Thesis Plans Finally Revealed!

So now that it has been approved, and I have sorted out some of the details, I will finally divulge the premise for my thesis project.

The back story is this: when I was first considering giving up smoking a few years ago, I was discussing the difficulty of addiction with a friend and fellow occultist. He said to me “you just have to see it as it is. Your addiction to smoking is an elemental, and it has you.” I had never thought of addiction in those terms before, and this concept helped me grapple with, and eventually vanquish, that caustic demon. Around that time I also recalled a conversation I had with another dear friend about my issues with anxiety. She referred to it as a monster that I needed to name and conquer. I loved this idea equally, and informed her that someday I would paint my monster so that I may own it.

I stowed both of these concepts in my head, and over the years I have thought of many ways in which I could utilize them in my art. Everything from illustration series to serious apotropaic paintings. I finally decided that these are the basic concepts that would inform my thesis work here at PNCA.

My thesis will be a series of six, mixed media paintings depicting the metaphorical demons that enslave humanity. The work will utilize both traditional and digital media. The images will be tenebrous, figurative and allegorical in nature. I will take abstract concepts such as “disease” and “brutality” and personify them each within their own painting.

Here is a slide from the presentation where I pitched this idea for the first time, last week. It contains past work of mine that represent some of the ways I plan to approach the work visually, as well as some thoughts on research:

slide from 1st thesis pitch

The title for the project is “The Allegories of Subjugation.” I must admit, I really like the title. Good job, me. This weekend I narrowed down the number of pieces I will have in the series and what allegories I am going to create. The current step in this whole process is to create a mood board for the basic aesthetic of the project:

mood board for thesis
all images plundered from tumblr and google

So now that I’ve set this all up, I have to actually live up to the insanity of my own expectations. I will be scheduling photo shoots for photo reference in the next few weeks. For those of you in the PDX area who actually know me, let me know if you are interested in modeling for me. You could be immortalized as a demon!

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Anna Fidler

Hello! I am back from a few weeks of birthday revelry interspersed with a billion projects. I hope the Summer has been as fun and productive for the rest of you. To kick off her newly renovated website, as well as her current exhibition down in Oakland, I wanted to write a bit about the awesome lady I’ve been an artist assistant for for the last few years.

Anna Fidler in the studio with daughter Willow
photo by Sabina Samiee

I first met Anna Fidler my freshman year at PNCA. She was one of my drawing instructors, and at the end of the semester she offered me an internship to work as an artist assistant for her. I have been working for her on and off ever since.

See all those lines? They took months to draw.

In my time assisting at Anna Fidler studios, I’ve helped work on a couple of different series. The first is comprised of several portraits of Victorian Oregonians, the second is centered around iconic women, but I can’t really reveal any more about it for the time being.

As an artist assistant I’ve done everything from research at the Oregon Historical Society, paint pours, transferring line work, applying color and texture with prismacolors, repair, prepping pieces for gallery display, and assisting in physically setting up gallery shows, and I’m sure a bunch of other things that I’m forgetting.

Anna’s style and process of creating these mixed media pieces is unique and fascinating, and I must admit it has definitely rubbed off on me in my own work.

Mister George, by Anna Fidler
20.25 x 15.25 inches Acrylic and colored pencil on paper 2012

Pieces from the 1st series, Vampires and Wolfmen, are currently exhibited at the Johansson Projects Gallery in Oakland, CA. The series will also be exhibited in Portland at the Charles Hartman Gallery later in the year, and in September the series will be exhibited at the Portland Art Museum. I will announce the dates as they come in. I urge everyone to go see the work in person. And once again, you can find out all of her background info and about her other work at her website: http://annafidler.com/

I must now get back to watercolor studies and writing comics. Soon I’ll have something I can actually share 😉

The May Queen

My last project in Experiments in Drawing. We had a model come in for the last 2 classes and we were supposed to think of how to super-impose the model into a drawing.

I took some sketches of the model for reference. I drew the linework in graphite and ink, and then I scanned it in and colored everything in photoshop. The three hares are from a previous drawing of mine.

It’s not very experimental, nor is it very dark, but believe me: wheat takes an impressively long time to draw. Fact.

May Queen: digital media, Valerie Herron 2012

I spent the last few hour working on my promo-pack, which is my final in Cultural Marketplace. Once that’s finished I’ll post it up here. Wow, this is my last week of school. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel!

Dark Fairy and Fantasy Ball, Ostara, and More

Hello! I step out of the fray once more to deliver an update to you lovely souls whom are following my art.

I finished and scanned the line work for my Wild Hunt (of Portland) painting. For the assignment, I plan on creating the painting digitally, much like the treatment on my Oberon and Titania illustrations. After school is out, I’m planning on redoing the same painting in the mannor I dealt with my alchemy series.

linework for the Wild Hunt (of Portland)
graphite on strathmore paper

As you can imagine, the photo shoot I conducted to get the photo reference for this project was so much fun.  I’ll be sure to post the results when this piece is finished.

