New Art Terms. New Art.

Upon my visit to the NEW Burchfield Penney Art Center this weekend, I picked up two new art terms and discovered some local artists whose work made me smile.

Giclée: commonly pronounced "zhee-clay," is an invented name for the process of making fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing The term is often used instead of Inkjet in art shops. The word "giclée," from the French language word "le gicleur" meaning "nozzle," or more specifically "gicler" meaning "to squirt, spurt, or spray." It was coined by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working in the field, to represent any inkjet based digital print used as fine art. The intent of that name was to distinguish commonly known industrial "Iris proofs" from the type of fine art prints artists were producing on those same types of printers. The name was originally applied to fine art prints created on Iris printers in a process invented in the early 1990s but has since come to mean any high quality ink-jet print.

Gouache: Pronounced "Gwash" (rhymes with "squash") (from the Italian guazzo, "water paint, splash") or bodycolor (the term preferred by art historians) is a type of paint consisting of pigment suspended in water. Gouache differs from watercolor in that the particles are larger, the ratio of pigment to water is much higher, and an additional, inert, white pigment such as chalk is also present. Like all watermedia, it is diluted with water. (Gum Arabic is also present as a binding agent just like in water color.) This makes gouache heavier and more opaque, with greater reflective qualities.

This piece by Michael Zwack, entitled Abstract Wilderness (oil on wood), caught my eye. I've always been attracted to muted, earth tones. My decor, my clothes, accessories all tend to stay within a natural palette. Once the colors drew me in, I found it notepad worthy because of the image. It's uninhibited and that splash of spontaneity in the bottom corner settles well with me. It's a piece I'd hang in my home. Why? Because it would blend well with my surroundings. It wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb. I like my art to be complimentary. Not a bold statement. At least for the art I'd choose to display on my walls. Because at the same time, I also find myself drawn to what may be the extreme opposite: brightly colored pop, modern and contemporary art. Which leads me to the next two pieces I scribbled down in pen...

Okay so I have an obsession with polka dots, so I naturally loved this. Plus the colors, I must admit, are incredibly fun. It's Ani Hoover's Unhinged. Materials: ink, acrylic and spray-paint on Yupo paper. Dimensions: 5' X 30'. Yupo paper is a synthetic plastic paper and it's essential to the development of her paintings as it allows her to add and remove paint from its surface. Also, the slickness of the paper aids in creating lines from drips and shapes from puddles of color. Visit Ani Hoover's website for more drippy, trippy circle fun.

I rounded the corner...and BAM! Wholly Twinkies?! I'm not a Twinkie eater myself, but I found this larger than life painting of them quite appetizing. Up close those little cakes (well big cakes) looked perfectly moist and golden. Bravo A.J. Fries. By the way, the piece is called Crush. Fries has a thing for highlighting the mass consumerism of American popular culture. I have yet to see his oversized paintings of Oreos and Ring Pops. Yum.
Okay, so I don't eat Twinkies now, but I once consumed them as a youth, along with those great Little Debbie snacks too, so yes, there just so happens to be a bit of nostalgia bouncing off that shiny plastic package. Thanks A.J. for making me feel like a kid again.
So there it is. My new nugget of knowledge from this weekend. I've realized, although I've grown out of many things like Barbies, collecting stickers and eating Twinkies, there is something I know I will never outgrown: the desire to learn more and ask the question "why?"


My Grocery Store Fascination Continues

The people. The smells. The colorful produce. The overwhelming amount of packaged food items. A baking sheet, a mango, a box of bow tie spaghetti, sushi, frozen turkey, PB&J, an ice cream cake, garbage bags, Tylenol, hairspray, Kiss My Face soap, soy crisps, tofu, bulk candy, Windex, dog food, granola, curry, mittens, a bouquet of flowers, a tree of rosemary, herbal tea, the alphabet in pretzels...none of which I bought on my last quick run to the grocery store, but all things I could have walked away with...oh along with a non-fat chai latte, Lisa Frank themed notebook and new paperback book, too.
Today it was the people. It was so amusing to watch...young and old zigzag throughout the store, some with a definite plan of attack, others casually strolling. The weather calls for layers this time of year and folks look a bit more plump in their stature. Rouge cheeks enter the automatic doors, only to later fade beneath florescent bulbs somewhere between aisle 5 and 13. A child detaches from her mother's pinkie and heads toward the checkout line's ascending rows of candy. While old ladies (yes, plural) eat grapes straight from the vented plastic ziplocked baggies.
This last observation was not the first, but rather one I've had countless times. The clincher, to what I thought may be a commonality of this population, was seeing more than one elderly woman pop a grape in her mouth today, which has allowed me to conclude that 1.) old ladies love grapes and 2.) don't give a shit where those grapes have been, they'll still eat them straight from the bag. Maybe it's the generation. It has to be. I've grown up in a world that is overly sensitive about germs and hygiene: hand sanitizer on every desk, Clorox bleach wipes in every home, etc. We're germaphobes. That's all there is to it. Maybe all that alcohol and bleach isn't so good for us. Have we ever thought about that? I have. But am I ready to eat my grapes sans a rinse? Let's not get crazy now.
The next time I go to buy grapes...maybe...just maybe...I'll sample one from the bag...if they're organic...


The First...

Apparently I had once thought blogging would be an interesting "something."  A hobby, maybe a creative outlet but then I guess I changed my mind: I found when signing up for this Blog that I had started the process only to abandon it after the initial step. After months without giving it a thought, here I am again. I by no means have any intention of creating some narcissistic world of copy. What's brought me back to this blogging concept is more or less a desire to learn. Learn from myself. Learn from others.  Document my thoughts so that I may reflect on them at a later time. Thoughts Punctuated will be my digital version of the little floral notepad with elastic closure I stow away in my shoulder bag until something unexpected and new brings me to pull it out and jot or draw something down. A documentation of a memory I hope to never forget. A new word that hasn't yet made it to my internal vocab. list. Or words to a song, that song, the song that keeps flashing itself at me without revealing who and what it really is.  But with the lyrics scribbled haphazardly upon those little nude pages, I know a Google search of the lyrics will connect us...finally.  

And I suppose this blog will also provide a creative outlet. One for word doodlings, experimentation with computer graphics programs and possibly a home for some of my photos.  I have no real expectations, hopes or desires.  I like that.  It's liberating.  It's refreshing.  Sort of like a no- strings-attached relationship.  Hmm.

Enough babble.  The images I've posted are a result of my need for creative expression this weekend.  Nothing fancy. But it was fun and it did the trick.  "The Best American Essays of the Century" by Joyce Carol Oates is a wonderful collection of essays from the twentieth century's most beloved writers, and it just so happens to contain within its pages "The Figure a Poem Makes" by Robert Frost.  I've been enamored with it lately.  And I find the figure his poem makes completely and utterly sexy.  Words are sexy to me. Words strung together in harmony even more sexy.  I wanted to take his words and visually  shape them.  Give them sex appeal.