Thursday, December 27, 2012

Peaches

Peaches - Claude Monet

Monet's style captures this fruit brilliantly. They appear soft and he has captured the texture of the peach. I am reminded of the taste and I can almost salivate. They are realistic, yet they are depicted in a manner that celebrates what is wonderful about peaches. The softness within the image tells us that the fruit is ripe. We have fallen into the illusion Monet has created, without photo-realism he has made us salivate for the peach. This is one of my favorite images by Monet. 

As a child I once bit into a peach, only to find a large insect crawling inside. I dropped the peach and was a little upset. I didn't eat peaches for a while afterwards. Then later I began to eat peaches again, because one bad experience should never stop you from experiencing the sweetness of life.   

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Friendly Face

Friendly Face - Jina Wallwork

A smile delivers an invitation, welcoming your presence. In a room full of people we will always gravitate towards a smile. It creates a feeling of security which repels any feeling of awkwardness. It tells us that we are safe and understood. A friendly face creates new bonds, while also strengthening those relationships which have already formed.

When we travel through dark days, we lose our smile. Tears strip away our friendly face. We watch the fish traveling through the rivers of sorrow we have created, watching the river expand with every teardrop. With a face full of pain, our face is no longer inviting. But all is not lost, because we are surrounded by true friends who see more than the expression on our face. They see beyond the sorrow and the pain, walking through all the barriers that we have created. They do not walk away because they recognize that we are in need of a friend. A smile will invite everyone; however our tears will only request the presence of our true friends. They arrive with a friendly face, offering us support and understanding.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

21st Century Queer Artists Identify Themselves #4

21st Century Queer Artists Identify Themselves #4

I mentioned in previous post my inclusion in 21st Centuary Queer Artists Identify Themselves #4. Click  http://jinawallwork.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/21st-century-queer-artists-identify.html  . Sadly I couldn't attend the release party, although I have received my copy of the zine through the post. I'm really pleased and flattered to see my work, The Project, on the front cover. It is also wonderful to explore the work of other gay artists.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thunder Wind by Marcia Baldwin

Thunder Wind- Marcia Baldwin

Baldwin has manged to give the horse emotion. The face is expressive revealing a slight melancholy or empathy, without compromising the realistic features. It gives the horse a complex inner world that we are incapable of fully understanding. It is difficult to comprehend the emotions associated with being a horse. Is sadness or joy different, when experienced by an animal? When I view this painting it makes me consider these questions.

The image is beautifully depicted, with such an amazing array of color. It is sometimes difficult to place blue and red within the same image. These colors can become harsh as they compete for dominance. However Baldwin's use of light has allowed them to harmonize. The light and dark within the image controls the color and creates a bold composition. The horse and the surrounding area are painted in the same manner, long elegant brushstrokes. The horse is realistic yet it extends to every corner of the image because the colors of the horse are extended into the sky. The name Thunder Wind seems very appropriate, for a horse that connects with the skies around him.

Marcia Baldwin's website: http://www.mbaldwinfineart.com/

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advice For Artists and Other Creatives

"When you start out on a career in the arts, you have no idea what your doing. This is great. People who know what they are doing, know the rules. They know what is possible and what is impossible. You do not and you should not. Rules about what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them and you can. If you don't know its impossible, its easier to do and because nobody has done it before they haven't made up rules to stop anyone doing that particular thing again." 
-Neil Gaiman
People cannot tell you something is impossible without direct experience. How can they know? Have they made the attempt and failed? If that is so, I admire their bravery and courage in making the attempt. Although, this is not enough experience to declare that you can't do something. To know what you are capable of, it would help if I was you. However even this wouldn't be enough, because even you don't know what you can achieve. You know of your past, but it does not reveal everything. There is a beautiful grey area of not knowing your own limitations. This lack of knowledge can cause people to fear they may fail. Instead, it should be an opportunity to try everything. Sometimes you will fail and sometimes you will not. Why not do what you love? You may fail and people may laugh, but it's an opportunity to be true to yourself. Sometimes you need to do what feels right for you, because in doing so you give the world all that you are. If you compromise, then you never fully connect to the world around you, instead you give only what you believe the world wants. You don't know the world or yourself, well enough to make that judgment.

Neil Gaiman Speech 
click here to view the video on youtube

For more information on Neil Gaiman visit: http://www.neilgaiman.com/ Neil Gaiman is an excellent storyteller, I would recommend his books to anyone.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Broken

Broken - Jina Wallwork

My new book, Broken is out now. 

