Thursday, December 15, 2011

Episode 9: Exile on Main Street (Challenge)

From Bravo: "China and Simon take the remaining artists out of their comfort zone, to a quaint town in the Hudson Valley. The artists wander the streets, meet the locals and seek inspiration from a slower-paced lifestyle. They are instructed to create an undated version of Americana using only materials sourced from the town."
-To put it plainly: The artists had to pick out a stranger from a small town and do a unique portrait of the person based on what the artist learned about their subject on the spot.

[See the full recap and extras on the Bravo site here]

Our Challenge:  Pick a person, any person.  Do their portrait.  Show us your work and tell us about it! 
Submissions (1-2 images of your work and a brief description) due to lindseysmo(at)gmail(dot)com by Monday!  Have fun with this one, guys!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Episode 8: Sell Out

From Bravo: "Simon takes the artists on a field trip through the streets of New York City. After turning a corner, a row of empty tables and easels is revealed –- one for each artist. In the ultimate battle of commerce vs. "high art," the artists will work in teams to create a minimum of one piece of art that they must sell to the public, but that is also worthy of presenting in a gallery show the following day. The winner of the challenge will receive a cash prize in addition to keeping the money they earned selling their work."  Check out all the deets here.


Here's the thing for last week (Episode 8):  I really couldn't think of a way to adapt this challenge for us home participators.  Also, participation overall has fizzled.  One person submitted to the car challenge and offered to not be showcased here if no one else submitted.  I've also been dealing with some personal/health whatnots of my own and I'm less than enthusiastic about this season.  I think the timing is just way off for me (and everyone, it seems).  I'm certainly not quitting on you guys and I'll post a challenge for tonight's episode (promise).  And if you guys are still in and want to create something, then I'll absolutely post it here.  If not?  I'm in no position to judge you.



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Episode 7: La Dolce Arte (Challenge)

From Bravo: "The artists must utilize one automobile component from a Fiat 500 and transform it into a piece of art. From utilizing the engine block, being inspired by the facade, or even using the leather seating as a canvas, the contestants have total artistic freedom."

[See the full recap and extras on the Bravo site here]

Our Challenge: Clearly, we all don't have access to Fiat 500 car parts.  Or any car parts for that matter.  So we're going to have to adapt this a little:  Make a sculptural piece inspired by a car or any part of a car.  That's it!  Get creative with this one!  And have fun!

Remember, submissions (1 -2 images and a small blurb about your work) are due Monday to lindseysmo(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Episode 6: Street Dealers (Works)

You guys, I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get this posted.  I've had the plague for about a month.  And with exception of the last few days, I spent the previous week-and-a-half doped up on Children's Benadryl and in bed.  I nearly missed Thanksgiving.  Anyway... on to the artwork!

"This is a photo I took at the Houston Arboretum in April 2008. During times of stress or frustration, I seek out places like this one. When my mind races with all the things I wish I could change, I come back to this mantra, so I put it on the wall--but only in the photo. I'm not subversive enough to ever tag someone else's property. If I did, though, I'd sign it with a ram symbol because I embrace my Aries nature."

"Welcome Home"

Artist: Kathryn Read
"The Bible study for this week is to focus on the purposes of our lives.  I believe one of the main purposes of my life is raising my kids.  Since the artists on "Work of Art" were paired up to work on a large public piece of "street art", I decided to go literal. I paired up with my neighbor girls who helped me make a chalk art drawing to welcome home my son from college."

Artist: Brad Dumm
"I went to the Palm Springs Gay Pride Parade during the first weekend in Nov. and had a great time. This drag queen was so funny! I took lots of pictures of her. For this challenge I took one of those funny pictures and photoshopped it onto a gate door in my back yard. I like the way it came out..."
Untitled for now
"Okay, so this is just the raw sketch for the street art piece I'm doing.  I haven't finished because I've been sick for what seems like forever.  I barely had the will to shower, let alone paint.  So imagine this image on a painted "brick wall" and colored in... just for now until it's finished and then I'll post the final product.  Thanks for understanding."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Episode 6: Street Dealers (Challenge)

From Bravo: "The remaining artists are challenged to leave their mark on New York with a work that embodies the subversion of street art."

