I spent the entirety of class on this annoying little can of oil and I am not even done with it. I think it looks pretty good so far, but it is taking up a lot of time (and I don’t have a lot of it left). I was going to leave words out of this painting, but I wanted to make sure that people knew that it was oil and not just a random container.
I did the background, and it added some much needed contrast. I am hoping that the transition from nearly black to deep blue will add subtle interest and tie back into the whale painting. I feel as if the octopus and the background do not feel well incorporated so I will need possibly blend out some areas.
In class today, I discussed what my plans were for the rest of the piece, and right now I have a couple ideas that are swimming around in my head. I may add plastic wrap just as before, or clump it is swirls to weave in and out of tentacles. I could also pour a very glossy finish or add wire to finish the cropped tentacles. I also started on the suction cups, but I didn’t get very far.
I deepened the shadows in order to accentuate the fact that the light is being softly filtered through the water from above. Also, since it will be holding the oil at the bottom, I wanted the make the tentacles appear almost stained. I painted the eye, which is a small detail but it really helped the octopus come alive and I am happy about how it turned out.
I am adding on layers of paint to give more depth to the animal. At one point the canvas shifted, so I made the tenctacles line up in the wrong sport and had to move them, which consumed a bit of my time. The piece is moving along slowly as I continue to work on the top skin of the octopus. I like the texture that I am able to create by dabbing the paint on with the brush. This style is much rougher than the whale but has similarities to the cow I painted last summer. It makes the skin look weathered and bumpy which is true to an actual octopus.
I wanted to create a painting that would be similar to the whale, yet still a distinct piece. I chose to stay under water and decided that it would be interesting to experiment with the winding and curling tentacles of an octopus. I used a hodgepodge of different references, so it took a while to create a sketch that looked like an octopus but was in the position that I wanted. After this, i put on a quick layer of paint to get a better idea of the movement. At the moment, it looks like an octopus, but it isn’t a particular kind of octopus so I might need to make up my mind and choose one.
Education: Ganch received her B.S. in geology and later M.F.A. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Exhibitions: National Gallery of Victoria, Cameron Art Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Kohler Art Center, and more have held her exhibitions. Also, she has had exhibitions at the Visual Arts Center and the VMFA in Richmond.
Recognition: She has received multiple grants and fellowships through VCU such as Dean’s Exploratory Grant. She won other honors such as the Teresa Pollock Award fro Fine Art and was a nominee for USA Fellowship Award.
Current Occupation: In addition to creating art, Ganch is Associate Professor and Metal Area Lead at Virginia Commonwealth University. She also leads workshops and directs a collaborative initiative called Radical Jewelry Makeover.
Bottom: Drag Object, 2013-2014, mixed media and steel, 132 × 36 × 36 in
Top Right: Labor, 2014, Steel and brass, Dimensions variable (20’ in gallery image)
Top Left: Falling in Love: 1999, 2011-2013, Mixed media, collected detritus, and steel, 62 × 12 × 12 in
Video: the video is embedded into this website where there is also additional information on the artist
This artist was recommended to me and I was curious to learn more about her. It was interesting to find out that she actually works right down the street and has had exhibitions in places that I go often, so I recognized some of her work. First, I examined a work titled Labor. The way the industrial wiring was manipulated to for an organic shape was very visually interesting (and reminds me a bit of a free spirited slinky). The form had a feeling of being adaptive, which is further shown in the credit line which mentions that the “dimensions are variable” and conform to the gallery space.
While I enjoy her work using wire and steel, the pieces which particularly caught my eye are those also using found objects and detritus. I am currently exploring ways to incorporate discarded objects into my pieces, so examining her approach was a helpful source of inspiration. I appreciated how from afar, you could hardly tell that the sculpture was made up of trash, especially since much of this work uses a lot of white which I wouldn’t normally associate with debris. However, once you look more closely, you notice the individually attached object, some stained from wear. Pieces such as Drag Object and Falling in Love address consumerism and its effect on the world which relates to my content of conservation of the natural world. Overall, I usually gravitate towards figurative work, but her pieces appeal to my love of pattern and detail. In future projects, I may use a monochrome conglomeration of detritus to enhance my drawings or paintings.
I am a Maggie Walker art student in Richmond, Virginia. This blog section is a little window into my art process, research, and experiences. You can follow along with my journey as you scroll.