When you journey through heartache and sadness, you will ask for the experience to change. You will ask for this love to be different. In time, you will accept the experience as an opportunity to view your own heart. It is a chance to increase your understanding of the love that is within you.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Art of Alexandre Cabanel

angel, study for the painting the lost paradise - Alexandre Cabanel


This is such a beautiful image. It is enhanced by the limited colors and the eye is drawn in to the hand, due to the extreme use of light and shade, in contrast to the rest of the drawing. This piece is only a study, although it is a masterpiece as it stands. I struggle to see how it can be improved. I know it is within the skill of a great artist, to see future possibilities within a work that is already magnificent. It is glimpse of an amazing process, where the work is so beautiful I find myself asking the artist to cease because nothing further is needed. The piece was a study for the painting below, and if you look to the left of the image you can see how this angel was depicted in the final piece. Although the painting below is wonderful I feel a greater connection to the preliminary drawing. I feel that it contains something magical that becomes lost within The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise. There is so much drama within the finished piece, I find the storytelling overpowers some of the details. I can see emotion within the drawing that has been subdued within the final image.  

 The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise - Alexandre Cabanel


Adam, study for the Lost Paradise - Alexandre Cabanel

Within the study above I can see emotional discomfort and torment, yet when Adam appears in the painting he becomes less human, less emotional. He becomes overpowered by his small role in a biblical epic and because of this he becomes harder to relate to. We cease to consider his emotions and begin to view him in relation to cultural or religious symbolism. He ceases to speak to our emotions and begins to speak to any religious beliefs we may, or may not hold.

 God, Study for the Lost Paradise - Alexandre Cabanel

Cabanel's study for god is a combination of physical strength and age. There is a long tradition of the christian god being depicted in such a manner. However as an image of the figure it doesn't work, his body is youthful and muscular and then his face and hair reveal age. There is inconsistency within the image and because of this, it is hard to see the humanity within the figure. Cabanel seems to recognize this problem, because the position of the arm slightly obscures the white beard, and in The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise he has darkened God's hair so it is consistent with the body. Painting a christian God must have been a very daunting task, balancing depictions of wisdom, strength, power. Any outcome isn't going to be fully satisfactory, when you are working within the confines of traditional depictions. When all these figures are placed next to God, they become harder to relate to. Struggling to see God's humanity, we also struggle to see it within the other figures. Whether God should be depicted as human is a large question. The concept of God is so large, a figurative depiction does not necessarily make it easier to relate to. Within the drawings I can imagine what each person is feeling, except for God. So the finished painting loses the emotional content that is within the drawings of the angel and Adam. Although The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise is still a stunning and dramatic scene.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

21st Century Queer Artists Identify Themselves #4

The Project - Jina Wallwork

Art and writing by Jina Wallwork is included in the zine 21st Century Queer Artists Identify Themselves #4, which contains the artwork of gay and lesbian artists from LA and beyond. It has been put together by Suzanne Wright and Darin Klein & Friends. The zine is being released on 26th November and there is a release party 7:00pm -10pm at:

 ForYourArt
6020 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Forgiven

Forgiven - Jina Wallwork 

My new book, Forgiven is out now. 

Forgiveness is inevitable. There exists a point where you can do nothing other than let go. It is never a question of whether you should or you shouldn't. It will simply happen when you are ready, even if it takes many lives.

Buy from Amazon.com
Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Symbols and Signs

Pot Pourri - Herbert James Draper

Roses automatically symbolize love. Our culture is littered with these references and it makes it impossible to look at an image, without sensing a romantic undertone. Although Draper is fully aware of what the rose represents and the entire image speaks of romance. The figure is created using soft brushstrokes, which filters the image through a dreamlike haze. Her face is in shadow and this has a particular effect. Viewers find it easier to identify with figures whose face is not completely represented. Therefore we empathize more, with this woman in love because we see ourselves within her. 

Identifying with simplified images is something Scott McCloud talked about in the book, Understanding Comics. It may seem bizarre to talk about this painting in relation to comics, but McCloud highlighted how a viewer can more easily identify with a cartoon face rather than a realistic image.  This is because realism contains a large amount of detail, and this pushes the viewer to see the person as someone else. When they are faced with less detail, they find it easier to see themselves within the image. This is a concept that Nike took further in a series of commercials in which a cartoon stick man played sport, against some of the best sportsmen in the world. They recognized that the audience would find it easier to identify with the stick man, because the simplification of the image had created a symbol that would represent anyone. Herbert Draper cannot reduce the painting to a cartoon, because the image must hold true to the realism within his practice. However, Draper realizes that he can say more using less detail, minimizing the information present, and this is something that is common place within our culture. The video below talks of how we use symbols to convey a high level of information.

