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Personal Reflection on Art 160

I loved this class and all that it taught me. Before this semester I had science labs from 2-5 every other day, I completely dreaded them. But with this class, I never knew how time flew by. There were many moments of frustration and disappointment, but there were also moments of pride and a sense of accomplishments.

From the beginning when I came into this class I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew I would give it my all because I really wanted to learn how to draw! I often practiced outside of class on drawing things but never felt comfortable about putting them on the blog because I didn’t know the reaction I’d get. I also felt really self conscious of my work because to my left and right were people who could really draw well. I remember on our first assignment I was in complete awe every time I saw Bethany’s chair and would constantly compare mine to her’s. Which I think was a constant theme for me when we did the same projects, such as the self portrait and comparing mine to Ceecee’s. When we did individual projects like the personal projects and the tiny animals I never compared mine because I knew my project was suppose to be different and unique to what I wanted to create. But when we were all doing the same thing I got really self conscious.

I also made a lot of connections with my other classes. Whether it was women studies or science, I made personal connections everywhere. I started to get a different mindset because of all the intellectual depth I was able to have, all due to this class. Ironically I had a really good friend of mine who goes to Georgia Tech who was taking art this semester as well. Their class used tumblr to blog and it was a unique experience being able to compare our projects with theirs. Their projects were very different and broad compared to ours. One clear distinction was their vast usage of media and technology, which obviously their school’s name kind of gives that away (Georgia Institute of Technology). One project was to market something and that project really showed me how art is used to compose a product that is desirable to consumers.

Check out my friend’s blog at joeythesuperman.tumblr.com

Overall I loved this class and it actually encouraged me to pursue art. I found out that maybe I’m an abstract artist who doesn’t draw or think in conventional ways (hence my creepy guy and my abstract still life).  I loved the people in the class because they were part of the reason why I knew each class session would be lively.  I wished I had more interaction with all of them because I know I won’t have the same opportunity to do so in the future. Another great thing about this class was the blogs! I think by actively using it and updating it, it helped my writing and my ability to critically think about art without a professor lecturing me (so I was truly able to see how much I learned immediately in a lecture without having to study the terms like I do for my other classes). After this class I really thought about becoming a potential art major or minor :-), we’ll see where things end up!

Thank you Nell for such an amazing journey.

Last random side note, when we began talking about ourselves in our first entries we had to find a picture that described us. I chose a whale that symbolized strength and meant a lot of other personal things to me. Ironically a friend of mine got me a shirt with the similar whale when they went to Oregon for Spring Break.

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Art Galleries!

To truly get the accurate perspective, evaluation, and benefits of going to a gallery I felt like I should do it at the end of our course because ideally by then I would have learned all that is necessary. I appreciated this being part of our class because had it not I wouldnt have ventured out and taken the time to valued the art galleries. Honestly speaking, I get head aches whenever I’ve gone to a museum (don’t know why though, maybe the environment?).

First up – Finale (a gallery at our school about all the work students have done in art classes this semester)

Not to be biased 🙂 but I think our tiny animals were the best part out of that entire gallery :P.

Other parts of that gallery that I really enjoyed were the self portraits and the art work next to our chair projects.

These projects (the square frames) were really interesting to me and I could only imagine how hard it must’ve been to do these. The amount of detail in each piece truly depicted the level of work that went into the pieces.  Each of them was very distinctive and spoke various messages to me. The one that was the strongest to me was the white piece on the far right. The white appeared to be tearing off and to me it symbolized how purity or innocence (white color affect) was torn apart or taken away by force.

This piece gave me a very dark feeling. The bold eyes and the color scheme of the piece really made me feel uncomfortable. The intensity in the way the person created it was very distinctive. My guess is that they either sewed it together or something to that effect. Which ever method it was, the fact that they also showed how the piece’s eyes were sewed in as well gave it a very dramatic effect. The shape of the head being so rectangular gave it a lot of energy (having a vertical emphasis).

I dont watch a lot of American movies, but the overall piece reminded me of the movie Donnie Darko and the creepy bunny that was in the movie. As crazy as it                                                                       sounds the bunny image really spooked me out.

I felt like you needed to see it to know what I was talking about

The self portraits were all great! The one that hit me the most was the one on the right. I think the part that struck me the most was the value on the piece. Most of the other drawings had various scales on their pieces but this one either had white or really bold black shading. Another thing that struck me was how the eyes on it were all black! Usually it’s the pupil that is darker than your eye ball but this person chose to draw the entire eye black. By doing that it definitely hit a dramatic note on the piece.