[See the full recap and extras on the Bravo site here]

Our challenge: Obviously I don't expect you all to go out in the dark of night and tag a 40ft wall.  SO: create a work of art that embodies the subversion of street art.  Use a giant canvas, use plywood, use a piece of paper (the images will all be the same size on the website).  Just make sure it screams "Street art!"

As always, submissions (one or two images and a blurb about your work) are due to lindseysmo(at)gmail(dot)com by 11:00AM Monday.  Personally, I'm so stoked about this one I could just burst... or something...

Have fun, you guys!  I can't wait to see everyone's works!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Episode 5: Ripped from the Headlines (Works)

Title: The Polarizing Nature of Celebrity Outing
Mixed media on 8x10-inch stretched canvas

Artist: Becky Cochrane
" I drew words from newspaper articles and ads to illustrate contentious issues around the public's near-obsessive speculation about celebrities' sexual orientation. These words surround closet doors which, when opened, reveal an article about yet another couple thrust into the limelight and the "Are they? Aren't they?" publicity that surrounds them."

Artist: Kathryn Read
" My Bible verse for this week was from Hebrews 13:5, speaking of contentment. The headlines of late have been about "The Occupiers" protest movement. I wanted to point out that those on both sides of the issue seem to me to be in the wrong...we should be content with whatever our position in life, not being selfish in what we've been given, and not begrudging others what they have."

*More works to come!*

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Episode 5: Ripped from the Headlines (Challenge)

From Bravo: "The artists must rummage through bins of newspapers to find a headline that strikes a cord with them and are then challenged to create a piece of art that illustrates the story they selected."

[See the full recap and extras on the Bravo site here]

Our Challenge: Find a headline from any newspaper that strikes a cord with you and create a piece of art illustrating the story you select.  Additionally you need to find a way to incorporate some of the newspaper itself into the work.

Remember, submissions (one or two images of your final piece and a small blurb about your work) are due Monday by 11:00am to lindseysmo(at)gmail(dot)com.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Episode 4: Back to School (Works)

Child's piece serving as inspiration: "Flowers" by Jared Kim, found here.
Graphite, pen, ink, acrylic, & water color on 140lb water color paper.
 Artist: Lindsey Smolensky
"The moment I saw Jared's piece I knew I wanted to use it.  I instantly fell in love with his color palette and his playful, less traditional depiction of a still life.  I'm not typically one to enjoy still life paintings, but this one I love.  Instead of a literal translation, I went with a porcelain face instead of a porcelain vase (with my own spin on it) and a more abstract use of florals.  Additionally, I really wanted to stick with (and honor) Jared's color palette."

Child's piece serving as inspiration: "For Mommy" by Kathryn's daughter, Brooke Read

 Artist: Kathryn Read
"Even though I do art projects with elementary school kids, I chose to do something a little more personal and use a piece of artwork that my daughter Brooke had given me many years ago for Mother's Day. The piece is quite abstract and reminds me of blowing wind, flowing water, and flowing lava. I tried to think of those things as I was painting with the same color pallet she had used. The heart was a nod to the love shared between child and parent, with the thought in mind of the verse for this week: --And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.--Colossians 3:14."

Child's piece serving as inspiration: A collaborative piece by two 1st grade classes (tackling a concentric circle mosaic inspired by Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky) found over at Studio-Kids: A Place for Kids and Art.

"The Kids Are All Right"
Acrylics and bottle caps on twelve 2x2-in canvases mounted on one 8x10-in
 Artist: Becky Cochrane
"This is the newest addition to my Bottle Caps and Friends pop art series. I think that we're born innately creative. Children's creativity is encouraged and rewarded, often until they reach a certain age, when they're directed to more 'practical' pursuits. I think if creativity continued to be nurtured into adulthood, we'd be more fulfilled as individuals and as societies."