Icons & Signs - The Art of Rich Pictures - The Open University

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

Within signage we tell a large amount of information within a basic symbol. As I write these words, I know that written language is a series of visual symbols that depict certain sounds. Art speaks, imagery speaks, and yet when the information becomes succinct we cease to call it art. Although it is only through the artists understanding of a variety of symbols that they can create a language in which to speak. Draper's image speaks of romance and we empathize with the women in the image, because of how he has chosen to depict her. He is conveying information of an emotion so he does not reference symbols that are too blatant, because it would lead us to intellectualize what we are viewing, which is sometimes incompatible with the feeling of romance and Draper wants to conjure this emotion. Art allows for layers within your expression, pushing the artist to convey multiple types of information, while also evoking feeling. The artist can learn from the symbols and signs, which exist within fine art and comic books. They should view all symbols and icons they see through their daily lives, such as the symbols within road signs. Through this they can learn to deliver highly complex information within a single image.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Exhibiting at Kunstverein Bad Aibling, Germany

The Sun - Jina Wallwork

The Sun is exhibiting as part of the Today and Tomorrow exhibition. This is a group show of artwork from all over the world. The website for the project shows each piece of artwork and the country of origin. The entry by Jina Wallwork can be found on the following page http://today-and-tomorrow-mailart.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/jina-wallwork-uk.html

30th November- 16th December 2012
'Today and Tomorrow/Heute und Morgen' at Kunstverein Bad Aibling 
Galerie im Alten Feuerwehrgerätehaus Irlachstrasse 5, 83043 Bad Aibling, Germany. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Death of the Grave Digger

The Death of the Grave Digger - Carlos Schwabe 

I am struck by the intense sense of drama, within this image. Schwabe has used the positions of the human body to tell the story. Each pose contains a great deal of information.The tension depicted in the hands of the grave digger reveal that he has been caught off guard by this angel of death. However his face expresses acceptance, rather than horror. The pose of the angel is statuesque and emotionless, creating a greater feeling of inevitability. Her delicate stance reveals movements that are not sudden, there is a calm, peaceful nature to her approach. She holds a green light within one hand, symbolizing power, yet her other hand is empty. His time has come. Her dark wings reveal her purpose, before an act takes place. He has reached the winter of his life, and is surrounded by the white snow. 

The beautiful poses of the figures create such an interesting composition, which is then enhanced by her wings. The dark feathers create an oval structure around the two figures holding them together. Some of the tree branches follow the shape of the wings, whereas others are more vertical. Those branches subdue the scenery, making sure the tombstones are not too dominant within the composition. The focus is placed within the relationship, between the two figures. The story is within this connection. The contrast between black and white, creates a higher level of sharpness. The angel is bold and dominant, without the need for aggression. The symbolism within the image is a joy to explore, Schwabe has created a masterpiece. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Art of Jacob Maris

Fishing boat on the beach at Scheveningen - Jacob Maris

The ship within the image is placed in a manner, which compliments the sky. Its triangular structure is placed off center, focusing the detail within a small area of the canvas. It allows the clouds to take center stage and they contrast with the ships delicate structure. The birds soften the structure of the image by creating small pieces of detail, which break apart the bold composition. The structure is basic, consisting of a block of land, a block of sky and a triangular ship. The simplicity is enhanced by the detail, where these small wonders create a balance within the image. Maris has captured the harsh, cold weather and made it beautiful.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Paul Cornoyer in Madison Square

Afternoon Madison Square 1910 - Paul Cornoyer

Changes in the weather can completely alter the appearance of a place. In these three images, by Paul Cornoyer, we can see massive differences in the depictions of Madison Square. At times, our connection to a place alters, we feel different emotions and those emotions alter our perception. During good times, the place you call 'home' will be the most beautiful place in the world. When you are sorrowful, 'home' seems to be an ugly place. I look at these paintings and I struggle to separate Cornoyer's emotional perception from the changes of the weather. The painting of a sunny day seems to be a happier image, than the grey skies of Afternoon Madison Square. So many changes within each image, I question whether he painted the weather to match his feelings. He does make Madison Square look beautiful in all weathers, although I see more than a location within these paintings. I see a painter changing with the world around him and he seems to be in sync with his own environment.

Madison Square After the Rain 1900 - Paul Cornoyer

Madison Square on a Sunny Day - Paul Cornoyer

Monday, October 22, 2012

Inspiration


My new book, Inspiration has just been released. Almost all of this book is available to view on the website. Click http://www.jinawallwork.co.uk/Books/inspiration.html to see the contents page and links to the relevant pages. The print version is available from Amazon.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Boxing for Bellows

Dempsey and Firpo - George Bellows

The human body creates such interesting stances and movements. These are more easily noticeable when viewing sport or dance. Within sport, bodies move in ways that you don't normally see and it creates a visual of something that is both familiar and unfamiliar. When I see a contemporary ballet or pro wrestling, I see movements and shapes that push me to view the human body in a different way. I look at this image by George Bellows and I can understand his fascination. The two bodies form such an interesting composition where intense movement has been captured within a still image, the results reveal structures that are solid yet unbalanced. This is a painting, so the boxer will never fall to the floor and his almost unnatural position is now permanent and sculptural.       

