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Thread: FROM THEN TO NOW, the sketchbook of Erica Zann

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    FROM THEN TO NOW, the sketchbook of Erica Zann

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Jerry Cross Jr.,
    although I prefer to be called Erica Zann online.
    Compliments, critiques, and questions are all welcome.
    Thank you for viewing, I hope you enjoy!


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    The upper three are ink on paper (upper middle is ink and watercolor on paper).
    The lower four are graphite on paper.

    -E
    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Group two, watercolors

    After high school I wanted to work with color, so I bought a cheap set of liquid watercolors and went to work.

    I had the idea that I was going to work with yellow as my light value (no white and no black) which is why the first
    five paintings have the coloration that they do. Such are the odd (and often self imposed) obstacles that occur for
    the self taught.

    Watercolor experts are also likely to critique my technique which is not standard, it is a heavy layered application
    more suited to acrylics or oils. Even though my technique remained the same for the final two paintings, I did give
    in and use white (which resulted in better paintings in my opinion).

    To my surprise and delight, the first painting (girl with violin) won an honorable mention in the Florida Bi-Annual
    international watercolor show that year. =)

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Hey Erica! admittedly I came in here because of your name..you should call you sb "(the visual) MUSIC of Erica Zann" XD
    anyhow some of your sketches and WColors remind me a bit of Gaimans (sp?) work..really interesting compositions..thanks for sharing
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    I am so glad someone finally got the reference! You would think with how many tentacled
    monster pics people post that an H.P. Lovecraft nod would be more recognizable.

    Gaiman's writing was a huge inspiration to me back when I did these, still enjoy his work; but
    back then the Sandman comic was my everything. =) ...or did you perhaps mean that my
    work reminded you of his frequent visual collaborator Dave Mckean? Either way, They were both
    influential to me.

    Check back in a couple days and let me know what you think of the rest of my work (currently in
    the process of posting). It changes quite a bit when I go digital.
    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Early Oils, The Path To Abstraction

    The first two paintings are oil on board, and relatively small;
    2 or 2.5 feet at the most.

    The last three are Oil on Canvas, and quite large.
    The piece titled "Squaring the Circle: Winter" is over 6 feet.

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    A Few B & W

    Apis, the reptiles, and buildings are Ink on paper, the rest are graphite on paper.

    The reptiles were drawn from life at the Barcelona zoo in Spain, while avoiding
    the rain. They had an albino Gorilla there! ...actually sounds cooler than it
    was. Albino anything sounds intriguing, but then when you sit down pen in
    hand and see the reality of an unhappy ape throwing feces at a wall; well my
    excitement emptied.

    The buildings are from the same trip but the only one I kind of remember the
    location from is the upper mid one. It was done in a small village called Pals
    (or Paws?). I can try and blame it on age or memory, but really I was just a
    bad record keeper back then.

    Great country for art though! The Picasso museum, Gaudi's Sagrada Familia,
    and don't even get me started on the Dali museum in Figueres!

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Thanksgiving Point, A New Career Begins

    TLDR? BEST JOB EVAH!!!

    Up to this point I had been focused mainly on showing my work at small galleries and
    considering myself fortunate if I sold a few pieces or gained a new commission.

    Then came the opportunity to try my hand at something different. Initially I
    was hired as a sort of general purpose faux painter. Faux painting was not
    something I had considered doing before then, but the increase in pay and
    the opportunity to try something new were enticing to me.

    The experience ended up being life changing for me. It tempered my character and
    pushed my talents far beyond the point they existed when I started the job. I was
    able to leave behind a compulsion to work exclusively in a self-indulgent world of
    personal symbols. This new world of art was one in which what I created enhanced
    the environment of an entire community.

    I am not trying to disparage the solo artist, but rather to express a sort of awakening
    that occurred for me during this opportunity to work on a public project as part of a
    group. The importance of valuing outside input, of being flexible during production,
    and creating high quality unified content under a deadline. Learning these lessons
    provided me with a successful career for a number of years to come; employing 12
    other people at it's high point. So I don't think its exaggerating to call the experience
    life changing. =)

    Now that I've finished gushing about how the job affected me let me gush a bit about
    the pieces below.

    All of the paintings below are done using oil or oil glazing techniques on wall surfaces,
    nothing is "real" except the horridly over-sized black lamp on the close up of the wall
    with roses and ivy.

    The techniques were meticulous. The geometry of every stone and outlines of each
    mural was done in brown shades of watercolor pencil. Stencils shapes for the progression
    of light were made for the friezes near the ceilings and the wall pillars. Stones had to
    be taped off and done individually (not in one mass pass) because each had a faux
    beveled edge that needed specific lighting.

    A few months into the project it became clear that the muralist hired to do the paintings
    would have to be fired because he could not resist changing things to fit what "he" thought
    was best. He was incredibly talented technique wise, but one can't go adding goofy
    dragon statues in the background of a reproduction of an elegant Italian garden and
    still expect to have a job.

