Posts Tagged 'materials'

Layers and colors and prints, oh my!

Whether they’re used as Weezer’s album cover or turned into emoji, Japanese woodblock prints have long been admired for their striking imagery and rich detail. At the Center for Creative Connections, we’re excited to welcome three Japanese woodblock prints from the DMA’s permanent collection by Hiroshi Yoshida.

The soft colors and fine details on these prints make them appear delicate or fragile, but the process behind each of these artworks requires some intensive labor. To illustrate a bit of the behind-the-scenes work that took place for these prints, we collaborated with Austin-based printmaker Daryl Howard to recreate a traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking station similar to the one Yoshida would have used to create the works on view in C3. Based on a diagram from Japanese Print-Making: A handbook of traditional and modern techniques by Rei Yuki and Toshi Yoshida (Hiroshi Yoshida’s son), the display case in C3 shows a few of the most essential printmaking tools used for this art form.

There are two essential steps to make color woodblock prints:

Carving the woodblocks. Each color on a final print image corresponds to a separate woodblock. For instance, creating a final image with black, red, and yellow colors would require a printmaker to carve three separate blocks-one for each color. Printmakers used a (knife), to cut fine lines into each wooden block, and various aisuki (flat scrapers) to carve out unnecessary pieces of wood. Chisels known as sōainomi and marunomi were used with wooden mallets to clear out large spaces on the wooden surface.

Printing onto the paper.  After carving each woodblock, printmakers applied colored pigments directly onto the surface of the blocks using horsehair brushes called surikomi-bake. Softer mizubake (water brushes) were used to moisten sheets of paper before printing. To transfer pigments from the wooden block surface onto the paper, printmakers placed the paper on top of the woodblock and rubbed it with a baren made of coiled fibers and bamboo sheath. The artist would repeat this printing process, laying the same sheet of paper on top of each different woodblock to create a final image made of multiple color layers.

C3_blockdetail In the Interactive Gallery, we’ve developed a printmaking station where visitors can experiment with Step 2 of the printmaking process by making their own layered color prints using paper, carved linoleum blocks, and crayon rocks. Like the traditional Japanese woodblock prints, each of the carved blocks at the C3 table activity corresponds to one color that can be layered with others to create a final image. Yoshida often used 20-30 different color block layers in his prints, but our activity only requires four layers. The crayon rocks act as both a baren and an inking brush because they simultaneously apply color and transfer the impression of the carved block onto the paper. Take a look at the slideshow below to see a step by step run-through of the C3 printmaking activity.

C3_overview

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My favorite aspect of the printmaking process is the way working with separate layers allows for countless color combinations. Yoshida used this facet of the medium to create vastly different moods and atmospheres in his prints—these kinds of prints focused on color variants are called betsuzuri. In his 1926 Inland Sea series, part of the permanent collection in the MFA Boston, Yoshida utilized the same set of woodblocks to create six entirely distinct images showing various times of day:

A small sampling of the prints visitors made in C3 this week demonstrates a similar effect using color variants to produce unique images from the same set of carved blocks:

If you’re like me and you can’t get enough of this medium, check out these DIY printmaking tutorials using styrofoam and soda (yes, the drink!). For a deeper dive into the intricacies of traditional Japanese printmaking, mark your calendars for the upcoming Late Night Art Bytes on May 20, and the C3 Visiting Artist Workshop with Daryl Howard, printmaker extraordinaire, on May 21. Happy printing!

Paulina Lopez
McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement

 

Teacher Resources: Resourceful Recycling

Many educators have the gift of recycling materials into wonderful creations. If they do not already possess this genius, they quickly learn how to be resourceful with what they have around them. In C3, we defy all resource limitations when creating workshops and programming. Check out how we up-cycle materials in some of our hottest programs. I hope it inspires you!

Late Night Creativity Challenge

Creativity Challenges occur once a month on Late Night at the DMA. In these challenges, teams compete against each other using random materials to create an original work of art inspired by the collection. I have never once purchased materials for this program—all the creations come from leftovers and odd materials I find around the C3 Art Studio and my own personal closet.

Visitors celebrate the summer by creating games inspired by the collection.

Visitors celebrate the summer by creating games inspired by the collection.

Materials used: cups, scraps of paper, and pom pom balls

The first Miss America pageant happened in the 1920's which was the focus of the DMA's special exhibition Youth and Beauty. Visitors had to walk the stage in their gowns and participate in a question and answer portion to become the next Miss DMA.

Visitors create gowns to become the next Miss DMA in conjunction with a special exhibition.

Materials used: toilet paper from the DMA Operations team, tape, cling wrap, and blue reflective paper

C3 Adult Workshops

The Open Studio, C3 Artistic Encounters, and Think Creatively allow adults to experience art in new ways.  These workshops are led by staff or local contemporary artists, who share the creative process and lead visitors through an art making experience.

Alternate identities

Alternate identities workshop.

Materials used: rail board and staples

Self-Portraits!

Guest artist Martin Delabano showed what can be created with scraps of wood.

Materials used: wood, hot glue, beads and pipe cleaners

Collage workshop with guest artist Margaret Meehan.

Collage workshop with guest artist Margaret Meehan.

Materials used: Magazines, card stock, and yarn

Urban Armor

Our teens join us for monthly Urban Armor workshops where we take a closer look at the Museum’s collection and then create original works of art using advanced techniques in the Tech Lab.

Conceptual Weaving project where materials were chosen to represent a certain thought. Our teen's word  was playful.

Conceptual Weaving project where materials were chosen to represent a certain thought. This teen’s word was playful.

