Thursday, January 26, 2017

Most Memorable Experiences

My two most memorable experiences in this class are the Oaxacan animal bowl and styrogami projects.

Firstly, the Oaxacan animal bowl assignment helped show me how the worlds of art and science can be connected. By researching and portraying an endangered animal, such as the atlantic salmon, I was able to make my own, personalized twist to the story of the species itself.

Secondly, my styrogami project was another memorable experience. Throughout this project, I was able to creatively meet the challenge set out, which was to make a styrofoam cup into a sculpture that was 3D and entirely unrecognizable from the original cup I began with. This experience let me think outside the box, which I believe is when the most interesting work is created. In my sculpture, I entirely changed the properties of the original styrofoam cup in order to make a 3D ball that used negative and positive space to achieve this impression.

Project That I Am the Most Proud Of

This is the in-class project that I am most proud of from this class. I am most proud if this particular project because it is the one that I put the most time and effort into. I was drawn to this assignment from the beginning because it was the most difficult and time-consuming of any project that we had done so far. This assignment had a profound impact on my learning in this class because it reinforced the concepts that we learned about differing values in a drawing or painting, and how they can be utilized to give a 3D appearance to a 2D project. I deeply enjoyed how I was able to utilize so many concepts that we had learned up to that point of the year. I felt accomplished when I was able to use them in order to make my best-looking project this year.

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 a cove beneath the face of the front of Mt. Kineo. This is a mountain in the middle of Maine’s largest lake: Moosehead. Moosehead lake borders both the Somerset and Pisqataquis counties.

Every February vacation, my father and I, along with friends of the family, make a trip to go ice fishing at Moosehead Lake. We stay on a camp located on the northwest shore of Moosehead. Our most favorite place to fish is in the eastern cove that is set beneath the steepest side of the mountain. The images that I included in my box are from my very first trip when I was 12 years old. This place continues to be one of my favorites in the world. I included myself in the foreground with a lake trout that I caught in the deeper waters of the cove.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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.

In my portrait painting, I am most proud with the wrinkle features I was able to include on my forehead. I feel they are the strongest piece of my painting and contributes the most to giving my portrait a lifelike appearance. They portray lifelike qualities by effectively representing the light and dark values.

The part of this assignment that was most challenging was layering my paint in order to prevent gaps between values. The difficulties that were presented included that the paint would take long periods to dry, and the layering of the paint to prevent gaps between the values led to me not being able to completely see where the traced values were. To deal with this, I had to periodically switch between different areas of my painting in order to allow the paint to dry before going over it with another layer. Additionally, when layering paints to prevent thin patches, I would periodically check the newsprint under my sheet of acetate to memorize where differences in values were. I also used the actual photo to see the value changes more directly and to compare my work with the source product.

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
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.

Wednesday, December 14, 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 Atlantic Salmon for my endangered animal. I chose it because I have been an avid fisherman my entire life, and I also like marine science. The Atlantic Salmon is endangered due to overfishing that stems back to early colonization of New England and Canada by Europeans in the early and late 17th century. The Atlantic Salmon populates much of the Northern Atlantic from New England states, such as Maine, all the way to Greenland. In the fall they return to their home rivers and streams to mate and spawn. Currently, commercial fishing for salmon is a big industry off the coast of Greenland and Newfoundland, and the population has dropped from 1.8 million to roughly 600,000 since their abundance was discovered in these areas in the 1970’s.

When connecting the symbols of my animal’s habitat, I chose to include a riverbed with rocks and weeds to represent the rivers they visit in the annual salmon run season every fall.

My color scheme is cool colors. The specific colors I used are dark blue, light blue, light teal, dark purple, light purple, and light green. These match my color scheme and are cool colors because they do not give off a feeling of heat or warmth, yet they rather give off coolness. I like how the colors look, and I believe they contrast each other using various shades and tints in a visually appealing way. However, if I were to do this assignment again, I would add more cool colors of a darker tint, as a majority of my painting is lighter.

To me, the most interesting part of this project was connecting the natural world to art. It was fun to represent my animal in a way that, while not being exactly the same as it would appear in real life, uses different patterns and schemes to create a dynamic and interesting work of art. It was interesting to portray my animal in an alternative way that was not as it appears in nature. I was able to use creativity while also appreciating the qualities of this animal and the importance of its environment.

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