Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Final Thoughts

One of my favorite projects from this semester was the imaginative self-portrait. This was a highlight because, of the creativity I used to design and create all the symbols I used. I learned that to step back and add details for their importance, not because they take up space. Another highlight was the Unsung hero painting. I love the reminder that there are people who do good because they know what they are doing is right and not for fame or fortune. Also, Alex Wilson's taught me how important determination is when standing up for our beliefs. Finally, I really enjoyed the watercolor painting. While watercolor is not my favorite medium, it was fun to try something new. From this painting, I was reminded that it is good to stretch ourselves and try new things.

Work of Art that I am the Most Proud Of

I am most proud of my realistic self-portrait. When I first came into this class, this project intimidated me the most; I was nervous because I didn't think I would be able to work on the same thing for so long, and I didn't think I could draw facial features very well. Although I still have a ton of room to improve,  I know that this project really showed my growth. I worked hard to learn how to use shading and drawing techniques to create the different values and features of my face. After drawing this, I realized that I enjoyed working on projects needing a lot of detail and time. I loved the challenges and problem-solving aspects of this project. Going forward into the semester, I knew that I could complete the other projects if I put in the time and effort. In the future, I would like to improve on drawing techniques and explore other mediums with the mentality of confidence I gained from this project.  

Watercolor Techniques

While painting with watercolor, I learned the importance a patience and of having a plan. Even though the watercolors would dry pretty quickly, I usually didn't let the paint completely. If I was layering the watercolor, I had to make sure the previous layer was dry before I added another layer. When I was impatient, the two layers would mix, and I did not create what I was hoping to. I also learned that I need to have a plan when using watercolor. Unlike acrylic paints, watercolors can't hide mistakes very well. Also, you can't add white to an area that has already been painted. Lucky I learned both of these points early, so I was able to slow down. Before I painted, I had to step back and really think of the final picture I wanted to create. While watercolors are not my favorite, I was reminded that I need to plan out what I wanted to create and wait for the paint to dry. I look forward to using watercolor again.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Unsung Hero: Alex Wilson

During the heat of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.A., Alex Wilson continued to write his portion of the newspaper despite the countless threats he received and beatings he endured. In September of 1957, the Little Rock Nine tried to enter Little Rock Central High School in order to promote integration in schools. The protests which spun off of their defying act attracted many journalists like Alex Wilson. While he was watching the nine African American students enter the school, the mob started to beat him up. Although they knocked him over, Wilson simply bent picked up his hat, put it on, and continued to move forward. Enraged mob members continued beat him; one even jumped on his back and hit him with a brick. However each time he straightened himself and walked forward. His determination to ignore the beatings of the mobs show the character who we admire today.

In my artwork, I portray Wilson’s determination by how he moving. He is walking steadily forward and is putting on his hat. I painted him like this to show his bravery; since he is moving forward, he looks like he can’t be stopped. I also showed him putting on his hat to show that part of his story. No matter what happened, Wilson always had his hat. This important symbol, reminds us that like Wilson we must not be affected by those who oppose us. Wilson was a very neat and proper journalist. He wanted to look like the respectable person he was. Knowing this, I painted his suit to look smooth and formal. On is tie there are nine dots. These dots represent the members of the Little Rock Nine. Wilson is wearing a blue tie, has a blue sash on his hat and blue eyes. I chose to use the color blue because blue is the color of determination and hope. Wilson had courage to hope and work for a more equal future.

On the left side, in the middle, I painted a mob protesting Wilson and the Little Rock Nine. They are holding a poster that says “Race Mixing is Communism.” This saying was on many posters protesters used to oppose integration. There is also a member of the mob holding a rock. I used the poster and rock to show the verbal and physical abuse Wilson faced as he wrote about the Civil Rights Movement. The members of the mob are all wearing red. Red not only symbolizes hate and aggressiveness, but it also represents fear. While the white supremacist were violent and aggressive, they were afraid of the unknown possibility of integration. Since they were fearful of change, they used aggressive measures to try to stop people like Alex Wilson.

In the upper right of the painting, is Little Rock Central High School. I put this in near the top of the painting to portray the importance the actions of the Little Rock Nine and reporters like Wilson were to the progression of the Civil Rights Movement. The bold acts of these people changed people’s attitudes; therefore, I decided to show the relevance of this event by putting the school in the top of my composition. Going into the school are 18 students in alternating colors of black and white. This symbol shows that this moment was meant to integrate all races in all of society.

While researching, planning, and painting, I learned so much about Alex Wilson. He was a hero because he never gave up on what he knew was right even if he faced death. Not only did he have determination, but he stayed put together. No matter what angry mobs did to him, Wilson always picked up his hat and walked forward. From his example I learned that I need to have courage to face my challenges. Alex Wilson was a hero during a time when no one wanted him, and he continues to be an example of perseverance today.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Vegetable/Fruit Painting

After practicing mixing colors and using different techniques, I now know more about how to paint. I learned how to create a contrast of shades and tints. In order to create a shadow, I added the complementary color of the color I was using. By using the complementary, I learned that I could maintain a strong color while creating a darker shade. I used two different techniques for these paintings: pallet knife and blending. While using the pallet knife, I learned that I could still create a realistic painting, but it took more time and more patients. I wanted to rush through these paintings, but I realized that I needed to really slow down to create quality work. In my other painting, I used the technique of blending. While this painting took less time than the pallet knife painting, I felt like it was harder to control. Since I was blending on the canvas, I had to improvise a bit. The more I worked on this painting, I realized that I had to think about what color I wanted in the end and what colors I needed to blend to make it. I learned that when using the blending technique you have to take time to plan what you are going to paint. From my vegetable/ fruit paintings, I learned how to use complimentary colors to create various shades, the need to slow down with the pallet knife, and the importance of planning what to paint.

LMC Unsung Hero Planning

I'm motivated by the stories of Helen Taussig, Virginia Apagar, and Pavel Weiner.
Visually, I am inspired by Alex Wilson. I am going to do Alex Wilson, because he is an example of someone who believed in what was right and would not be swayed by anyone. I think there are many symbols I could use for him, such as a hat, newspaper or suit coat. I think Alex Wilson is someone who did what was right even though he didn't receive much recognition for it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What is Still-Life?

Originating from 17th century by the Dutch painters, still-life became its own genre. Still-life is the study of everyday objects. One of the key features of still-life is the artists control on the subject. This control includes lighting and subject placement. Different artists use different styles; some still-lives are abstract while others are realistic. Although more genres have been developed,  still-life remains a popular genre.

Size 13, Jim Fetter
No date given
I chose this image because it is unusual and uses interesting shapes. Fetter's idea of smashing a big shoe into a wood crate with books isn't something you see put together everyday. However, most of the items are common day objects we all use. Although the composition is different, it is fun. I also really like the different values used. All of the shadows and highlights seem natural and realistic. In my still-life paintings, I will try to put common objects in different positions in order to make them more interesting. Also, I will follow Fetter's example by using realistic lighting.