Child's piece serving as inspiration: Artwork from an Easter Seals 2012 calendar.  You can purchase the calendar HERE.  Proceeds will help Easter Seals provide support to children and adults living with autism and other disabilities and the families who love them.

 Artist: Brad Dumm
"I found this art, done by a child of a sun with sunglasses and painted hands as the sun rays. It was used for an Easter Seals 2012 Calendar. I took the concept and used my Photoshop skills to create my own version of the Easter Seals art."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Episode 4: Back to School (Challenge)

From Bravo: "In the spirit of youthful imagination, the artists are challenged to create a piece of art inspired by the original artwork of the child they are paired with."

[See the full recap and extras on the Bravo site here]

Our Challenge: Find an original piece of artwork created by a child.  If you have kids in your life, get something from them, or you can Google image search "children's artwork" for a plethora of images.  And Rhonda came up with an excellent idea of using Methodist Hospital greeting cards, all created by child patients.  Make sure that whatever children's artwork you choose, you're able to site your source and give credit to the kid's work.  I will not post your piece if you cannot credit the child's piece.

Once you have your child's artwork to serve as inspiration, create a work of art that is inspired by and compliments your child's masterpiece.  Submit a photo of the child's artwork as well as one or two images of your final piece (and a small blurb about it) to lindseysmo(at)gmail(dot)com by 11:00am Monday.

I'm really excited about this one and I hope all of you are, too!  Have fun!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I know last week was a rough one for a lot of us, and I hope everyone gets past their sicknesses and stresses much sooner than later.  I just want to say that if any of you do decide that you'd like to make a POP art piece or if anyone new would like to come in and rock out any of the previous challenges:  Go for it!  Feel free to submit any of the previous weeks' works to me any time.  I'll be sure to update the site with the new material.  I don't want anyone to feel discouraged from submitting works after the fact.  That being said, have fun watching the show tonight and I can't wait for this week's challenge!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Episode 3: Make it Pop (Works)

"The Created vs. The Creator"

 Artist: Kathryn Read
"This week I combined the styles of Pop Art artists Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, and Wayne Thiebaud.  The scripture passage focus in my Bible Study group for this week was Psalm 139. With this week's Work of Art challenge, I tried to make the statement that "Pop Culture" places the focus of life on the people and things that are CREATED... entertainment, celebs, food, money, even nature and our own bodies, instead of focusing on the CREATOR...GOD."

"The Three R Movement"
 Artist: Lindsey Smolensky
"One of the biggest movements going on in popular culture today is "going green."  More and more people are getting passionate about reducing/reusing/recycling.  People are being encouraged every day to find innovative ways to reuse materials instead of creating more waste.  And in the process of doing so, many of these people are finding that they have a real passion for it.  This illustration is my commentary on that growing passion for preserving our planet."

"Before and After"
Mixed media on 8x10-inch stretched canvas

 Artist: Becky Cochrane
"There are events or moments in our lives which we recognize as "before and after" points. As a girl, I really did want to teach the world to sing and live in perfect harmony, and Coke gave my generation one of our first points of visibility in the advertising world with that song.

As part of my Bottle Caps pop art series, I show that most American icon, the Coca Cola logo, as a cluster of balloons floating away against the sky. What replaces them in my life is a different visual: white balloons released at AIDS memorial services and funerals. These five white balloons are goodbyes to my friends Steve R, Jeff C, John M, Tim R, and Pete M."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Episode 3: Make it Pop (Challenge)

From Bravo: "Andy Warhol summed up a generation of consumerism and launched the POP art movement with a painting of a Campbell's soup can. For this challenge, the contestants must create a piece of POP art that captures the popular culture of their time as effectively as Warhol did."

