Friday, January 27, 2017

Most Memorable Experiences

The two most memorable experiences for me were the value portrait painting and Oaxacan Animal Bowls.

The value painting was a highlight of the semester because it changed my overall view on self portraits. I've always hated having to make self portraits, so I was not really looking forward to this project. To my surprise, the entire project was actually a lot of fun, and my final product came out pretty well. Because of this project, I will be more open to self portrait assignments in the future.

The Oaxacan Animal Bowl project was also one of my favorite assignments. Because the bowls were based off of endangered species, I felt like it was more significant than most of the others. It was also great to see which animals different people chose to represent, and how they went about doing it. This project made me more open to different styles of art, through opening my eyes to Oaxacan art.

Project That I Am the Most Proud Of

The project I am most proud of is my final still life drawing. This was one of the most successful projects for me. When I looked at my pre-instructional still life and compared it to my final product, I could see real improvement. I believe the reason this project was so successful was because of the homework and in-class assignments that looked at different techniques and media. These allowed me to find out what worked best for me and improve at things that were difficult. This project had a big impact for me because a large part of the reason I took this class was to improve at drawing. While my still life is definitely not perfect, it is better than I thought was possible for me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Basic Photography Skills

Purpose: To become familiar with the basic strategies for photographing
Simplify: Photo by Abby VanLonkhuyzen

Closer: Photo by Carol Guzy

Angle: Photo by Abby VanLonkhuyzen

Rule of Thirds: Photo by Ansel Adams

Even Lighting: Photo by Abby VanLonkhuyzen

Monday, January 23, 2017

Personal Space Box

Purpose:  The purpose of this project was to look closely at the work of Winslow Homer so that I could better understand who he is as an artist as well as learn how to describe, interpret, and evaluate works of art. IN response to looking at Homer's work, I created a relief sculpture that is inspired by his work and concepts.

Artists Studied:  Winslow Homer

My place is SailMaine. SailMaine is on the water in Portland. It's where I sail in spring, summer and fall. Sailing is my favorite activity, and SailMaine is actually where I learned to sail. Because of this, the place is very important to me. I had difficulty finding photos of myself sailing, so I decided to use a photo of myself in front of the water. I put myself in the foreground.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Value Self Portrait

  • To determine where values change when light moves over an uneven surface by using a range of values to paint the different values in a realistic, monochromatic self-portrait;
  • To use your knowledge of color to choose a color that matches the mood of your pose.
  • To effectively communicate an image that looks like you through careful examination of the values and structure of your face. 

I am proud of the accuracy with which I traced shapes. I took a lot of time in tracing the shapes on the lightboard. I made sure I traced every single variation in shade. I think this helped make my project a success. I also did a good job of sticking by the numbers I put in, and occasionally adjusting the values of certain areas if it didn’t look quite right.

The most challenging part of this project was in creating the values and in assigning values to shapes within the portrait. Creating the values was made easier as a result of working in pairs. It made it less time consuming and meant there were more eyes on the project. Still, it was hard to get the colors just right so the values flowed. The really hard part, for me, was assigning values to shapes. I dealt with this by looking at the absolute darkest areas and the absolute lightest ones, and I went from there.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Winslow Homer Analysis: Boy in a Boatyard 1873

To become familiar with Winslow Homer, a Maine artist;

To look at Homer’s work as a way to inform and inspire your work work.

Artist: Winslow Homer Title: Boy in a Boatyard
Date: 1873 Medium: Watercolor on paper

