Art Trip: The Orlando Museum of Art

The Orlando Museum of Art is located in Loch Haven Park with the Science Center close by. Their biggest exhibition right now is their Contemporary Art exhibit from May 13th to August 28th. When I visited recently I was pleasantly surprised to find that the the exhibition was extremely diverse, with many female and Latino artists.

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Untitled 001 – Maria Martinez-Cañas

Of the many artists I saw, it was Maria Martinez-Cañas who stood out to me. She is an artist who works WITH photos but does not really use a camera to take photos. My interest was captured as soon as I walked into the exhibition and saw the faded out prints. Her Vestigios Series is my absolute favorite body of work in the museum. She takes images from Gelatin silver prints or printed pages of books and manually “erases” them with sandpaper, creating a vintage look. Her whole Vestigios Series can be found HERE. I feel like she was trying to find a connection to the past in this series.

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In the same exhibition room, there was a video of Dawn Roe’s Mountain Field Studies being projected onto the wall (pictured above). I almost felt like I was looking at a comic of fleeting observations of a mountain. In this series, she carefully put together details of a mountain into a series of blocked out images, and even some grids thrown in there! I couldn’t help but think about the observations I make when I’m creating a comic based on the environment around me.

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Ebb and Flow – Gabriella Tito

When I’m making an observational comic, I’ll usually make broader “statements” at first, meaning I don’t go too much into detail with the environment. These drawings will usually be wide shots of the scene, or even quick silhouettes of the subject matter. Then, I’ll start zooming in more and capturing those details in different ways. I like holding the tempo sometimes and lingering on a subject for a panel or two and then moving on. I apply this concept to other works I make as well and it hasn’t failed me yet!

Also, on Dawn Roe’s portfolio site I found something in her statement that I completely resonated with – “This earthly presence is distinct from the seemingly stable, reproducible image – one that persists, suggesting that all matter is sound enough to endure the world’s relentless shifts, however benign or catastrophic.

In her statement, Dawn talks about the spaces that objects in the world make and that she captures the “unique situations” these objects make. This completely applies to comics as well – not just observational, but the way cartoonists capture moments in time, opinions, a romantic scene, and just about everything you can think of really.

You can watch Dawn Roe’s Mountain Field Studies HERE.

Throwback to Sally, I also ran into a Georgia O’Keefe piece! Red Hills and White Flower was her featured painting there.

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I really enjoyed my visit to OMART! There were so many galleries and exhibits there, it was a little mind boggling – but these were just some of the pieces I thought more intensely about. I went in there thinking like a cartoonist, but I also kept my mind open to new thoughts and art forms I had never been exposed to.

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Art Trip is a series that features reflections on art and comics, and the adventures that transform those who seek it out.

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Gabriella Tito is a cartoonist living in Orlando, FL. She is a graduate of Frank Santoro’s Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers and a member of the Comics Workbook Roller Derby team. You can find more of her work HERE.

Our Reflection in Comics

Gabriella Tito reports in from Orlando, FL, with this process meditation.

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Hi all! I’m here to talk a bit about how we reflect ourselves in comics. Now, I won’t break down the psychology or anything, or go into how “mainstream comics” are a reflection of our society, but I think it’s safe to say that whether we realize it or not, a part of us is “merged” into our comics. The most obvious would be an auto-bio comic. Even if it’s not about a character that looks like you or is intended to be you, they still could represent a certain ideology or interest you may have.

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Near Shore – Gabriella Tito, 2014

So what about comics without characters? Abstract comics? Excellent point! From my own experience in making abstract comics and comics without relatable humans, I realize I have drawn content from a particular emotion or thought I was feeling at the time.

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Mage – Gabriella Tito, 2015

Maybe a song inspired me to put something on paper. You probably have done this too, given the nature of abstract works. Usually, the less I thought about the content, the more fluid the comic was.

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Cool Grey Warmups – Gabriella Tito, 2015

Abstract comics, and it goes without saying, abstract art in general, is filled with more character than meets the eye. Abstract works can be charged with so many emotions, and the thoughts the creator has, and they can grab the audience so much that they might even relate themselves to that specific work.

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Ghostly Feeling – Gabriella Tito, 2015

It’s not a mistake that this leads to why good representation is always important, simply because of the fact that the audience is always trying to find themselves in characters or concepts. Where do they fit into this? If the characters are reflections of the creator or intention, what can it say about them?

Now, this doesn’t apply 100% of the time, but it is a real possibility that does happen. These are thoughts a creator should always be aware of, but also be mindful of how far they push it. In any case, this brings us back to how we reflect ourselves in creative mediums.

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Everyday Things page 2 – Gabriella Tito, 2015

I’m aware that what I’m saying may not line up with your opinions and that’s OK. These are just some reoccurring ideas I’ve thought about when in the process of making a comic. I’m curious if other cartoonists think of the same things.

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Gabriella Tito is a cartoonist living in Orlando, FL. She is currently contributing to Comics Workbook through her own comics and article tidbits and is a graduate of Frank Santoro’s Correspondence Course. You can find more of her work HERE.