocks.
I had an interesting conversation with some classmates of mine yesterday , about the different kind of attitudes in art academies and people.
It apparently is quite common that an art professor doesn’t show up a lot at art schools. Some academies even have so-called “assistant professors” to be there for the students while the “real” professor is only there for a few days a year. And yet they get paid a huge salary! Art academies seem to do this so they can brag about having so-and-so as their professor. But I think it’s just crazy!
Later in the conversation my class mate said that she thought computer scientists and certain other folks were weird. I found this slightly hypocritical, so I asked what she meant. I guess she meant they are “another kind” of weird. Well, that IS true, but I don’t see a problem with that. When she went on to say that only very few “crazy people” start studying art right out of high school, I laughed and said that this is exactly what I did. So she summed it up: I’m crazy, crazy determined. Now that’s a kind of crazy I am proud to be!
We had a Mexican exchange student in our class for this past semester. Part of the requirements for her was to host an exhibit of her work. She had her exhibit on tuesday evening and did well. She had previously been criticized by our professor for having little work and for the work being too illustrative, but it seems that she could turn it around for herself. She thinks a lot about the forest and the mythical connections to it, based on ancient Mexican mythology. She has become a friend of mine and if I ever go to Mexico City, I know who to call :)
My paintings are still all pink and strong contrasting colors. But I’m happy with them, it’s a good foundation. I was surprised by how much paint I needed, especially for “Devil’s Canyon”, just to cover the canvas with a thin coat of pink. I might need to get new paint after this one…