cadavre exquis (in physical distance mode)

Warming up to draw an exquisite corpse AKA exquisite cadaver, originally known as cadavre exquis. The method of working is a technique invented by the surrealists in the 1920’s. Shout out to #AndréBreton!

I do believe I defeat the point (though not the one that moves to create the line) of working an exquisite corpse when I practice solo this oh-too-fast-for-me sketch. You’re looking at the outcome of 90 seconds or less.

Visual Arts Coordinator Michelle Dock, contacts me interested in a sample study of an exquisite corpse made by 3 artists. She’s in planning for the Tempe Center for the Arts annual Draw-A-Thon 2020 this June. This year workshops will all be virtual.

After completing my own single, small, ↑  practice sketch to see if I can work quick and reference-free, I take a clean  8×11″ piece of paper and measure out 3 even horizontal folds. I choose and draw into the middle space. I plan to deliver the 1/3 completed composition to Mary Shindell tomorrow and then eventually Carolyn Lavender will receive it. They’ll each draw into a section. This is collaboration in the time of a pandemic.

Three women who draw. Careful organizers of space. Letting go of order (creating a new order).

Mary’s easy, she’s done this before. Carolyn hesitates when I ask. I suspect it could be fun. I’ll share the result with you and give you more info about Michelle’s workshop soon.

Did I cheat by practicing? This is as spontaneous as I have ever been in the studio, I broke a few habits, I like it and I’ll be doing it again.

#Fluid #Unpredictable #SequencedCollaboration #VirtualSurrealism


©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

look, see, teach / look, see, learn

The act of drawing remains a fundamental means to translate, document, record and analyse the worlds we inhabit. The role of drawing in education remains critical, and not just to the creative disciplines in art and design for which it is foundational.*


I am detailing the above work when I receive something in my Canvas inbox from a student taking Anatomy and Physiology 201. I don’t know the sender but clearly she attends the college where I teach drawing in the Fine Arts department, so I don’t hesitate to open the email.

The message is sent to only a few people and includes an image file of a human brain. It appears she needs help identifying particular areas.

Confused to receive the email, I soon realize she’s thinking I can be of help to her. I appreciate understanding this and I also like knowing the one response she did get…is correct.

Someone else sends her an on-line course book. I take the opportunity to look through it. It seems like another world from what I teach. (But is it?)
#Look #See #AndLearn


I’m thinking…
about next Fall and whether I will return to PC to teach drawing. Right now  I don’t know about a full semester of on-line drawing instruction.
#Observation #HandsOn 

*Why drawing needs to be a curriculum essential by Anita Taylor


©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

portrait of hailey (study of a holobiont?)

Holobiont. I like this word. I learned it a few years ago and wrote it down for future use.
My notes…
Holo 
is a prefix meaning whole, entire, complete. It also means safe and sound.
Biont is a discrete unit of living matter, animate thing, living thing. A living or once living entity (…a once living entity?!).

My take (at the time)…
Holobiont – Whole. A distinct and complete unit of living matter.
Note: safe and sound.


Amy and Reed birthed a baby girl last month. You might imagine a delivery during a pandemic could be a natural concern for any parent.  Not only were people social distancing but hospitals were setting up new guidelines. Would Amy deliver alone? Would Reed be allowed in the delivery room?

Wednesday afternoon, when under normal circumstances I’d be teaching and my husband would be out working, we’re both home. Sirens sound in the distance and then, Wow! That’s close! Soon we hear a loud-truck-engine-pulling-up-in-front-of-the-house-kind-of-too-close sound.

First to arrive was the firetruck. I went outside when it looked as though an ambulance might be backing up onto our front lawn.

Tara, another neighbor also home, came quickly over. Excited, she’s wondering out loud if Amy is in labor. Within moments, rising above all the commotion, surfaces the real time marking of a breath, the high-pitched cry. (Amy’s words are…like a pterodactyl screech.)

Reed exits his house with a sort of raw focus steaming out of him. (BTW, Reed’s not an MD.) He’s got…stuff…on his hands (later I would note he had stuff all the way up his arms and sleeves). He is explaining Amy went into labor and he delivered the baby on their dining room floor. Pacing with open and expressive arms he’s describing his experience. Truly, he’s telling his point of view. (This is baby #2 and he is recalling details he picked up during delivery #1, 2 yrs ago.)

