Friday, January 23, 2015

Most Memorable Experiences

Although at the time it just seemed a nuisance, the time I spent after school perfecting projects was one of the highlights. I think these experiences of putting in that extra work were the most valuable experiences of the semester in art. In the past I have been wanted to be the first done with my projects/assignments. Not finishing the product in class allowed my nearly perfectionist personality regain control. It has now become a question for me whether the extra time I spent on these was simply for the better grade, or for my own enjoyment. Toward the end of the semester I began to enjoy the after school work. It has become a sanctuary for my personality to be reflected within my work. I learned that putting extra time into something can turn out to be more valuable than I thought. The other highlight of the semester was the ability to create incredible pieces of artwork alongside my colleagues and friends. Although at times I found myself distracted, their advice and support ultimately proved to help me perfect and improve my work.

Thinking About Art

This class has changed the way I look art in an interesting way. Before the class, I viewed art as the final result. I saw the subject matter and the colors used and determined whether or not it was good by the smoothness and realism of it. Now, I look at the craftsmanship. I look at the process. I look at how the artist may have gotten to the final result. Although much of the beauty of a piece of artwork still rests in the finished product for me, I value the processes needed to reach that much more now. The photography unit helped me realize the simple beauty in the world around me. Patterns are abound. Details in the nature of the world are often the most beautiful. The true beauty of art lies in the work and effort used to get to the finished project.

The Project that I Am the Most Proud of

The project I am the most proud of is my last project: the Personal Space Box. I really liked how I used a light blue color to give a sense of mountainous freedom. I cut the pictures quite well to give the artwork a clean cut, professional feel. Also, I used a tangible object that represented my trip quite well. The way I presented the object was interesting as well. I feel the looseness of the way the leather was laid represented the stress-free vacation to Alaska. It also represented the freedom of being among mountains larger than life. I feel like this project impacted my learning considerably by allowing to voice my opinion and make a piece that really reflected who I am. Also, I learned how to incorporate different layers into my artwork in a way that I haven't before. I learned how to problem solve in multiple ways as well. For example, in my second layer from the background, the waterfall, the piece wouldn't stand up straight. I place a piece of plastic behind it in order to keep the piece upright and looking good.

Graphic Designs using Color Schemes


- Gain a basic understanding Adobe Photoshop, cs6 (or Acorn, if you used that)
- Use Photoshop (or Acorn) to create two different, interesting designs that demonstrate clear color schemes and organic & geometric shapes.

Organic Design, Primary Color Scheme:

Geometric Design, Cool Color Scheme:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

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

The place I used for my personal space box was Denali, Alaska. Denali is home to the tallest mountain in North America: Mt. McKinley. This place is very important to me because I went on vacation recently. Also, I love mountains and hold them very close to my heart. Alaska is an incredible place to find mountains and beautiful nature. I found a picture of myself sitting on rocks on the side of a mountain and placed it in the foreground. I used leather attached to a carabiner as my tangible object. The leather represents shoelaces because of how much hiking I did in Alaska. The carabiner represented the mountains. The carabiner is an essential tool for mountain climbing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Still Life Drawing


  • To create a still-life drawing that demonstrates understanding of angles & ellipses in perspective, along with using a variety of mark-making techniques to describe form;
  • To understand value by creating a good range of values between black & white to help make the objects appear 3D;
  • To demonstrate quality craftsmanship and good composition skills in a drawing.

Artists Studied: Henry Moore, John Whalley, Giorgio Morandi & Vincent van Gogh

I used Giorgio Morandi’s technique of crosshatching. The crosshatching technique involves making more marks the darker/lighter you want it. I feel that this type of mark-making worked relatively well. I did occasionally use other types of marks to help build edges and curves, but for the most part the crosshatching was useful. I think I may try something different if I do still life again. The crosshatch was an easy way to make shadows and lighter spots.

I notice that my pre-instructional drawing was actually pretty good. I did use multiple types of mark-making which probably wasn’t great. Also, the outlining of the figure in the pre-instructional took away from the reality of the drawing. I think emulating the artist’s styles helped me the most in this project. I learned how to use all of the different techniques and found out which worked best for me. Also, the perspective practice helped me learn how to better make a three dimensional figure. Thinking of things in either one point or two point perspective is very valuable in making a realistic figure.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Winslow Homer, Dogs in a Boat, 1889

To become familiar with Winslow Homer, a Maine artist;
To look at Homer’s work as a way to inform and inspire your own work;

Title: Dogs in a Boat
Medium: Watercolor
Year of creation: 1889

Describe as much as you can about the artwork.
The dogs in the painting appear to be standing/sitting still. Two dogs are standing up and four are sitting down. The boat appears to be moving to the left side of the painting as the dogs watch on. There are no buildings in this painting, however, the setting is obviously a body of water. The trees in the background are on the land. It appears to be a beautiful autumnal morning. The colors used include white, browns, black, and a shade of oranges.

Point of interest/Composition.
I think the dog farthest to the right attracts my eye first because of how the white contrasts with the darker hues. The dog has the lightest colored fur and stands out to me the most.

I think the painting has an asymmetrical balance. The dogs tend to be shifted to the right side of the painting and the boat. The far left side of the painting only includes the trees and water. Also, the trees tend to be more shifted to the left. This painting doesn’t have very much symmetry anywhere.

I think the horizon line is when the water meets the land and trees. It is only visible in the far left but one can sense the imaginary horizon line across the painting. I think the background is probably the sky on the far left of the screen. The middle ground is the trees across the entire painting. The foreground is definitely the dogs and the boat. I feel the real subject of the painting is up close and personal, but the sky (background) is obviously quite far back in the painting: behind everything and above/behind the trees.

I get a kind of nostalgic vibe while looking at this painting. The dogs remind me of childhood. Also, the dogs look very innocent and are in such a simple environment. The painting makes me happy. The lines in the water create a nice flow like water would. The dotted trees convey the leaves and randomness of them. The crispness of the dogs are very realistic. The color also creates an autumnal vibe. The dogs in the boat create a simple and peaceful mood as I mentioned.

I think the story of the artwork is pretty self-evident. The dogs on the boat are floating through the water on a boat in the fall. The peaceful atmosphere almost appears to give off a nostalgic vibe from Homer. He may have been trying to show how sometimes in life we (the dogs) feel stranded in the middle of a lake. Our only option may be up to the winds and others to decide.