Movin up

This is just a little update post. I wanted to let y'all know that I've really been getting my act together & have been super busy with all of these new things. Let me lay it out for you.

First of all, I'm going to be in the Holiday Art Sale at school in a few weeks. If you're in Chicago, check it out ! There are going to be more than a hundred students selling work, & it's my first show, so I'm going ALL. OUT. I have lots of stuff in store, so it's definitely worth stopping by. It's November 16-17 at 112 S Michigan Ave, & I'll be at table 31 in the main ballroom.

If you can't make it to the sale, don't worry because I also opened my etsy store this morning ! I only have one print in there right now, but after the art sale I'll be throwing all of my leftover inventory in there for the whole internet to buy ! There'll be mad etching monoprints & small ceramic pieces, plus a few extra goodies.

And finally, the least exciting but arguably most professional bit of news is that I finally got my website up & running ! You can find me at beccasmithartjunk.com. It's just the bare bones of a website, but I'll be updating it as I piece my portfolio together this semester. I am also planning on putting together a mailing list so y'all can find out what I'm doing 24/ 7.

That's it for now; I should probably run to school & catch the last half of ceramics class. Please send me some good vibes for the art sale next month !!!!!!! xo

Organic vibes

So, I've really been enjoying my internship with anthropologie so far. I feel like the resources at my disposal couldn't have come at a better time. The last few weeks have been CRAZY now that I'm essentially working two jobs while going to school full time. Today, I finally had my midterm critique on my first ceramics project, so I thought I'd share a couple pictures I snapped during the process & of a couple other pieces I've made.

Maybe I should point out that I'm posting this on my phone, so it'll probably be a really ugly post, oops.

I feel like I owe an explanation for this series. The project guidelines were essentially to illustrate exaggeration while incorporating a ~joke~ through five 2' sculptures. I decided to make botanical lamps in an organic way. Clearly, I've been eying anthro's home collections nonstop.

(The last photo is of all if my glazed pieces I've done so far, but look I finally have a dumb pitcher !!!)

Printing junk

This semester, I'm taking my first printmaking class. I've always really loved the etchings in the Art Institute of Chicago, so (of course) I thought this'd be the perfect introduction to printmaking. So far, I've made something like 10 etchings & 60-80 prints. Most of them have ended up being monoprints, which is pretty cool. I've also been doing ghost prints of everything. These are some photos of the last batch of prints I did~
This is the stack of 25 prints~

I just keep printing this My so called life print. I'm obsessed !!!

This one says "I didn't come out of the closet to become a cliche"
Family photos
This is the first print I made of the house I grew up in, inked 3 different ways.

I'll probably write a nice long midterm post later next week~

Anatomy, weeks 1-5

The last couple of weeks have been super busy ! I just started an internship & a new job, plus midterms are coming up. Literally all I've been doing is working. My anatomy class has definitely been the most comfortable of my studio classes this semester, purely because it's the only medium I'm really familiar with; I could do nothing but figure drawing for days. I've been meaning to write a post about all the cool junk I'm making, so I figured I'd go ahead & share these drawings I've been working on.

I use my Instagram nonstop (@ras24528)
We've basically been working in class on drawing simple figures & understanding how to articulate the skeleton by using wired skeletons, loose bones, & reference books.

Man, it's like every time I go to photograph my work, I have a harder time taking a decent picture. I definitely think I'm going to have to invest in a real camera & start scanning everything this semester. That's really all the update I have time for- I'm trying to get started on my anatomy midterm before work (and a suspension party !!) tonight ;)

Current Body of Work

Now that I've covered the basics as far as an internet introduction is concerned, I want to share a little bit of my art before I start posting new things from this semester as I'm working on them. This is just a little chunk of my fav & portfolio pieces. Let's see…

Probably one of my all time fav diptychs I've made, this is a collage portrait of my daddy (left) & his brother (right). It's graphite drawings over xeroxes from old photos my daddy took & brown packing paper mounted on sturdy drawing paper.

My first figure drawing class was taught by one of the most incredible artists I've ever met, Anne Harris. She changed the way that I look at the figure & pushed me to draw in a very sculptural, graphic way. This portrait is of my favorite figure drawing model, Laura, who I actually got to draw again in my first Anatomy figure drawing class last week ! This drawing is graphite & charcoal (note: we weren't allowed to use erasers in this class !)

