"I would like the work to be non-work. This means that it would find its way beyond my preconceptions...It is the unknown quantity from which and where I want to go. As a thing, an object, it accedes to its non-logical self. It is something, it is nothing." -Eva Hesse-
Build your portfolio while hiking along some of the mid- Atlantic’s most beautiful streams. Photographers are encouraged to explore new visual approaches to capturing light, sense of place, abstraction, and details such as flowing streams and surrounding woodlands, using adjustable film or digital cameras.
In case of inclement weather, an indoor excursion featuring relevant exhibitions and events replaces the day’s hike.
Photographers may share images and comments on the class blog. There is a final classroom critique. Students may use any adjustable (not point-and-shoot) film-based or digital format
Instructor Barbara Southworth specializes in place-based and landscape imagery. She has many years of hiking experience.
Participants provide their own transportation and should dress appropriately, wear sturdy footwear, and bring water and snacks or lunch. Hikes in this series are 5 miles or longer and are rated moderate to strenuous. Students sign a statement of responsibility and should check with their doctor to make sure they have the appropriate fitness level for this class.
(No class April 24/8 sessions)
Fri., March 18, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. (Classroom Orientation)
Sun., March 20—May 1, 6 Full-Day Hikes (Sunrise to Sunset)
CHAMPS – Capitol Hill’s Chamber of Commerce and H Street Main Street present ARTventures on H. From 5:30-8pm 12 different galleries and art spaces along the H Street , NE Corridor will open their doors for a special art walk. Participants will be given an ARTventures “passport,” to be punched at each stop on the art walk. For every punch received, attendees receive an extra 2% discount that evening from 7-9:30pm at any of 17 participating restaurants, cafes, and bars on H Street, NE. Passports will be available at each of the art walk stops; attendees choose their own starting points. http://www.whatthehill.org/uncategorized/artventuresonh-art-walk-dine-around-224/
Sunday February 27th:
The Fresh Produce Festival of Live Art is taking place at The Fridge Gallery in Washington, DC from February 4th to the 27th. The Fridge has over over 80 local and national performance artists to come and perform without restrictions!
You probably haven’t noticed, but for the past few months, I haven’t been posting many new photos. It’s partly due to time, it’s mostly due to a problem.
The problem has popped up somewhere in the developing process and I haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause. Or, get rid of it. And, it looks like it’s here to stay unless I can troubleshoot my way to it’s core.
It is happening in every batch I develop - the top half of the top reel contains bubble marks. Like these:
When it began, it was sporadic and I figured either I was not filling the tank with enough liquid or the agitation was too rough. So, I make sure to fill the tank as high as possible and gently tip the tank back and forth at each interval to avoid excessive amounts of bubbles. Yet, the the bubbles are still there.
The problem is not new - this photo was taken and developed in the fall of 2007. But, only recently have they become a regular fixture in every batch of film I process. EVERY BATCH.
In some cases, their occurrence adds to the photo (see creepy mailbox rodeo pinata above). In most cases, however, the photo is simply ruined:
I use a plastic Patterson tank which holds either three rolls of 35mm, two rolls of 120mm, or one of each, and smaller tanks that hold two rolls of 35mm or one roll of 120mm film. The affected film is ALWAYS the top roll in the tank, and the top half of the film closest to the top of the tank. The marks show up on both 35mm and 120mm film and are not tank-specific.
During processing, I make sure to do the one thing every single one of my developing books recommend to avoid bubbles: rap the tank against the counter to break them up. I have researched the problem online for months, reading all the film forums I can find, even posting my own questions asking for help. Unfortunately, most of the responses have been the popular canned answer from the books.
Unfortunately, these bubbles have affected not only my film but also film that my friends have entrusted me to process. And, there is nothing more horrible than unrolling a strip of a friend’s negatives to see these blotches and having to tell them that I ruined their film. The batch I developed yesterday produced just that.
However, I think tonight I have stumbled upon a possible explanation for the bubbles - wetting agent on the reels and in the tank.