Materials used: cardboard, assorted collage materials, twine

Studio Creations

Visitors can discover a different activity each month by exploring how artists see the world through the our collection. After time looking at works of art in the gallery, visitors create their own art project in our studio every Saturday and Sunday.

What happens when you leave your artwork behind?

What happens when you leave your artwork behind?

You guessed it--Found Object Sculptures!

You guessed it–Found Object Sculptures!

Materials used: Old and abandoned art work, cardboard, and assorted collage materials

Life size recreation of our city!

Life size recreation of our city!

Materials used: boxes, paper, and tape

The Art Spot

Even if we are not having a program, you can still make original works of art in C3 at the Art Spot! We provide materials and tools everyday for visitors to drop by and create!

Visitors created family portraits inspired by a work of art in C3.

Visitors created family portraits inspired by a work of art in C3.

Materials used: Paper and tape

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Office supplies to inspire the creative process!

Materials used: File folder tabs and clear tape

Jim Hodges, Changing Things, 1997, Dallas Museum of Art, Mary Margaret Munson Wilcox Fund and gift of Catherine and Will Rose, Howard Rachofsky, Christopher Drew and Alexandra May, and Martin Posner and Robyn Menter-Posner

Doesn’t this last creation look inspired by the new Jim Hodges work on view? Drop by and see more amazing creations when the exhibition opens on October 6!

How do you reuse your materials? Remember: Before you purchase supplies, see if you can transform the materials you already have. We would love to see the work that you create with the objects all around you.

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator

Friday Photos: Haute Couture at the DMA

Jean Paul Gaultier is well known for his creative use of unusual materials when crafting his clothing lines. While he employs many materials that are typical  of the fashion industry, such as silk, furs, tulle, and lace, he also experiments with more uncommon items such as wheat, chicken feathers, aluminum cans, trash bags, and human hair. It is this wide use of sometimes strange materials that inspired this Friday Photos edition of Haute Couture at the DMA.

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What types of materials would you use to make your own line of clothing?

Jessica Kennedy

McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching

Images used:

Pair of Lokapalas (Heavenly Guardians), early 8th century, earthenware with three color (sancai) lead glazes, China, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of, Ellen and Harry S. Parker III

Nature or Abundance (La Nature or Fécondité), Léon Frédéric, 1897, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund

Joan of Arc, Anna Hyatt Huntington, n.d., bronze, Dallas Museum of Art, Kiest Memorial Fund

Emma in a Purple Dress, George W. Bellows, 1920-1923, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase

Mink and Mannequin, Reginald Marsh, 1940, watercolor, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase

Portrait of Two Children, Probably the Sons of M. Almeric Berthier, comte de LaSalle, Jean-Joseph Vaudechamp, 1841, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange

Xipe impersonator, Aztec culture, Late Postclassic period, c. A.D. 1350-1521, volcanic stone, shell, and paint, Mexico City area, state of Mexico, Mexico, North America, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the McDermott Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Takenouchi no Sukune Meets the Dragon King of the Sea, Japan, Meiji period (1868-1912), 1875-1879, bronze and glass,  Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, The John R. Young Collection, gift of M. Frances and John R. Young

My Creative Process

The Dallas Museum of Art is currently exhibiting a staff art show called Insourced. This exhibition includes works of arts by staff members from all over the museum, such as gallery attendants, visitor services representatives, exhibition designers and interns. I am an art enthusiast and really enjoy looking at works of art, whether it’s a masterpiece, a graphic design, or an advertisement. I also enjoy looking at nature, people, and places for inspiration. I find that looking at a broad range of artworks as well as the things around me: 

  1. Inspires and influences my own art.
  2. Gives me a boost of confidence to create art.
  3. Allows me to be free to explore different mediums.

My two works of art, Untitled (2007) and Generations (2001), were inspired by observing things around me. Generations was created using two inexpensive materials: paper and charcoal. One night,  I decided to draw my mother, who was sitting on the couch. I grabbed my drawing board, newspaper print, and a box of charcoal sticks. I sat in front of her for about forty-five minutes. I think the essence of my mother, my grandmother and great-grandmother shines through in this portrait.

Untitled was inspired by a box of chicken from a fast food restuarant. I was drawn to the image of the chicken on the front of the box. I thought about the box growing legs and running around. Strange, you might think, but it was the beginning steps to my creation. First, I sketched and decided on the materials. I knew I wanted to pair wood and metal because I thought they were good match. Once I drew my sketches and had an idea of what I wanted to make, I created the objects.  I made the wooden boxes by gluing and nailing wood panlels together and creating a hollow form. I also used a mechanical disc sander to even out and smooth the sides and edges of the box. 

The bottom portion of the scultpture took more time to make. I used iron rods to make the legs. I first cut the rods into shorter pieces and then reattached them using a torch. Cutting and reattaching the rods gave them a sense of movement. The feet, which are my favorite, are made of bronze. They were created using the lost wax casting process. Once I had all my pieces made, it was time to combine them by using a hammer and  torch. I first assembled the legs and the feet using the torch. I inserted the rods into the feet and melted the sides in order to bond the two metals. Then, I torched and hammered the top of the rods in order to flatten them. Once they were flattened, I was able to nail them to the bottom of the boxes. For me, this work of art is a constant reminder that anything can be an inspiration.

Artists are inspired by people, places and things. So the next time you are walking, sitting, or standing, stop and observed the things around you. It could be the sky, a smile, or a box of chicken that could inspire you to create a work of art.
Karen A. Colbert
Teaching Programs Intern

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