  1. Describe as much as you can about the artwork (over the phone to someone who has not seen the painting).  What is happening?  How many people and/or animals are in it and what are they doing?  Describe any buildings that you see.  What time of day is it?  What colors are used?
    It is a sunny day, maybe around noon because the shadows are very small. In the background the sky is very, very bright blue. There’s a building covered in shingles behind the boy with a bunch of wooden barrels in front of it. Some of the barrels are upright and others are on their side. There’s a large, grey, wooden door in the wall of the building. There’s a dry dock with more barrels under it. Leaning against the barrels there’s a large white sail attached to a mast. The sail is draped on the ground and the boy is sitting partially in one of the barrels and under the sail. The boy is wearing pants, and white-ish shirt and a brown vest. He has a straw hat and is barefoot. The ground in the painting is mostly dirt with a bit of grass in the lower left-hand corner.
  2. Point of interest/Composition – What attracts your eye first?  Where is it located? How does Homer draw your attention to this area?  (color contrasts, lines, location, changes in pattern, etc.)
    The thing that pulls our attention is the sail with the boy underneath it. This area draws our attention because it’s a different color than the rest of the painting (it is bright white while the rest of the painting is duller colors), and also very large. Additionally, it’s located in the center of the painting, and in the foreground.
  3. Balance - Is there symmetrical or asymmetrical balance? Explain...
    The painting has symmetrical balance. The right side of the painting has some large objects, and the left side has more, smaller objects, which balance each other out. Also, the sail is horizontal and crosses most of the painting, and the boy is sitting in the middle.
  4. Depth/Perspective- Is there a horizon line?  What is in the foreground, middleground, and background?  Is the background very deep and far away or is this painting shallow and close up? How do you know; describe it.
    In the foreground, there is a boy tucked under a sail, positioned in and around barrels. This is the main part of the painting. In the middleground, there are more barrels and a building. The background of the painting has a few more barrels and also a long wooden dock. Even further back is the sky. The horizon line is about where the dock is. The painting is deep, because the objects in the background of the painting (barrels and dock) get very small very quickly, as they get farther from the viewer. Also, as you go back in the painting, the objects become less clear, for example the boat on the dock is just a dark shape with no detail.
  5. Mood – What are the feelings, emotions and/or mood you get when you look at this painting?  How do the colors, lines, brushstrokes, composition, subject matter contribute to the mood?
    It looks like summer, and a very hot day because the sky in the background is bright blue and the painting looks very sunny, with a lot of light and not too many shadows. So it makes me think of a hot summer day. Also, the boy has taken shelter in the shade of the sail, which makes it seem like a very hot day, and indicates that the boy would rather be somewhere cool. Homer uses brushstrokes that aren’t very visible to make the painting look as real as possible, and he uses dull colors. This helps convey the heat and dryness of the day and exasperation of the boy.
  6. Interpret - Now that you have looked closely at the artwork and have read the title, describe the story of the painting. What do you think Homer was trying to communicate?
    The painting is about a boy who works at a boathouse. He is sitting outside under a sail on a very hot summer day to get some shade, and would much rather be somewhere else than working in the heat. Homer was trying to communicate the exhaustion of boatyard workers in the heat of summer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Oaxacan Animal Bowl

Purpose: To create a clay bowl with an endangered species subject, decorated in the style of the Oaxaca painted animal sculptures.
Art Culture Studied: The Oaxacan Culture from Mexico

I chose the Florida Scrub-Jay. I chose this animal because I really liked its natural colors and the way it looked in photographs, and I thought that the reason it was threatened was important. The scrub-jay lives in Florida (hence the name); it’s habitat is scrub, sand and small trees. Due to loss of an already rare habitat, the bird is threatened (but not endangered). There are only about 4,000 or fewer birds left in the wild. To show the habitat, I decided to make a simple background that really showed the habitat. So, I put the bird on a branch and made the background the color of sand with a few small green plants on it.

I used an analogous color scheme. The colors I chose ranged from yellow to blue. I used many different shades of blue and several shades of green, but only one yellow. I like how the colors look, but I feel like the yellow-ish background doesn’t really connect very well with the blues of the bird. If I did this again, I would add more greens and blue-greens so that I could tie everything together better.

For me, the most interesting part of this project was doing research on endangered species, and on how artists were working to protect them. I have always been interested in the plight of endangered animals. I enjoyed getting the chance to research some of them and learn what factors contribute to species becoming endangered. Another part of this project I enjoyed was that I could look into how artists were helping to shed light on endangered species. I thought seeing how other artists had tackled this issue helped me design my bowl.