Art Review – Cast Pearls

Out of all of the pieces in the art gallery, I felt the strongest connection with Jodi Whitlock’s Cast Pearls series of mixed media art. That’s not to say I have any sort of opinion toward it, but I felt the strongest need to write about it.


The first thing to notice about this piece is the unconventional form of the subjects. Upon closer inspection, onecan see that there are absolutely no pen lifts in any of the pieces. Each black line runs uninterrupted (aside from crossing over itself) in each of the drawings, giving an unusual appearance of shape to it. The lines are somewhat crooked (Professor John Kolbo may have mentioned something about the artist drawing the lines blindfolded), but it can be seen that this was an intentionally placed flaw. If I was informed correctly, the colors were done after the lines, added in through watercolor.

The clever part of the lines, though, is that they help affect the value of the pieces without tampering with the colors. For areas that need darker shading, the line backs up on itself to give the illusion of shadow. This technique is not extensively taken advantage of, but there is not much necessity for it, as the flow of the lines do not necessitate third dimensional aspects to be applied to the shapes.

In addition to unconventional line/shape, colors are another atypical aspect of this set.While surrealistic colors are not entirely unheard of, when painting portraits for display, one would typically pick typical colors that emulate real life. While this is somewhat present on the two largest portions of the set, this only for the skin portions, leaving the rest of the pieces white, subtracting from the realism of the color. The four center pieces are splashed with faded, yet complementary colors to help separate the differing elements.

The most subtle aspect of this display might be the most powerful part. The juxtaposition of the six pieces help draw attention to the different sides. Ones eye has a definite path that it’s allowed to tread when viewing Cast Pearls. The distinction between the rather plain and larger outside pieces only exemplify the four smaller, more colorful pieces on the inside. While one may hold either a positive or negative opinion toward this series of mixed media art, one thing is for certain, this work demands attention, and it succeeds at that.



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