Fascinated with particulars about the umbilical cord, I knew then I’d be painting Hailey. Reed didn’t know anything about cutting the cord. Paramedics arrived in time to deal with it.  He also noted Cali, his dog, present and at one point looking over his shoulder.

Meanwhile Amy and freshly born baby got wheeled out of the house on a gurney.  She looked peaceful, baby looked calm. Well…there was a little bit of blood here and there but all in all, mother and daughter appeared tranquil. (Things are clarified when talking to Amy a few days later.)

I could hear Tara wishing she could have delivered the baby (cuz she’s trained). I’m wishing I had my camera with me as I walked over to look at Amy and baby now both in the ambulance.

Hailey entered the world on April 8, 2020 at 2:38, weighing 7lbs and 13oz. I guess she took control of things, making sure mom and dad were together during her delivery.

It was a good time to be reminded that truly we have no control and also that life continues…


I always intended to draw a newborn. And as luck would have it, one presented only yards from me. I had the pleasure of photographing Hailey a few days later, and then organizing the start of new work.

I’m curious about the placenta…I’m curious about breastfeeding and breast milk (as food, medicine and signal) …

I plan to include members of the microbial community organizing in the gut.
FYI. In biology a holobiont is combination of host, plus all the resident microbes that live in it and on it.

intestinal epithileum. when exactly do the microbes show up?

Getting clear on my thoughts:
Keeping in mind the part of the definition of holobiont that I held…the safe and sound part. I consider those members of the microbial world that don’t work to benefit their host. I can call this study anything I want and it would be interesting conversation, but I’m not sure anymore.

I know microbes influence an environment but at what point do microbes start to actually control an environment?

In light of current times….it’s an interesting question for a number of reasons. #TheWorldIsStillSocialDistancing #TheEbbAndFlow


Welcome to the world Hailey! Hey Lily, You have a little sister.

Portrait of Hailey, work in progress.

Hey Cali! (family dog) for the record, you bring a diversity that benefits everyone.


©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

a story about an artist-in-residence

March 2020 I receive an email from Amy Silverman…

I hope this finds everyone healthy and safe. I can’t recall a stranger, more unsettling time. The last time I felt normal was March 11 — the last time we had a Bar Flies show.

Sadly, as I’m sure you know or have guessed, we have had to put the live shows on hiatus for the rest of the season. So I’m dusting off and tweaking an idea I had for fall that will allow us to continue sharing stories with our community — from a safe distance.

Amy continues with an invite to participate in the inaugural Illustrated Bar Flies.

I often attend Bar Flies monthly story telling/live readings at Valley Bar, in downtown Phoenix. If you haven’t been…you should go. Thoughtfully curated, each story is a unique (wow) telling. There’s DJ’ing pre and post individual readings (shout-out to Deborah!).

As with all Bar Flies stories, this illustrated version is true. The theme is HOME.

April 2020  I’ve been home researching the crazy virus that appears to be taking over all of our lives. I’m now teaching my drawing class on-line. In the studio, I work a large abstract, mixed media study based on what I am learning about the coronavirus.

The week I get the invite from Amy, I’m out in the front yard and run into Reed, my next-door neighbor. And with this interaction, I decide I’ll participate. I want to try something new that’s fun AND I can clear up a misconception. 

My story title: Looking for the Truth

looking for the truth

you are never alone

they have an intelligence

real time information…dang! they reprogram a cell!

fomites…wash your hands!

 

solitude

I rest my case, artist-in-residence is the true story.

I learn to organize differently AND I have fun…enough to even have an ↓ outtake.

seeing eyes-balls that never make it into the story

#VirtualBarFlies #WeAreStillSocialDistancing #organic #linear #YouAreNeverAlone
#WhoAmI? #WhatIsThisWorld #WhatIsMyRelationshipToIt
#ImStillArtistInResidence


May 2020 
Amy sent the invitation out to a group of people. Click on anyone of these links – go read them. Each story is true. Each story is different.
Phoenix Magazine  →  bar flies Archives
Instagram →flypaperaz
Facebook → Fly Paper, stories that stick
Eventually they’ll live on the Fly Paper website.

→ more about Bar Flies


©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