Through thought we can explore the meanings in life and the My prints focus on the suffering and escapism through the absurd hero’s journey, taking the thoughts and feelings of existential introspection and giving it physical form though screen print. They focus on snapshots of a life lived without pre-derived meaning in search of purpose through a narrative set that paints a life of filled with opulence and escapism from a dark and uncaring world. I look at the flawed nature of faith and how one deals with a world once witnessed to the absurde, how we as humans escape those feelings, and the feelings of outsiderism and loneliness felt in such a world.
Formally, my pieces use a balancing act of bright and pastel colours in contrast with harsh and intense reds, browns, and blacks to push a scene from something grounded and real, into something more surreal and fantastic. I use appropriated images from Victorian etchings and Renaissance iconography intermingled with hand drawn imagery to show the journey of a man's life surrounded by reminders of his meaningless and insignificance in the nihilist’s reality. All the while, my absurde hero marches on filling his life with anything that can fill the void. I use the breakdown of religious imagery in direct contrast to the horrors of war or broken landscapes as the breakdown of faith and the derived meaning in life that accompanies it. I place such images in the background as a reminder of how such feelings, even when covered and subverted, are always in the back of the mind, always dragging at the soul with a reminder of one’s place in the eyes of an uncaring universe filled with pain and death under the guise of a moral cause.
I pull formal inspiration from artists like Matt Hopson-Walker, balancing heavy subject matter with bright and popping colours. Carrie Lingscheit has also influences my work formally with how she plays with heavily stylized and naturalized forms juxtaposed together. Conceptually my pieces pull mostly from philosophical literature in the form of writers like Albert Camus and Friedrich Nietzsche, as I explore the same vein of thought but instead use images rather than words to convey such introspection.
With a life without meaning, we are left to find and make such meaning ourselves. I use the arts to explore that existential journey and to give physical form to such introspective moments through a nihilistic lense. I use art to tell a story of another trying desperately to find purpose, all the while dealing with the anger that comes with the question of evil, the substances that give momentary reprieve from unending feelings of dread and loneliness, and an escape into the social world in hopes of drowning out the voice of pain through endless social contact.
Currently, I am focusing on the aesthetic nature of my artwork and how its appearance aids the use of it. My work tends to lean towards the more organic/imperfect side of crafting: whether it be in my ceramic work or metalsmithing, I enjoy the small variations in form that create a true sense of the handmade. I further this sense of hand-craftedness by exposing the materials themselves, such as leaving metal to patina over time or leaving the clay exposed while glazing. The strong sense of materiality within my work, along with their organic sense of form, creates very naturalistic objects that emphasizes the materials themselves. I’m interested in the minimalism that these choices can evoke and how these aesthetic leanings affect the functionality of each piece.
Have you ever created a whole entire story in your head? Or been looking at an old photograph and imagine how you would fit into it? My imagination constantly runs wild with all kinds of stories. My work deals with narratives rather they be fantasies or personal, represented through series of photographs and prints.
My screen prints focus on a particular story that’s a twist on ancient mythology, with subtle narrative I have created and mixed within it. The print gives the viewer just a small glimpse into the story’s narrative. I want the viewer to be able to identify the myth the print is referencing and understand the story. I’m influenced stylistically by illustrator Victo Ngai and her prints in the book Chinese Fairy Tale and Fantasies by Yiyun Li.
With photography I take a different approach, rather than a fantasy narrative, my photos are a more personal narrative. The series is focused around my family history, and merging the past and present through family photographs centered around important locations and new photographs of what those locations look like today. The series was inspired by with website Dear Photograph started by Taylor Jones.
I also take a mixture of prints and photos to create stop motion animations as well as GIFs. The idea of turning my prints into animations came from artist Andrew DeCaen. The animations are used to create a sense of time using multiples, giving the viewer more than just a glimpse into the story. With the use of animations and GIFs I am allowed to further the concepts and ideas of both my photos and prints.
As a viewer looks at my work, it should serve to intrigue the viewer and instill curiosity upon them. I am creating work with clean and consistent line quality throughout the pieces and through this line quality, contour lines sometimes reoccur. Color palettes are being used that are bright colors paired with neutrals, which catches the viewer’s eye. Implementing pattern into my pieces is an element that I am striving to use more often to create more visual interest. A shape based illustration style is a process that is exciting for me to implement and therefore, it is beginning to become more consistent to create bold, playful images that inform the viewer pleasantly.
The main form of medium that I prefer to work in is graphic design in a variety of scales. This is the center of my focus while I explore graphic areas such as digital illustration, branding, layout, and alignment. The ability to allow my artistic abilities to communicate information in the world in an interesting and appealing way is a focus and eventually creating designs with the purpose of serving external customers is a career goal.
