Saturday, November 13, 2010

Old Paintings

I've mentioned that I'm working on a new website (going INSANE in the process, but I'll save that for another post...). I let my old website expire since it desperately needed a revamp anyhow. The problem is, my old website included both my traditional art and graphic work, but the new site needs to be strictly a professional portfolio of my graphic design work. That means that for the time being my fine art/illustration work is kind of homeless. I plan to use my Flickr for now until I decide on a more permanent home for it.

I had artwork dating back to 2001 (my first year as a BFA Painting major) on my old website. Most of the photos of my older paintings are so awful that they're not even usable, and some pieces I have no record of at all. Of course now I really regret being so careless about keeping track of them...lesson learned. Luckily, I do still have the originals of a few of these older works so I'm able to re-photograph them. I did two of my favorites today. These still aren't the best photos, but decent enough to share.

Ammonoidea

"Ammonoidea." Acrylic, pencil, and newspaper on canvas. 9x12 inches. Circa 2003.

The Forecast

"The Forecast." Acrylic, pencil, and newspaper on canvas. 9x12 inches. Circa 2003.

The Forecast, detail

Detail of "The Forecast."

I should also note, since I didn't picture it, that the paint continues around on the edges of the canvas of both of them.

These were a couple of the very first pieces I did that I actually felt were successful when I finished them - successful not only as paintings but as paintings that clearly dealt with natural history/science as the subject matter, which had been my goal for some time. I really struggled, and continue to constantly struggle, to find some kind of balance or agreement between my love of art, my love of scientific topics as subject matter, and the difference between so-called "illustration" and so-called "fine art."

My work has gone through a lot of changes and phases since I did these, but I still revisit this style from time to time. These two pieces are definitely a good representation of my paintings for at least a couple years starting around 2003.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Avian Enrichment Specialist

I hope everyone enjoyed Halloween this year! It seems like I never share any photos of myself on my blog, so here's a few from early in the evening on Halloween. The first one I took to use in making my official employee badge. Tim took the last two.

The Zookeeper

The Zookeeper's official employee badge

I have to admit, one of my favorite things about being in graphic design is the ability to make convincing fakes of various printed items. It didn't take long at all to throw together a pretty nice employee name badge. The logo is not mine - it belongs to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo. I was planning to create an original logo for a fictional zoo, but I couldn't justify taking that much time away from homework projects. I do love the Omaha Zoo, so it worked out fine.

The Zookeeper

The Zookeeper

We also took photos of me holding Elmo, our cockatiel, but sadly the lighting was so awful that I couldn't even perform a successful photoshop revival on them. Elmo was being surprisingly cooperative considering my unfamiliar headgear, so it's a shame they didn't turn out.

I'm definitely thankful that there was no snow or sleet or hurricane wind or any other lame fun-ruining South Dakota weather events, but I was still uncomfortably cold! At the very least, I should've found cargo pants instead of shorts. I think it was in the 50s during the day, but as soon as the sun went down I was freezing. It was worth it though; I really like how this costume turned out.

I kind of doubt that there's an official position called "Avian Enrichment Specialist," but surely somebody has to play with all those parrots all day long, and I do believe I'm just that somebody. In my dreams anyway.