[See the full recap and extras on the Bravo site here]

Our Challenge: Same challenge!  Take inspiration from Warhol's great works but create your own unique, current, relevant POP art masterpiece.

Submissions (one or two photos of and a short blurb about your work) due to lindseysmo(at)gmail(dot)com by 11:00am Monday.  Have fun and be bold!  Be amazing!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Episode 2: Art Movement (Works)

So apparently Blogger hates .gif files and keeps effing mine up.  Click on the image above to see the moving file as intended.

Artist: Lindsey Smolensky
"If I'm to take inspiration from Parkour and the bustling of New York City, I think of a swirling mass of multiple movements, not particularly any singular motion.  Whenever I see anything that creates the "oil and water" effect I think of dance.  The fluidity of the constantly changing and evolving movement that dance provides.  I'm completely mesmerized by it.  To me it's the perfect example of a contained chaos, which, is exactly what the movement of Parkour simulates.  So I shot some time lapse photos of food coloring being added to swirling water and pieced them together.  Additionally, I wanted my background to give a slight nod to a brick wall: showcasing the relationship between the urban inspiration for the art."

 Artist: Marika Christian
"Dash is a dog that is always in motion.  You're thinking, "DUH, he's a Jack Russell..." But his "motion" is much more then that.  He loves to play catch with his Baa Baa, he is always ready to  shake his booty with a little doggie dancin'  - and our walks are fabulous.  Losing weight is hard for me,  I have food issues, but lately  it's been easier because of this guy -- we're both a little dedicated  and since I've started longer walks, and taking them in different locations I've lost 13 pounds.  So his motion keeps me in motion. His motion makes me lead a better life.  So thanks, Little Man ! "

Artist: Becky Cochrane 
"Title: Movement: Finding the Balance 
Explanation: I superimposed words over some of my older paintings. Using the shifting words and colors and the seesawing of the toy, I wanted to show how we constantly try to strike a balance with the competing emotions, stimuli, external forces, and experiences that keep our lives in flux. The song used in the video is Randy Newman's "He Gives Us All His Love.""

Artist: Kathryn Read
"Of course, I decided my inspiration for this week would have to be my daughter twirling baton. After taking some action shots of her at practice, the verse that popped out at me at Bible study that night was Philippians 4:9, which speaks of actually practicing the positive words I used in last week's project. I played with 4 of the pictures I took of Brooke and the baton in motion to come up with a poster.  You can catch a video of her twirling at the International Cup this past August on my blog."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Episode 2: Art Movement (Challenge)

From Bravo: "For their second challenge, the artists must use Parkour, a discipline where participants overcome obstacles using only their bodies to move from point A to point B in the most creative and inventive way possible, as their inspiration."

[See the full recap and extras on the Bravo site Here]

Our Challenge: Same challenge!  And let's PLEASE do better than the artists on the show.  They completely missed the mark on this one.  Even Simon de Pury was all, "WTF?!" 
Get inspired by Parkour type movement and make something explosive!  It's all about the movement.

Remember, submissions (1 or 2 photos or a video (link to your video hosted elsewhere like Vimeo or Youtube)) with a small blurb about your final piece are due by 11:00am Monday to lindseysmo(at)gmail(dot)com.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Episode 1: Kitsch Me If You Can (Works)

Original "Kitsch" Piece: Jousting

Final Piece: Knights Carousel
Artist: Kathryn Read

"I decided to only give myself a few minutes to decide from any artwork I could find at only one trip to the Salvation Army.  The picture I chose reminded me of a carousel, and of course jousting knights. That night at Bible Study, it occurred to me that the Knights of the Round Table probably took their motto of how a knight should live from that's nights Bible Verse: Philippians 4:8--- ...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. I decided to make a carousel of 8 knights; one for each word to live by.  A (poor quality) video of the carousel spinning can be found at my blog."

