hail album art

The HAIL logo represents the 5 movements of the piece and their different meters, going from 4 to 8 (back to 4). I originally started making ‘real life’ versions of the logo because it’s just fun, but during the course of the Kickstarter campaign for this project, I’ve been doing a different version every day. I’ve tried to use these as promotional content that’s original.

self portrait practice

Here’s an art challenge to everyone: get better at self portraits. Here are the rules:

  1. Time limit is 15 minutes.
  2. Paper size is sketchbook size (roughly letter size).
  3. Sketchbook must be held in hand while standing up, looking into mirror.
  4. Use only a pencil and an eraser (nothing fancy).
  5. Start with toned paper which does not count toward your time limit.
  6. After time limit, write one new observation about the process on your drawing.

I used this as a warm-up exercise for my high school students in advanced drawing,  and everybody got better.

This was partly inspired by a TED Talk by Matt Cutts on trying something new for 30 days – mostly the idea that you can pretty much pull off improving at anything you try for 30 days.

As a challenge, there is one extra rule: post your progress somewhere on the internet. Below are day by day scans of my progress.

definition of art 2015-01-06

components of an artwork

A work of art has been fully realized when an artist actively participates in the actions of creating, shaping, and framing. When only one or two actions have been done, this only means that the artwork is not as fully realized as it could be.

creating

Since ideas can exist independently of things, there are no physical properties associated with this action. Creating an artwork could be anywhere from having an inclination to make a particular thing to a deep meaning behind something.

shaping

Shaping is the rearrangement of raw materials in order to trade one system of organization for another.

framing

The spatial and temporal boundaries which contain the work establish a frame for an artwork’s beginning and ending in space-time. The simplest form of framing is a change in perspective.

aesthetics

An assumption I make when using proportions in placement, repetition, size, and so on is that mathematical  relationships (such as the golden ratio) can be detected at a subconscious level and higher, and in this way are interesting to the viewer.

role of appropriation

When one artist uses another artist’s art, the former has had an active part in at least creating and shaping, and includes framing if the entire artwork was used. Examples of other people’s art (OPA) include photographing an uncited source, use of a font the artist did not create, and collage. My work seeks to be appropriation-free in order to maximize originality in the creative phase of art making.

torah stitch by stitch typesetting

to-engageThe nature of my involvement in this project has changed for the better. Putting my graphic design skills to use, I am now one of 3 typesetters for the project, and will be creating the diagrams which participants receive upon signup. I consider this to be a great honor and am privileged to have found a way to combine typography and Torah. There is a depth of personal meaning for me in this intersection.

If you’re wondering why the typesetting process involves more than just making sure all the letters are in the right order, there are many other considerations which must be made. In order to justify the columns, for example, one must use a combination of word spacing, kerning, and stretching certain parts of certain letters.

My stitching contribution to the project will continue as well, but I plan on slowing down in order to allow time to do typesetting.

Don’t forget to sign up to be a part of this incredible project.

torah stitch by stitch

This post should explain the images I’ve been posting on Instagram tagged with #torahstitchbystitch. I am part of the Torah Stitch by Stitch project, a global effort to create a cross-stitch embroidered copy of the Torah (the 5 books of Moses). Posting daily images of my progress keeps me from slacking off and hopefully will inspire others working on the project to keep moving forward.

Part of the project participation agreement is that you will try to document and share the process. My usual routine is to stitch at least one letter while I’m listening to music, sitting in my kids’ room as they fall asleep. I spend on average 20 minutes a night.

Read the info on the site linked above, but please ask me questions or give me comments (you can comment below this post). This is a very exciting thing to be working on and I would love to talk about it.

sphere of fifths

check out those shadows
check out those shadows

The circle of fifths is a music theory model several hundred years old which describes the relationships between diatonic scales. It can be seen as an illustration of infinite chord progressions. Sphere of Fifths uses the idea of infinite knots to represent musical cycles, and uses pentagonal knot designs of varying complexity to bring the music theory model into 3 dimensions. When the light source is changed to different angles, shadows from the opaque parts of the glass recombine in complex shadows; the viewer of the piece gets to decide on some of its content by taking this into consideration.