Musical instruments are currently an area of focus in my designs. Music is a personal interest of mine that I have invested in for the majority of my life; therefore, they are an exciting and intriguing subject for me to explore in my design. Music is a bright, beautiful, and dynamic way of creating. I believe this needs to be reiterated through the design in order to make playing an instrument seem modern and inviting. I pair illustrations that literally depict the instrument with bright colors that differ from the instrument’s origin color to create unique visualizations.
The art and design world is very influential. Luba Lukova is inspiring with her thoughtful and minimalistic compositions that are consistent throughout all her work, alongside her line quality. Her ability to match vibrant colors with neutral black and whites to create visually pleasing pieces is influential. Hand-letterers such as Jessica Hische and Marla Moore incorporate elegant, unique hand-lettered typography into a majority of their work. This design element is personally admirable and implementation into future work is in thought. Jessica Hische’s design process and workflow influences how I work through design problems.
The process of art is meticulous, becoming richer in layers as time passes. When art and the body come together, they immediately magnify an existence long before assemblage. I want to question predetermined existence through the use of found material. How the use of appropriation in art-making challenges patterns and creates a moment of change.
Objects exist only from years of meditation, but we can quickly reconsider their function through intentionality. I’m specifically focusing on relearning form, shape, and color after crossing the gender divide. How the ability to assert inclusion in time and space is symbolized by the transformation of objects.
My materials are collected through this lens and everyday collaboration between environment & self. How can design create a celebration of liberal individuality.
Tending to work with oil paint and loving its fluidity, the work I produce is about confidence in body image not only seeks to normalize but also glorify differences in body types. My work is inspired by a value that has been instilled in me since a very young age - I can do anything, want anything, or like anyone or anything I want to regardless of my gender. I produce my artwork to make others feel that they are capable of the same things and I use my art to promote self-love and an appreciation of the uniqueness of one’s self or others. Stylistically, I approach these feminist themes by using soft lines and textures, smooth, silky, and careful value shifts to accurately depict form, mass and space. Color is an important tool of mine, and using oil paint allows me to use that to the full potential.
Rosalyn Churchman | Artist Statement
My work is an examination of the process of decontextualizing everyday objects and manipulating perception through juxtaposition and the use of freeform line. I find that by juxtaposing order and chaos I am able to create energetic and visually engaging compositions.
I have synthesized the techniques of Julie Mehretu’s layered line and Jackson Pollock’s abstract paintings to develop a style of my own. The static nature of ordered line juxtaposed with loose line creates dynamic and dramatic movement throughout the piece. I think of each of these drawings as a maelstrom of line, pattern, and ink clouds that come together to create ambiguous and abstracted compositions.
I am interested in incorporating recognizable images of the human figure within more abstract compositions to evoke a universal feeling of distress. These pieces use parts of the human figure as reference points within an abstract and dynamic scene. This juxtaposing allows me to blur the line between figuration and abstraction. In these drawings, I incorporate colored pencil and watercolor with pen and ink. I find that along with pattern and line, the addition of color enhances the piece and aids to the overall complexity of the drawing. The appearance of bold black lines and patterns beside bright blocks of color gives an aggressive and graphic quality to these drawings.
In my current drawing series, Gears, I render human faces and figures, but incorporate mechanical aspects. I am exploring this method of juxtaposing the artificial with the human as a new means of depicting ironic and unnatural subjects.
I would like to transfer my ideas of juxtaposing order and chaos to my graphic design work. I enjoy typography and the manipulation of letter forms through font variations, color, and pattern to develop eye-catching and aesthetic visual hierarchy. I am also drawn to page design and enjoy organizing imagery and type into effective and visually interesting compositions. Paula Scher’s use of color, shape, pattern, and type to create engaging compositions inspires me to do the same in my own designs. Like Luba Lukova, I would also like to scan in my drawings and then manipulate them on the computer. I am interested in how my method of contrasting order with chaos and the recognizable with the unrecognizable can play out in my future designs.
Complications with infertility and the states of despondency that come with it are themes that I personally connect with. When reflecting on what it means, personally, to be a woman I have always associated these thoughts with motherhood and home. I attempt to reflect on these thoughts and explore them through my work.
I dissect and experiment with these concepts through the use and symbolism of apples. The apple has many layers of symbolism and even biblical references as the forbidden fruit. The apple is said to be a symbol of knowledge, immortality, temptation, and the fall of man. It also is seen as wholesome and comforting, much like my own mother’s apple pies and making cider from our family apple trees as a child. I believe these symbols parallel and represent many elements of being female. Using apples at different states of decay, being eaten, or even bobbing for them, are speaking to my personal stories of being a woman and the greatness and hardships that parallel that identity.
