Polar Bear in Spring

Spring is the time when nature wakes up. Sunlight becomes stronger and days are getting longer and warmer. It is a big change for all of us. It is not only time for new beginning but can also be a threat. With my work I am expressing my concern towards fragile nature by composing a Polar Bear laying on ice while strong sun rays are melting his living territories.  Evaporating organic shapes of water gives its last shimmer in bright colors. Partially violent outlines of the bear in black and orange create contrast and illustrates distressed state of nature, last moments of Polar Bear.

This animation is the very first, of which I have ever created. It’s already 3 years old but I never publish it, I guess I felt too shy. It is based on my similar painting, which you can view here. My attention was to make the artwork alive, show a little glimpse of Polar Bears last moments. The theme of this artwork is quite sad but unfortunately that is the reality of Polar bears at the moment. You can read more about them here.

How Rainbows Are Born?

Below illustration is requested by a parent, he wanted an artwork for his daughter when she turned to 4 years old.  Quite often I take inspiration from nature. I love to imagine/illustrate things what we can’t really see but are important part of the different natural processes. So this was also the case in the theme of the work, though with a little sprinkle of fairytale. We all have been taught that rainbows are born when sun rays hit the raindrops and the white light is broke down to color spectrum (raindrop works like prism). But what if that is not the whole truth?  The work zooms into this event imaging Raindrop-Girls who are creating the rainbow.

Below you may see different stages of the illustration from the drafts to finalised piece.

           

 

              

 





Watercolour, gesso and fibertip pen on 300g paper, A3

Nature and Lines

The first thoughts of making the below piece were to cherish the beauty of nature; point out the beautiful colors and shapes and note that eventually we all are part of it, as unfortunately we tend to forget it.  Later, working on the painting further, I noticed that the method I draw lines became equally important theme in the work. This was my first time I was working on with a fiber-tip pen on a heavy structured surface. That is, it was almost impossible to draw straight lines when using black pen. Instead of forcing the lines, this learning made me emphasise the beauty of structured surface and follow the material when forming lines; I wanted that lines can float freely. I found, it also supported the actual theme (cherish beauty of nature) as lines made the painting more lively and nature-like when I couldn’t completely control the outcome.


 

Work in Progress:

 

 

 


 

Finalised work

Watercolor, gesso and pen on 300g paper, size 68×98 cm

 

The Story of the Jumper

 

Lately I have been reading sources about visual culture, fashion and communication. I find it very interesting, as clothing is part of our everyday life. It’s connected to everyone, and it pretty much tells something about us; maybe something about our lifestyles, values, cultures, or interests. In up coming paragraphs I would like to share my own experience on how a garment evokes meanings and stories, or finally do they?

This picture of me is taken two months ago. I was just about to start my MA studies at the University of Hertfordshire. Everything was new to me, and I was exited but at the same time little bit confused about everything –No wonder why, it takes some time to adapt to a new environment; moving abroad and starting studies in the new university takes a lot of energy. That is, I needed to make feel myself as comfortable as I could.

However, I have this white and red coloured jumper, which I tended to wear these days quite often. There are several reasons why I chose to pack it within my luggage, for instance, as autumn- and wintertime can be quite chilly and dark, so I wanted to take something warm and colourful with me. I also like patterning and shapes very much. Nevertheless, I think the most important reason is that the jumper was my mothers, and was knitted by my grandma in the early 60’s.

I think this jumper is more than a jumper to me. It carries meanings, that is, it connects me to my roots and practise. I’ve been described how my grandma used to spin wool thread and send them out to be dyed. Then she knitted them by copying models from magazines. Usually every family member got something warm and colourful for Christmas. This tradition has continued in my family as my mom does a lot of knitting today too. I feel that I get much energy when thinking about all this.

Back to the jumper. Two months back I felt that this pullover reminded me who I am, and it gave me confidence. But why was it like that? Do clothes tell stories or share meanings, or am I creating them all by myself?  Regarding Finkelstein (2007), people are producing their reality through their identity, which is shaped by social forces in our culture. He explains that visual culture is full of cultural codes, which can be considered intangible, and are perceived through goods. Likewise Malcolm Bernard (2010) presents an idea of cultured bodies, where the body is a base of cultural phenomenon, yet different cultural bodies share the meanings through fashion. He further illustrates his approach of the meaning of clothing and culture as follows: When a garment is linked to culture it will construct meanings, and these meanings are shared and understood by the members of the same cultural or social groups. He also stresses that a garment itself can’t create meanings, it has to be connected with culture.

Refer to Finkelstein and Barnard’s ideas; the jumper itself doesn’t create meanings. The jumper represents something from the past. If I’m thinking back to the time when my mother got the jumper I’m sure she might think differently about it than I do now. Obviously I can’t tell how she felt when she wore it. Perhaps the jumper connects me to my family, culture and handcraft tradition, or maybe I perceive some values or ideals through it. Maybe the jumper is one way to strengthen my identity. I think is important to point out that at the same time when I have decided to include this pullover as part of my visual appearance, I have also excluded something else.

Apparently I could analyse this for many pages, as there are so many layers that can be contemplated. However, I’m considering this post to be a start of my research of visuality, and later its connection to my practice as an illustrator.

Bibliography:

Finkelstein, J. (2007) The Art of Self Invention. IB Tauris & Co Ltd

Barnard, M. (2010) Fashion statements: Communication and Culture. In Barnard Scap, R. & Seitz, B. (2010) (ed.) Fashion Statement on Style, Appearance, and Reality. Palgrave Macmillan.

Zooming Music

I found this interesting video, again from the Slow Mo Guys. In the video Gavin Free and Dan Gruchy record a slow motion film of a speaker, which is covered with paint. They literally paint the music. As music plays paint drops vibrate and jump along with the music. They are using a high speed camera, which shows the world hundereds of times slower than normal eye can see. It looks amazing how rhythms shape the colourful paint drops.

I think, this is very inspiring, as it gives me totally different insight into ways of painting music. Could I illustrate music in slow motion, and how? Maybe I could concentrate on fine structures of sounds and try to bring alive the present; investigate the ‘nowness’ of music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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