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Traveling Mind

The Traveling Mind - Jina Wallwork

We exist within this moment, yet our mind can travel to any point in time. We can choose to live in the past, if we allow our thoughts to reside there. Our view of the future is obscured, but our mind can connect to it based upon a foundation of imagination. Our thoughts must at some point, return to this moment. It is only through the present that change can shape our reality. We cannot alter the past and the future is shaped by our actions now, because movement occurs within this second. We are traveling through life, while we consider who we were and who we desire to be. Thinking of the past and the future aids our journey forward, because we remember the lessons we have learned which allows for the creation of a new circumstance.

Through conscious reflection we understand our lives, through acceptance of the difficult challenges that we have faced. If we cannot see the value of our past, then it will manifest once more within our future.  If we accept the valuable nature of the lessons we have faced, we will look to the future and see change. There will be a new circumstance filled with different lessons. We are constantly moving forward and we never cease to learn, because we are constantly experiencing life.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Jesters and Eduardo Zamacois y Zabala

Jesters playing “Cochonnet” by Eduardo Zamacois y Zabala

This painting contains a wonderful array of color and pattern. It immediately captures your gaze and then creates stories within your mind. As these jesters take a break, their faces reveal seriousness. Eduardo Zamacois y Zabala could have painted them in other ways. The only reference to their occupation is the clothes they wear, because they are not performing for the audience. As I view this painting I become a member of the audience, yet there is no show. The greatest performers must, at some point, cease in their pretense. The entertainer's paraphernalia rests unused.

Then I think of the composition of this painting. The various heights of the jesters are used to great effect. The painting is wonderfully staged. Perhaps the jesters never did find that moment to cease performing, as they posed for the painter, as they were directed to stand in specific positions and asked to relax. In asking them to cease the pretense, did he merely ask for a change in the performance? 

The image is amazing and is produced with a high level of skill and beauty. I also enjoy this contradiction within storytelling, which captures my mind along with my gaze.
   

Friday, October 5, 2012

Exhibiting at Fabbricaimmagine

Self III- Jina Wallwork

Self III is exhibiting as part of the Ecce artist exhibition. This is a group show of self portraits, all of the artwork can be viewed on location or at http://fabbricaimmagine.blogspot.co.uk/. For more information you can also visit http://www.facebook.com/events/303832473005617/ 

10th November 2012
'Ecce artist' at Fabbricaimmagine http://fabbricaimmagine.blogspot.co.uk/
Via dei tre pupazzi, 5a between San Pietro and Castel S. Angelo. Rome, Italy. 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rembrandt and Elephants

An Elephant - Rembrandt

These sketches are believed to be of a female elephant named Hansken. She was in Holland, giving Rembrandt the opportunity to draw her from life. These quick sketches capture the shape beautifully and they also hint at the detail. Elephant skin is complex, those wrinkles are full of interesting shapes and patterns. Rembrandt uses a variety of marks to hint at the skins surface. The lines move in different directions suggesting those wrinkles are everywhere, without the need to draw every line. Elephant skin contains gorgeous marks and patterns, to an artist it is both a fascinating and overwhelming task. Drawing an elephant can be time consuming and yet these quick sketches depict all that is necessary to create a realistic image. It is a trained eye, which is capable of recognizing the most important aspects of the drawing. Those acts of discernment that influence the final result, they become essential when faced with a high level of complexity. When viewing such interesting skin, it would be easy to become lost in the detail. Rembrandt maintains a high level of focus and control. 

 Hansken - Rembrandt

Monday, September 24, 2012

Planning A Masterpiece

 'The Lament for Icarus' by Herbert James Draper 

There is something wonderful about having access to preliminary drawings. It allows you to view the artistic process, glimpsing the mind of the artist. Below is Draper's study for Icarus, the preliminary sketch is so beautiful, it makes it easy to see why the finished piece is so wonderful. The storytelling is blatant and the image is stunning.The piece is constructed through methodical planning. 

A study for Icarus by Herbert James Draper

Some artists enjoy the accidental aspects of intuitively working through a piece. Some artists believe that planning is far more appropriate for realistic images. However, this is not true, when Pablo Picasso painted 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon' he created a large number of preliminary drawings. 



