Thursday, February 24, 2011

Penelope`s Letters

Dear little blog, I do still love you... I promise. These past two years have been quite wonderful and overwhelming. I should like to resume posting things here every once in a while, and even though I believe I made such promises in the past, I will do my best this time around to keep this sketch-blog running and do so within more reasonable intervals.

To begin, I`d like to share a little video I made last semester. Frankly its somewhere between a video and a short film (can`t quite call it the former because it is set to a narrative).

The story is my attempt at an adaptation of and response to Penelope`s character, from Homer`s Odyssey. While recently reading The Odyssey (for the first time, I must shamefully admit) I was immediately drawn to the estranged character of Penelope, who is trapped within her little tower, while Odysseus roams the high seas for 20 years. In the original story Penelope is expected to wait for Odysseus` return, and her staying celibate for that entire duration of time is not only not seen as ludicrous (as we, perhaps, might view it nowadays), but, on the contrary, a mark of chastity, an esteemed quality of a good wife. While Odysseus plays an active role in the Homeric epic, Penelope serves as his passive, feminine counterpart.

In my adaptation, instead of weaving a tapestry in her quarters (as the original Penelope does), I bestowed my heroine with the ability to write, which she certainly could not have done during the actual days of Homer (in fact, it is disputable whether Homer himself was literate, and perhaps The Odyssey had existed as oral tradition first, for several generations, before being finally committed to parchment, posthumously, by someone else... although all of this is, for the most part, guesswork and speculation).

The main concept behind my altered narrative is the idea of concealing memory within a concrete object. In my story, Penelope writes letters to Odysseus, but since she has no idea as to his whereabouts, the letters can never actually be sent. Over time she surrounds herself with these letters, which she then literally makes concrete by casting them in plaster. The attempt here is to make something light and ever-shifting, ever-evading - namely memory - into something concrete and permanent. It is her absurd way of preserving Odysseus. My wish here was to draw attention to the all-too-neglected self-destructive aspect of Homer`s Penelope. She destroys herself through her obsessive clinging to the memory of a person, whose image, as anything else, cannot escape the all-too-natural memory erasure we are all subject to, bound as we are to time.

All that said, hope you guys enjoy! To see movie click here.

Here are some screen shots from the rough footage (some of which did not make the final cut):

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

some stuff from last semester

This one is from a workshop by Vincent Desiderio, who was a visiting artist at our school for a couple of days last semester. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, he`s a great painter and you should definitely check him out. On the more technical side, he talked a lot about light and volume. Yet the much more interesting part of the workshop involved sharing his views on arthistory in a series of lectures. It is always very inspiring to have the privilege listen to artists who are passionate about what they do and who care to share their opinions and information with others. In short, I really enjoyed the workshop.

This is a sketch of one of the still life rooms. Like almost all these images it was done in one sitting, oil on paper.
This one is a quick (40 min or so) colour sketch for the longer study below.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Some pastels from the last week

OK, so I know this is totally random, especially since I haven`t tended to this blog for a while. But here's the thing. I've been back home for my winter break from school (which, so far, has been very enjoyable) and took up sketching in pastel, since I left my oils in Philly. These are just a few things I drew over the past week. I included one close up of the above images, at bottom. I do promise to take some pictures of some of the work I`ve been doing at school, upon my return to Philadelphia. But, in the meantime, here`s some pastelly things...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In the meantime... Go Iran!

poker, beer, and trampled revolutions
more about Iran here


To the occasional reader of this blog (provided you do exist out there) - not to worry! - the blog is not completely dead, just taking a little break for the time being, will be back up and running quite shortly. I am going back to school, in a matter of a few months, and decided to start off on a clean slate. I might repost some of the older images, later on, though in general I wanted to get rid of a lot of the junk I had here for frankly no justifiable reason. Also, my work has taken a bit more of a narrative direction as of late and I would like this blog to reflect that. In short, old crap had to go!

On a somewhat related note, I will be studying at the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia as of late August and at this point I am looking for a studio/room in the city – if you by some ridiculously miraculous chance run across this post AND know of a decent place somewhere around Centre City, I would greatly appreciate it if you were to send me an email, or just leave a message here (it’s getting pretty close to my moving date and I haven’t a place to live yet – is it time to start panicking?!? – I sure hope not!)

As to the links, I will update those shortly as well… have lot’s of painters I would like to put up there.

Hopefully within a few weeks this blog should be functional again – thanks for checking! :)


Monday, April 13, 2009

here's a better/cleaner photograph of a painting I've already posted a little while ago, below

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Suburbain Self with Kite

Here's to the memory of two years!
The blurry image above is a destroyed version of this painting (I took it at night, hence the yellow blurriness). I decided that the background wasn't working with the head and so had to be toned down. But also, I painted the above at a point when I was going a bit crazy, and once I got back to the picture I realized that the mood of it had also had to change, to reflect my more calm state of mind at the time. Further, I wanted it to be a bit more hopeful - so I added "a kite" to hold onto. And that's that!
p.s. I had quite the trouble with the midtones on this face; they had to be repainted a kazillion amount of times, so as to work properly with the background, which I also kept changing. It was a bit of a pain, but hey, I'm learning.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Life Drawing Break

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

more life today

Thursday, March 19, 2009

has been a long time since I've been to lifedrawing

Monday, January 26, 2009

a few oil sketches and a longer study

Unlike the other paintings here, this one was a rather lengthy study (I would try and post a better image of it when I get the chance - neither of these two are quite right - top one is much too dark, and the one below out of focus...) The rest of the images here are all between1 to 3 session-long poses.