Finel Piece: "Variations
*Click HERE to listen to composition*

Artist/Composer: Josh Newton

"In classical music the Theme and Variations form has always been around.  And it is perfect for this challenge - take a melody everyone knows (opera aria, chorale tunes, religious chants, etc) and vary it a bunch of times.  After watching the episode, and seeing some of the choices, I settled on THE PERFECT tune.  I don't want to give it away, but here it is with five variations, and a reprise (there is a short introduction - I am sure when the tune comes in you will recognize it).  I am not sure if the minor variation, or the really weird variation is my favorite."

Original "Kitsch" Piece
Final Piece: "It's the Child Who Suffers"
Materials: paper, glue, ink on 16x20-inch stretched canvas
Artist: Becky Cochrane

"As little as I can tolerate it when people say "Think of the children!" as a knee-jerk reaction to things they don't like or agree with, lately, "thinking of the children" is something I can't avoid. I can't visit an online news site or watch a news show on TV without hearing a lurid story of children abused, abandoned, or killed.
I took what I assume is meant to be a playful illustration for a nursery and altered it with real headlines or excerpts from news articles and essays relating to child violence. Sadly, such accounts weren't at all difficult to find."

**More works to come**

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Episode 1: Kitsch Me If You Can (Challenge)

From Bravo: "For their first challenge, the artists must use pieces of "bad" art, such as a painting of dogs playing checkers, a velvet cowboy, and a sculptural golden peacock as their canvas. Mentor Simon de Pury explains that in order to reach the top of the art world, they have to start at the bottom. Series judges China Chow, Jerry Saltz, and Bill Powers will be looking for the artist that distinguishes themselves from the group by turning their abomination into a masterpiece."

[See the full recap and extras on the Bravo site Here]

Our Challenge: Use a piece of "bad" art, such as a painting of dogs playing checkers, a velvet cowboy, or a sculptural golden peacock as your canvas (just examples from the show, but really, go find ANY piece of "bad" art (may I suggest flea markets and dollar stores...)).  Transform that abomination into a masterpiece.  Make sure you take "before" and "after" shots of your piece

Submit one "before" photo and one or two "after" photos with a small blurb about your piece to lindseysmo(at)gmail(dot)com no later than Monday, 10/17, 11:00AM.  And if you haven't already done so, please submit a link to where you'd like to be credited for your work.

Have some fun, guys!  I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Introductory Refresher for Season II:

Okay, here's the deal. Bravo is in its second season of "Work of Art," searching for the next great American artist. It airs on Wednesday nights. Set your DVRs!

What this blog is all about is watching the show, and then taking on the challenges posed to the artists on the show each week. Any artist is welcome to participate. This is how it's all going to go down:

1.) Watch "Work of Art" on Bravo every Wednesday night.

2.) After the show (either really late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning) read this blog for the adapted challenge. *Sometimes the challenges posed on the show are not directly transferable to us viewers at home. We'll be doing the same challenges as the contestants on the show, but we may have to adapt a little to the fact that WE'RE not on the show.

3.) Do the challenge! This is a chance for some seriously creative homework. A chance to work outside of your comfort zone or usual medium. A chance to expand upon your work as well as your work ethic, as there is a deadline!

4.) Each week, submit 1-2 photos of your finished work as well as a short blurb describing your work to: lindseysmo(at)gmail(dot)com NO LATER THAN 11:00AM EVERY MONDAY!

5.) By Monday night (Tuesday morning at the latest), see everyone's work from each week's challenge RIGHT HERE!

6.) Feel free to leave comments, spark discussions, or just browse the amazing work we're all putting into the world.

This is a chance to take on an amazing challenge and really inspire your work. And all submissions will be credited to the artist.

If you're interested, shoot an email to Lindsey at: lindseysmo(at)gmail(dot)com with the title, "I'm Interested!" In the body of the email, leave your full name and a link to a website where you'd like to be credited. That's it! You'll receive an email confirming your interest and probably a couple of emails here and there with updates about your participation on this site.

Thanks for checking us out, and we hope to see you participating!