Acrylic Painting Media Testing Glen Zhang

What were the steps of this media testing? Explain each step.

The steps for this acrylic media testing was quite simple:

First, take a picture of you with different amounts of lightings around your face for a better effect, and then print it out with color and glue it on canvas (I used a piece of cardboard)

Second, look at the filtered picture you took, and paint over your printed out the picture with acrylic paint, use the picture on your electronic device as guidance to the colors on your facial features (if there is any background, paint it whatever color you want, I chose white).

What new things (concepts and/or skills) did you learn about how to properly use acrylic paint and care for the materials?

For acrylic paint, I learned that if you want to get a smooth look you need to constantly use water, water will also stop your acrylic paint from drying, which helps you mix the colors. For caring for the materials, I learned that you must not take too much paint, as I often run into situations where I had much more paint then I needed.

What did you using acrylic paint as a media? (What did you using acrylic paint as a media help you as a artist?)

I learned how to combine colors off or on your canvas to create different colors. Creating colors is really a craft, and I learned many ways to create the color that I want to see, for example, white combined with red made me a really smooth pink that I exaggerated for some of the light parts of my skin.

What was frustrating about acrylic painting?  How could you deal with this problem if you were to use acrylic paints in the future?

Personally, I didn’t really find anything frustrating about using acrylic paint, as long as you have water by your side, it won’t dry and you can choose to let it dry on purpose to get a rough texture, so there is no real downside (acrylic is probably my favorite tool for art, it’s that good).

What questions do you have about using acrylic paint? Are there certain techniques you want to learn how to do?  Reference an artist who works in acrylic regarding the technique you want to learn if you can.

One question that I have about acrylic paint is which famous painters use it, I really want to see how they fully utilize this tool. There is one specific thing I want to learn about acrylic paint, and that is how you create “shapes” with it, like give the viewer a feeling of a cheek, where it’s round (I don’t know any specific artist who uses this technique).

 

 

798 Art Zone Glen Zhang

Near the end of spring break (4/7/2018), I visited the 798 Art Zone. This is an area in Beijing filled with a collection of art galleries. With many art galleries and limited time, I went into about 6 art galleries, most of them won’t allow photography inside the gallery, so I was only able to get pictures from two art galleries, “SZ Art Center” and “Linda Gallery” both of which I am going to be discussing. (There was also cool street art as you walk along)

  

SZ Art Center:                  Artist: 吴冠中

There was no written theme for this gallery, but from most of the art, you can see clearly that the theme of this gallery is ancient China. This Artist loves using watercolor and uses in basically all his artworks. The descriptions of many of the artworks say that the artist is drawing what comes to his mind, and combines abstract and ancient Chinese culture drawing techniques together. This supports the theme of the gallery because abstract was used to bring out things that were from ancient China.

Linda Gallery                    Artist: 苏新平

There was also no written theme for this gallery, it was just a collection of artworks from the artist. from most of all of the artworks, there was a common trend, and that was that there was always a “human theme”. From a cat dancing like a human to peaches with human heads, there was always a human theme involved. particularly, this artist liked to make sculptures and used oil paint. This complimented his theme because he was able to sculpt/draw out a human(s) or human-like figures using these two styles of art.

Save Banksy Review Glen Zhang

Saving Banksy was the documentary I chose to watch and I have to say, it was really interesting. This documentary basically talked about how there were a bunch of street artist who painted on public property. They would make those paintings, but the government did not like that. However, instead of removing those paintings, the government would put it up for sale, and for high prices. Banksy was one of those street artists, and barely anyone knows his identity, only people who work with him and people he truly trusts. Now this enraged a debate, whether painting on public property is a blessing to the citizens and the artists should keep doing it, or this is a violation of the law and the government has the rights to sell it without the artist’s permission, and without giving them any of that money.

After watching this documentary, it ignited me think one way: “art is freedom”. Yes, they are breaking laws, but they are doing it in a beautiful form and isn’t harming anyone in any way. “Saving Banksy” taught me all the different ways that art can be taken in by form. Banksy would do art and wanted people to see it so badly that he would do it even if there is a risk of going to jail. I have learned that as an artist you are not afraid to take action, you are willing to do things that are risky to create something meaningful and beautiful.