The other pieces that really got my attention were the ones done in the printmaking class.

My favorite were these two pieces (partially because I know the people in them 🙂 ). Again, I seemed to be enjoying the same type of art that day because these portraits also were dominant in their value. The one on the left had a very vivid appeal because of the black background and the lightness on the subject. The shading on that piece was very well done because it felt very natural to have the lower aspect of the shirt darker and to have one side of the face darker than the other. The one on the right had more variety in shading and thus it being effective to have a white frame. I enjoyed her piece being focused on her face and neck because I was able to pay attention to each of her features but also being able to look at it as a whole. Her hair, lips, glasses, nose, neck, everything was very well done and due to the value I could sense the texture of them.

*Side Note: I also went to My Sweet, Sweet with Michelle but I felt like I couldn’t do justice to my interpretation of them when it was shown on campus. But it was a great collection and I really enjoyed the mixture of pieces.

Up Next – My trip to the High Museum yesterday

So I went to the High Museum and didn’t know what to expect. The last time I went there was when I was in either elementary school or middle school……obviously a time I don’t remember. I stayed there much longer than I truly expected. I thought hey I’d be there for one hour and be done with what I needed because of the headaches I get when I’m at museum’s. Little did I know I would end up staying there for 3 hours! I was so mesmerized with everything. But before I got to that phase I had a headache for a while and learned that when I have a headache it’s when I don’t enjoy what I’m seeing (sad I know). Their were 5 levels at the museum and I could only go to certain levels based upon the elevator I was in (took me a while to figure that out).

I first went to the second level and started taking pictures, but I was immediately stopped because I was told that I couldn’t take pictures. So sadly I went on with my time there thinking I couldnt take pictures of anything I saw. The second level was a collection of Henry Carier-Bresson, from the modern century. They were all photographs of things he saw while traveling to different places. Because I couldnt take pictures of them all I can talk about is a reflection I had on his collection. They were all very distinctive and strong pieces, but I found myself gravitating towards the ones that were dark and sad. The one that I still see in my head was the one about Prime Minister of India having to make an address about Gandhi’s death. I was able to find a version of the picture online.

The image spoke volumes to me. The value in the photo was amazing and conveyed the sorrow message. The stance in which the Prime Minister was in made a great impact on the overall picture. He looks fragile and timid as he leans on something with a police officer on his right.

Many of his pictures reminded me of my classes that I’ve taken at Agnes. For starters, my anthropology class because some of the pictures made the people in them seem very uncivilized even though they are. It reminded me how we portray humans that we’re unfamiliar with a different way than people we share some traditions or customs with. Given the era the collection was made in, modern century, I also analyzed the way women were portrayed because of my women studies class. They were either really poor and in impoverished areas (if they were in Asian countries), seen doing house chores, or depicted as people who are living a luxurious life due to their husbands. I felt many emotions while looking at the chosen images but most of them werent happy feelings.

Before leaving his gallery I want to share a quote that I saw, “A photographer must be something of an acrobat, because he is always running, balancing, about to tip over. Do you know what it takes to be a photographer? It takes one finger, one eye, and two legs.” – Henri Cariter – Bresson.

Then I went onto the Skyway level and saw the Contemporary Art collection. I was blown away with everything I saw. Discouraged about not being able to take pictures, I browsed around and felt like I could talk about the pieces I saw. So before intending on leaving I asked the security guy if he knew about me being able to find the pictures of the art work online if I typed up the artist names and he said he wasn’t sure but that I could take pictures of the art work if I wanted. When he said that I was so shocked! He said yeah you just cant take pictures of one of the pieces on the Skyway level and cant take any pictures on the second level. So he went on to say that I should go downstairs and get a pass from the security guard and I’d be ready to take pictures!

So I went downstairs and the security guard told me the rules before I was able to take pictures. He said that I couldn’t post the pictures on public websites such as Facebook and other things like that. I asked him if it would be okay to post them on my blog and he said yes that’s fine :). I went back upstairs on the Skyway level and started taking pictures of all the pieces that I found really interesting.

These two pieces really struck me because of the techniques the artists used. The one on the left I found very interesting because it was a self portrait of the artist and he used a very distinguished way to show his piece. All that we were told is that he used oil on his canvas. You could see the different values depicting his features as well as adding an element of curiosity because the tiny diamond shaped things weren’t filled with solid colors, they had multiple things going on. The image on the right was of fascinating because the artist used a warehouse floor as a canvas and employed art students to find trash outside his city’s dumpsters. Using the things the students found he created this piece on his floor! This photograph was the only record of his amazing work, and it’s an image 40 ft above the floor. This is definitely a piece I would encourage everyone to see in person because my image does not do justice to it.