I am fascinated by the process of each artist. Pablo Picasso and Herbert James Draper, share a methodical approach and yet their objectives and styles are so very different. Each is taking care of the detail before the complete picture can be seen. There is a surprising commonality between each artist, they have a process where the complete image can be perceived within their mind before they approach the canvas. There are so many different approaches and I wouldn't suggest one over another, but it is interesting to see which method works best for each individual.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Green Lenses

The Green Lenses - Jina Wallwork

She looks towards me with disdain. She has fooled herself into believing that my success leaves a bitter taste in her mouth, when in reality it is her saliva that has always contained a naturally horrid taste. She is incapable of removing her green lenses and viewing the world without a jealous gaze, bitterness has become a defining aspect of her personality. Those lenses make it impossible, for anyone to perceive the process of success. They focus only on the sweet results and ignore all of the steps that were taken.

While learning to fly I constantly fell to the earth, as the world’s most persistent failure. I braved humiliation and ridicule, only to pick myself up and try once more. They laughed as I healed and I continued to focus on the blue skies. I gambled everything, until I had nothing left to lose. I continued beyond their cruel words, which often fueled my efforts more than kindness ever could. When I felt that all was lost, I continued anyway. It ceased to matter whether I would fly or fall. The act of making the attempt had become the core of my life, results were immaterial. The path of your greatest failure, will lead you to stumble onto the smallest pieces of success. I know this process too well.

She sees my flight and claims a friendship that had drifted into obscurity long ago. She pulls it into the present, only to ask for my assistance. She wants to glide through the skies with haste, is she asking for a map of the runway? She asks me not for the process, but only for the results. She wants me to repeat the process on her behalf, but I cannot spare the years that would be needed. Does she honestly believe that another should carry her into flight?

She grows angry with my lack of assistance, demanding that I explain how I achieved success. Through her green lenses, she cannot see the truth behind my words. I tell her that she must be persistent, she must work hard, and she must accept failure and humiliation because she will greet them many times. I tell her that she must hold onto hope, because eventually something will work.

She looks at me with surprise and yells words that I choose not to repeat. I sense that she feels betrayed, as though I am hiding what is rightfully hers. I have given her the map that she so clearly desires and I am greeted with visceral hatred. She slams each door, as she defiantly walks away. From a distance, I can hear her speak of the stupidity of flight, which she now condemns as nonsense. Then she talks of the magnificence and grace, that only walking can provide. She asks why anyone would choose to do anything else?

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Best of Vincent Van Gogh

'Field with Poppies' by Vincent Van Gogh

There is little excitement within the subject matter. A photo of this location would not fill me with intrigue, it is Van Gogh's vision of a subject that creates the interest. To paint the mundane and make it brilliant, it is a gift that Van Gogh possessed. Such a unique vision of the world around him, it must have been difficult for others to understand him. I question if we will ever fully enter his world; is it something we would choose to do? Van Gogh's world features a large amount of suffering, yet this is difficult to see within these paintings. Do his images reveal the best of his inner world?  Do they reflect moments where this passionate and volatile man became calm? Those few moments where he could express himself, unclouded by aggression and torment. I believe that Van Gogh needed painting, as much as painting needed Van Gogh. My favorite pieces by Van Gogh are those where he seems to locate a sense of peace, even just for a moment. Only two are within this post, but there are many other images that achieve this. Within them the entire canvas manages to harmonize and you feel the sense of an artist at peace. Van Gogh's sense of peace is still vibrant and exciting, because your experience of peace is reflective of your personal nature. I look at these images and I see moments where Van Gogh achieved the emotional balance that he struggled to maintain.  

'Tree Trunk in the Grass' by Vincent Van Gogh

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sketchbook 2012

You are welcome to glance through this sketchbook. There is something different about viewing art in the order that it has been produced. One image seems to influence another, even though I consider each to be a stand alone piece. Each has its own identity. However, because they share a sequence they become related. 

 
Open publication - Sketchbook 2012 by Jina Wallwork


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Haystack by Claude Monet

'Haystack' by Claude Monet

The eye is treated to an image that so beautifully depicts light. There is a range of color and without the light, they would clash. There are pinks, blues, greens, yellows, yet they all harmonize within the image. None of the colors are given the opportunity to dominate, they are all subdued with white. The painting is ambitious, such a complex image may be too difficult for another artist. Monet achieves brilliance, the composition is simple, the rounded structures of the haystacks contrast with the horizontal landscape. This simplicity works to great effect, stopping the detail from overpowering the piece. It contains a balance of Subtlety and color, that reveals the genius of Monet.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Those Who Have Gone Before

