Getting My Hands Dirty: Adventures with Ceramics

Even if we’re involved in art, we tend to stick to mediums that are familiar. For example, my college campus has a ceramics studio in their art building, but I have never been inside in all my three years at this school. Until now.

DSC08746This weekend, I strapped on an apron and got my

sister, who is an art minor, to give me a tour. She began with the bucket of wet, slimy clay (called “slip”). After this clay has the excess water removed, it’s usable for projects. Next, she took me to the wedging tables, where artists knead the clay until it’s solid enough to work with. When I tried wedging, I was surprised by how fast the clay dries out.

Then I got to try wheel-thrown pottery. First, my sister showed me how to center the clay by bracing my palms on the rapidly spinning wheel. I couldn’t get my lump centered. Then I pushed too hard and pulled it completely off the wheel. After a couple more tries, we decided I should just make my object by hand.

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Filling in the Accidental Gaps

By Anna Rose Meeds

“Accidental gap” – When I first heard that phrase, I did not understand what it meant.  Something that has a hole in it?  Leaving out something that you were supposed to pack?  A pause when the speaker forgets what to say?

Well, all of these guessed definitions form part of an accidental gap.  According to Glottopedia which is a linguistic website, “an accidental gap is a non-existing word which is expected to exist given the hypothesized morphological rules of a particular language.”  Put plainly, it is a word that does not exist in our language but does in other ones such as “unsad” or “love between best friends.”  Here is a great video that shows this.

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Mrow?

Did you love face painting as a child? Were you one of those kids at the fair who begged your parents to pay for a tiger-face paint job? Did you get into your mom’s make-up when you were little?

snow leopardIf you’re like me in that you like to use paint, but you’re terrible at it, then this short art burst is for you. Using your face as a canvas is a lot easier than paper. Plus, you can use your fingers. Double bonus.

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Abstract Art: Harder Than You Think

220px-No_61_Mark_Rothko
No. 61 (Rust and Blue) by Rothko

Some people naturally appreciate modern art. I am not one of them. Several times, I’ve found myself standing in an art gallery, staring at a painting called something like “Red Line on White Canvas,” and thinking, “I could do that.”

Today, I actually tried it. I got out my colored pencils . . .  and had absolutely no ideas. I hadn’t realized how hard it would be to create art that didn’t look like physical objects.

Onement 1 by Newman
Onement 1 by Newman

To give myself some inspiration, I browsed the work of two abstract expressionist painters, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Rothko’s paintings depict colored rectangles. Newman’s works feature bright colors with thin vertical lines running through them. I’m not a very good artist, but I decided to imitate both of these artists. How hard could it be to draw some lines and color blocks?

It was much harder than I thought. Drawing the shapes was fairly easy, but it was hard to create a picture that was visually pleasing. I couldn’t explain why, but my pictures were less interesting than the originals. My rectangles looked like random blobs. My lines weren’t very striking.

My imitation of Rothko
My imitation of Rothko

This reminded me of a conversation several of my friends who are art majors had about abstract art. They said that it was hard to create good composition with such limited subject matter.

While I still don’t understand modern art, I gained a new appreciation for artists who can make such a simple structure hold the viewers’ attention. It’s a deceptively simple art form.

My imitation of Newman
My imitation of Newman

Need to Find a New Identity, Eh?

Trip to England
Watson and Holmes certainly had accents.

By Anna Rose Meeds

Today, my optimism and energy seemed drained away by some invisible force.  For some odd reason, every artistic idea flopped that I contemplated doing for this blog.  How was I suppose to write about creativity when all I wanted was to get through the day in one piece?

Thus, I decided to take on a new identity for a short time.  This evening, my friend invited me to a tea party.  Instead of sneaking away and hiding behind a novel, I will attend and chat with others.  However, every sentence that I say will be in a different voice or accent.

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Appreciation Through the Creative Arts

Do you know someone who is going through a hard time right now? Are you trying to find ways to encourage them? Have you considered looking at crafting in the creative arts?

Crafts can sound childish, but they can be highly effective in giving someone a little extra love. I have a friend who is going through a bit of hard time right now, and since it was her birthday yesterday, I decided to create a unique sort of card, not only to say happy birthday, but also to remind her how much I love her.

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Support Local Arts

Greater TunaBy Anna Rose Meeds
One of the best ways to add a bit of creativity into your life is by attending an artistic event.  Whether you visit a sculpture museum, attend a ballet, listen to an orchestra, or watch a musical, there is much to be gained from supporting art.

On Wednesday, I went to see the two-man play Greater Tuna at my university.  Scathingly hilarious, satire filled this entire show which kept the audience laughing and engaged with the story.  Even better, the two actors did a brilliant job of playing 20 characters.  Some of the costume changes were less than 15 seconds, but they both remained believable and amusing.  Everything from a harried housewife to an enthusiastic Baptist preacher to a dog-killing old woman to a sweet little boy appeared on the stage.  By the end of the show, you have met many types of caricatures of people from a small town.

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Sherlock & Scones

 Is it just me, or does everyone seem to be talking about Sherlock Holmes lately? The first few episodes of season three have been aired recently, and all of my BBC nerd-friends have been talking non-stop about it.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t sound so pompous. I like watching Sherlock too. 🙂 Anyway, in honor of our American love for all-things-English, I decided to make some scones for today’s short art burst.

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Ukrainian Priests & Lunch-Break Photography

Last week, I came across this picture in my Facebook news feed:

Photo credit: Pinterest

It’s a photograph of priests from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church standing in between the peaceful protestors and the armed police forces in Kiev. When it was taken, they didn’t know if Ukraine would break out into a civil war, or even if it even survive as a country.

This image captures the priests’ bravery and poise during a time of nation-wide unrest. It reminded me of what draws me to photography—its ability to tell stories and communicate emotions.

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