Inspired by Judy Chicago, my pieces have varied in mediums of art such as sculpture, printmaking, installations, and performance pieces but all have common characteristics such as multiplicity, repetition, and use of the color red to represent menstrual blood. The use of repetition and multiplicity throughout my work speaks to these individual moments and experiences as a whole while also thinking formally and fundamentally through the work. I want to use my art as a platform to speak out to the issues surrounding my culture and more specifically towards women.
Figurative work is what drives my art to convey and evoke emotion. The figures become derivatives of nature using organic lines, whether they are a naturalistic depiction or an abstraction of an original form.
My areas of interest include woodworking and drawing. As an individual geared towards math, problem solving, drawing and craft, woodworking requires me to use these and other skills to create a successful work of art. The processes in which I create something starts with an idea of what I want a specific piece of art to be about, what I want it to look like, and what its function might be if it has one. After this, I make multiple sketches, choose the one that I think will be the most successful, and refine it multiple times. Many of my wood projects focus on form and are constructed of smooth, flowing lines with open spaces. My form-focused works are often modeled after things such as nature, the figure or music, and are meant to evoke some type of emotion from within the viewer. Some of my works incorporate drawing and work in conjunction with a wood piece so that a specific concept can be conveyed by both formal and linear properties. The subject matters I most often use in my drawings are hands and the figure. The concept behind this is that hands and body language are strong indicators of feeling, whether it be calm, tense, open, closed, etcetera. Since gestural interpretations are nearly universal, most viewers can relate to the feeling that each gesture is meant to evoke in the viewer.
My inspirations for drawing and woodworking come from contemporary art artists such as Duarte Vitoria, who draws and paints tense depictions of human figures rendered within the strict confines of the picture plane, and Sylvie Rosenthal, who creates functional wooden objects that reflect animals and other components in nature. Elements and properties that draw me into other works of art are the use of line, figure, design, and detail. To come up with new ideas and designs, I like to observe my surroundings, whether it be in my room, a classroom or studio, or nature.
The importance of people and their roles in society are of great interest to me. Within our society the idea that certain individuals are held higher than others is the most interesting of others, usually based off of the privileges they have such as money, class, respect from others that not everyone gets. The ideas of our current societal norms paired with expectations are fascinating to me and how we as humans begin to react to them is something I enjoy including in my work. I am a designer, an innovator, artist and creator of things. I focus on the digital world of creating but 3 dimensional beings have always been something that will grab my eye. Using these ideas with geometry and dynamism is what I find when looking to create.
I use photography to start the creations of my digital illustrations. This imagery, creating a focal point and then accompanying it with geometric shapes is something that feels natural to me. Along with these ideas, I like to create pattern with textures and shapes, this helping the central theme. The use of positive and negative space shows through as well when it comes to my work. The shapes geometrically are simplistic but the composition is not as it could be said to be busy and chaotic. For example my work consists of a central figure or focus such as a person that is surrounded by varieties of shapes and movement.
Influences of the world are present. For me specifically, I draw inspiration from the Art Deco movement, specifically the architect William Van Allan who is best known for his work in the Chrysler Building in Manhattan, NY. The detail, pattern and line curvature as well the pattern and consistency of the design all are something that I find interesting and aesthetically pleasing. Other influence from that time are graphic designers Leo Marfurt and AM Cassandre. Constructivism and it’s use of shapes is also something I find highly intriguing such as the artist El Lissitzsky. As well as drawing inspiration from the past, I also find it in the present of the works by street artist turned graphic designer Shepard Fairey who came to fame by doing the Obama Hope poster as well as painter Kehinde Wiley and his use of color and pattern. These visual inspirations connect to me by their use of color, shapes and pattern. Kehinde Wiley is a painter that visually, the work isn’t compatible in style to the other examples but the use of pattern can be aligned to be similar as the use of pattern in the Art Deco examples. Naturally I am drawn to primary colors, their monochromatic difference within their color and how the colors work when put against one another. How these colors play off each other as well as how strongly they can stand alone is something I think lends itself to the theme of the people I am so interested it in the bigger picture; strong and individual but when put together intense and powerful.
I draw inspiration from parts of the visual world that strike me as strange and unique. I love to work with the concept of the extraterrestrial. So much of the universe is unknown to us that it is easy to imagine whatever you desire could be out there existing in it’s own world. Printmaking led me to the examination of the idea that there is more to be learned outside of our limited knowledge of space prompting me to make prints about exploring a new world. I used three separate plates to create a narrative using natural forms to create a rocky, foreign landscape that felt full of the possibility of mystery and surprise in uncharted territory. The narrative is of this unexplored, rocky, mountainous region with an astronaut making his way through the terrain and an alien creature peeking over a large rocky hideout. This was the beginnings of the idea of otherworldly exploration.
