Thursday, January 26, 2017

Most memorable experiences

The project that I remember most vividly would be the blind hand drawings. I just remember thinking that my drawing didn't look anything like a hand, but this was the unit that we learned to just draw the lines and this helped me so much throughout the rest of the unit. I remember showing improvement just in hand drawing over those classes and by the time we got to the value portraits I used a similar method of thinking. As I was going along, my painting looked almost nothing like a face until the end, but it came out great.
Another highlight of the semester for me, is much more general. I stayed after to work on many projects this semester, but to me it was worth it because I got to see different people's passions for their work I was able to learn a lot about the smattering of different people who showed up each day because the setting was much less formal. I got to talk to people about art ranging from Class Council members planning spirit week to people in higher level art classes and their reasons for their passions for art.

Project that I am most proud of

The work that I am most proud of is my value portrait. I think that I put the most work into this piece over all the others and I showed perseverance and determination because of all the time I spent after school working on this painting. I really like how it came out in the end and the details in the eyes and the hoodie are especially good. This piece taught me how to use values more effectively and to use multiple coats of paint effectively. This piece also taught me to not focus on the final product whilst I'm working and instead focus on what I was working on in the moment. I remember something similar to this concept being mentioned in an earlier project, which I believe to be the drawing unit. This project connecting to others showed me to use all that I had learned from the class so far to complete this work to the best of my ability.

Personal Space Box

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 Saddleback Mountain in Dallas Plantation, Maine. This is the mountain where I learned to ski and spent many weekends in the past there with my family. I wanted to incorporate this idea of family in my final product, so I included myself with my little brother and my dad's girlfriend. I almost grew up on this mountain when I was younger and it has recently closed down, so this project is, in part, to honor the mountain as well.

Value Self Portrait

    1. 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;

    2. To use your knowledge of color to choose a color that matches the mood of your pose.
    3. To effectively communicate an image that looks like you through careful examination of the values and structure of your face.

I think that I’m most proud of the final product. It came out really well and I think it really does look like me. I liked how the eyes came out and the sweatshirt came out pretty good as well. The eyes are very piercing and the sweatshirt looks very realistic.

I think that for me the most challenging part of the project was the improvising. I had to improvise on many occasions where the values of to sections next to each other were the same. An example of these improvised sections would be the neck and the cheek. I had to improvise with a slightly darker line of paint underneath the chin to show the two areas were separate.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Winslow Homer Analysis: Basket of Clams (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.

Basket of Clams, 1873, Oil Paint
  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?

In the middle of the foreground, there are two kids walking abreast on a beach carrying a bucket between them. The beach itself is covered in shells, seaweed, and a dead fish. The background depicts a black and white double-masted sailboat beached in front of a boatyard elevated by a stone pier. There is a large, light purple building farthest in the background, and a smaller red brick building set closer to the viewer, yet still on the pier. The sunlight is coming in from the left, giving off shadows that make the painting feel as if it were set at midday. Overall, there seems to be a general use of yellow in various tints, black, white, and gray. In some parts, such as one child’s clothing, there is the use of a bright red color.

  1. 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.)
Firstly, I find myself attracted to the sleeves of the child on the left. He is a bit taller than the other kid, and is more to the left of and lower than the center of the painting. Homer uses a bright red to contrast the dulled-down colors to draw attention to the boy.

  1. Balance - Is there symmetrical or asymmetrical balance? Explain...
The balance of the objects in the painting seems to be asymmetrical, due to the fact that the left half of the image includes a greater volume of objects and more content in general. Also, there are more colors on the left side, such as purple and red, in addition to the more common colors expressed throughout the painting.

  1. 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.
Yes, there is a horizon line, which seems to be located behind the red brick building in the background. In the foreground, there are two kids and a dead fish that appear to be close due to their proportions in size. In the middle ground, there is a large, two masted sailboat that appears to be in between the kids and the pier because it blocks the pier and the kids are larger in relation to its size.

  1. 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?
The overall mood we get from this painting is a feeling of hope. Mostly the subject matter, such as the two kids carrying a relatively empty basket over a beach at low tide on a relatively hot day. It seems that they have not been very lucky, and their heads are down as they are looking at a dry beach with a dead fish and weeds. The colors give off a lot of heat, which makes the painting feel warm, but also dry.

  1. 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 “story” of the painting appears to be two kids that are looking, in vain, for clams to dig up. They seem to be on a very hot, dry beach at low tide, and they are heading towards the water to find clams. Homer seems to be trying to convey the determination of these kids who are searching for clams, even on a dry day when they probably aren’t going to find much. He also gives off a sense of hope from these stubborn children.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

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 fisher cat because of its interesting nature and I liked the look of the animal. I had an idea for what I wanted to do right off the bat with my animal. The fisher cat is endangered in California because of trapping and poisoning. The fishers like to each certain crops, so the farmers put out traps and poisons that kill the fishers. They are also hunted using traps for the furs. This resulted in a dwindling population of the fisher cat in California. The background depicts a forest habitat, like the ones where the fisher cats live. There is a trapping trail winding through the forest to represent the traps that are killing the fishers.

I chose a complimentary red and green color scheme for my bowl. Red and green are complimentary colors on the color wheel and they went well to represent the forest environment where the fisher lives and the fisher itself and its fiery nature. I like how the color scheme turned out in the end. I would add more shades of green in the background if I were to do this project again.

The most interesting part of this project to me was the endangered species part. At the beginning, as we were browsing to find which animal to paint it struck me that there are so many different endangered species across America. That stuck with me throughout the project and made me want to encapsulate the beauty and ferocity of the fisher cat in my work. Seeing everyone’s different choice of animal speaks a little bit about them as a person and it was good to get to know everyone in the class a little bit better. Also, choosing a color scheme that would properly show off the nature of the fisher and the environment it lives in was interesting as well.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Fabulous Faces


  • To look a bit deeper at a variety of portrait artists who use a variety of media
  • Develop understanding of different artists’ work through inquiry, research, and synthesis