Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wall o' Jellies!

Another assignment from this semester involved the concept of "grid" as contemporary composition. Most people chose to do a straightforward grid, a single image divided into nine same-sized parts and put in a square-style arrangement. I wanted to work with jellyfish and I didn't feel that arrangement would work with the idea of jellyfish, the way they overlap and entangle and spread and cloud the sea as they travel in groups. Consequently, I ended up getting a little more...varied and organic with my cropping and arrangement. I wanted to create an illusion of depth and distance through size and overlap and placement of each portion.

Chalk/dry pastel was the required medium for this project. Hoorah for that! Chalk pastel is my favorite color traditional medium (charcoal being my favorite traditional medium period). I have been toying with a gigantic box of nupastel chalk pastels for years on various surfaces. So doing this was fun. Add to it that I love jellyfish and it just got better.

One big source of pride for me in this piece was doing the bubbles entirely from imagination. I'm usually very dependent on references, and while I only looked at photos of Monterey Bay Aquarium lion's mane jellyfish and similar for understanding of shape, I didn't have to look at a photo at ALL for the bubbles. ...I realize that's not very impressive to most people, but to me it was an accomplishment.

The piece was decently received in critique. There was quite a lot of argument as to which jellyfish was the best, and some people opted to declare particular sets of bubbles as their favorites. Grades have not been handed back on it yet and won't for another week from now, but I feel moderately confident that it was an A work.

This cruddy photo was taken when I quickly put them up on a living room wall before exiling the poor jellies to a shoebox. Hopefully they'll be able to come back out sometime, because I think I'd like to add some more parts, perhaps turn it into a mural of a sort.

Media used: Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils, a couple Prismacolor NuPastel color sticks (a light blue and the white at one point), tortillons and blending stumps. Canson Mi-Teintes paper in champagne color.
Dimensions: N/A