I love to utilize curving, fluid lines, and natural forms within nature and the body. I incorporate the human body in a lot of my work. In ceramics, the strangeness of holding molds of human body parts inspired me to create an arm and hand holding a head. This piece was meant to explore the juxtaposing ideas of beauty. An exploration of how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty cannot be judged objectively, what one person finds beautiful may not appeal to another. The face of beauty for everyone is different, for some it may be the beauty of nature ( ie. the flowers covering the arm and one side of the face) and for another it may be the beauty of the natural (ie. The plain/natural side of the face). Sometimes ideal beauty can overtake your own perception of beauty. In photography I utilize natural forms such as trees and rocks, which are works of art in themselves because of the way time shapes them into unexpected formations. Yet, through photography, can be framed in a way that enhances its natural conversation with the surreal. For example, natural, rocky formations seen with the naked eye can be framed with a camera to look otherworldly and unnatural. I explored a favorite hiking area, Garden of the gods, and took inspiration of its natural surrealist qualities to capture a photograph of two rocky mountains. While reviewing the photos I seen the surrealist quality of the photo that looked as if two mountains were really two humans kissing. This leads the viewer to wonder if it is meant to be two humans kissing, two mountains, mountains that were once human lovers, or anything the viewer wishes to interpret the image as.
Salvador Dali has been a great emotional and creative influence on my work. I relate to Dali’s exploration of the unconscious and the strange, alien imagery that results from it. A more contemporary artist such as Carrie Lingscheit who explores human behavior and remembrance in her printmaking, inspires me to look deeper into what roles the human figure can play in an artwork in terms of narrative and emotion. .
My artwork comes from a side of me that I don’t readily share with others. My goal for my artwork is for it to be about myself and the way I interact with the world, yet generalized enough for viewers to look at my work, reflect on it, and interpret the art in their own way. Through exploring ideas of strangeness, the extraterrestrial, and the surreal, I hope my viewers’ outlook on life and their experience shape their interpretations. I hope these readings of the work surpass my own interpretations in a way that expands the conversation the work is in and further enhances the alien nature of my subject matter.
My art questions what home means to me in relation to my family and myself. I have recently begun exploring why home is home, and what that may entail and why we may rebel against it. I want to figure out why I love my family,and or even why I rebelled from my home. My work functions as a sort of apology in a sense; apologizing for taking people and my home for granted.
Through my paintings and drawings, I explore this with the use of different planes, lines, abstract symbolism and even a series of self portraits to help me explore this. I do this by using colors, line, and perspective to bring things forward, and some back. Playing with the different planes, lines and abstract symbolism gives the artwork depth and space for the viewer to observe and ponder the work. I want to explore memories, go back in time and search for reasons, explanations, and comfort in the ordinary.
Daniel Pitin’s work best exemplifies where I would like to go with lines and his use of space that helps him tell the story or experience he is trying to portray. (An example would be his work Watchtower.) I want to take my memories and mix them with abstract scenes to make them more like memories than reality. I guess in a sense you could say that I want to bring you into my world. In my work Fond Memories, you can see my try at this; and in my painting Many Explanations you will see a continuation of this as well. In the drawing Fond Memories I cut out pieces of the drawing to show the fragments our memories may leave out. With lines and perspective I create a new world to explore, a peek inside of my head and experience the memories with me. In my painting A Map I play with space by using color to give it a “another dimension” feel to it. I make it seem spacious by using flat paint versus layered paint, which pushes and pulls the subjects of the painting.
The main difference between my paintings and drawings (although they speak of the same things) is that in my drawings I prefer cleaner lines and less color, and in my paintings I prefer color and abstraction with less lines. However, my goal is to eventually combine the two mediums. I have already begun experimenting with pastels and conte pencil to push myself in drawing, and to desensitize myself with color. In all of my work you will see a basic symbol for a house. This symbol means home in many forms, and is universally understood to be just that.
My goal with my artwork is to be understanding and inquisitive of myself and what the viewer may think. I want to figure out myself and others, while focusing on home and what that may mean to me and even other people. I want to provoke consciousness and reflective thinking in my viewers and myself.
Moments captured by old photographs are intriguing and mysterious.
I was gifted boxes of old family photos from my grandmother and was inspired by these moments in my family from the past that I was unable to participate in.These photos were taken before my time and connects me back to my genealogy, Recreating these photographs in the form of prints and paintings allows me to inject my own experiences into that moment. My work , inspired by these photograph is also addressing the ideas of memory and nostalgia.
I use both screen printing and oil painting to compose this body of work. Screen printing has a graphic nature I am drawn to, that complements the narratives I create. It also has a correlation to the photography because they both can exist in multiples.. On the other hand, I paint because paintings are often deemed precious and one of a kind. That cherished mentality is how one can relate to the mementos of their family memories.
