Studio Blog 06 by Ilyssa Harrington

This week in the studio I continued on my journey of painting. I am refining my work down to a process of mark making and the figure. This week I worked on developing that language and what it means to the viewer. During last weeks critique the human phenomenon was brought up, as well as narrative. This week I was striving to make work that talked about what it meant to be human and how small moments can have big impacts. I want to place an emphasis on brush strokes and how they interact with the figure.


An artist who I am inspired by is EttaVee she creates art that is based on entirely brush strokes and saturated colors.

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Here EttaVee uses marks and colors to create her painting

Here is a strong color relationship that I enjoy with deep saturated tones.

Reading Manifestos

A quote that struck me was this, “Art is the home of the creative spirit, but never until now has the spirit created matter. The spirit has only ever created the spiritual. Certainly the spirit has always filled art with life, but this life will finally die as the times change.” This quote was interesting to me because I do see art being the home to the created spirit but I do not think that it is until now that creative spirit has created matter, we as humans have been creating art since the beginning of time. Life does create art without life you can not have art, something has to push art as a whole, life is the reason we are not still making cave paintings. As I relate this to my work, I want to focus on the fact that life does indeed fuel art.

Studio Blog 05 by Ilyssa Harrington

This week there was another motive for making work. The object was to create someone else’s artwork. The artist who’s artwork I was to make was John Quick, through this exercise I was to make something that embodies John’s symbolisms, motifs, and things that he as a artist wants to communicate to the viewer.

Here is some of his work: John creates painting and pots as narratives.

For my response I was thinking about this piece but I was also thinking about the scale of his work so I created three little pots and a small painting. This duo is called Pick Me. The three pots are painted on the canvas, yet the third pot that is on the left in both images has a broken arm.

In addition to this exercise I continued my own work. I expounded on my video art process by creating two different stop motion animations.

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Lots and lots of dots.

This first stop motion is various dots. Each page has six dots on it yet in different locations. Therefore when all of the images are together they will move and bounce around the page.

The second stop motion animation is just a line moving around the page.

The artist that I am inspired from this week are Dave Miko and Tom Thayer Miko and Thayer is an artistic duo that combine video and painting together in a very saturated tone. They completely blur the lines in between the painting and the video. These images are from the exhibit Baseless Legion of Architects Rent Asunder.

Reading 33 Artist and 3 Acts

This book provides a curated picture of how different artist present themselves differently. The author Sarah Thornton is trying to get the viewer to understand that being a artist is not a job it is a identity that arguably all artist wrestle with. Thornton prefaces the book with stating that the currency for the artist is not money but is credibility. Credibility in the art world has not hit me personally as a student yet because I have been making work inside the classroom so my main means of currency are grades. Yet art credibility is changing because of the internet and how artist can make work online and never enter a gallery and find success. Reading through the artist and how they choose to present themselves creates a lot of comfort to know there is not one way to present yourself. In the bubble of school it can sometimes feel like there is an identity of the artist, yet that is far from the truth.

Studio Blog 04 by Ilyssa Harrington

This week in the studio I was presented with a problem to solve. The question was if I were to take the art I was creating and turn it into another dimension what would that look like? This was a difficult question to think about but in turn it forced me to refine what I am wanting to tell the viewer about my artwork.

The dimension I decided to go with was video art. I took my artwork and made a stop motion of my painting. The idea was that my patterns and my lines would come to life.

Here are some progress shots.

During this process I was questioning why I wanted to put a figure in my work. I was also interested in how the figure plays a role in my work. By taking the figure out of my work I was able to understand how my lines work together and how they do not. I also learned that my work needs to be done in many layers, not as one wholistic thing. The figure is a key component to my work being successful in my eyes.

Here is the finished product:

Andrea Cincotta is a graphic designer as well as a illustrator, she animates colors and shapes. The simplicity of her shapes and lines move around and are intertwined with sound. The shapes and colors lends itself to the music and the entire piece is aesthetically based.

Reading Art Without Compromise

The section that I read in the book Art Without Compromise was, Seeing Your Work in a Historical Context as well as Frames and Filters. These two chapters ask the reader to look at their work in the context of history. This is an important thing to think about and something I as a artist have not done the best job of thinking about. By looking at how your work fits into history you can look at how your piece enters the bigger conversation that is happening in art. No matter what work you are making there is most likely a artist who came before you that made art with similar themes and contexts or similar uses of the medium.

The second part of the reading asks the artist to look at what filters the artist has on and what filters culture as a whole has. Filters are important to begin to think about because the artist has there own filter and that is going to be different than any filter the artist viewers are going have.

Studio Blog 03 by Ilyssa Harrington

This week in the studio I wanted to take any ideas of concept off my shoulders again and take another go at painting so I got out a big canvas and just moved the paint across the surface. I used layering, washes, mark making, and saturated colors to create a abstract painting. There was no content in my mind just paint.


David Hockney: 82 Portraits, 1 Still Life: Edith

I love the gesture and the color palette that Hockney uses in this painting as well as the direct female gaze.