'Those Who Have Gone Before' by Jina Wallwork

As the leaf grows does it remember those who have gone before? Does it think of the leaves that have fallen long ago? Is it stronger and wiser, because it is alive in this moment? The greater the length of our history, the more teachers we have to learn from. Like the leaf, I am lucky to be growing on this beautiful family tree. Humanity is my global family and we are all blessed to be leaves on the tree, growing side by side.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Autumn Evening by Ferdinand Hodler

'Autumn Evening' by Ferdinand Hodler

The beautiful colors that accompany the cold of the autumn. I have always taken such pleasure, in seeing these colors. Nature always reveals a beautiful color balance. Hodler has captured the beauty of fallen leaves. He reveals the magic of the season in this amazing piece. A delicate set of lines creates the structure of the trees. The sky compliments the colors within the leaves, highlighting the yellow above the orange and red. I almost feel excited for the cold, after being reminded of the beauty of the upcoming season. As I wrap myself up, walking through the cold I will gaze at these colors. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Louis XIV by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini

'Louis XIV' by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini
also spelled Gian Lorenzo Bernini or Gianlorenzo Bernini) 

I love the sculpted drapery. I can see material, even though this is clearly marble. I feel so easily fooled by the illusion and yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. The material is so skillfully depicted and I feel invited to touch. What a wonderful skill to give stone the appearance of fabric, flesh or hair. The hair in this sculpture seems stylized, it must be very difficult to carve hair. How could you carve a single strand of hair. Even when the hair is group together, it can not be clearly represented because hair is never so perfectly structured. I ask myself if this is a limitation of stone, even for the greatest of artists. The hair on this sculpture seems to compliment the drapery, in its curves and form. The face is framed with the intense detail and it gives the piece complexity. The face is not lost, instead it is enhanced because your eyes are guided to that area. The simple structure makes the face stand in contrast, to the rest of the sculpture. Louis XIV sat for hours while this was being created and believe it was time well spent. I would love to have seen this sculpture slowly take form, in the hands of the artist.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Exhibiting at the Grace Albrecht Gallery

'Loose Ends' by Jina Wallwork

The Grace Albrecht Gallery is a part of Bluffton University in Ohio. This is an exhibition of postcard sized work and all proceeds will be going to a local charity, Special Kids Therapy in Findlay. They provide services to children with physical, mental and emotional challenges. The artwork, 'Loose Ends' by Jina Wallwork will be included in the exhibition.

25th August 2012 - 23rd September 2012
'4by6 and 6by4' at Grace Albrecht Gallery http://www.bluffton.edu/
Sauder Fine Arts Center, Bluffton University, 1 University Place, Bluffton Ohio 45817, United States.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Abstracted Mind

'Abstracted Mind' by Jina Wallwork

It doesn’t share the appearance of my mind. I feel as though I understand my own thoughts, yet I am asked to believe something different. I am expected to repeat another’s words, until they become habit. Is it enough to live life, in accordance with the words that others ask you to speak?  I cannot pretend. If I did I would never fully understand my own actions, because they would be far removed from who I really am. I have explained my mind in complete detail. There is little room for another to complete the picture, as they choose to see it. My mind is clear, yet I am still being asked to think differently. I am being asked to change for another and they cannot see the casual insult within the request. Asking my mind to become distorted and deformed into something completely different. To become something they believe is more appropriate, given the circumstances. To fake beliefs that would be more comfortable for those around me. To be given another’s thoughts and asked to conform. I have no desire to replicate another’s mind. I enjoy hearing the thoughts of those around me, but I have my own mind. I do not require another.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Man, Controller of the Universe by Diego Rivera

'Man, Controller of the Universe or Man in the Time Machine' by Diego Rivera

This mural by Diego Rivera is stunning. It contains symbolism, storytelling and includes his strong political ideology. If you click on the image for a closer look, you can find a flattering portrait of Lenin within the mural. He appears to be holding the hands of men together, uniting them. I appreciate how the political beliefs held by Rivera belonged to a particular point in history. This anchors the image to a specific point in time. This mural contains the views of a passionate, opinionated man. These views were often controversial, yet they are beautifully captured within his work. You can enjoy the structure and composition or you can navigate through his complex set of beliefs, values and ideas. He speaks in a strong and potent visual language, yet the visuals can be enjoyed without the depth behind them. Although, I do find the political symbols fascinating. I feel the pleasure of wandering through a unique mind that is different to my own. 