My work includes using a photo from my collection and abstracting the figure with objects from the image. I often replace vital body parts such as the face or torso with the most prominent object in the photo. These figures are placed in a surreal, abstract backgrounds using a colors pallet that is inspired by the time the photographs were taken.
I am strongly influenced by my rural roots and family ties. I often use bluegrass or old country music in order to get me into the head space of the people in these photographs. I am inspired by the collage work of Genevieve Gaignard and her ability to alter these normal interiors with symbols of different time periods and locations. My intention is that the viewer can step into my shoes and experience these lovely moments in time and live through these nostalgic moments.
Human beings are creatures of habit and familiarity. Automatic movements, speech patterns, and daily activities often develop to a point where they can go unnoticed by the person performing them. Habitual patterns can develop and change as subtly or drastically as we can; they can be as freeing or as obstructive as we allow. Habitual activity can become an important comfort, but can also lead to a reality full of restrictions and anxieties that can halt growth, rather than inspiring it.
My work focuses on the study of how habit and comfort through habitual pattern can affect daily life. I use imagery and materials associated with comfort and flexibility – largely handmade fabrics – and juxtapose them with metal forms to create pieces that challenge the expected nature of these materials. The surface qualities of the pieces reflect the act of automatic movement through the act of making. A swath of handmade fabric is a visual representation of the time put in to learn how to hold the material and manipulate it continuously into something greater than it was before, not unlike the act of shaping and sanding the surface of metal to make it perfectly smooth, or the act of engraving with a chisel and hundreds of hammer strokes. The making becomes a recognizable pattern of movement that is at once therapeutic and comfortable, but also runs the risk of becoming monotonous or even painful if done long enough without a change of position or a break. The tedious nature of the process then informs the concept of the therapeutic nature of habit while also pointing out the potential risks of holding oneself to an inflexible schedule with no potential change.
Insect and nature imagery occasionally take place in my work, as the cyclic metamorphosis seen in animals and our environment can serve as an interesting dialogue for the similar changes noticed in human behavior. Growing out of certain norms as one moves through life allows for reflection of who we once were as we are reminded of the habits we might have once had. This examination of one’s own past can be used to piece together a timeline of daily living patterns that became phased out or inconvenient, shaping an individual through the abandonment of actions that may have been hindering personal growth. As such, we can find that who we once were is as different from our present selves as a caterpillar is to a butterfly. Should we try to recreate our old selves, those restrictions would be significantly more noticeable than they once were.
Extended introspection that comes with transitioning into adult life allowed me to see how my own habitual nature was hindering personal growth. While I still struggle with my self-imposed obstructions, being aware of them has allowed for exploration of myself and how to become more well-informed of what is needed to be successful while still having manageable living patterns. I want my work to inspire viewers to consider their own habits and how those may inhibit their ability to interact with new experiences and opportunities, and potentially begin the process of overcoming those should they deem it necessary.
When people look at the work that I’ve done at Murray State so far, I want them to notice my passion for the field. In the works that I have done so far, a few of my favorite things to instill are alignment, typography and color. In graphic design, these elements are important attributes to create a successful piece.
I typically try to imitate what attracts me to another person’s work. My art and design use a lot of contour lines, symmetrical balance, shape, and negative and positive space. Usually my mental process of starts with getting ideas in my head and I write them down. If I don’t get an idea right away it usually takes some time for me to finally come up with a project to do. If I do have an idea though, it usually starts as one thing and as I start to work on it, it begins morphing into many different ideas and my entire project becomes a much bigger concept. I have instilled some of these elements and principles of design, specifically into a logo project and travel ad layout project.
The things that influence my work vary from my family to music to desserts to traveling. They are the things that excite me the most and I always have endless ideas of items to make when it comes to them. I also love making logos and the concept of brand naming. I am very interested in working on my hand lettering. This is a very big reason why I love Louise Fili and Marla Moore’s work so much. Fili does both branding and hand lettering and I recently have started to look at her work more often. Moore does everything that I aspire to do as well. Her aesthetic and her hand lettering inspire me to really give it my all. Overall, what I think I do the best in are the projects that interest me and go along with what I want to be successful at in life.
My art comprises one unifying idea: my own life experiences, specifically those relating to my family and friends. By depicting highly specific visual cues—such as clothing, crows, and the color blue—I combine multiple facets and memories in an attempt to communicate my feelings and experiences. Sometimes these symbols are universal; a yellow raincoat, for example, calls to mind childhood. Others are encoded within my own memories—a bird skull relates to a dream my friend had one night. My art is about more than myself; it is about finding common ground between me and my audience and exploring that overlap.
