This is a few days after the fact, but I must report about my awesome Saturday activity. I ended up joining in on a mural project on a rooftop on the Lower East side, helping out two new fellow artist friends, Alicia (www.aliciapapanek.com) and Aaron on their design. Funniest observation of the day: after bemoaning our lack of a printer for printing out references, we realized that we did not need any reference for the girl's skyline afro...because....well....the skyline was kind of all around us. I can't explain enough what a breath of fresh air it was, (pun intended), to paint outside on a roof with such an awesome view of my beloved New York City. Ironically, none of us live in the building that this mural was painted on. I really can't wait to hear what the residents think...though I'm pretty sure the current residents of apartment 6C are HUGE fans - not that they crafted this whole endeavor to begin with....haha! Check out some pictures below-- pretty awesome, right?
Well it looks like Colette has a voice! This is a really rough test of her, and I am refining it... but I'm just too eager to show you guys what she's like. Just to brief you, in case this character is unfamiliar-- she is the protagonist of a personal project I've been working on for the past couple of years, View from Blue. Her name is Colette and she's about 10 years old. In the clip below, she's going to say "Because it's blue" in response to the owner of the antique store she keeps stealing from. I'll post more little clips of her as I complete them.
So I've been wanting to post new completed works to the site, but the way my schedule is looking, I have a whole bunch of projects that are all at some stage in the Work-In-Progress spectrum. But I figure it could be fun to show you what the works in progress are looking like, as I truck along. I'm just going to post a few images over the next few days of what I've been up to over the past few months...
This is a sample image from an Alice in Wonderland themed project I am working on for WNDRLND. It's a store out in Park Slope, Brooklyn. (They're located at 347 Fifth Avenue. Check them out!!) The project is supposed to be a series of images based on the Alice in Wonderland story, but she's more urban, grown-up and sexy-- bringing her from "Wonderland" to "WNDRLND." I have five different takes on her, but this one is a closer to complete example.
PROCESS: Click on any of the thumbnails below to enlarge.
I'm going to declare my disclaimer now--this will be long. Or, definitely longer than my last post (and I didn't set that bar very high, did I?) Anyway...
I recently landed back in New York today after a trip to Los Angeles that I would have loved to see last at least a week longer than it did. Needless to say, I took many pictures. Every time I leave the city, I always come back wanting to turn wherever I was into artwork. Los Angeles has given me more than I think I can handle. Honestly, what do you do with a place that has sunsets like that? Or has trees, literally, of violet flowers? Complain about the traffic, sure. But I passed the floral equivalent of a rainbow while on the freeway. I'm glad the cars move slow enough for me to gawk out the window sometimes.
So now, 3,000 miles away from all that, I was just thinking about much of the stark contrast between LA and NY and what it was doing to my creative interests. It struck me, in my umpteenth hour of insomnia, how artists' interests can be governed SO strongly by location. In NY, where so many people are shoved in each others' faces - walking in time to the heartbeat of ambition; I find that communication between people and the theme of the human condition is held under a lens that only a place as crowded and intense as this could provide. I am always interested in work about people because that is what overwhelms my senses here. It's always people.
In LA, my interests took a completely inverted turn. While it is a huge city and obviously home to many, the fact that people are spread out so far apart and travel primarily in cars allows for less interaction. I suppose "accidental" or "spontaneous" interaction is closer to what I mean. But what LA lacks in one extreme, it is resplendent in another. We all know about its celebrated gorgeous weather--but it is that weather, combined with a varied terrain, that makes the location a feast for the eyes...if you're into colors. Forgive me if I am confusing my tourist eyes with my artist eyes, but I just could not quite get past the impressive display that Nature provides in LA. This overrides the 'good' and 'bad' neighborhoods of the place-- it's everywhere. And in the time I've spent there, I could think only of the terrain and the connection that Nature makes visually to each individual (...interestingly enough, not of each individual to another). I cared only about vast space and the singular, hypothetical 'person.' Again, because vast space was all that surrounded me.
This different and new-found sensibility has made me view a place I thought I'd digested completely in a new light. And New York is new again. It was an interesting click in my brain to draw these associations (no pun intended), and it has validated for me further how traveling is the surest means to recharging one's imagination.
I type this with a certain reverence to the novelty of this post. This is my first post ever, on my first blog ever, which happens to be attached to my first website ever. May 3rd it is.
To any visitors reading this, I'd first off like to thank you for checking out my website and portfolio. It is a huge joy for me to share my work with you, and an even greater joy to know that it is connecting with you on some level. I encourage you to revisit from time to time as I try to update my website with new work whenever I can. And of course, feel free to comment on the blog as well!
Noelle Raffaele - artist