Wetting agent, or Photo-Flo, is a surfactant added to the developing tank in the final step to reduce water surface tension so that the film will dry without streaks or water marks. (An example of a water mark can be seen in this photo). In addition to the bubbles, I have noticed an abnormal amount of foaming with the chemicals used in each step: developer, stop bath, fixer, and hypo clearing agent. The presence of residual Photo-Flo on the reels and tank could possibly lead to excessive foaming, which would explain why the bubbles only show on the top half of the film at the top of the tank (sort of like when you pour a beer with a big foamy head).
Another potential cause could be dissolved air in the water, which, from what I understand, is more prevalent during the winter months. Though, the suggested solution for that is a pre-soak, which I already perform every time.
So, now that I have identified a potential root cause, what's my next move? Clean all reels and tanks to remove residual wetting agent and any other chemical cross-contamination that might be present. Then, I develop some film and use a throw-away roll in the top reel. Fingers crossed it works!
Are you an experienced film developer? What are some of the problems you have experienced in your own process? Have any suggestions for me? Please leave any suggestions and recommendations in the comments below!
Elizabeth Turk is a contemporary sculptor who in 2010 became a MacArthur Fellow receiving $500,000 dollars.Turk's most monumental works to date are her sixteen marble sculptures, "The Collars." For Turk to become a MacArthur fellow was no easy feat and only 20 to 30 people are chosen per year. Not only is the award without geographical restrictions, so is Turk's work as seen below photographed in a site specific location.
The MacArthur Foundation does not receive an application from its potential fellows, but rather one must be nominated in order to become a fellow. "The MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. In keeping with this purpose, the Foundation awards fellowships directly to individuals rather than through institutions. Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers."(http://www.macfound.org/site/c.lkLXJ8MQKrH/b.4536879/k.9B87/About_the_Program.htm). In total there are only 828 fellows that have been named from 1981 to September of 2010.
The grant Turk received was largely in part for her work on, "The Collars." In this series Turk transforms marble into delicate lace "collars" that are inspired by lace making, Elizabethan fashion, the architectural, botanical, and skeletal structures. Turk manages to take one of the most difficult materials and turns it into a delicate object that is intricate in everyway.Turk uses white marble, which is traditionally prone to fracture and has been used in sculptures since the classical times in Greece and Rome. Her preference for white marble comes from its softeness and its "relative" resistance to shattering. She uses a variety of tools such as electric grinders, files, and even small dental tools to achieve her intricate patterns and shapes in "The Collars." Turk also works in video, photography, and drawing.
Turk received her B.A. (1983) from Scripps college and an MFA (1994) from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has exhibited in a number of solo and group shows including the Mint Museum of Art (North Carolina), the University of Virginia Art Museum, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington D.C.) to name a few.
The Smithsonian Associates Studio Art department provides a core curriculum each term in addition to several specialty classes that are only offered occasionally. One such class is Neon Light Sculpture taught by Craig Kraft who has been teaching with the Smithsonian Associates for over a decade. He teaches Neon Light Sculpture in the winter session and his class generally fills. I had the pleasure of attending his first lecture which was informative and inspiring. When one thinks about sculpture, neon light is not a traditional material, nor does it normally make one think of fine art; rather one thinks about the commercial aspects of neon. However after seeing Kraft's work in person, these pieces are clearly art. I was able to see the work that went into their creation and appreciate the intensity within the sculptures themselves.
Class begins with an introduction to neon light, including basic properties and elements of neon light, its history and development, and examples of work from other artists using neon light. In subsequent classes participants will work with one tube of neon and learn to bend the tubes, as well as observe demonstrations of the process of tube bombarding, and rare gas filling. While this all sounds like one needs to be a master of neon light in order to participate that is not true. The class is open to beginners as well as advanced students.
Kraft has an extensive educational background, he received his BA as well as his MA from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He has exhibited widely throughout the US, has led the International Sculpture Conference two times, and has both public and private commissions. One of his most recent public commissions, "Vivace" is now installed at the new Watha T. Daniel- Shaw library in Washington DC. Please go see this great piece in person these sculptures look amazing up close!
Kraft has been sculpting with neon for over thirty years. His newest work as most artists work does, has evolved a great deal from his earlier figurative work. In my humble opinion these newest pieces which Kraft calls Unintentional Drawings, are very successful. Below are his Unintentional Drawings #1, #2, #3. What drew me to these Unintentional Drawings was the contrast between their free and careless appearance and the detailed work that I know went into their creation. Work that while creative and rewarding is also exacting and time consuming. I was also attracted to the narrow palette of color Kraft used in this series.
