Shared Spaces 2017
Shared Spaces is an annual art show run and set up at Nazareth College. Local Art Teachers pair up with seniors at their respective schools, and produce a piece of art work. The pieces can have a common theme or not.
The artist/senior I picked was Matt Burns. He was taking my CGA (Computer Generated Art) class and a colleague thought he would be a good fit. After talking with Matt we decided to come up with a theme to work from in order to make our work cohesive. During the '16 election it was very well known that Matt was a Trump supporter and I was not. So I thought the theme of "Trump"--one piece from a "positive" viewpoint, and one from the "negative".
I started my piece showing Mr. Trump as a clown, yelling in a cartoon-ish manner while also showing some realism. I opted to use colored pencils on a large 24"x24" piece of wood. I also added a map in the background--scrounged from a dumpster, a little gold leaf, and some inkjet transfer.
Up until this point the last time I had used colored pencils was in my 8th grade Studio Art class. I never liked the painstaking precision of colored pencils, or the slow application of layer after layer. I decided to give them a try for the first time in forever and give them a second chance.
Matt, on the other hand, struggled with his side of the "Trump" theme. He started and re-started with no real passion for his idea. Then with about a week to go he showed me the start of his idea on a large 24"x24" piece of plywood! He too was using colored pencils, and instead of Trump, he went with Hillary adding a spin from a 1980's cult classic They Live.
(Matt will be attending Cleveland Institute of Art in the fall)
(starting from top left)
1. Once I gathered multiple reference photos, sketched multiple yells, I dove in and got to work!
2. Slowly creeping out from his fake and bake tan lines slowly adding orange spray tan where I could.
3. after about 8 hours of layering I was starting to get sick of warm colors, skin tones, and peach!
4. Once the nose was completed I started his ever swirling hair trying to show it obnoxiously alive.
5. Time for background
6. I found an old school map in a dumpster and used a template traced from the background to get a nice workable outline. I made sure to have "China" and "Iran" in the background.
7. Since #45 loves everything coated in gold, a colleague had the idea of using gold leaf for his "yell" marks.
8. Disaster Struck. After 40 hours of work, collaged background, gold leaf action lines--I was done! I brought the piece into school to spray a clear finish over it to protect the colored pencil. Much to my surprise and frantic yelling, the spray sealer beaded up and turned into a white cloudy mess. With some quick thinking by Mr. Denner, I wiped the piece down with some mineral spirits taking the sealer off. In the process I wiped off A LOT of the colored pencil, dulling the entire piece.
9. I spent 8 hours re-doing 80% of the colored pencil, touching up spots that wiped off.
10. Matt and I standing with our finished pieces at Nazareth College.