Through symbols, color, and texture, I reach out to the viewer. These symbols and colors appeal specifically to my own aesthetic and emotional sensibilities; it is for this reason that I am so interested in what the viewer can gain from my art. In order to interact with both my memories and the viewer, I use bold, dark lines, bright colors, and clearly visible—if not always decipherable—symbols. The interaction between these elements paves the way for the connection between myself, the piece, and the viewer.
Among my contemporary influences are certain niche illustrators such as Greer Stothers, whose bold use of color to depict creatures—both extinct and imagined—has left an impression on me. Her colorful compositions are straightforward and full of character, and I strive for a similar impression within my own work.
My experience with figure drawings, especially those done with pen and ink, was a major catalyst for my artistic choices thus far. In my figure drawings, I was able to explore unconventional color combinations. This exploration of color continues even in my more recent abstract drawings, in which I have depicted white bottles and other objects in hues of red and blue.
Photography has proven to be an unexpected catalyst for the further development of my art. A photo is an instantaneous moment in time; in a way, it is the purest way for me to present a pure reflection of my own perception. In an inverse way, photography has honed my sense of my immediate, daily surroundings. There are countless moments in any given day where I wish I could have my camera to capture the beautiful subtleties of my world. The photos that I have taken so far are largely the result of chance: I saw something lovely and photographed it, such as sunlight filtered through window blinds or an animal carcass. Others are staged and in a way are more like my symbolic work of other media than my other photos.
In my art I explore the psychological meaning of color; specifically, I use the colors red and blue as symbols for life. Both red and blue feel familiar and lively to me. At first, I subconsciously used these colors when producing life-based work. As time went on, I began to use the colors intentionally as a kind of code for organic life. In many cases, I also used green in much the same way, but the shade of green was frequently more of a teal color and was thus essentially another shade of blue. It is elements like color that my audience will connect to in their own way, and maybe this connection will be similar to the connections that I have with my own work.
I am not one to make myself the center of attention, therefore self-portraits or any aspect of myself were never an obvious choice. My work is developed from a personal narrative through drawing and printmaking, and is an opportunity to have an open conversation about mental health as a complex form that has multiple parts and pieces. Innocent, metaphorical objects help illustrate a variety of internal disruptions of that form. During the production process of a drawing or print there is a conversation of acknowledgement and honesty happening between these objects and myself.
These objects are depicted in minimalistic settings dominated by negative space forcing the viewer’s attention on the object. Due to the minimalistic settings there is a somber and desolate disposition that dominates the objects, such as a wooden chair, vintage TV, a hare and tree trunk mask. The pieces/objects are typically depicted distressed and covered with two-dimensional string to emphasize internal distress and chaos. Visual cues help the viewer in navigating the composition.
Artistic influences stem from lithographer Kathryn Polk with her use of a realistic and imagined figure, as well as her muted color pallet, and from mixed-media artist Toba Khedoori and the solitary spaces she creates with minimal imagery. Other influences are words. Words are powerful; from poems such as milk and honey by Rupi Kaur, to music, or simply everyday conversations, words shape our day to day lives.
Mental health is different from person to person, yet every person can relate to other people’s stories to a certain extent. It is something that should be openly discussed and not dismissed or suppressed. With this discussion I am connecting to others universally and possibly helping them figure out their own parts and pieces.
When I was young, I was attracted by Animate and Comics, started drawing childish colorful lines on blanket paper. I can easily draw those cartoon characters vividly, which has plant an art seed deeply inside of my heart. As I get older, I was being trained in school to draw much more professional ways. I work hard to invest in as many kinds of media as I can, but still focus on graphic design and digital drawing, especially for video games and movies, which brought me to art area.
I want to do concept design mostly in the future, like design characters and environment. In the past several years, I tried a lot to practice my physical skills on digital drawings, but I noticed that, compared with brilliant concept designers like Martin Deschambault, I still lack ability on the “design” part, that I don’t have good enough feeling of “two-dimensional shape”, and creating atmosphere. However, I was trying to increase my weakness a little bit. In my recent editorial illustration work, I use blue-tone to create a peaceful atmosphere. There’s a skeleton sitting in a computer station, on the middle of the water surface inside of a cave. It’s indicates myself when I was a child, sitting in front of my computer during mid-night to do digital drawings. That’s my most productive time, and I’m always trying to find the feeling about that time. What’s more, for my final project in illustration class, I used two different shapes – triangle and circle, to design two different kinds of amour sets for male warrior. Because of the difference of shapes, they gave the audience totally different feelings. It was also a challenge for me to draw an elder man, since I drew young woman all the time while practice skills in the past.
