Painting Crits | Midsemester

Here's some of my in-progress paintings from my midsemester crit. I am sick of this triad so I'll probably have to put them aside for a while, and bird brain here and I just got reacquainted. I tried laying down some strong diagonals with masking tape to force myself to interact with them, and develop a stronger background earlier in the process with this one (like in some of the process sketches I had done before this).

Ugggh this was one of the biggest crit fails I've had in a while. I had probably had about 2 hours sleep in the past 3 days before it and I couldn't find two semi-coherent thoughts to rub together to haphazardly arm myself with. The problem with art crits is that once one person suggests an idea, especially a negative one, everyone tends to pile on top of it until you move them along, using a similar approach to how you would herd cats. Poor purple triad girl was compared to a my little pony/childhood super girly bedroom and it all went downhill from there.

Hmmm it was partly my fault, I lost the story for these three halfway through the making. Originally I was inspired by all the trapped women in the biennial (which was supposed to be the catalyst for the assignments), and how lonely and expressionist they seemed. I imaged them all huddled together for support, their unspoken stories/feelings flowing out through their dresses. Admittedly, I wasn't feeling so great around this time either, but I liked the overall composition, even though it was a rather crude sketch.

As I continued to work on it, well, I lost my enamor with this idea. There's nothing more I hate than a weak women in stories, why would I want to create some? As the sketch was translated to canvas, the figures became bolder, confident, and more confrontational. Each stood on her own, rather than relying on the others. Hahah for the longest time, they were all missing an eye as i flitted around the canvas, and I kept thinking of them as the Moraie or Fates. By the time I had filled in the background, I was reluctant to voice my personal nickname for them during the crit (hahah usually my random mythology references are appreciated even less than, saying I was just trying to paint something beautiful), and I couldn't think of anything this particular painting was about when asked. Hahah definitely my worst "a durrrr, I like pretty dresses" moment in a LONG LONG TIME.

I need more sleep, and more Neil Gaimen. Also got through the first four books of Paradise Lost while creating this. I never knew how amazing it was! I especially loved the scene where Satan rallies his army of demons, and Milton rambles off how badass and blood drenched each of the cohort is, which encompasses every mythology there ever was from Horus to King Arthur, Bleach style. Their pride as well. You totally understand. They would rather rot down there than be subservient to their conqueror. Hahah I feel like I kind of went there with this painting.

Final Lunar Gala Submission

Phew, my final rendition of the designs. I'm still not terribly  happy with the center 4 (they aren't as cohesive as I'd like them to be with the rest of the collection), but I think it will come together as I cement some of the algorithms I'm going to use in the design. (I already have an interesting photostitching idea cooking up for my last Computational Photography project I'm hoping to apply).

download the pdf here

Inspirations | Jordan Askill

Mr. Askill, Sydney native and former assistant at Dior Homme, is a ridiculously cool sculptor/jeweler, incorporating 3D scanning and rapid prototyping into his design process. The complexity of his finished forms, often delicately assembled collages of animals, is astounding.

In an interview with Fader magazine Askill speaks a little about his design process, and how it incorporates modelling technology (which from my experience, often pushes one into using more polygonal geometries) into his extremely organic designs.

"How do you go from a computer design to a finished piece?

I take a 3-D scan of a found object that I want to use, or I’ll create a base shape in the computer and sculpt them from there. Then I make a 3-D print out, so the design comes out as a little wax object. Afterward, I have crystal carved using the wax prototype, or I make a mold of the prototype to cast the final product. If it hasn’t come out exactly correct, I’ll embellish it by hand. So things have two processes, which is important to me, because I don’t want people to entirely forget about the old artisan techniques.
What does technology add to your work? 
I just love the fact that with digital technology you can create one complete piece that has direct symmetry and organization. So, in a way, it’s all completely organic and uniform because there’s no glue or pieces joined together. Keep it as clean and as pure as possible. You don’t find glue in a rock or in a wave, it’s just one pure form."
(read more: at thefader.com)

I was particularly excited to stumble upon his work, since I've been pretty much keeping this generative flocking jewelry project of mine on the back burner since last year. Especially with lunar gala coming up, I really wanted to dust them off a bit and incorporate them into my collection, but couldn't think of a way to appealingly translate the odd geometries into wearable pieces. Clearly, if its awesome enough, you just tell the model to keep her arm a little farther away from her body, and to be a darling and try not to snag it on anything. 

(images from here and here)


Lunar Gala Designs

So here are my preliminary designs for my lunar gala line! I'm not actually positive on the final form yet, since I want to create the majority of the shapes using some kind of generative algorithm, (mostly so I can double up on the work for my capstone) but this is what I have in mind for the final product.

This is building off of the Reaction Diffusion Knit work and the generative Flocking Bangles I did for Golan Levin's class Interactive Art and Computational Design class. I feel that a fashion line most elegantly encapsulates most of the artistic work I've done in the past four years, while leaving a (somewhat daunting) amount of room for improvement/experimentation. Also, its a subject that truly makes me happy. Despite the large amount of information you're expected to ingest while participating in higher education, only an extremely small portion of it is interesting/inspiring/so intriguing you want to remember it and create more things from it. More often than not, we slog through our daily tasks, memorizing thick dusty books of information to be regurgitated on demand. Its much more interesting to be able to apply it to something you are passionate about and create something beautiful from it.

Anyway, I'll ramble on at length about this project in many more posts to come. Check out more/bigger/better pictures after the jump!

(Also, perlin noise logo generator? Probably most productive ten minutes I've ever had in my life)


Face Morph || Mesh Warping


So this is my small part of a larger movie we're creating in Computational Photography Class. Essentially, I'm creating a morph of two similar images such that one seamlessly flows into another. A morph is a simultaneous warp of the image shape and a cross-dissolve of the image colors. The cross-dissolve is the easy part; controlling and doing the warp is the hard part. The warp is controlled by defining a correspondence between the two pictures. These are done by hand and include important facial features that should be aligned/preserved in order to facilitate the illusion. (i.e. eyes, mouth, chin).

The Algorithm

Correspondences + Triangulation

First we calculate the Delaunay triangulation for each of the user supplied points. In order to ensure the most even morph, the set of control points we use is actually the average of the ones for the two images. Since Delaunay only associates vertices with triangles, this can be applied to both images.

Affine Transformation

The next step is to cacluate a transformation matrix to transform the triangles from the first image into those of the second. An Affine transformation matrix preserves the collinearity relation between points and contains skew, scale and aspect ratio changes.

Cross Dissolve + Morph

Lastly, we cross dissolve the two faces morphed to a warped average while slowly increasing the warp factor, generating a smooth animation. I was surprised how much power the Cross Dissolve algorithm I chose had over the final image, since it was such a small part of the overall code (literally one line!). After several failed attempts, the one that looked the nicest followed the form of Img1 + (some cross dissolve factor)*(Img2-Img1).

Face Morph from Alex Wolfe on Vimeo.


Seam Carving | Dynamic Image Resizing

Recently just finished writing a neat seam carving algorithm for Computational Photography. Essentially its a neat image resizing algorithm that finds the least important "seams" in an image (for example, the red line in the image above) and deletes them, preserving the overall composition/important bits where it can.

Painting sketches

A few quick oil sketches for studio. I started by blocking out geometric areas with tape, and forcing myself to work around them to get out of my typical firmly planted smack in the middle of the canvas compositions : P