In my free time (which means the hour that I’m waiting for my sleeping pills to kick in every night) I have been working on this piece:

Adder and Hawthorne - digital media, Valerie Herron 2012

It’s the first of what I would like to be a series of plant & animal totem series. I will continue to post them as they are created 🙂

Next order of business: Portland’s First Annual Dark Fairy and Fantasy Ball!! APRIL 21ST!! Will Valerie manage to complete all her assignments in the next few weeks AND get all of her swag ready for vending AND original paintings ready for the gallery show? Of course she will, it will just involve a lot of swearing, lack of sleep and a lack of showering. People that don’t think artists work hard are crazy. Anyway, here is the all of the info if you are interested, AND YOU ARE DEFINITELY INTERESTED!

artwork and flier by Jesse Lindsay

This is a 21 and up event.The First Annual Dark Fairy and Fantasy BallPlease join us as we welcome the coming 2012 Spring in our own twisted way. Enjoy a night of Decadence, Dancing, Artwork, Performers, Vendors and much more.
See mystical dark artwork by local Portland artists, while you dance to the chaotic rhythms of faery music!
Be entertained by local Portland aerial, stilt and stage performers weaving a twisted spell taking you to the twilight world of the Unseelie court…DJ’s all night providing dark music to celebrate the darker side of spring!PERFORMANCES by:

Bhrigha Gypsikelt – Dark tribal Unseelie fae bellydance!

Aaron Schallock ~ Aerial Silks
Chaunda VanTassel ~ Fairy on stilts.

Infamous Nina Nightshade – Dark delightful burleque!

Ari Lynn & Meg Russel from Dreamscape theater – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dreame-Scape-Theater/156563571061551

Elizabeth Soots ~ Dark fairy Bellydance!

Plus surprise guests!

VENDORS:

The Green Wolf – animal masks and tails, pagan ritual tools and implements.
http:/thegreenwolf.com

Rosarium Blends – Dark and fae oils
www.rosariumblends.com

La Vie Macabre
http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaVieMacabre?ref=si_shop
laviemacabrestore@gmail.com

Elizabeth Soots
Headdresses, hairclips and accessories.

Bratty Hats Brattyhats.com – Mini hats!

Conjure oils

Visual Artists:

Jesse Lindsay

Valerie Herron

Luke Green

Wes Rogers

Maxine Miller

Dan Boles

the rest TBA.

Costumes are highly encouraged but not required.

A limited number of tickets are now on sale and available through the calendar at the Mt Tabor website.
Save some money and assure your spot !$10 presale

http://thetabor.com/

Poster and flyer image by Jesse Lindsay http://www.facebook.com/theartworkofjesselindsay

Mt. Tabor Theatre
4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
$15 at the Door. 9pm, 21 and up please.

As you can see, there are a collection of insanely talented people in this show that you must go see.

Last, I just wanted to wish everyone a happy Ostara, Easter, or whatever spring holiday you are observing this time of the year. I celebrated a late Ostara yesterday. I drove out to my favorite hide out (featured in the My Portland drawing) and ate breakfast. Check this view:

Blix says "Happy Ostara"

BFA Juried Show, the Wild Hunt, and Spring Break

I just finished submitting my 8 pieces for the PNCA Illustration Juried Show.This is the first time I’ve submitted work to a school show.

50 images from the 2011-2012 school year will be juried into the show and displayed in an opening reception during First Thursday in April. Cash prizes will be awarded for Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal winners, + 5 Honorable Mention awards.

Our department is full of extremely gifted illustrators, so I’m not banking on anything. It would be pretty cool to get selected though. These are the images I picked:

The last image wanted to be in the show sooooo bad, but I could only submit 8.

Spring Break begins today!!! It’s not too much of a relief, as I will be continuing to labor over my art all the way through the week. But I can’t complain, I don’t have classes to go to. Tonight I will be conducting a photo-shoot for my final project in my cultural marketplace class. I’m pretty stoked, I rented a bunch of photo equipment from the school and I have like 9 models working with me. I even got to borrow a bunch of shamanic costumery from the infamous Lupa. GO SEE HER AT PAGAN FAIRE TOMORROW!! She will make you look like a Shaman 🙂

Other than assignments, I will be working on getting my wares together for Portland’s first annual Dark Fairytale Ball. It’s only a month away and I have soooooooooooo much to do! Some of my original pieces will be in the gallery show, and I will also be vending.

Alright, I must now go get ready for the aforementioned photo shoot. I’ll keep you all posted on these various projects as they unfold.

My Portland

Our last assignment in my Experiments in Drawing class was to create a landscape drawing from somewhere in Portland that could also serve as sort of a tribute to Portland. I chose a landmark from a cemetery on the west side over by my apartment. I go driving and hiking in this secluded area of Portland whenever in the mood to run off into the woods. I brought the cityscape a lot closer in the composition. The spiral rock is not actually in the cemetery, I just wanted to add it as a nod to the neo-pagan vibe I find all over this city. It’s appropriate, considering the city is so Victorian (see: Arts and Crafts Movement.) My favorite feature of the city (and of all of the Pacific Northwest) are the crows, whom I had to pepper into the composition. And of course, the obligatory roses for the City of Roses.

My Portland - mixed media, Valerie Herron 2012

I really wish I had more time to work on this piece, and I will probably re-do it (seems to the theme as of late.) I really fell in love with Portland, OR. I moved here when I was 24 and it was here that I’ve made the most pivotal decisions and developments in my life. I know that I will probably have to move from here after graduation, which makes me sad. Portland is definitely its own little utopia in a way. Hopefully wherever I go, I can find as much magic in the scenery.

That being said, Portlandia is pretty apt, I have to admit.