    As is the way with life sometimes, his misfortune became my opportunity. I was the
    only other painter there at the time who had any experience painting in oils. Even
    though technically I had only painted in oils a few times, when the boss asked if I was
    up to the task, I said yes; and never allowed my mind (or hand) to think/act otherwise.
    The rest is history as they say, a history which you may judge for yourselves below. =)

    I would especially like to point out that those gilded frames hanging from ribbons displaying
    Maxfield Parrish paintings against a fabric covered wall... that is all just paint on a flat surface.




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    Last edited by EricaZann; March 8th, 2013 at 01:27 AM.
    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    So I bought a computer and this happened...

    The first two are products of photoshop.
    Meant to have a retro-analytic sort of feel... low rez problem solving...
    Also the first spark of a concept I refer to in the sixth pic as a
    "Hofstadter Quantum Envelope"

    The next three were done in 3dsmax (the third of the three "GE mkIV" has
    a little touch up work in photoshop to give it a more painted rather than
    rendered feel).

    The sixth pic is a composition using only data from the fifth pic. I had been
    reading Douglas Hofstadter's work "Godel, Escher, Bach" and was intrigued
    with the idea of a creative composition containing repeated motifs at various
    degrees of resolution (that is the simple version... read the book if you are
    curious about the full theory). I was also influenced by works on Chaos and
    Quantum theory. I will give a more in depth explanation of my process when
    I post a full batch of similar works.

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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    A few more 3D and some sketches

    The first is from a job for SimplyPure Filters (done in 3dsmax).

    The second and third were done in 3dsmax for a contest with a "junkyard" theme,
    hosted by 3dluvr.com (if my memory serves me).

    The fourth uses only data from the third, its another experiment along the lines
    being explored in the "...Hofstadter envelope" pic from my previous post.

    The remaining 5 are just random concepts from the time period, nothing much
    to say about them.


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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    The Hofstadter Envelope in detail

    TLDR? TRY USING A SINGLE PIC AS THE MEDIUM TO CREATE NEW COMPS.

    I wanted to explore the process of how compositions maintain expressive integrity at
    multiple levels of resolution further. I no longer wanted to use source material that I had
    brought to a finished level of composition. I wondered if this gave a sort of bias towards
    the final re-composition (such as in the pieces recomposed from the egg cell and space
    junkyard pics).

    I also wanted to try this using source material that in itself had a relatively low level of
    expressive integrity. Meaning that the principles of art (harmony, balance, repetition, etc.)
    would be as non existent as possible. Love it or hate it, I think most pornography falls into
    this category of low level expression.

    So for these experiments what I did was chose a random piece of porn and reduce it to a minimal
    piece of visual data (such as you can see in the example pic that precedes the five finished
    pieces). This minimal visual data is then used as the building block to compose an entirely
    new composition. In comparative terms Photoshop is the tool and the canvas, while the raw
    pic is the medium.

    It may seem like a stretch to make that comparison, but its the unique quality of the digital
    medium we are working in that allows for such possibilities. Using traditional analogue mediums
    such as paint, one could never compose this way, but data is different; light is different.

    Admittedly the resolution is a bit of an obstacle currently, as is our own organic ability
    to decode which processes might be employed to achieve a certain effect.

    For example, there are no brush strokes in any of the five compositions and yet the eye perceives
    rectangular looking strokes or parallel curved lines. If one were able to view it at the proper level of
    resolution it would become clear that the "lines" are actually shapes that have been stretched thin,
    overlapped and then warped. Further more the illuminated quality of certain points is achieved through
    layer after layer of slightly shifting opacity and photo filtering.

    The point to take away from this is that the composition you see in the finished image, is (almost
    exclusively) composed from the data pulled from the initial seed picture. I think the only exception
    is in the first pic (Heroine) where I used the text tool to generate the stars. Technically it fits within
    the self imposed rule of using tools and processes, but obviously it isn't sourced from the original seed
    image.

    Eventually if the advances of technology permit, I would really like to try this idea in the constrution
    of virtual environments rather than just 2D pictures, but only time will tell.

    The remainder of the images in this post lean more towards graphic design which is where my career
    headed for the next while. Not really exciting if I am to be honest, but it paid the bills (until I just
    couldn't take the boredom). If anyone really wants to see more buttons, and ads, and worksheet
    after worksheet for grades K-12, I'll post a few... but you won't be missing much if I don't.



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    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Last Batch of Past Works

    A few storyboards from a children's book project stuck in publishing limbo.

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    So that was then, get ready for now.

    ...and if its not to much trouble can I get some feedback plz!!!
    225+ views and only 1 comment, is my work really that uninteresting?
    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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    Look to like religious art?
    If you paint only the beautiful, you're telling only half the story.
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    I don't understand the question Paul.

    Are you asking if I like religious art?
    Suggesting that I look at religious art?
    Suggesting that my work looks like religious art?
    Something else?

    Thanks for the comment, even if I am confused by it. =)
    Sketchbook

    "Just as the invention of a new musical instrument changes the whole sensibility of an era, the phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific process, among other things, become the tool for the new artist"
    
    -Marcel Duchamp
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