If “concept design” is my dream, then graphic design is my choice of reality. To get better sense of “shape”, I concentrated on graphic design a lot in college study as well. When I was in China, even though I was not an art major student, I was asked to help organizations in school to make posters or PowerPoint stuff all the time, which had practiced me a lot in the past few years. When I attended to Murray State University, during the study in graphic design class, I learnt many new, especially more professional skills about design. One of the most obvious change is, my taste of design became better. My final project of graphic design II class is a zoo poster, but the first version was ugly, just like what non-art student did in Chinese college. My last version is very graphic and neat, which I like a lot. Now, most of my graphic design project need me to make it several versions to get a relatively satisfying one, nevertheless, I believe this is the tough but necessary step to develop my skill and taste to create professional art work, and I’m on the right way to change my style.
I’ll keep learning and practicing for my design and illustration skills, and the taste of my design style in the future, in order to make stuff that also amuse myself.
My work explores a range of subject matter and themes, but I try to make all of it with a simplistic approach so people could relate and understand it better. I usually produce two types of artworks, i.e., drawings and graphically designed stuff like posters, illustrations, covers, reports, etc. I frequently use pencil and charcoal for drawings and adobe photoshop, adobe illustrator for illustrations and logos and InDesign for designing posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books.
I choose graphic design because I feel it is a is a good way to communicate to public and be creative enough to grab their attention. It allows me to manipulate my drawing work and incorporate it in my Graphic design stuff. Graphic design helps me learn problem solving as I must work in certain parameters sometimes. I enjoy drawing because it gives me more freedom to express my ideas as well as I enjoy looking at things and replicate them on paper with my interpretation. I like the way charcoal can be manipulated to create a great range of values and mark making. I combine graphic design and drawing together for making certain artworks.
I try to give an emotional touch to all of my drawings, and try to keep it subtle and simple in my Graphic design stuff.
My work revolves around two dimensional drawings on small 9”x12” smooth Bristol Paper. In a sense I’m more of a traditional artist; I prefer to use Prismacolor Pencils, Watercolors, Copic Markers, Micron Pens, and White Gel Pens in my art. Not only have I created lots of drawings, but I have also painted a bit; about a year ago I had a piece put up on display at an Art Center in my hometown called the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts. Quite recently I have been into Digital art; I like to use the free software known as GIMP to color over drawings I have scanned onto my computer. My thought process before I put my pencil to paper usually revolves around what I’ve recently watched, it’s pretty weird but when I watch a show my inspiration to draw starts to shine.
I really want people to recognize my work, by noticing my style and knowing that I like to draw a lot of Fan Art. My personal Art Philosophy is to draw whatever you want, don’t let people tell you what to draw during this day in age. Art is Art, and with a lot of hard work it’s beautiful no matter what it is, because it’s yours. A couple of people who have inspired me are Katy Lipscomb, Aaron Blaise, and an artist on the Website DeviantArt known as WildSpiritWolf.
WildSpiritWolf was the first artist who got me interested into drawing animals, and mainly wolves. Her FAQ (frequently asked questions) came in handy when I didn’t know where to start with my art, I was introduced to shading, micron pens, and prismacolor pencils from her. Katy Lipscomb was another artist on DeviantArt that I met a while back and is a friend of mine, her art is so vibrant and colorful, she introduced to me the idea of using watercolors as a base before coloring an entire drawing with Prismacolor Pencils. And Aaron Blaise gave me the push to draw more human figures and to add cartoon characteristics to them along with animals, and also to start drawing digitally.
What viewers should be able to see in my artwork revolves around the concepts of the sublime and of nature in general. I am inspired by wildlife and encountering new birds on trips and am curious about the idea of nature in my work. For example, a painting that was done for an art history class in Baroque, depicts a robin on a branch, which is supposed to represent humility and how humans can look to nature as something of reverence. In terms of sublime, I create artwork about monsters and use compositions with unsettling conceptual themes or aesthetics. As far as a specific medium goes, I work mostly with oil paint on canvas.
My work Inner Demons was a response to The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters by Francisco Goya. It emulates the sublime and the idea that certain thoughts, or lack of, can create personal monsters within. Another work like this is a painting that incorporates the use of complex color schemes by having intense red and green artificial light with clashing same colored objects. The colors in the composition are what convey the idea of the sublime due to the eerie nature that is typically associated with red and green.
Some of the paintings made more recently have been utilizing the sublime in nature by using the theme of predator and prey. One of these works in particular, depicts a display where 2-D painted versions of origami birds are placed in a naturalistic setting. Some of the prey birds are seen floating in the water, while others are hanging by strings to mimic flight. Meanwhile, a naturalistic representation of a hawk is in the process of swooping down to tear apart one of the inanimate birds in the water. By using the theme of “survival of the fittest” in my artwork, it bridges the gap between horror and nature to create the sublime, a more complex theme.