Oh boy, this one breaks my heart a little bit, but it's one of the silliest collages I've done. It's a photo of an old friend of mine in front of a fiberglass sculpture of Merlin at Mark Cline's Foamhenge attraction in Lexington, VA (one of our fav haunts). The rest of this is pretty self explanatory in that it isn't supposed to make sense beyond the initial goofiness & size hierarchy drama. It's just a photo on cardboard with white acrylic paint, colored pen, & various paper cutouts. 

This is probably the most crucial point in my art education thus far. I made this 16" ceramic hamburger candy jar (the top bun comes off & reveals a smooth, red & white striped interior) in my first college ceramics class taught by another awesome artist, Mie Kongo. This was our first assignment, to make a vessel that resembled an animal. Unfortunately, I lost this when I moved at the end of that semester. Hopefully, it's found a nice new home with someone who loves it as much as I do !

I did this in my first Fashion Illustration class a couple years ago. This is the first piece of a diptych where we illustrated the same drawing using 2 different marker techniques. I chose to share this because of how beautifully the dress  turned out. It's all Prismacolor & Copic materials on transparent marker paper.

While I was at Hollins, I had a really cool professor, Alison Hall, who retaught me a lot of drawing basics I'd forgotten or else never learned. This is one of my favorite media I've learned: charcoal powder. I did a couple pieces like this outside of class to learn how to manipulate the medium & ended up loving this picture of my bestie Katie & her boyfriend. It's completely done with charcoal powder & a soft cloth from a photo.

& here we have more work from Hollins, one of my first thrown plates. It's orange clay with a pretty red terra sigilata on the outside & white slip with the design carved as a relief into the face of the plate & glazed with in-studio made basic glazes. I had a lot of fun with this process (I can't seem to get the same results working on my own in the studio up here) & am really bummed that FedEx cracked it down the center in shipping.

I made this "basket" at Hollins also, using iron & copper based glazes on orange clay & fired it in a Raku kiln made outside of the studio at school. Raku is my all time favorite form of ceramics, & I'm planning on making my own kiln as soon as I have a yard/ studio space !

Realistically, I'm probably more proud of these pieces than anything I've ever done. They're my final pieces from the winter term at Hollins last year where I used unconventional methods to replicate master studies. These pieces are burned into the wood with white acrylic wash backgrounds. On the left, "Big Sue" from Lucian Freud's 1990s series (I think the painting was called "Supervisor Benefits Resting") & on the right, a male nude by Paul Cadmus. These are my fav artists, probably of all time. You should check out Freud's etchings & Cadmus's drawings. They're so simple & perfect !

This is just a cute fashion illustration from my Advanced fashion illustration class last semester.  Drawn from a model in a costume illustration exercise with pen & colored pencil. 
This is a fairly accurate representation of the last 2 years of my work & the direction it's headed in. I'm so excited to explore new media & further develop my drawing & sculpting styles this year. Hopefully I'll also be able to start selling junk through etsy in the upcoming months.

Fall art junk

Every semester, I try to learn a new medium. This fall, I'm taking an etching class. Printmaking is something I've always really loved but haven't actually learned much about. One of my favorite artists right now is Bonjour Johanna. She's such an original artist that really gets a lot of the trends in new art. She's definitely made me want to move outside of the type of illustration I've been doing & experiment with casual patterns as well as more organic representation & landscape junk. I just bought a beautiful zine & print from her shop & can. not. wait to have them in my hands. Check it out, y'all:

(this is a little video she made of the zine I bought)

I just want everyone to love her as much as I do ! I also wish people realized how important it is to support young artists by buying & promoting their art. I'm hoping to use this blog as a platform to share my art & eventually open my own store to sell my ceramics & prints. Hope y'all love Johanna as much as I do ! xo

Resisting commitment

Lately, it's become clear that I have commitment issues. Things I haven't been able to commit to in the past three years include: endless hair cuts/ colors, my major & college, being a vegetarian/ happy vegan, making friends with classmates (or being social in general), any form of a relationship, which city I want to live in right now, finding a job, reading every art/ fashion blog, how many cats I can own while living by myself without looking too crazy, & ~my look~

This year things started at least sort of making sense. I finished winter term at Hollins university in my goofy hometown in va, transferred back to art school in Chicago, & even moved into my own place, decided on a major (for now at least), & made a few really cute friends. Now that the fall semester is starting, I think I'm ready to make a commitment to  blogging, too ! I guess we'll see how it goes, y'all.

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