The issue in “Saving Banksy” is whether the government has the rights to take artwork off of public property and sell without the artist’s permission or giving them any of the money to them. In my own standpoint, I strongly agree with the artist’s and that the government doesn’t have the rights to take artwork without permission. Think of it this way, the artists are giving up their own time to create something that the whole public can enjoy. Removing that is only going to benefit you, the citizens can’t see it in it’s original and unique place, the artists would definitely stop you if they had that power (which they don’t). You will have a profit selling it, but with so many consequences, which does not seem fair at all to me.

The most important thing I learned is to free your passion. Don’t stand back, keeping going forward to see your deeds getting recognized, no matter the risks, because you are just doing what you love to do. I will remember to always try to create a better society, whether it is to promote peace or positivity, as Banksy did with his artwork.

Converging Cultures-Messy Life

Introduce the project: In this studio project, our whole class has been asked to create a photoshop (used adobe photoshop CS6) project to describe our unique cultural backgrounds. The challenge was to create a project that showed the culture behind our backs, without being too literal.

The title that I gave my project was “Messy Life”. I think that this title best fits my project, and also best fits the message I am trying to give the reader about my life. My life has been messy, from being born in Connecticut, to moving to North Carolina, then to Shanghai, and now Beijing. The craziness is represented in the hair, which has been happening my whole life, which is why the houses I lived in emerges from my hair because they are filled with craziness. The houses are also represented as a journey. This has been well…my life!

Formal analysis/Message: I started in the house on the right, which is the one in the U.S, to the one in Shanghai which is the one in the middle, to the one in Beijing, which is where I currently live. Now let’s talk about the background along with the house I’m standing on.  The reason I am standing on this house is that I have the most memories that laid on the U.S. From drawing on the walls to playing Yu-Gi-Oh cards with my brother in it, this house feels most like home to me. which is why I’m standing on it, and the more hair outside represents again the crazy adventures that I had there, and how they are always within my sight, how I always I look back at them, how much I cherish them. The U.S: Now, growing up in the U.S was not always easy. You would have nights when I wouldn’t be able to see my mother or father, as they are busy at work to provide for me. I would also have a limitless imagination, such that I can create the playground in the backyard of my house into a secret spy base, which ended up being what I did every evening with my parents out. The crazy part of my American life is my child’s biggest thoughts on the endless things that I could do when I grow up, which ended up making the future that I see before me kind of…messy.  Shanghai: I was just in 3rd grade, and it was also the first time I lived in an apartment. Since we lived on the very top of the building, we could hear just about everything around us, and see everything. What’s messy about this phase of my life is the unwanted noise. I would wake up to a loud noise made from the park speakers, and sleep most nights with fireworks outside, loud crackling noises and dazzling lights. The house in Shanghai didn’t bring me the most positive memories, and they are the messiest part I had to live up to. Beijing: Beijing is the current location in which I live, and in two years, this already brought so many crazy memories to me (we live on the top floor of the apartment). From watching fireworks at night on my front porch to waking up and seeing the beautiful landscape of Beijing, I now feel close to three different cultures, all one crazy journey.

Surreal Devices: In this project, the two surreal devices I used were scale and dislocation. Scale because I created a visual effect of me standing on my N.C building in my own hair, So I resized me to be smaller to stick myself into another giant version of myself’s hair. Dislocation is pretty obvious because there wouldn’t be just random houses inside someone’s hair! I also had a little of elongation, since the hair I have on my head is Not increased in length, but instead, I got someone else’s hair, and edited it to be longer, then placed it into my own hair.