I went through all of the floors and saw all of the galleries but my favorite one was the folk art 🙂

All of these pieces (left) were done by Howard Finster (my new favorite artist). I loved all the different materials he used and the way he chose to captivate his messages in all of them.

These pieces were all amazing and their details are far too great for me to begin talking about them! These are a must see! I loved being able to see how people brought religion into art and how they interpreted it (anthropology shout out!).

One piece that really fueled me was something I saw in the American art section.

It was a sculpture of a Native American on top of a dinning table, in a pose that illustrated him serving. I was so upset when I saw this! I think the message was pretty clear about how racist it was and how back in the day this was probably not viewed the same as it is now. Art definitely did it’s job, got me thinking!

Overall I loved the experience at the High Museum and wouldn’t have done it had it not been for this class :). I truly discovered what types of art I like and what I’m discouraged at (cough cough American and European Mid-19th Century art).

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5/1/11 – 5/6/11 End of Self Portrait Journey

Before you start reading this, you should know that I havent been updating on a daily basis because my computer was having issues. It would start the computer but wouldnt log in :(. Thankfully a super duper good friend who is a super genius got it to work today!!! 🙂 So I can finally post this after getting the pictures from my computer!!!!!! 🙂 🙂

5/1/11

So….I completely started over on my project and came in today knowing  I would have to do a lot to catch up with everyone. I first really wanted to get my nose right because based upon it’s scale I was going to measure everything else.

I worked really hard trying to get the shading and the scale of everything I could see. It was interesting to notice how even something simple as a nose had so many complicated shapes and formations of its own. The more I looked the more I could see. But it was also becoming harder to not emphasize the small complexities of my nose and just draw my nose (if that makes sense)! At the end of the day I was pretty satisfied with my nose because I thought what I was depicting was true. The one thing that I wasn’t sure about was how to distinguish different skin pigmentation versus the shade I was getting because of the light. Gah!

Before leaving I wanted to look back at the picture that Nell showed us before beginning this project.

I couldn’t help but compare their features to mine and really wished I could talk to her. I would love to ask her what techniques she used and how she decided which part to emphasize on her face. Any tips she’d have for mine would be very welcomed!

5/2/11

I came into class before it started and wanted to add some lightness on my side to make my portrait more lively. When class started I started developing the shapes that created my lips. I struggled multiple times, erasing here and there because I knew what I was seeing is not what was being drawn. I hated it! Obviously my frustration wasn’t helping with my progress so I decided to stop and move onto something else.

I began drawing the shapes around my eye and knew that it was not going to be right the first time. Depending upon the light and the way it was hitting on my face the white part of my eye was as light as the lightest point on my face. Because of that, everything else around or in my eye appeared very dark in comparison to the white part. I had a hard time drawing the skin around my eye because the skin pigmentation was completely different than anywhere else on my face.

After all the difficulties I was facing that day I decided to just take a break and stop for the day, hoping that when I came back I would be able to see a perspective.

Meanwhile I noticed that Ceecee’s drawing was very near being complete. She went beyond than required by cutting a piece of paper and drew her nose ring and lip ring, making them look very mechanical. She also added shading elements to give both of them a defined look. She was definitely an inspiration while working on my project. But I think also looking at her progress I was constantly comparing my drawing with hers (which I know is bad, but when I was getting frustrated I couldn’t help but be negative about my project). Mine was no where near where I wanted it to be and did not look like me at all, or at least I don’t think it did.

5/4/11

I worked before coming to class and by 3:00 during class this was the progress I had made. I knew my eyes were off and I needed to work on making their shapes the same as one another, but it was hard to see from one eye and look at the other eye without messing up a little. One thing that I did make sure was accurate was the scale and measurements of the eye.

I also finally felt okay about my lips, but I think the ones I had the first time I drew my picture were much better. I redrew them at least 3 times and finally just settled with what I had. No matter how hard I tried, I couldnt draw them like the first time again.

As I was wrapping up, I noticed Bethany’s self portrait. I loved the details in her eyes, shading on her face, and the overall self portrait. Nothing felt too heavy, my attention was on the self portrait as a whole. I loved how you could see her eye lid, details of the lights reflecting in her eyes, the distinction from her eye ball to her eye lid, just all of it! Her lips really felt full and 3D because of the value her shading created. Her skin was also very well done, it looked very smooth and tangible. You could really tell she put a lot of time and effort into her entire self portrait because everything looked exactly like her. The details in her portrait really enhanced the overall look.

