In some ways, stop motion animation is less rigid and meditative than a 24×24 hyperreal oil painting. Something is freeing about whimsically painting as the notion strikes. I am spending more time in the studio. Instead of cramming hours of painting into one sitting and then not painting again for a few days. I find myself painting every day.
The smaller, non-mounted paintings are painted, wiped away, and painted over in small increments. I take photos between each wipe and repaint. Then I run them through Light Room to correct any changes in light. How quickly the earth turns when you are hand painting the animation! Once I correct the exposure and flip the images (the camera is mounted upside down), I place images into Final Cut. I enjoy adding the sounds effects.
In other ways, animation is tedious, slow, and frustrating as heck. I am far too critical. I try hard to shake that criticism while remembering it is ok to fail. Failure is a good thing. If the animation is a failure, I will have lots of small sketch paintings. I am still doing what I love.
My studio practice resurrected my old editing and filmmaking chops. Shout out to Video Works and the fabulous crew who taught me to edit and all the indy filmmakers who trusted me with your footage. (I know, the 90’s in NYC was a blur, but what a ride!)
I’ve officially stepped out of the hyperrealism constraints and into the loosie goosie process of hand-painted stop-motion animation. It’s different. Whimsical. Serendipitous.
I am currently reading the Subject of Semiotics by Kaja Silverman. For my studio work, I am trying to pick apart my boundaries. I want to shine a light on the darkest parts of my personality. It’s not hard. My cognitive process can go to a dark place easily. Silverman writes about the problems between what we are thinking and how we express that in language. Through visual language, I share the emotion involved in picking apart these dark shadows in my studio process.
Full circle, I am making a short as my studio project this semester. I never, ever thought I would return to filmmaking after leaving New York. But here I sit piecing together a storyboard in Final Cut Pro. I’ve spent hours splicing and dicing audio tracks, and I LOVE every minute of it.
I am looking forward to sharing something besides still life this winter.
Where will my studio work take me this semester? The work is about the process of deconstructing formative life experiences. My studio process always involves life experiences. The difference is that I am learning the language to explain it. We all have a story. Some stories involve zero adversities, while others are fraught with them. Collectively, we can deconstruct life experiences together. An example of this might be motherhood. Mothers collectively deconstruct the experience of motherhood together, finding commonalities but also differences. Individually, we deconstruct motherhood within our time, the number of children, our relationship toward our mother, etc. When you have adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), of which 60% of the US population has, deconstruction can be a minefield. In the deconstruction, there can be pain. In the studio process, there can be beauty and connection-building from the investigation. Healing through making, honoring through construction, and coping by sharing the studio process.
Thank you for following my art journey. You can see more of my work here.
Every semester of grad school, we have to write 3 mailings. We choose our own research material with help from our faculty advisor and artist mentors. This third semester, I read Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, and Reflections. I also looked at the artwork of Remedios Varo, a surrealist painter, Marnie Weber, and Francesca Woodsman.
I also watched Persona, a film by Ingmar Bergman, and I read about half of The Power of Feminist Art. I will finish that one during this mailing, along with Kaja Silverman’s The Subject of Semiotics. Silverman’s book is abstractly philosophical, not what I expected, but I am enjoying it. It is helpful, profound, and a nice compliment to Jung and Lacan.
I am still thinking about the research for my third and last mailing. The faculty tell us to follow the investigation. I guess Foucalt is next. It is bittersweet to know I am nearing the end to the research. Next semester the process paper!
Thank you for following my art journey. If you have time, check my instagram here.
The goal of the project is to explore where the meditation leads.
Do I need to spend hours and hours on the work? Yes, because painting is how I cope and meditate. What is happening in the sketch paintings in less time? I use sketch paintings to experiment and solve visual problems. I could use the sketch paintings as backdrops for animation. In short, I could paint a lot more, on a smaller scale, and animate these sketches to reveal more work in a different format. Thus, moving the work out of the gallery setting and into a digital space answers the last question raised in the review.
The work will change because I will create smaller-scaled but a larger number of ‘sketch-paintings’. A change that allows for unexpected elements, whimsy, and serendipity is an improvement. Also, I want to try animating the paintings. I want to convey tension in the work in a way that doesn’t victimize the viewer or the creator. I will paint, animate, sculpt, and photograph often. I will scout and shoot video and audio. The imagery willcome from domestic scenes, familial artifacts, pareidolia from sketch paintings, and rural /urban southern landscapes.
Thank you for following my art journey! If you want to see more please follow me on instagram.
Our semester studio study plan is due next week. I am looking forward to doing new and exciting work while stepping away from largish paintings into smaller sketch paintings. The idea is to animate the sketches. I admit my editing chops are rusty; I haven’t edited anything in a few years. It should be fun. I am most excited to move my paintings off the gallery walls and into a virtual and accessible space. This animation project should satisfy my unquenchable desire to paint 24/7 and keep the work from piling up all over my studio and house.
Thanks for following my art journey. Check out my Instagram to see more work. My best, Emily
Here are some more notes from my summer residency at Vermont College of Fine Arts. It is such a pleasure to learn from other artists and share what I researched and did in the studio. I can’t wait to go back. Thanks for following my art journey. Check out my Instagram to see more work. My best, Emily