The piece appears to be held together tenuously, the same way a motive in a good piece of music will hold everything together without having to overshadowing things. The wood and strings are reminiscent of orchestra instruments. The knots themselves are similarly suggestive, and not directly representative of a circle of fifths diagram.

the rough draught with a thumbs up from the artist
the rough draught with a thumbs up from the artist

This piece was donated to the KJDS‘s 2014 fundraising event, Some Enchanted Evening.

proof

proof close up
Proof that I was Where I Said I was at the Time I was There
wood, paper, paint, cremains of 1999 senior show
2013

 

background

  1. Students who graduated around the millennium from Carson-Newman College [sic] were invited to submit recent works for a show to coincide with the university’s 2013 homecoming. The purpose of writing so much about this piece is mainly to explain my artwork to the other people in the show, since it was done partly for them.
  2. A geode is a regular-ol’ looking rock that, when cracked open, reveals a secret world of gemstone. If someone handed you a geode, you would have to take it on faith that in the center were amethysts. It would not be until you destroyed the rock-ness (the smooth, round, appearance of something that looks uniformly rocky ) of the geode that you discovered its real nature.
  3. Years after my senior show in 1999, I decided that 1) instead of trying to maintain the pristine nature of several of the pieces and 2) as a way of ‘moving on’ since they physically took up a lot of room and actually got in the way of working on other stuff, I would burn them and save the cremains for a future project.
  4. The development of my optophonetic alphabet has been an ongoing project since high school, and as such has become a part of my artwork. It, along with keeping a journal, was something I was always working on through college.

process

The cremains were the material I had first, so they were good to go.

proof model

I had the general idea for the form in my head, but I couldn’t work out if it were possible to really exist when I sat down to measure materials. I tried sketching out the form, but I wanted to be sure it would really occupy the space I wanted it to. So, I used SketchUp to create a model on the computer. As I was creating this model, I decided that 21 inches in any direction was a good size; each cube would be a 1-inch cube, for a total of 2321 cubes.

2013-10-10 06.31.50In order to use wood for the basic structure, I had to plane down 2 by 12s to get precise 1-inch pieces of wood to work with. Thanks to my dad for this, because he suffered through running boards through the planer for 2 days with me. After that, I built the structure according to the model.

With the cubes stacked the way they are, only 1326 faces of these cubes are visible to the outside. I used this number as the number of characters I would use for the written message which would appear on the cubes. The form as a whole is based around a cube itself, and so characters on the faces could be read from six different ways. To easily type my message, I needed a font, which I created using FontForge.

proof font

proof in excel

I also needed a 2-d way of plotting where the characters would go in 3 dimensions, for which I used Excel (which I like to refer to as Microsoft Grid, since that is often how it it used). After writing a message, I created .DXF files

 using Inkscape for use with my [amazon_link id=”B008KPBFSI” target=”_blank” locale=”US” container=”” container_class=”” ]Silhouette Cameo[/amazon_link] paper cutter. As the letters were cut out, I glued them in the right place on the structure and painted it with several coats of primer.

meaning

finishing touchesThe message written all over this piece is the plain meaning. I wrote about being in school with the other people in the show, about how lucky I was to be around them, and the sense of healthy competition which pushed us all to take things to the next level.

One thing I still like imagining is the pieces in the gallery at night, with no one there, but the presence of the artworks being there, sort of representing each of us. For me, the whole show was about creating a monument to our time at school together.

3d bitmap letters

IMG_0055
the finished product

I made a 3d bitmap word for my dad for his birthday. This will show you how to make your own. The process isn’t difficult but there are a few things you can do to make it easier.

Planning

IMG_0054First, choose a word you want to make a 3d bitmap version of. Write it out the way you would like it to appear, using a big fat marker (of a color you can easily see through) on graph paper. Use a pencil to fill in the squares which will actually become the boxes. Count the squares; this is how many cubes you will need to create. Add squares here and there if you think there might be areas which will end up being not that sturdy.

This is all quicker than using a graphic program to make a bitmapped word.

Set-up

Now that you know how many cubes to cut out, decide how big you want the finished product to be. Here is a cube template you should easily be able to resize to whatever you want. Keep in mind that only using 3 letters and a 1 inch cube my finished product was 34 inches wide.

Construction

I found it easiest to glue up columns first, then glue the columns together.

Gluing the columns together first allows a little dry time which makes the columns a little more sturdy when pressing into the rest of the sculpture.

The Finished Product

IMG_0056
3-d bitmapped word

You may want to glue the finished product to a board. When I presented mine, I snuck it into my parents’ house and put this on the dining room table for extra wow effect.