My preferred media is oil paint on varying objects and ink drawings. The subject matter is drawn from life or studied then imagined later in the studio to add a creative and unnatural feeling. Through the use of vibrant fractal shapes dissipating from the subject to captivate the viewer’s eye. I also take the liberty of using influences of pop artist, American Realists and Golden Age comic book art, I use the two periods and synthesize them into a more contemporary anatomy study. I really enjoy the dynamic and thick lines in both comic book illustrators and pop artists but crave to have a naturalistic sense of proportions that give my subject a unique personality. The use of color in my pieces are extremely saturated and draw a lot of inspiration from conceptual artists such as Tyler Lockett, Sun GuoLiang and Emmanuel Malin. In more recent works I have pushed myself to be more experimental with my use of media i.e. using coffee as a substitute for paint thinner or painting on the back side of a panel to force more layers and dimensions throughout the works. The messages in my work varies but are not limited to; social critiques on the view of intelligence, a discussion of domestic violence in relationships, the visual effects of stress and how one views the world, and an exploration of glyphs and how they can apply meaning in relatively mundane objects (such as billboards) and their catalytic nature in self evaluations.
Human beings thrive on communication and strive to connect with others in many ways. In spite of our desires or best efforts, communication and connection sometimes falls short of perfect clarity. Our interpretation of a person’s nonverbal cues may fail to match what they are saying, and words left unspoken can create voids and barriers. I find significance in our miscommunications, misinterpretations, and our difficulty connecting with one another. This work explores how domestic objects can influence the dynamics of a conversation and are witness to our communication with one another.
My current body of work explores interpersonal communication and relationships represented through domestic objects. I seek to illustrate the way communication can change as it is transmitted from one person to another, and the voids created through the absence of words. This occurs most poignantly in our home lives, where clear communication is often most critical to our happiness.
Furniture also directs us to interact with others in a certain manner. The spatial arrangement of furniture may determine the flow of a conversation. When a conversation between two people shifts, the individuals either gravitate closer together or stay at a reasonable distance. These objects are stand-ins for ourselves. We are individuals with unique characteristics, just as any handmade object. No piece is exactly alike and has its own personality.
Rebekah Nichole Thuline
I illustrate images that dive into different ideas but roughly stay around a few basic themes i'm drawn to. These themes link to either play with color theory, phycology, or images that take on a certain topics such as food, animals, nature, that mix together to create either an unusual narrative or a simple image. I prefer to create illustrations with ink pens, but I will also work with other materials such as pastels, charcoal, graphic and even digital mediums.
Some of the inspirations for these works go back to artists Salvador dali and Rene Magritte. Both surrealists that painted strange images that narrate a story or emotion or an idea from their mind with interesting color pallet choices. This alone has always interested me for years. When an image pops into my head I want to do my best to draw it out for everyone to see. I'm not ashamed by my imagination but proud to express the creative thinking process I go through and adding my own personal meanings to them. Just goes to show how the mind wanders.
I make fantasy inspired scenes that are naturalistic. This means the scene itself isn’t realistic, just the bodies or individual forms. Everything else is just various things put together that you wouldn’t normally see together. That way the scene is comprehensible, but you also can’t say, “That’s not accurate”. Real everyday scenes are kind of boring because there’s nothing to invoke an emotion in me, so I like to bring things that can only exist from the human mind into the picture. For example, I’ve done a few scenes of monsters or figures in a house or room. The only thing out of place is the monster, but by adding a recognizable background it gives it context. And by using fantasy I’m able to not only convey a certain emotion, but also make it unmistakable by having it be somewhat of an extreme scene. These scenes are usually dark and desaturated, and while I try to stay true to the image in my head, I also make sure the image is balanced and has emphasis on the source of the emotion.
Most of my drawings originated as passing images in my head with certain emotions tied to them. Overall, I'm just trying to enhance my ability to create atmospheric images. I try to be sure everything looks like they’re in the same place and aim for the work to make it easy for the viewer to imagine themselves in the picture. Another place I find inspiration is my dreams. I tend to feel things more strongly in them, so I try to see if it was just a feeling during the dream or the situation in the dream that gave me the emotion. I’ll recreate the scene on paper and see if it gives off the same reaction.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to improve my style and found an artist named Bobby Chiu. I liked his style conceptually and visually. Especially how, despite the creature obviously not being real, the lighting and background makes it easy for you to imagine them in front of you. The only thing that stopped me from achieving something similar was the fact that I relied on outlines. I finally stopped focusing on them recently and photoshop helps a lot in this regard. It achieves visual affects you normally struggle to get with traditional media such as fog or blurs. I don’t really use all the tools in the program, I use it like a pencil or paintbrush, but more convenient and less messy. I do everything from scratch; it all starts as messy lines that progressively become a picture.
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