Throwback Thursday: Fountain Collage

Today’s Throwback is another favorite of mine:

Fountain collage

Title: Reflections

Size: Mounted on 20″ x 30″ foam core

Medium: Photographs on foam core

When: Spring semester 2003

Purpose: Class assignment for my intro to art class

History: The assignment was to find an object we really liked, photograph various parts of the object, and once our pictures were developed, put the pictures back together to make the original object. The end result reminds me of Pablo Picasso’s Cubism pieces!

Thought Process: As soon as Tim, our professor, gave this assignment, I instantly knew what I was going to photograph: the Special Olympics fountain by the campus library where I worked. When the weather was good, I’d take the back way to my dorm and walk past it, or even go study or relax by it when I had the chance.

The Special Olympics fountain at SUNY Brockport

After getting my pictures the way I wanted them, I started putting the fountain together, just like the assignment said to. At this point, I had already switched my major to art, and Tim was aware of this. He came over to me as I was working in class, and told me that because I was now an art major, he was going to challenge me to break the assignment rules. He wanted me to reconstruct the fountain, but tweak it in a way that you still knew what it was, but it wasn’t what my pictures were of. As I had already cut some of the photos, and being a broke college student, it proved to be a difficult task to do as I couldn’t afford to redevelop my pictures. But, it did help me to learn to be okay with doing abstract thinking, something I was going to need in my future art classes.

Problems I encountered: The first set of photos I took didn’t turn out. I’m not sure what I messed up, but even though I was standing right next to the fountain, it looked like I was two miles away. The photos were completely unusable, so I had to rush to retake and redevelop them in order to have the assignment done on time.

Also trying to figure out a different way to reassemble the fountain was a bit challenging!

Fun tidbits: Three of us students in the class chose the fountain as our subject matter!

The reflection part of the piece is actually just the left hand side of the fountain; I just put it upside down to make a reflection.

Favorite part: Just looking at it, actually. Brockport was my home, it’s where my daughter was born, it’s where I met my husband. It brings back warm fuzzy feelings and makes me happy!

Least favorite part: It’s totally silly, but because the reflection is just the left hand side of the fountain just turned upside down, there’s no reflection of the building. It bugs me. A lot.


What would you have chosen as subject matter for this project?

Throwback Thursday: Self-portrait

And today’s blast from the past is:

Self portrait

Title: Self-portrait

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 24″ x 18″

When: Sometime during my college years; I think this was spring semester of my senior year, 2006.

Purpose: Class assignment

History: Not too much history on this one; I think it was for my advanced drawing class, but I can’t remember. This is what happens when I don’t date my work…

Thought process: At this point, I do remember that I was trying to play with emotions in my work. Like, is the person in the drawing laughing or crying? Surprised or happy? I wanted my pieces to be somewhat open ended for interpretation. I don’t think this one is very strong in conveying that intention, but that’s okay 🙂

Problems I encountered: I cannot get the eyes to be the same value of darkness! It still drives me nuts today. Also, my face is  longer in the nose area than it should be…or maybe my face is too narrow. I don’t know, something is off. This is definitely NOT my best piece, but it encourages me that I’ve gotten better over the years 🙂

Favorite part of the piece: I think I did pretty good on the hair for once! Yay!

Least favorite part of the piece: The mismatched eyes. Ugh. And the fact that the drawing, even though it was in a portfolio, is damaged on the right side.


Have you ever had to do a self portrait? How did it turn out?

Throwback Thursday: Funky Bunnies!

And this week’s Throwback Thursday piece is…..

Death of the funky bunnies

Title: Death of the Funky Bunnies

Medium: Permanent marker on paper

Size: 24″ x 54″

When: My freshman college intro to art class; spring semester 2003

Purpose: Class assignment

History: In my class, we were learning about positive and negative space, as well as making interesting compositions. One of our homework assignments was to draw 10 random interesting objects. I think I had chosen things like my scissors, a pile of hangers, a hand, my light…things like that. I remember feeling frustrated after putting time into sketching in details of all the objects to just go in and fill them in with permanent markers.

For this assignment, we had to take those drawings and do a large three panel drawing. One panel had to have one image repeated, another had to have four images collaged together into one large image, and the last panel had to have one image but it had to divide in half so one part would have the image positive space, the other half would have the image as negative space.

Thought process: This was one of our first assignments for that class, so I didn’t really know what I was doing. Our professor wanted to three panels to flow together, and I remember it being hard to get the flow. My middle panel took awhile to get it to mesh well with the left panel. Most of my classmates divided their last panel either horizontally or vertically, but I did mine at a diagonal as I thought it mimicked the angle of the scissor handles coming down as well as created more flow for the white traveling into the last panel.

Problems I encountered: Have you ever tried doing a huge project in winter in a small room with just permanent markers? Hellooooo fumes! And headaches. And dying markers. I think I went through four or five of the big fat permanent markers for this project.

Fun tidbits: How did this piece get it’s name? It was totally unintentional, but when the piece was done, it looked like this really silly looking rabbits were falling to their death in the left panel. In the middle panel, it looks like a priest hand blessing them as they are heading towards the light in the right panel. Random, I know, but the title stuck and it’s one of my favorite pieces because of that!

Favorite part: I love the flow of the piece, how it draws your eye to the right. I also like how the middle panel turned out.

Least favorite part: I don’t like how streaky the marker is. I’m such a perfectionist!


What do you think of the title? 

Throwback Thursday: Stars

Is it normal to be jealous of an inanimate object? No? Well, I’ve never been known for being normal. I’m very jealous of this drawing:


Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: I think it’s 16 x 20

Title: I think officially it’s Untitled, but I always call it Stars.

When: Spring semester, freshman year of college; 2003.

Purpose: Assignment for my college intro to art class.

History: At this point in the semester, we were working on shading and how it caused things to go into the foreground or background. My professor had us do these masking tape drawings to help us learn out to shade better.

Thought process: Oh man, this project was stressful. In order to successfully complete the project, you had to think backwards. Whatever you wanted in the foreground got put on the paper first, and then each layer farther back got put on top of that. Basically you figure out your design (I knew I wanted to do shooting stars) and then using your masking tape, tape your design down layer by layer.

Once all of your design is taped down, you cover everything (paper and tape) with a dark dark dark layer of graphite. After it’s covered, remove the first layer of tape (which will be the second layer from the background) and color that in a little lighter than the background. Once that layer is done, remove the next layer of tape and repeat. The last bit of tape you pull off should be the whitest, causing it to pop into the foreground.

Stars detail1
Detail of middle star

Once you’ve got your main shading done, then you get to figure out where your light source is coming from, then add shadows cast from the fore ground images on the background images.

It’s complex and frustrating, but at the same time it looks amazing when it’s all done!

Problems I encountered: Getting each layer to look a different value of gray is hard! Figuring out which layer is going to go where all while thinking backwards is not my strong suit, so my brain got cramped a lot while doing this.

Star detail2
Detail of bottom right corner

Fun tidbitsThis piece was entered into the student art show that year! YAY! It didn’t get a prize, but still getting it entered and being able to show my family that I was in an art show was pretty awesome.

The reason I’m jealous of this drawing is that it has been to Jamaica and I have not. The following school year (my sophomore year) our college did a student art work share/show with a school in Jamaica, and this piece was chosen to go be on display. My professors wouldn’t let me go along for the ride, unfortunately. I’d love to know what the school looked like, how warm it was, and just anything about Jamaica, but my drawing isn’t telling me it’s stories. It’s a stubborn drawing.

Have you ever been jealous of an inanimate object, or am I all alone in this?