Inspirations

Hey all,

I’ve been heavy-duty into the grunt work of my grant work (har har), and I know I’ve been slacking on the blog front, so I thought I’d share with you some of the things that have been exciting me lately.

1. Larissa Grima. I found her work by following the “prismacolor” tag on tumblr. She has such a beautiful quality of light in her work that I aspire to recreate one day. I especially love her use of cut-outs in her journals to reveal little pieces of the pages beneath. And I need that white pen!

2. The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing on Location Around the World by Gabriel Campanario. This 300+ page book examines the unseen city spaces through the eyes of these cities’ resident artists. Full of lovely illustrations of varied techniques, surfaces, materials, time-limits and skill-levels. For my own work, I’m paying special attention to the line weight used and how that influences perspective.

3. Jane Davenport. Specifically her quote (which I may be paraphrasing) “Life’s too short for crappy paper.” So true. No more crappy paper for Liz. Treat yo self!

Jane also is the master of achieving quality of light through layers. And she is a fellow art supply hoarder, which makes me feel normal about all of the pencils I currently have traveling around with me (count: 200+).

4. Iced Coffee. Massive, massive quantities. I’ve been making mine super-chilled by putting it into a martini shaker (which is, ideally, already frosty). Pair that with a groovy playlist (see: Kravitz, Lenny) and I’m in the zen zone.

5. WBOR. Our summer programming has a few gaps in the schedule, so I’ve had the luxury of being able to purge my demons in 1-to-3-hour chunks of impromptu DJ-ing. This summer has been moody and my tunes have reflected that.

On deck: Cocteau Twins- Four-Calendar Café, Gillian Welch- Time (The Revelator), Jeff Buckley- Grace, Neutral Milk Hotel–In The Aeroplane Over the Sea, Ryan Adams- Live at Carnegie Hall, Roxy Music- Avalon, James Taylor- Sweet Baby James, Elton John-Honky Château and, as always, The Cure’s Disintegration.

6. Prismacolor Verithin Pencils. I don’t use these nearly as often as I should. They provide a layer of color that won’t mask the color beneath it, which I’ve found has greatly improved the range of light and shadow I can create. They also erase pretty well, which makes them great for sketching, and even though their leads are harder than Prismacolor’s Premier line, they still have a smooth application. My usual colored pencil style is heavy-handed, and I am learning to be patient by layering with these pencils.

7. Nude eyeshadow. I’m also a makeup hoarder now because makeup is really just an extension of the art supply obsession. This Blushed Nudes palette by Maybelline is 10 bucks at Target and has offered me a change from my 50 Shades of Dana Scully 90’s coppery/brown thing I’ve got going on lately. How Gillian Anderson is so beautiful is the true X-File here, people.

8. Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. I’m not sure why this isn’t higher up on my list. This show only has two seasons (both of which you can find on Youtube) and I binged watched in a few days. Think Project Runway but with art. I watched it as I was trying to critique my own work, and it definitely helped me get back into the professional, conceptual artmind that has gone a little fuzzy from not being in class. It’s an easy, indulgent way to be exposed to a lot of different styles/working techniques.

9. Bowdoin College Museum of Art. I’ve been going to the BCMA the past few days on my breaks from the reference desk. For one thing, the library is not air conditioned and I’ve been dying. For another, I’ve been feeling kind of meh about my art, having crashing waves of self-doubt and a consistent impulse to compare myself to others.

The art museum has offered me a reset button and a clarity about the purpose of art and how I should be thinking as an art student. Art doesn’t exist for me to compare my own work to it and say “Damn, that’s really good, mine is nowhere near that good, nor will it ever be.” Instead, I’ve got to start looking at it like “Damn, I can do that if I give a little more patience, practice and effort to myself and to my work.” Easier said than done, I think, but we shall see.

The current exhibition at the BCMA is “Night Visions: Nocturnes in American Art: 1860-1960.” All of the work surrounds the theme of night and the transition of light to dark/dark to light. It’s an impressive collection featuring work by Andrew Wyeth, Georgia O’Keefe, Ansel Adams and Edward Hopper to namedrop a few of the big ones. You can preview some of the works, including my favorite Wyeth, here. The show runs through October 18th.

10. And last on my list (but first in my hearrrrt), my friend and fellow artist Julia. Thanks to her for rescuing me all summer, sending me rap jams, and making me feel like a person. My favorite words from her: “No one ever told me anything that sent me flying.” The thing I admire the most about Julia is that she lives with fearless intention, indulges impulse, and commits to herself.

She just flies, and so will I.

One day.

Soon.

Guest Blogger Elizabeth Snowdon on Fort Edgecomb, Ocean Point Walk & The Beautiful Unseen

Honored to have my first guest post on Misadventures with Michael!

Misadventures with Michael

Ram Island Light Ram Island Light (seen from Ocean Point)

Today I’m excited to welcome guest blogger Elizabeth Snowdon, a friend of mine at school with her own awesome blog and radio station. On her site Coffee & Lipstick she shares some of the pieces she is working on with info about her materials and methods as well. Without further ado, here’s Liz.

Hey there, Misadventurers! It’s Elizabeth Snowdon. My blog is an artsy one, but I realize the focus on things that are purely art-related is not everyone’s cup of tea. For that reason, my goal for my guest posts here is to keep you, the travel-hungry reader, sated with pictures, reviews, facts, and tips, but also to guide you through my experience with an artistic flair. This could be in the form of travel sketching, or simply through photography.