Ernest Halberstadt was an assistant to Diego Rivera, in the video below he talks of Rivera's approach to creating murals. It contains some interesting information on his process.
Click here to view the video on the SFMOMA website

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Within Your Hands

'Within Your Hands' by Jina Wallwork

I talk to her of the obstacles that I face, talking of changes that would ease some of these problems. I imagine that it would be easier if my purse was fatter. In frustration, I form a fist and my complaint becomes greater in detail. She looks at me with kindness and places her hands over my knuckles. I can feel her warm gentle touch as she asks, ‘what is within your hands?’ In that moment, I think only of all the things I can control. As I speak of each of them, I realize the full length of the list. There is so much within these hands. As she speaks I can feel the burden growing lighter.  She tells me that my focus should only be placed, on the things that I can control. Everything else is a burden that I carry only within my mind. At any moment I can let go.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mobius Ship by Tim Hawkinson

'Mobius Ship' by Tim Hawkinson
Photo credit: Robin Davis, distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 

The idea for the sculpture comes from combining two different ideas, as the video below explains. The ideas do not command my attention. The object is stunning and I find that it speaks to the ideas within me, regardless of its intellectual origins. I feel as though I must hold myself back, from applying a meaning to the piece that was not intended. Although I feel that the loaded symbolism would speak to any audience. It is a beautiful design and wonderfully constructed. In creating this piece I wonder where he began. I feel intrigued by the object and pushed to explore it further. 
  
Click here to view the video on youtube

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Art of Casper David Friedrich

 'The Oak Tree in the Snow' by Casper David Friedrich

The detailed and complex structure contrasts with the limited color palette. There is a sharp contrast between the light and dark. I question why he chose to paint this tree above all others? Its structure seems almost inverted because at the base it is thick with branches, where as the top of the tree appears to be severed and damaged. Does it hint of an emotional upheaval? Friedrich talked of painting what is within, therefore he recognizes that this piece reflects parts of his personality.
 "The artist should paint not only what he sees before him, but also what he sees within him. If, however, he sees nothing within him, then he should also refrain from painting that which he sees before him. Otherwise, his pictures will be like those folding screens behind which one expects to find only the sick or the dead."-Casper David Friedrich
This tree stands in isolation. It would be a cold journey before you could touch its branches. The location is uninviting and yet the sky is beautiful. The blue creates a calm environment, pleasant yet unapproachable. Is this what was within him? I look at the image and I marvel at its brilliance, even though it talks of sadness and isolation. It is such a detailed image, where he has spent hours capturing this emotion. Part of me wants to travel through the snow and spend time within his world. Although, I know that the cold would eventually be too much and I would need to walk away. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Papergirl Calgary

'I Will Fly Away' by Jina Wallwork

'I Will Fly Away' by Jina Wallwork, is included in Papergirl Calgary. The Papergirl concept originated in Berlin. It consists of an exhibition and then the work is distributed through U.S. style papergirls and paperboys. Below is a CBC interview, where Alex Lingnau explains the project. If you are viewing this post in a feed-reader, you may have to view the original post to access the audio.


8th August 2012 – 17th August 2012
'Papergirl Calgary' at EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts
 (in the Arts Learning Centre) http://www.epcorcentre.org/ 
http://papergirlcalgary.tumblr.com/
205 - 8th Avenue SE Calgary, Alberta T2G 0K9, Canada.

Papergirl Calgary 2012 Promo's

Click here to view the video on youtube

Click here to view the video on youtube

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Confucius Guide to Learning

"Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous."-Confucius
Confucius talks of the perils of thought without learning and I can understand his concern. In many ways we restrict our thoughts, if we do not take the time to understand where they connect to the thoughts of others. We have access to the teachings of an entire civilization. We can access these great minds through courses, books and many other methods. We can access ideas that belong to great thinkers and allow ourselves to be challenged. Our assumptions can be tested and our ideas expanded. There is always so much to learn but regardless of success or failure, we are always rewarded with the knowledge we obtain.

If we learn without thought, then we do not bring forward our own ideas. We don't interact with knowledge, we simply repeat it. We are not enhanced by what we have learned, I can see why Confucius would see this as 'labor lost'. Learning should be an interaction between what we already know and what we are capable of understanding.

I am currently working towards my second degree (my first degree was Fine Art). I'm studying part time, distance learning with the Open University. Today I found that I've successfully passed DD203 Power, dissent, equality: understanding contemporary politics. I would recommend this module to anyone interested in politics. This has been my second module, the first being DD101 Introduction to the Social Sciences. I am working towards a BA(Hons) Politics, Philosophy and Economics. I have a few years to go before my degree is complete but I would recommend the Open University to anyone.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Loose Ends

'Loose Ends' by Jina Wallwork

It is difficult to locate a definitive ending, especially when I am attempting to create one. It feels as though I am trying to thread pieces of string, through rain clouds. It ties up nothing other than my time. Am I creating my own delays? I think of stepping forward when the time is right, but I cannot locate the ideal moment. This second is captured by the past before I can fully interact. I do not wish to carry these complications further down my path, because they occupy my time with worry and concern. I hope that I can recognize which tasks need to be completed. I do not wish to extend my own delays, yet I realize that some responsibilities must be dealt with now. Some problems grow with time and while facing their enormity, you can look to the past and locate a moment where they could have been easily resolved. So I need to focus on them now. Do I begin with what is hard or do I begin with what is easy? All that matters is that I begin.