Artist influence: My inspiration for this project was from a photo on the adobe photoshop Instagram page by @demasrusli. In this work, He created a dream-like design where a city was drifting towards him. I created the same feeling by making myself drift along my hair. I also used a lot of Erik Johansson in a way. I took more than two photos, the reason for that is I find it really hard to find the correct photo that fits your wanting. The picture of my N.C, Beijing house were all taken by my monitored camera, the picture of the Shanghai house was actually taken by one of my friends in Shanghai because I obviously couldn’t be there. The photo of me was also taken under my own control. The only thing that was not taken by me was the hair, any hair could have worked, but this strand of hair had already the dream-like feature, so all I had to do was copy and paste, organize all of them in certain angles, and then you got all the hair in my artwork.

Summarize the creative process: From what I imagined my project be like, my project looks completely different from what I originally anticipated it to be. Originally I was going to do a board type project where a game board would represent my project, but I couldn’t make it look natural and it didn’t carry my message very well, so I changed to the hair idea. I also imagined my project be honestly a lot worse than I have created for my studio. The original plan would have been a lot faker and wouldn’t look so dreamy. The biggest problem by far is trying to find things that wouldn’t be so literal to communicate my culture relationships. Flags were my initial thoughts, but that is basically just giving the viewer the main message without making them think. So I then used buildings, places that mean a lot to ME, and symbols to represent emotion (like hair for messy and adventure). As you can see in my previous ideas, I had flags in all of them. The first idea I had was the most literal it could be. I was literally jumping into an American flag, and being held by the arms of the Chinese flag. The second one is a little less literal, but still showed flags blended with the buildings that I am sitting on. Then I thought to myself: “No one should fully understand my artwork and the culture/adventures behind it except myself.” I used this to guide what I wanted my artwork to look like, creating a story behind it, one that I only 100% recognize.

(beginning designs)

Effort and artist growth: In this project, I definitely went out of my comfort zone, like creating hair and light, which I have never done before. I also did try to make the best work that I possibly can, by getting feedback from others and make my project look so it is one of a kind. And I think that this was the most I worked in class since there was always something I wasn’t pleased with and wanted to make it to absolute perfection. Looking back on my work, I think I really have grown as an artist. Even if it was digital work, I really was able to display more of a smooth and dreamy like feel, all while being to express my message complete and deeply.

(process)

Beginning idea

2

3

Final

 

Develop craft: There was a lot of tools that I used in my photoshop project that I have not been taught in class. For example, I actually created my own brush using the brush settings to draw my customized, crazy hair (also to draw the background). I went on Youtube and searched up a lot more things to make my artwork more natural. For example, when I was close to being done with my work, I noticed that my hair was kind of dull and many people won’t focus on it and realize that the patch of hair with what’s in it describes my life! so I searched on Youtube how to bring out natural lighting onto your hair. I now emphasized the focal point of this artwork and told people what you should be focused on when looking at it.

Express: I had personal feelings inside my artwork that only I would understand. The feeling that conveys to me is crazy. The hair that’s exploding represents my life as a whole, an adventure, a crazy story, a lightened up and exciting cultural cross that I have experienced, and me as a whole. The houses are actually aligned with how my life is. The house on the left is where I started my life, where I was born, and that was North Carolina. The house in the middle is my pre-teen life in Shanghai, and the house to the very right is where I live currently, living my teen life. I expressed my means even more by creating light in my hair. As I mentioned above, the lighting was a way to tell the viewer that all the culture is here, my life is here, focus on this part of the artwork. The lighting expressed the glamorous life that I lived. The feeling that I wanted to make the viewer think was messy. Now, another reason I think I used Express a lot is because of the hair. The hair is everything in this artwork, I’m telling the reader what my life has been like. But my life has not been a unpleasant life, it’s been a life that I can remember and feel thrilled to have lived through. It is not a nightmare, but a dream, so that is why I made my hair pretty smooth and dream-like, so the viewer doesn’t get the wrong idea.

Understand the art world: This is the main “Artists Habit of Mind” that was used in the creation of my project. I used the @demasrusli picture as inspiration, and I also used the technique from Erik Johansson where I got a lot of taken photos and combined them all together. From going in uncomfortable positions and stances to finding hair of different girls on the internet to fit into mine, I think I did combine a lot of different photos like Erik Johansson, and it really tells the story of my process and the Idea of my project, understanding the art world was definitely a factor in creating my project.