Jenny Saville: Bleach

Jenny Savilles line quality as well as her overall gesture is much more expressive than Hockney’s painting but it provides a different kind of commentary.

After putting down the base layers I then projected a portrait of a model onto the canvas and painted from there.


After painting the figure, I then worked back into the painting and put gestural marks on top of the figure and made it one coherent thing.

Reading Art of Fear

After reading Art and Fear chapter three, I realized that perfectionism does not exist. This was a great realization because it is a great way to release the principle of perfectionism. I particularly enjoy the metaphor of not being able to write a story because of the fear of writing a story. This chapter overall taught me that fear is a crippling emotion that does not breed productivity and good work. The only answer is to push through and make art!

Studio Blog 02 by Ilyssa Harrington

This week in the studio I was inspired to paint. I chose to paint my two sisters eating food while looking at me because I wanted to make a painting that was about the female gaze as well as our relationship with food. As I reflected on last weeks work I realized that oil painting was the last medium for me to explore, before settling on a set project that I wanted to invest all my time into. These are the in progress photos of the oil painting.

As I was painting I was thinking about the whole scenario of the painting. The place, the people, and the way I was using the piece to communicate what I need. The female gaze often has interested me. An artist who I refer to when talking about how women are looked at and how women look at the world is Carrie Mae Weems and her kitchen table series.

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Carrie Mae Weems, Kitchen Table Series

The thing that I enjoy most about this piece is the direct eye contact she is making with the viewer.

There two directions where I could see this piece going. One is to increase the scale so that the viewer had more to take in. While doing that I would be echoing Carrie Mae Weems size and scale. I would then work on different pieces to create a series of paintings that would have the female looking directly at the viewer. The second goes back to David Hockney and his collage work.


David Hockney, The scrabble game

The movement and the content that is addressed here something that I strive for in my work.

I would love to have models sit and eat while looking at me and take photos. Then use those photos to create a installation of smaller paintings that worked together to tell a story and force the viewer to ask questions about women and the relationship they have with food.

Reading Art and Fear

Art and fear was a wonderful read. It truly addressed a ton of the fears I have as an artist. My favorite thing that the readings said was art is made by ordinary people. This resonated with me because it peels away the magic of fantastic artists. I also really enjoyed the line that said “Making art provides uncomfortably accurate feedback about the gap that inevitably exists between what you intended to do, and what you did.” There could not be a more true statement. This is the struggle that we learn to identify as students because often we get frustrated that something does not look a certain way, but in reality it just looks the way we made it to be. The more we learn to use to the materials that we choose and the more we know our ability of what we can expect it to look like the less frustration we can have with the art making process.

Studio Blog 01 by Ilyssa Harrington

In the studio this week...

This week in the studio my main objective was to just get something on the page. I put the pressure of concepts and meaning to the side and just started making! The first thing to go on the page was fields of COLOR! I wanted to incorporate multiple mediums so started by printing different blocks of color with panels. I then moved to watercolors making large panels of color. Finally I painted color swatches onto scraps of canvas.   

This week I was consciously thinking about a couple artist. One of which is Heather Day, and the way she uses color and movement is really powerful. Mostly as I was doing the watercolor I understood how one could get so entranced in how the color can move across a wet surface. 

Heather Day's, It's a requirment to disappear #2

Heather Day's, It's a requirment to disappear #2

The other artist that I thought about this week was Joseph Grigely's. Particularly his installation White Noise. In this installation Grigely uses little scraps of conversation layered over each other to create an entire covering of a museum wall. The aspect that intrested me was how he uses all these pieces to capture moments of time.

Joseph Grigely's White Noise 

Joseph Grigely's White Noise 

Both of these artist capture movement and time beautifully. Each approach is different, this upcoming week I will be thinking about how I can begin to show the viewer small moments of time like both of these artists have.

Reading The Critique Handbook 

This week reading The Critique Handbook, I thought it was interesting that this was a physical how to critique. When starting college I was terrified of critiques, I would just hold my breath till it was over. Yet this book breaks down everything about a critique, from what is being critiqued, who is in the room, the general different view points of the people who would be looking at your art, and even the language of critique. It was really comforting to read. This reading also serves as a handbook on how to absorb and take into account the many different people that critique.

Spell of the Sensuous: Two by Ilyssa Harrington

Tangiable Thoughts 

For this piece I sat in Flagler Colleges Palm Garden and started with a blank sheet of cardboard. I then responded to the environment around me. I used paint and found objects to paint my surroundings, sometimes I would paint the duration of the conversation around me and sometimes I would paint a noise I would hear from the wind. During this I was building layers on top of each other so that I could truly capture the environment I was in.


Medium: Cardboard and Paint

Dimensions: 5 x 3ft

Spell of the Sensuous: One by Ilyssa Harrington


For this response I was thinking about the how our five senses are how we perceive the world. Everything we come in contact with is through our five senses, there are also particular objects that we use specifically for a sense, that is why I painted the five objects that are linked to each sense. Each of these objects is personally mine and I use daily.


Medium: Paint on glass.

Dimensions: 8 x 12in