I need to be strong and resist the agendas of others. They have their own obligations, but I cannot prioritize them above my own. How can I assist another if avoid completion of what is necessary? How can I believe that I have any advice to give, when I cannot demonstrate the resolve to tackle my own problems without distraction? In the past I have watched my life unravel, while I have assisted another with tasks that belong to them alone.  With time each task grows larger and I know that I have this moment to tackle them. I must tie up my loose ends.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Brushstrokes of Vincent Van Gogh

'Plain Near Auvers' by Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh probably has the most distinct and recognizable brush strokes. It becomes easy to recognize his work by what is such a small movement. Even the imitators have to learn the mannerisms in the brushstroke rather than attempting to replicate the structure of a piece. Van Gogh manged to make a distinctive brushstroke that was completely his own. A short sharp movement creates these brushstrokes and it is a slow, precise way of working. It is an obsessive, time consuming process. The images contain so much energy and focus. There is devotion within his pieces. They contain one mans inability to cease in the act of creation. They contain originality and passion. Whenever a similar brushstroke is used, people will recognize Van Gogh's influence on the work. After all of these years he is tied to a gesture, Van Gogh has become his trademark brushstroke. He has full and total ownership, because we cannot separate the man from the mark.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Montagne Sainte-Victoire by Paul Cezanne

'Montagne Sainte-Victoire' by Paul Cezanne

Cezanne rightly deserves his prominent position in art history. The land contains both buildings and fields, which create tight angular patterns in the bottom third of the image. The mountain stands in contrast to those angular shapes. The shapes within the mountain are soft like material, even though we know rock to be hard and structured. This is the softest part of the image and Cezanne could have painted it in many different ways, but he chooses to soften the mountain and harden the land. Cezanne painted this site many times and in different images the mountain is softened. These are realistic images, yet they also express something of the artist. They do not only reveal the mountain, they reveal the man. 

'Montagne Sainte-Victoire' by Paul Cezanne

They reveal an emotional attachment to the area. He created a large body of work featuring this landscape, which already suggests a highly emotional connection. Just viewing the work encourages you to visit. It isn't just the beautiful scene. Cezanne is revealing his love for the area and when you view these images, you see the location through his loving gaze. He reveals his connection, rather than just a mountain.
  
'Montagne Sainte-Victoire' by Paul Cezanne

'Montagne Sainte-Victoire' by Paul Cezanne

Click here to view the video on youtube

Friday, June 29, 2012

Listen

'Listen' by Jina Wallwork

When they talk of the worst of you, listen to me. When they point out all of your flaws and expect them to be acknowledged, listen to me. As they criticize all that you are, turn your back on their words. When surrounded by darkness, let my words cut through the sorrow. Listen to me because I love you. It is through love that I see your greatness and your humanity. See yourself through loving eyes.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Lost Song

'The Lost Song' by Jina Wallwork

The music is tied in knots. Locked within a piece of sheet music, it will only find freedom when it is performed. The song could contain emotion and experience. Once heard it could remind you that you are not alone in the journey you face. Your experience can be understood because another has also travelled this road. The song may contain empathy that will be valuable to the listener. If the performer does not play their music, the song could be lost forever.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Self III

'Self III' by Jina Wallwork

My old friend, she tells me that I have changed. Does she believe that my personality has been captured by death and is now lost forever. As I look at myself in the mirror, I can see myself through her eyes. I do not recognize my reflection. I am not changing; I am returning to who I really am. Can I separate my perception from hers? I would have liked to have remained friends but as I look through her eyes, I know that I have no desire to become the person she believes me to be. I am confronting the false self that exists only within her vision. I am not angry or disappointed. I wanted to find space for who I really am. I know now, that I was looking in the wrong places. It feels good to breathe. I have been trapped behind a label and squashed within a box and now all I want to do is stretch.

I didn’t realize I would reach a point in life when freedom of expression would be so important to me. I did not realize how much, I had denied myself the opportunity. I thought there could be times of laughter but also moments of seriousness. I didn’t realize the confusion it creates when you move between the two. They could not see that I was anything more, than the joker I had become. I had become as two dimensional as the joker card within the deck, and they could see nothing beyond it. I had enjoyed seeing them laugh and smile, but the price has been very high. She tells me that I should stop pretending and be myself. It is exactly what I am doing. She cannot understand that I am refusing to conform to her perception. I discard the person she believes me to be. I do not recognize myself within her eyes.