5/6/11

This (below) was my final product for my self portrait project. I was truly just tired and irritated of the overall look because I knew it didn’t look like me (I kept saying to myself at the end of the day it’s suppose to me a self portrait!). Individually I paid a lot of attention to each feature but I couldn’t draw it :'(. I wish I had more drawing experience before doing this project, or more exposure to different techniques. I asked people as they were drawing about their techniques but either I wasn’t able to do it the same way they would be able to or  it didn’t work as effectively for me. When it came time for critiques I was really nervous and self conscious because I felt like mine was the only one out of the room that didn’t look like a self portrait.  It got to a point where we were getting to individual critiques and I just had to excuse myself when it came towards my turn. I felt so nauseous and scared about the comments. I knew that I was suppose to be objective to the drawing but I couldn’t remove myself from it because it was a picture of ME :(.

After some time of personal reflection I realized that I shouldn’t be so critical of my picture. I remembered something that Nell said earlier, everyone has their own handwriting and it’s shown in the different their different styles of drawing and art work. Perhaps my style is abstract and that’s why I couldn’t force myself to draw the features with such a strict mindset (thinking about drawing abstract I remembered how even my still life drawing was very abstract as well). I would still love to develop more skills in this aspect but I acknowledge I’m not there yet (despite how much I wanted to frame this image because I thought I’d do awesome 😦 ). I need to spend some time away from this project before enhancing it.

Special shout out to Anahita for being able to provide the image of my final art work 🙂

Random side note…..this project has been in my mind so much that every time I see a self portrait similar to the style we are learning, it serves as a constant reminder about where I stand! I was in Professor Hackett’s office when I noticed a book and this image on a book.

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4/18/11- 4/27/11 : Self Portrait

4/18/11

We came to class and set up for our Self Portrait project. We’re going to be using charcoal dust and cover our entire paper using tissue paper as a medium to put it on the canvas. The way we actually “draw” is by erasing! The main purpose of this project is to notice the fine shapes, lines, value, and details that we generally ignore on our face. We’re using clamp lights to give a more dominant value and a mirror to be able to notice everything.

4/20/11

By today we were suppose to have our entire canvas covered with the charcoal dust and ideally have it as close to black as we can. Pheobe helped me get mine really dark before class because I just ran and came back from Wal Mart with my clamp light and mirror.

Set Up

The first thing we were told to do is find the lightest point on our faces and to make that the lightest thing on our paper. Ideally the lightest point should be the tip of your nose because it is the only thing on your face that is projecting outwards (not the best way to describe it, but you get the idea).

First Attempt

My first drawing of my nose, I was really hesitant and scared about how everything would look. I needed to change my mindset and focus on the things I was drawing around each other and try to perfect what I observed and translate it on paper. Another thing I was having a hard time with was getting a technique that would work for me. I couldnt find a good balance or “get in the zone” with my drawing.

As we took a break and I went around to see what other people were doing, I loved Ceecee’s drawing.

Ceecee's

Every detail on Ceecee’s drawing was so precise and believable. I was completely amazed at the progress she made on the first hour or so.

After the break I realized another thing that I began struggling with, how to depict my skin tone. I didnt know what I was doing so I just started attempting to shade the sides of my face. I knew one side had to be darker than the other and just went from there.

End of Day 1


At the end of the day, I was just completely exhausted and DONE with the day.

4/25/11

Today I started feeling a bit better but still very uncomfortable about the project. I am so excited for it to be over, it’s not even funny.

I started working more towards the skin and trying to add value in the areas that I knew were obvious. Slowly I tried to make my way down to my lips

I got really tempted to make an outline of my lips (and Nell caught me and yelled at me). I was really having a hard time just going back and making everything shape oriented. Every time I tried to do that, I remembered the still life drawing and how mine was so abstract even though I followed the shape guidelines. I was afraid that my self portrait was going to be the same :(. I wanted mine to be realistic and had really high expectations of myself.

As the day progressed I got a bit better, I enhanced the details on my nose.

4/26/11

I came in today and worked on quite a bit because I’m more focused and enjoy my drawings when I’m alone.

I spent a lot of time on getting the value of each element as accurate as I could, as well as developing my lips.

I also spent an hour or so just looking at myself and noticing the smaller details I didnt pay attention to before.

Me

At the end of the day, this is what I left with

I was really proud and comfortable about the details I put in each part.

4/27/11

When I came in today I felt completely different than how I left. I realized that my lips were not straight because the board wasn’t straight. The portrait started to not look like me. I was questioning everything that I had done, and wanted Nell’s opinion before I made any other changes.

