NBC Blind Spot: A show built on the foundation of a victimized woman

NBC-Blind-Spot-2015

Thanks NBC, for kind of revolutionizing misogyny by building a whole show around the victimization of the female main character. I like action and thrillers, give me a kung fu film over a chick flick every single day of the week, but I can’t stomach this show’s premise. I have been watching the trailers and commercials with interest and the basis of the plot is deplorable.

The whole foundation of the show is that the Jane Doe main character has been abducted, brainwashed, whole body tattooed, stuffed naked into a duffle bag and left to be found by the authorities in Times Square. She’s a highly intelligent, highly skilled special agent type of character whose origin is unknown. She can shoot and fight hand-to-hand like a total badass, she’s athletic and beautiful, but ultimately she is a victim beneath all of her assets and abilities.

The production values and casting look really enticing to fans of spy, action and thriller storylines. The foundation of the show is rape-y. Really, really rape-y. I wish the show had flipped the roles, had a man get stuffed in a sack and stumble forth naked and clueless with a female agent’s name branded across his back. Ice hockey goalie bags are really big, even male actors can be smaller, and I’m sure someone would fit.

Categories: Visual Culture

How to Use Landscape Composition Formulas

The Artist’s Magazine January/February issue 2015 had an article on landscape composition, but it was these thumbnail sketches that illustrate the concepts which I found to be the most helpful. Reading through a lot of descriptive language is a lot slower for me to do than just seeing an illustration of the concepts. Landscape painting is not really my thing but I have attempted a few canvases. I learned from the article that landscapes can be composites made of elements pulled together rather than a recording of what one may see if they were standing at a particular place in person.

The 14th sketch is really just a viewfinder made of four strings attached to the opening of a mat. It is more of a composition tool than than a composition formula. Maybe there was an editorial push by the magazine for the author of the article to come up with an even number of formulas.

Landscape comps 01

Landscape comps 02

Categories: Artist Tips, Painting

12 Favorite Artworks from SOFA Chicago 2003

Not one but two Little Free Libraries have cropped up this year less than a block from where I live, and I took an old SOFA catalog from one. SOFA, the show for Sculpture, Objects & Functional Art, puts out a massive catalog of the gallerists’ wares. Here are my twelve favorite items to inspire you.

SOFA 2003 01

This would be great to hold all my arts and crafts supplies. I love the descending sizes of drawers. I would have flipped the hinges on the right cabinet door 180 degrees to be on the outside though. Maybe some day I will be able to build one!

Read more…

Categories: Art History, Chicago, Sculpture

Vintage Bird, Hawk and Owl Etchings

Here are some vintage to antique etchings scanned from an old magazine which I cleaned up in Photoshop for you to use. All are 300 dpi high contrast black & white images. The adorable owls are my favorite!

Hawk family

Some kind of hawk family, species unknown.

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Let’s re-name Pit Bulls…

Knit-Bulls-Shellie-Lewis

This really happened at Sal’s auntie’s house. I would like to point out that the very fat one sat on my feet the whole time. It would be nice if we could rename Pit Bulls something with less burdened connotations. My friend Heather likes to call them “Pibbles” which is adorable. I can’t help but notice they have an attraction for fiber arts. This cartoon is being dedicated to Brittany Hyde and her adopted dogs.

Short link: http://bit.ly/1ehuqZq

Categories: Uncategorized

Happy Shark Week 2015!

July 10, 2015 2 comments

Shark-Week-Shellie-Lewis

Categories: Cartoons & Comics

New Category: Cartoons & Comics

Surviving Winter Shellie Lewis

I started this blog to mainly do one thing: dump my art school education online for free.* (I saved you all tens of thousands of dollars. You’re welcome.) Also, I tried to serve as a translator for the real world to have a portal to the academic art world, but doing so in plain English, hitting some of the more interesting parts of theory or art history while avoiding any snootiness.

I looked to particularly post practical things that non-art people would not know offhand, like the difference between acrylic paint and oil paint. I added art media tips, digital resources and troubleshooting tips like getting oil paint off a dog. I’m kind of surprised how many people have needed to Google that last one.

Well, after 1,287 posts I am crazy bored of my own blog. Really, crazy bored. I never went for junk blogging: like ranking something via numbers articles, re-blogging other people’s content for quotas or teaser click-bait posts. It’s not too late, I can still write “CLICK HERE to Learn the Top 5 Reasons to Not Recycle Posts From Other Blogs!”… but I won’t.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes I’ve experimented with an animation program and have been doing cartoons and short form comics the past year when I found the time. The cartoons and comic art was mostly autobiographical and local Chicago stuff which I have circulated as physical media, and I’m talking photocopied zines; because that is exactly how you get wide circulation in the 21st Century digital world. The only thing more useless is large scale paintings that no one wants to buy and are hard to store in an urban apartment.

I am now adding a Cartoons & Comics category to this blog. This is what fine art programs tell you is garbage and anathema but what is most accessible to the general public –and probably the most appreciated art form. Basically, if it is fun and people like it, the academic fine art world will denigrate it as rubbish by calling it illustration, fan art, commercial art and a number of other things that indicate it is trash and not “art.” The fine art world can be really cerebral but also a real drag. They are cranky because of decades of economic distress.

Around 85 – 95% of Chicago’s smaller or entry level art galleries have gone under since 2008 and Chicago’s largest art show died in 2013. William Conger wrote an article about how art schools are self-perpetuating –that art schools just turn out students and some go on to work at art schools– and that it is impossible to have a fine art career anymore; then Judy Chicago went and wrote a whole book about the same subject. When it comes to the business aspect of the real world, art school teaches outdated information about having an “art career” that has no basis in reality. All the rap about “being serious” and doing things “right” to be a “real artist” is claptrap. The college I graduated from was repeating pedagogy from before I was born like a broken record, steps on a path that washed away and is a memory now. Lack of success which falls in the “paying your dues” mythos thus putting blame on graduates and not the school. Art school is people whose income comes from teaching ironically teaching you how to sell art in a way that would not even work for them. The things they added to the traditional “art career” pedagogy regarding social media and the internet for self-promotion is laughable.

Case in point: the last gallery show I had paintings in, about seven people came and they were all relatives of or dating the artists. No one bought anything. That gallery went under afterward.

The moral of the story is: never go to art school. They don’t teach any secrets and do not confer any kind of beneficial pedigree. There is plenty of informative books that you can read for free or cheap. You will find far more information online than will be taught in any degree program.

I have had all sorts of an art career but not a dime in profit from making art. I think you can make art or you can make an art career. I’m just going to wander off into the social media world and have fun. Check back for some cartoons or comics as they appear.

*Any ads you come across on this WordPress are being inserted by your Mac, Apple device, internet service provider, browser, etc. I still have zero ads or monetization on this blog. When I made this blog to be free, I meant it.

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