Prisma

I recently discovered a photo editing app for smartphones called Prisma. It allows users to edit their own photos with a selection of preset filters that are reminiscent of several artistic styles. Users are able to tone down their chosen effect if a more subtle image is desired.

I played about with it and my own work, some of the results are shown below:

 

 

How useful is it to artists? Probably not very, it does feel very gimmicky and aimed at those who have not yet properly connected with the art world – content to transform themselves into something from the world of Roy Liechtenstein. As a gimmick anything created through this app is ‘tagged’ with the Prisma logo – seriously restricting its use to no more than social media. As an artist it does feel like cheating to see just how well the app transforms your photographs into works of art in their own right, knowing that with time and effort you could achieve the same end product.

Saying that, the app is entertaining and provides at least a good starting point for artists. For a free app the amount of content you get is astounding but I am wary that, like other photo editing apps, the future may focus on how to monetise the product and bring in restricted features for those who do not want a ‘premium’ level of editing options.

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Another Little Insect

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It would appear that I’ve fallen behind in my blog postings again (oops!) Here is the last of the current investigation into my insect sculptures, using clear plastic in the wings and black paint to highlight the texture of the plastic material.

A Different Kind of Reflection

With my recent studio activities focusing on capturing reflections of light, perhaps it is now time for another kind of reflection – a critical reflection.

Here is a brief overview of where we are so far:


Online Presence

I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted my online presence to pan out through discussion with many artists (visual or otherwise).

blog

I have taken quite a lot of inspiration from the arrangements of Julie Macbean and some fellow students in that the website and blog would be separate entities.

The Portfolio website would be static and feature the best of my past work and exhibitions in a portfolio format.

The blog would act as a sketchbook, documenting the development of ideas and featuring mini essays where I incorporate theory into critical reflection.

The blog is linked to social media and shares posts from one platform to another.

Website

Through several recommendations I decided that Wix was the best option for me to create a portfolio website. The pricing seemed fair and would allow me to have a domain name (I think it looks quite bad to be advertising yourself as an artist and then not have your own domain name).

plans

Unfortunately finances just have not allowed for me to be able to connect to any of these premium plans in the long term and I am having to (through clenched teeth) use a wix domain name and a free site plan.

site

In fairness, the free plan isn’t bad at all! I have been able to get a sufficient number of photos onto the site, it is extremely easy to use (taking me a matter of hours to get to grips with it) and the creative freedom you have is not something I have experienced with my blog. The blog has set templates that you must adhere to whereas the wix site builder gives you complete freedom to move anything anywhere! I think it looks pretty good.

If I could commit to a plan, however, I would do so in a heartbeat!


Blog

The blog continues to be a vital tool for me, having totally dispensed with using a sketchbook for some time now. I’ve found that regularly writing about my work helps to focus thought see the path ahead so much easier. There are times when I feel that I need to include theory in my blog posts which sometimes results in some blog posts making it online a few days after the work was created.

WordPress also gives me some insights into the performance of the blog:

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The blog appears to be gathering pace, my online presence is starting to accumulate followers way beyond my own social circle now.

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I do love my wordpess blog and would be hard pushed to give it up!


Facebook

Facebook also gives me statistics into how I’m doing:

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reach

I do really like the facebook platform for sharing my art practice but trying to get interaction from those it is reaching is near impossible. There are a dedicated group of around 5 people who interact with what I post to facebook so I am starting to wonder wether I should focus less on this platform.


Twitter

I’m finding that Twitter is brilliant, it is much more successful in getting my work seen by the right audience. My only real grievance is that I’ve yet to find a video format that works with it!


Studio Practice

Although I’ve not really got much in the way to show as a finished piece or concept in the studio yet, I feel that experimentation with clear plastic ABS in my drawings has put me in good stead to return to my insect drawings and eradicate all trace of ‘craft’ from my work. It has already proven to be quite successful when used in my insects as the sneak peak below shows:

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I am now feeling ready to consider my 3D work for exhibitions.


 

Making a Box

Further inspired by the Silver Swan at Bowes Museum (Barnard Castle), and with my 3D drawing in clear plastic looking not too dissimilar to water I somehow found myself continuing on with my drawing and creating a cube.

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Unfortunately the photographs don’t really do the piece any justice, it looks so much better in the flesh! I love the way that the cube doesn’t quite look solid, there is still very much a sense of movement.

The whole aim of this little avenue of exploration was to finally portray the effects of light reflecting on the surface of a body of water, however, for this to happen with my drawing there needs to be movement. In order to combat this I suspended the cube from a stool frame using an ABS thread drawn with my 3D printer pen. The delicate threads ensure that the suspension method does not detract from the overall aesthetic and they also encourage movement from the slightest vibration.

In order to demonstrate the cube catching the light I filmed a short video but unfrtunately it appears the quality has suffered through the upload process.

Although beautiful, this area of investigation is more of a sidestep to my current practice. I’m not sure if I will continue to make more of these type of pieces, if anything it has helped me to bed in my skills with the pen and this new clear filament.

Until next time,

Larry.

Playing with Light

In continuing my investigation into the use of clear plastic in my work (and having lost my studio space and more importantly my web installation to a termite infestation) I set about looking for a way to utilise my new studio space in my work.

Having found that my previous installation work with my 3D printer pen was very difficult to document in photographs I found a darkened area that would hopefully be more sympathetic in the visual contrast between work and space.

I began to create what can only be described as a curtain made up of individual strands of drawn plastic, running from ceiling to floor at varying lengths. After layering several rows on top of each other I found that I was unimpressed with this latest installation in its current state, although it was much easier to see in photographs it was less easy to spot, in person, where the thinner end parts of the strands ended – the results of which were rather destructive.

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Not being satisfied with this I ended up, quite by accident grouping a few strands together in my hand, noticing that the result looked somewhat similar to fibre optics. All of the strands were then twisted to form a single thread that hangs down from the ceiling, becoming thinner and harder to see the closer to the floor it gets.

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Having completed this I noted that, due to the nature of the clear plastic, the strands appear to have a similar quality to ice.

Further playing around with this topic led me to drawing a square. I was mesmerised by the light refracting on the surface, rekindling the sense of awe I always feel when looking at light dancing on a body of water. I had always wanted to be able to recreate this effect in my artwork, I just never suspected that it would come in the form of a drawing!

Throughout the making process of this square I was constantly reminded of the way the water moves in the Silver Swan, located at Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle.

Further investigation is on the way,

Larry