She helped me solidify my measurements and appreciated the details I had on the piece.

She marked the places I needed to think about and helped me think in a third person perspective. I had gotten so involved with the piece that I needed to be removed from it and be unbiased. I always feel assured after talking to Nell 🙂

After a lot of thought and permission from Nell, I decided to start over. I realized that I learned a lot by doing it the first time, which techniques to use, the best time I can focus and do well, where to spend most of my time, and so much more.

So at the end of this day I had this:

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4/13/11 – Sayoah’s New Family

I loved everyone’s animals!

Our Animals in the Finale Gallery

We sat the animals on a couple of desks and everyone went around the room and described their animal along with saying their name. It was so interesting to hear everyone’s story, reasons in making the animal, approaches in creating them, etc.

My favorite story tellers were Ceecee and Anahita.

Ceecee made more than one animal and gave them all specific powers that correlated to their body type.

The image on the left is a Lothmander:

“Facts: Main function is clinging to trees and blending into the bark. She uses her superfluous moth wings to blend into tree bark. Lives in tropical rain forests, eats mostly small insects and is often found living near bromiliads and other water collecting plants. This animal reproduces asexually thorough Parthenogenesis, and is an all female species.”

The image on the right is a Kiwail:

“Facts: Lives in deciduous forests in warmer climates and builds homes/nests on the ground. She is super speedy and uses her aerodynamic head and strong wire legs to get where she needs to go. Highly territorial. Both males and females are heavily decorated and proud creatures.”

Both quotes directly from ceeceeweeks.wordpress.com

Anahita brought in her own materials and was very original by using only two elements, clay and forks.

Anahita named her animals roseus incomodus. They are socially awkward and hate any attention they get. The one on the left is going through a mohawk phase because it is in it’s adolescent (rebellious) years and soon going to become like the one on the right.

You can read all about how she designed them at thewritermustpaint.wordpress.com

Ceecee’s animals were very function oriented and so was her story, in comparison to Anahita who was able to show the phases of the animal and have an amusing story for their structures.

Read my comments on their blogs!

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4/11/11 – Birth of Sayoah

When I first came into class today I didnt know what I was going to make because. I had a rough idea of maybe making a caterpillar and a monkey’s baby, but only because I thought it would be interesting to see their combination. Growing up my favorite book was The Hungry Little Caterpillar and always thought Curious George was weird. Inspired by my childhood, I thought I’d pursue something with a caterpillar and a monkey.

The materials we had available in comparison to my original idea lead me to believe that my idea was going to be hard to create. I sat in the classroom for at least half an hour thinking what am I going to do :(. I was so frustrated! I started playing around with the materials and familiarized myself with them as I tried to get new ideas in my head. The first thing I grabbed was the thick metal wire. I toyed with making different forms and body structures using it but it just didnt seem like it was working out, adding to my frustration of course……….. Finally it hit me! I could make a butterfly! But do I want to just make a butterfly? Or do I want to make a butterfly hybrid with something else? I had no idea, but at least I knew I could make a butterfly and still be happy with doing justice to The Hungry Little Caterpillar.

The reason why I was inspired by the metal wire to make the butterfly is because I thought about how even though they are delicate creatures, they are strong and unique. I made the wings out of the metal wire and continued to make a thick center out of duct tape. After I did that I found some amazing lace fabric and used that to wrap around the wings. I absolutely loved the effect the lace had on the wings! With the light shinning through it, it just made the butterfly even more illuminating. I was so stuck and amazed at the lace that I didnt know what to do next. The center just looked like a big blob of duct tape that was just staring at me.

I didnt know if I wanted to make the center something special because I could perhaps use it to make the butterfly mixed with something else but what exactly? I just had no idea and couldnt think of anything that would work considering the materials available. So I continued making it a butterfly but with special powers :). I wrapped her center around with red yarn and used wood glue (because it was yellow) to make a face :D. Then I got thinner wire and used scissors to make them curly and used a hot glue gun to stick them above like antenna’s. The last piece was to add a halo on her head using a copper ring that was conveniently one of the materials!

Paragraph

Her name is Sayoah and her special powers are to listen and comfort those who need it. She’s made out of metal to represent her mighty strong heart, but layered with delicate and soft lace to symbolize her gentle touch. The yarn in the middle is tender and a great shoulder to cry on, or a pillow to fall asleep on as you talk to her. The red color of the yarn specifically represents the passion she has for those she loves.

🙂 My Sayoah 🙂

Sayoah


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