Yesterday's spray-painting exercise was to see if I could do stencil prints from photos of my Svart Höna, solid black melanistic chickens, a heritage breed from Sweden. The trick was to see if I could get their facial features to read even though they are pure black. (Even their bones and the insides of their mouths are black.)
And a hen:
Spray paint on paper. Self-portrait based on a photo by Emma Dodge Hanson.
Produced in an edition of 8.
A self portrait: Stencil , spraypaint on pizzabox. (Getting the hang of cutting stencils for portraiture.)
And a rooster: I think you can probably tell I really loved this rooster.
I have been playing with Peter Stoyko's SystemViz iconography.
SystemViz is a research project by Peter Stoyko exploring how visuals can enhance systems thinking, especially as it relates to inter-disciplinary, collaborative design. Findings are expressed as visual codexes and other applied tools.
I am waiting out the pandemic in a house overlooking Dovercourt Park in Toronto, doing a lot of art. Here is an example.
I will begin posting more about this in the near term future.
This collage was created following the instructions for exercise number 5 in Nick Bantock's book The Trickster' Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity. The goldfish was copied from one of the color plates in State of New York Forest, Fish & Game Commission Annual Reports 1904-1905-1906.
Oppressive governments often lock up writers, artists, intellectuals. They lock them up because such people are dangerous to those in power. In the United States, we mostly don't have that problem. This is partly because of the first amendment, but also because American writers, artist, and intellectuals are mostly tame.
The lack of politics in art and literature is seen as a virtue as though there were a pure aesthetics that could only be tainted by the addition of politics. In the US, this is partly the legacy of McCarthism. While our arts are sometime offensive, they do little to change the structure of power.
And so it comes to me as a shock that in Paris there is a terror attack on cartoonists. Cartoonists? Really? Cartoonists.
Many of my friends and many people I admire seem to feel that is this is a good moment to engage their critical skills, to evaluate the worth of the long and successful careers of the recently deceased cartoonists. In other words, what did these artists do wrong that made people want to kill them? I don't think that's the right question.
Scott Bakal has done an amazing cover for my forthcoming Tor.com story, "Am I Free to Go?" And he has a detailed post on the process of compostion on his blog, complete with preliminary sketches.
Not only is this a strong piece of graphic design that is impressive in its own right, but it also is a sophisticated reference to one of the more psychologically intense moments in the story. Just wait until you read it. Then you will understand quite how good this cover illustration is!