I was a poor poor art student when I decided to start a blog documenting the process of my paintings, photography, drawings and journaling. Now a recent art grad, not much has changed other than the label and maybe a change of scenery.

March 29, 2010

according to tamara

today i had a quick chat with tamara, a painting professor here at stout.

we were talking about my paintings and my figures and the objects that are in the back. she said, you are definitely a still-life painter.

i thought about that, and i'm not sure when this happened. but i do enjoy painting objects and the details. this could've taken place:

a) when i painted my grandfather's boots, but was too determined to paint people?
b) when tamara assigned us last semester to paint something from life every day, i did little objects and slowly fell in love.
c) subconsciously when i was sleeping one night
d) all thee above

then i said (without thinking) i like painting objects because they're a more forgiving than the figure.

i'm so honest with myself sometimes it's scary. . .

March 17, 2010

take a hint.

today, my painting session was going downhill and i mentioned to my friend that maybe we should go to hoffman hills. she agreed and i said i would be home within 10 minutes. i told myself to clean up, but with my weapon in my hand the brush went to work again. this self-control thing probably isn't my forte, but who's judging?

anyways 15 minutes later, i let my friend know that hoffman hills is out of the picture at the moment. she of course was not surprised to hear my response, only to say i am indecisive and change my mind so often that she's gotten used to it.

ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world of painting. that's how painting is too, indecisive and forever changing. one minute i'm painting and it's all going well, then a mark is made and it looks like a mistake, wait wait it can be saved only if i do this....dammit no....oh that looks good. that's constantly what i'm thinking in my head. a constant rollercoaster so to speak. just thought i'd share that.

i decided to put a picture since human beings are such visual creatures. no meaning behind it really.

March 11, 2010

make a statement.

i'm coming up to about 3 weeks until my show. freaking out. unsure of what to paint. how to paint. yadda yadda. and throw in having to write an artist statement in there and you've got a breakdown on the verge. but i thought i'd post on here my artist statement for the journal of research, which is a journal here at stout that will be published with images of my work as well as my statement. it's a reminder (that with a little help from professors) that i can make a scary task like writing an artist statement, into something very powerful that will project the message that i am trying to show the viewer.

These paintings are a recollection of narratives from individuals that I have encountered throughout my life who have influenced my art, and are a part of my journey towards self-discovery. In recent years, my focus has grown closer towards the working class. Their daily lives are meant to teach the viewer about an uncelebrated part of humanity. By painting them, I honor their position and acknowledge their presence as a person rather than being seen as someone who is just meant to serve.

My concept of addressing the working class first developed when I made a series of paintings of my grandfather’s boots. They were meant to show a personal narrative of what kind of work day he would he face due to the mental and physical deterioration as he ages. Viewers stated they related to the boots in a personal way. I felt compelled to continue this idea and create a visual language with the audience about subject matters that many working class people confront daily.
Shortly thereafter, my family and I were faced with the dilemma of my father’s health issues caused by years of working in the food service industry.

As I grew up, my relationship with my father was strained because of his absence; he worked long shifts as a line cook. However, seeing my father sink deeper into depression during his lapse of work, or lay helpless in a hospital bed after surgery, allowed me to see him as a human being rather than a parental figure. Since his recovery our relationship has changed. Creating paintings of my father’s story has allowed a better understanding of one another ⎯ he as a provider and me as an artist.

My father’s personal struggles provoked a need to dig deeper into the working class and focus on areas such as race, class, gender, age, and identity. Through my research I have discovered that my father is like millions of people throughout history who have toiled at a job, but received little respect. Even though I did not hold a place in the food industry, my personal experiences of working in customer service also granted me insight into the perceptions of others that a middle-class worker faces. A co-worker of mine once told me about interacting with customers in her workday, she said, “I don't care if they dislike me as long as they're not dismissive of me.”

The painting process is a chance to confront society’s commonality, and counterbalance it with my own perception and sense of justice. The paintings, with their colors, lines and marks are complex and involved, much like the people’s stories I choose to narrate. My method is to first take a photograph of the person, and then transfer it to canvas by drawing as well as mapping out colors with an under painting. This under painting, although covered over, mirrors the complexity and hidden psychology of each person I paint. Lastly, as the brush moves and the final image emerges so do the character’s persona and a reflection of what I see as their true colors. Specifics such as name, age, and class are elusive, however their body language, the setting and the expression on their face are meant to depict an account that goes beyond surface level readings. I leave it to the viewer to wonder if they would recognize this person in a store or a restaurant. Also, I wish for the audience to have an acute sense of awareness, and confront some of realities of humanity, when faced with these paintings.

Kiley Van Note

March 10, 2010

according to charlie

I had a heart to heart with my professor about my paintings lately. They're not going the direction I want them to as of late and with a looming deadline of my senior show upon me, well it's not the best timing. i'm not sure if it's the figure that's pissing me off, if the "honeymoon" of a new painting is over, or if it's just the pressure of my show being so close, but i'm not feeling good about where i'm at right now. During this h2h, i mentioned to charlie that i know i keep a lot of stuff to myself and he said he could tell, everytime. he said he could also tell that my 'super ego is a bastard.' i laughed, at first because he said bastard but then if i was correct, knew that he meant i was incredibly hard on myself and my worst critic. so just to be clear and get the right information on what freud's super-ego is, i, of course wikipedia'd it. Take a look:

The Super-ego aims for perfection. It comprises that organized part of the personality structure, mainly but not entirely unconscious, that includes the individual's ego ideals, spiritual goals, and the psychic agency (commonly called "conscience") that criticises and prohibits his or her drives, fantasies, feelings, and actions.

Damn. Am i that transparent? Apparently. But it was good, to actually talk about it rather than keep all these insecurities about my paintings right now to myself. and now i blog about it? psh, i'm such a hypocrite.

anyways, charlie suggested limiting my amount of work for the show. he suggested doing a'la primas (painting in one sitting) for just an hour or two and getting started on that before i dive into these big tasks like the canvases i'm working on now. i think i'm going to take him up on this offer right now. i'm comfortable what i'm painting, or at least i know what i'm doing so it's not engaging. and i know the viewer can see that. yea, it's good but does it SING? no. right now, it sounds like an alto with the flu.

March 4, 2010

free advertisement.

some of you may or may not know that i have a senior show coming up. i'm showing with some lovely ladies by the names of Katie and Mary. well, if you are able to make it, it's running April 6th - April 9th. Our reception will be held on Thursday, April 8th 2010 from 5-7 pm here at Stout in Gallery 209 in Applied Arts. All are welcome, it's gonna be one heck of a shindig....

If you can't come, that's alright. But at least check out our process blog for the time being:


March 2, 2010

artist's are such romanticists.

I'm reading the book Still Life with Oysters and Lemon for painting III. It's about a man who is captivated by a painting and how his life actually correlates with the still-life.

The author Mark Doty writes:

"I have fallen in love with a painting...I have been drawn into the orbit of a painting, have allowed myself to be pulled into its sphere by casual attraction deepening into something more compelling. I have felt the energy and life of the painting's will; I have been held there, instructed. And the overall effect, the result of looking and looking into it's brimming surface as long as I could look, is love, by which I mean a sense of tenderness toward experience, of being held within an intimacy with the things of the world."

^^^ I read that over and over again, trying to soak it in. This is what I want from painting again.