Round Ten: Splashes
Paula Bonet vs. Esra Roise
A lot of artists work with a wide array of mediums, and given the advantages of technology, we can add a splash of whatever to just about anything. I know I have added digital creatures to pen drawings, pencil patterns to digital pieces and so on. That is part of the wonder of modern art. It is so limitless. (And, as a result, sometimes a little confusing – I often digitally play with pieces but don’t know what end result I prefer, for example.) But nevertheless, I am a huge fan of mixed media art work. And if you read me regularly, you may remember that I am quite fond of pieces that seem somehow unfinished. While what I am about to look at doesn’t necessarily fit under the unfinished style, the use of pencil/pen and paint/ink adds a dynamic contrast which results in some areas possessing more, and some possessing less, which can kind of sum up unfinished. But today I am looking more at the colour treatment. Read away.
What I like about the first image (Bonet):
I like the organic nature of Bonet’s piece. The woman is very soft in nature, and execution, and guides our eyes to the bunny, making the image very focused and very feminine. Nature, we know, enhances feminine ideals, so the bunny rabbit reinforces ideas of innocence and sweetness. Our leading lady is demure, avoiding contact with the viewer and playing this ideal of femininity well. So the composition is coherent and effective, but what about the technical treatment? – the splashes, shall we say? Well, I quite like the treatment Bonet has used. Essentially, we are looking at a line drawing (of pen, pencil and charcoal) that has been colored with water-colour or ink. This not only adds colour, but also helps to define form as well as guiding our eyes to the important parts of the image. The unfinished nature comes to the piece through the hair, which is only painted yellow in certain areas (closest to the face). The bunny is blue, and the other main colour is the red that graces her cheeks and lips. So, we have three primary colours. Yet the image doesn’t make us think immediately of De Stijl or Mondrian, as the colour is dispersed effectively. The splashes of colour work very well and bring a warmth and life to the piece. It is simple yet effective. Overall, Bonet delivers a very nice, subtle piece.
What I like about the second image (Roise):
What holds my attention with this piece is probably the unusual pose that is captured. A girl is sitting on a chair watching T.V. with her hand to her mouth – although she doesn’t appear to be eating. It is almost more of a slice-of-life type of moment. We have caught her unawares. And it is this unusual nature of the image that captures my attention. I suppose we want to see what she is watching. Is she bored? Is she fascinated? Is she perturbed? Much like Bonet’s image, the basics of the piece is a pencil drawing that has had colour added through (what appears to be) ink. The colour is most prevalent around the woman’s face and the shoulders of her top. It also draws attention to her tattoos on her lower arms. Like Bonet, her hair is colored in a similar unfinished style. Her cheeks are coloured with red, and also yellow this time. Blue is used on her clothing, but unlike her hair, it doesn’t suggest that the whole top is blue. Rather, I get 70s style vibes of those tops with different colored sleeves. There are a few more colours here – touches of oranges and green – which makes it less primary, and slightly more varied than Bonets. Yet it still does have dominants in the three primary colours. There is also colour that does not compute with the reality of the image. For example, the splatters of ink that are on the chair and in the air are unrealistic and take the image out of any reality. Perhaps the colour is more emotive, because it no longer just acts as a descriptor of reality. But I enjoy the image and think it would be lacking without the splashes.
Both pieces demonstrate a very common style of art – line drawing, with splashes of colour. This is a style that I rather like, and I will admit that I have seen it done better by other artists (and even done better by Bonet and Roise themselves – well worth a google). But, in comparing these two pieces I would give my vote to Bonet. I feel the organic nature of the piece allows for the fluidity of the colour addition. The varied tones and textures of the black line work also allows for added colour to work with, rather than against, the piece. This is not to say that Roise uses colour in an opposing way, but her work is more restrained which makes the unruly nature of the colour splashes a little too contrasting for my liking. So, I crown Bonet the winner for her smooth unity of black lines and colour splashes. Bravo.
Do you agree? Let me know which piece you would crown winner.