Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Final Thoughts

Through it all, I can absolutely say that this semester was quite memorable. Through different projects, whether it was the imaginative self portrait, or watercolors, I faced challenges. Being forced to learn how to deal with mediums or styles that I tend to avoid was interesting for me. I had to figure out how I could employ new techniques taught to us to create a final project that I would be proud of. Along the way, I also created my own ways/techniques with these mediums that made the process a little bit easier.

One highlight of this semester for me was the Imaginative Self-Portrait. I enjoyed this because it ended up being quite meditative for me, even though I did have some trouble coming up with symbols. Another highlight for me was the realistic self-portrait that we did. I usually tend to rush through my art, not one of my best habits, but through this project I was forced to take my time. I felt like this helped me create a far-better final project than I would normally produce. Lastly, the project with the half-photo was one of my favorites. I thought that the whole concept of this project was super interesting, and I have actually done the same thing at home since then.

Overall, there were many highlights of my time that I spent in art fundamentals this semester. I feel like I have grown as an artist since I started this class at the beginning of the semester. I am very exited to continue in drawing and painting next year!

Work of Art that I am the most proud of

Out of all the work that I have created this semester in Drawing and Painting, I feel the most proud of my imaginative self portrait. The reason why I am the most proud of this piece is because I usually do not do much doodling, which is what this project was mostly comprised of. I was also faced with the challenge of creating symbols that I felt represented myself, which as far more difficult than I had assumed it would be. As of what I learned as a result of this project, I feel that the most impactful lesson that I could apply to any piece of work I create, is the balance of values, which in this case is black and white. Overall, this is the piece of work that I am the most proud of because of the challenges that I faced through creating it. 

Watercolor Techniques

Purpose: To experiment, explore, and learn a variety of ways to paint with watercolor;

As a result of painting with watercolor, I learned a few key concepts along the way. First of all, I  was not a huge fan of painting with watercolor in the first place, as I do not like the lack of control. However, I found that embracing this lack of control forced me to think abstractly about how I would create a final product that I could be happy with. Also, I was able to use many different techniques with watercolor that I had not been able to use before, and I was therefore able to produce effects with the paint that I was not able to do in my earlier experiences with watercolor. Overall, I enjoyed the challenge that I faced through using watercolor, because it forced me to be out of my own comfort zone and I learned so much about this medium that I tended to avoid/ignore for such a long time. I can definitely see myself using watercolor again in the near future.  

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Unsung Hero, Jane Elliot

A Class Divided, that is what a schoolteacher named Jane Elliot created. She taught in a small town in Iowa called Riceville. Through her belief that we all have a responsibility to end terrible things such as prejudice and discrimination, Elliott determined to confront the racist attitudes in her classroom. Although the name seems to be expressing the idea of separation, Jane Elliot’s lesson was teaching quite the opposite. Conducting this experiment the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, she used collars to separate the children in her class by eye color, brown eyes and blue eyes. This exercise labels participants as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority. To show discrimination to these children, she would treat the group with one eye color significantly better than the other, and then vice-versa over a two day period. She gave the blue-eyed children extra privileges, such as second helpings at lunch, access to the new jungle gym, and five extra minutes at recess. The blue-eyed children sat in the front of the classroom, and the brown-eyed children were sent to sit in the back rows. The blue-eyed children were encouraged to play only with other blue-eyed children and to ignore those with brown eyes. She would not allow brown-eyed and blue-eyed children to drink from the same water fountain and often lectured the brown-eyed students when they did not follow the exercise's rules or made mistakes. She often amplified the differences between the two groups by singling out students and would use negative aspects of brown-eyed children to emphasize a point. Then, she assigned her students an essay to write on “how discrimination feels”. This project soon gained positive national attention, however her own community felt negatively about it when her local newspaper published compositions that the children wrote about the experience. I used the two eyes to represent the literal essence of her lesson, using eye color to represent discrimination. I painted her in the painting as she is, obviously, the unsung hero and woman who found a way to show just about anyone how discrimination really feels. I tried to keep the background fairly plain so it would not distract from Jane or the two eyes; I chose orange as the color for it to put more emphasis on Jane. I wrote “A Class Divided” on the upper section of my painting, because that is the name of the project, and it creates intrigue from the viewer. Through creating this piece, I have learned a surprising amount. Although I have felt discrimination in one form or another, this project opened my eyes to the everyday discrimination that we, as a society, may be so used to that we do not recognize it and are therefore not doing anything about. I also feel like, in a positive light, we have made many moves to eliminate discrimination, and I believe that communities and countries are still making active decisions to eliminate discrimination towards specific groups. I think that, through completing this project, my outlook on life has changed no doubt.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vegetable/Fruit Painting

As a result of doing these paintings, I have learned a few techniques. First of all, I had never actually put effort into using a pallet knife when painting, I have my own and find them quite annoying to be frank. Despite my past experiences with using a pallet knife, I worked hard to find a way to create a final project that met my own standards. I found that, because of the lack of control that comes with the use of a pallet knife, that I would have to accept that the colors might not be as realistic, so I took a more abstract approach to this specific piece. However, in the other painting, I used a brush, which I was far more comfortable with. I was able to accurately portray colors in this piece, but I think I really learned how to portray highlights and shadows with color when I was using the brush.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

LMC Unsung Hero Planning

Although I was also inspired by Irena Sendler's story, Jane Elliot's story inspires me the most because of the stance that she took against discrimination. I am also inspired visually by her story. I think I will pursue a portrait that is figuratively telling her story rather than a realistic or literal portrait because of the unique quality of her story. I believe that this will make my final project's message more effective.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Imaginative Self- Portrait

There were several symbols that I used in my imaginative self-portrait. One of the symbols that I used was the yin-yang symbol. I used this symbol because it represents balance, which is something that is extremely important to me. Another symbol that I chose to use was the Gemini zodiac symbol. I decided to put this in because my horoscope is something that I read everyday, but not in any seriosity. The mountains symbolize how emotionally strong I’ve had to become these past years, and the track represents my love for running. My love for nature, is symbolized by the flowers. The door represents the many opportunities that I’ve had in my life, and ones that I never took. I used clouds as a way to show how I tend to overthink things, like someone who is looking at the clouds and is trying to make animals or shapes out of them. The city skyline expresses my love for cities like Boston and Charleston. The paintbrush expresses my love for art. Lastly, the fish represent my love for water.   

My use of value helps to unify and balance my composition. Throughout this whole project, I made an effort to keep a balance between the amount of dark and light areas. Keeping this precious equilibrium between values creates unification because it makes the whole piece balanced. I placed most of my dark values in the center of my drawing, while my lighter values were on the outer parts of my drawing.

While completing this drawing, I ran into a few challenges. For one, I am not very good at coming up with patterns and symbols, so the whole planning portion of this drawing was difficult for me. Another thing that I struggled with was the placement of symbols and patterns. Even though I struggled with a few things, I feel like I had no problem with some areas. For example, I easily kept the balance between black and white. Also, I think that I had a fairly easy time creating the symbols after I had them planned.