Gallery Plan B 1530 Fourteenth Street NW, Washington DC 20005
Through Sunday, March 6 Paintings by Paula Amt / Sculptures by Rod Glover
"Paula Amt's paintings are about things that catch her eye––insignificant items or images are brought to significance as the looming, silhouetted subjects of her paintings. Rod Glover offers a very personal body of work with challenges to himself regarding materials and location. He incorporates scorched wood and found items in a collection of assembled sculptures." For more information visit: http://www.galleryplanb.com/artists/rod-glover/artist.html
National Museum of Women in the Arts P(art)ners: Gifts from the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection
Through Sunday, March 6
P(art)ners is a show made of thirty photographs and sculptures from the Podestas'. Their unique eye for collecting has brought together these artists in one show from there collection of over 300 pieces that the couple donated to NMWA. With the focus of the exhibition on images of the female body that offer multiple interpretations of feminine identity. The contemporary architecture images are augmented with figural works. Podestas notes, "completely and surprisingly asexual. Yet they are what remain of us when we're not there."
Features new work by artist Chul Beom Park with two large installations studies and mixed media construction.Park is reflecting on communication and culture through the exploration of language, media, and selective history. Park has created three dimensional pieces utilizing oil painting, collage, printmaking, and bookmaking. For more information visit:
Drawing is what I believe to be one of the foundations for all other artmaking.Improving your drawing can really inform and shape the rest of your artwork. One can do a quick sketch, mulitple poses or drawings in a short period of time, or a more refined study in a longer sitting. Rarely what is in your head can be translated onto paper without a lot of practice. While drawing can be relaxing it can also be utterly terrifying; especially for those just beginning or for those who are a little rusty. The large expanse of white paper can be daunting. So here are some musings to get your pencil, charcoal, or pastel going.
Many people, not all, want to be able to just draw without warming up their hands. My hands need warming up and so does my brain. After doing something not related to art for most of my day I need to transition my mind and my hands into the creative side of my brain. Begin with quick 30 second sketches, drawing quick lines and shapes to get the "feel" for what you are drawing. Loosen up and bring your focus to your drawing. While you are doing this you are mapping out the figure or object, if you are drawing the figure take note of where the hand might be in relation to the other hand or the hip, the angle of the body, positioning of the feet and so on. Become familiar with what you are drawing. Move from 30 second sketches to four or five minutes poses, still being loose in your drawing, with no real detailing of the subject, but trying to capture the full body or form of what you are trying to draw. Next, create a few five minute studies or poses, then move to a longer study of twenty to thirty minutes.
While the video recommends certain pencils and materials I recommend starting with a grade H or HB pencil. These lighter lines created by the H or HB are more forgiving and mistakes can be corrected. Expressive (darker) lines can be added as you become more satifisied with the rendering of your subject using a 4B or 6B pencil.
Many struggle with creating the "perfect drawing," specifically when just beginning. Who doesn't want to be the master draftsman like Da Vinci,Tiepolo, and Michelangelo? When I initially started drawing the figure my proportions were usually cartoonish. An invaluable suggestion from my drawing teacher was to stop looking down at my paper. LOOK at what you are drawing. When one stops focusing on the drawing and starts focusing on the subject in front of us we usually become more accurate. Imagine that!
Do not worry about capturing every single detail while drawing especially if you are a beginner or have not picked up a pencil in a while. Really look at your subject and decide which details to capture that represent your figure or subject best and are necessary in order to convey what you are drawing. For example, when just beginning to work from the figure it is not necessary to capture every fingernail but to correctly capture the position of the hand. Try to capture those essential areas and then decide whether or not you want more detail if time and patience allows. As you are finishing the shape, contour, and positiong of your subject(s) begin to think about shading and the light on your subject. Take note of the light, which direction it is coming from, be consistent with the direction,and make sure to be multi-tonal, adding varience in the shading, not just making the drawing black and white. By adding shading a drawing can quickly transform from being flat to three dimensional.