So while Michael takes the blog on the road in the States and abroad, I’m holding down…

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Monday Moodscape

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Here’s a work-in-progress shot of a page in my current art journal (which was made with one sheet of paper). Rain and overcast skies yesterday and today reignited my love of grungy, moody, smoky, watercolor/watersoluble graphite layers.

When used on top of acrylic grounds and mediums (which I have let dry before applying wet media), watercolors take on a whole new textural life. I’m using Golden extra heavy gel and some DAP Patch-N-Paint from the hardware store that I’ve mixed with Collage Pauge for better adhesion. Patch-N-Paint is a lot cheaper than an acrylic molding paste, so I don’t feel like I have to be precious about slapping it on the page. It’s surprisingly velvety and doesn’t shrink as much when the glue is added.

For more experimentation, you can alter the consistency of the paste by how much glue you add, and, just like any other acrylic medium, you can tint it with inks and paints, or add sand and fibers. Apply it with a palette knife or a course bristle brush as-is, or, incorporate a stencil.

Infinite options! Go forth and spackle!

Ch-ch-changes

A new look and a new name! Welcome to my revamped site! A lot has changed since March when I last posted, and I think it’s time for my page to reflect and embrace those changes––my style, my attitude, my hair, my priorities, perspectives, and knowledge… out with the old, and in with the new!

Here’s the gist of what’s going on:

I am a 2015 Kaempfer Summer Grant recipient! I’m working on an extension of my final Bio Art project that combines botanical and anatomical illustrations to create new forms through collage. I’m planning on making the final body of work be interdisciplinary––exploring paintings and drawings of my initial collage studies. Below is one of 9 collages in my final project’s series, which I presented as digital prints.

img051The grant’s conditions require that I exhibit my work on campus in the fall, as well as give a gallery talk with the other grant winners. I’m excited to have a showcase of my work and to expand my breadth and quality in my portfolio.

I also plan on making prints of some of my work, which will be available for sale at a date TBD (probably in the form of a Society6 page).

Also, I’m the new programming director for Bowdoin College/Brunswick’s radio station, WBOR. You should know this for two reasons: 1) I am really, REALLY excited about it and 2) It means more music/mixtapes/twitter updates. I am confident that a good playlist makes all of the difference in your art making.

Given these recent additions to my life, it’s important that I give everything in my life a similar level of commitment. I’m trying to live up to my accountability, and that includes fulfilling my responsibility to you, Dear Reader. And while this blog’s primary purpose is as an exhibition space for my work and exploration, I recognize the need to cater its content to meet the needs/wants of my visitors.

So let me know what you think. About anything. Leave a comment below or send me an email!

Ooof.

Hey there,

So the last time you heard from me was October 23rd, 2014. That’s a long time! I am officially the queen of not blogging and humbly apologize to my viewing audience for my hiatus.

It’s not that I haven’t been making art. On the contrary, I’ve been cranking it out like mad. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you might have had a glimpse of these works-in-progress. Anyway, here are some highlights from the past 5 months or so:

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Happiness and the Art of Doing

Emotionally, I’ve been in a bit of a fragile period as of late. I’ve been drowning out the background noise of self-doubt and insecurity with senseless tasks– watching YouTube videos, going to parties I have no interest in attending, taking night walks, microwaving countless half-emptied mugs of peppermint tea. Distraction is my M.O. 

So last night I had the most amazing late-night talk with my roommate. And I realized that the reason why I’ve been moody and unhappy, despite being in an enriching environment with basically no other life problems, is because my avoidance behavior is slowly killing me. I am not being me. And I don’t mean that in the sense that I’m being fake. I’m just not doing things that express my core traits and values.

This afternoon I came upon this Cracked article by David Wong that articulated what I really needed to hear today (Warning: Contains NSFW language). 

It’s basically the same message I got from my professor Brock Clarke last month:

Brock: “Have you been writing?”

Me: “No.”

Brock: “Why the hell not?”

It’s also the same message my mom has told me at least three times: “You need to do things that are in tune with yourself.” But as this is my first morning trying to be open and honest with myself, I think I’m finally reading Mom, Brock, and David Wong loud and clear. It’s not about me not being enough, it’s about me not doing enough. I’m a nice person– why aren’t I volunteering? I’m an artist– why aren’t I creating? I’m a writer– why aren’t I writing? 

I’m back!

I have returned from my orientation adventures and have officially settled into life at Bowdoin. First of all, may I state that I am meeting the absolute kindest, diverse, and interesting people I have ever met in my life, that I feel so happy, relaxed and accepted, to the point where I am almost questioning my identity to this point; how did I manage living that life defined by anxieties and driven by self-inflicted limitations? It has only been nine days, but the change within myself has been so earth-shattering and so profound that it warrants mentioning here, as I expect it will greatly enhance my creative performance and alter the direction for the art I produce. 

My first class was this morning– Drawing I. My first assignment is to copy any drawing EXACTLY as it appears.

I am intimidated by the idea of this. Correction: terrified.

But it’s a good kind of terrified. Like you’re standing on the edge of a dock, the water pulsing beneath your feet. Ready to jump.