Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Final Thoughts

The three most memorable learning experiences from this semester include the reflection drawing assignment, the acrylic painting of the fruit and vegetable, and final watercolor landscape. These all have different techniques to make the art and I feel like they all prepared me to create something great and I would've not been able to create that final product without these steps to get a feel of that technique of art. 

The fruit painting really helped me discover and experiment with acrylic painting and be feel the actual process, especially with the pallet knife. With that, I was able to be more loose with my final image and understand both styles.

The second was the reflection drawing which really helped me with my realistic self-portrait with drawing. I got to experiment with value on the face and notice that there is always a neutral value and that it is easy to draw a face if you just focus. 

Lastly, my landscape watercolor really made me realize what I like most from this class. This is so far my favorite technique of art and soothes me and calms me instead of stressing me out. It is a very flowy kind of art that can have such a great turn out without so much effort being put into it. I feel that it is more mental than physical skill needed to accomplish it. 

This class I really enjoyed and I have gotten to meet some great people. It has such a comfortable environment where I definitely learned from my peers new techniques that I couldn't have just learned from the teacher. We all collaborated and helped each other out so that we could reach our goals and I am very happy with how close we got.

Work of Art that I am most proud of

Of all the work I did this semester, I think I am the most proud of my imaginative for multiple reasons. First, I really liked this project because it let me create something I had interest in but had never done. I was able to get feedback and learn about negative space. I learned a lot from this project and I can now in the future use this techniques because it is so easy to grab a pen and paper and draw the things that inspire me. This project also made me reflect on what was important to me and the things that create the person I am today. These symbols also reminded me of memories and what I love to do best and brought joy to me. This was also nice to do after our realistic portrait because we got to experience the two sides of ourselves. It was great to see the things all come together and form to create my own person. I also liked that I accomplished the technique of negative space and how I learned to spread the values out or together to create depth and direct the viewer's eyes to those areas. 

Watercolor Techniques

to experiment, explore, and learn a variety of ways to paint with watercolor

The most important concepts that I learned from painting with watercolor were first, carefully planning out my painting. I learned that water color is much different than acrylic and requires no mistakes or else the painting can be ruined. In acrylic, I could make a mistake and paint over it like it never happened. In watercolor, colors get darker once you layer them, which does not help. On my landscape, I learned to plan out the shapes and color so that I was careful. 
Another thing I learned from watercolor was that it is always safe to do a lighter wash first because I can always go back to make something darker. I took this to my advantage in my landscape so that the objects featured in the landscape did not look 2D and had more depth within the painting. 
Lastly, I learned that there are so many techniques that I can use to create different depth of value and shape all from the way I angle the brush. On the first exercise, I got to experience different ways to portray landscapes and the mood that is set. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Artist Statement/Synthesis

My unsung hero that I chose is Dorothy Buell. When trying to find an unsung hero, I had to think of what characteristics truly describe one. I then kept those ideas in mind, and searched for one. I came across many heroes that had done such good for humanity, but I was looking for something more. My mind was not set on someone who had saved thousands of lives, but maybe something smaller that would last a life time. I then came upon Dorothy Buell, a woman who stood up for a place she called home.

My work expresses her heroic character and acts in many ways. First of all, I did a self-portrait mainly because that was what the project was supposed to be and so that the viewer could see what she looked like so that it was easier to relate to a face. Second, I chose to paint the Indiana dunes in the background because that was what she fought tirelessly for. She saved that environment from an industrial company trying to buy it so that the company could dump waste somewhere and eventually create more mills on top of the land. I made the landscape look vast with hills to try and show the importance it had to Lake Michigan and the water surrounding it. That is where I then put the water and horizon so that people would realize the danger the lake could be in.

I creatively and uniquely created my work in response to this process in multiple ways. The first way shown is her face. I painted herself black and white because she has passed away and will be remembered through history. Black and white usually relates to memories and the past. I painted the background and dunes in color, though, because they are still there. If Dorothy had not protested, then these beautiful dunes would be nonexistent. These dunes are full of life and have color within them because her impact had a lasting effect in nature. Another creative response was the signs. In 1952, Dorothy Buell created the "Save the Dunes Council" so that she could put a stop to this massive industrial company. It took her fourteen years of endless fighting and bravery, and she was able to follow through with it. While protesting, she created signs that would say, "SAVE THE DUNES." Besides putting them in the sand of my painting, I also placed important numbers on the signs. One of them has the year number 1966 to commemorate the date when a bill was passed, declaring the dunes a National Park. Another number is 15,000 acres, because to this day, there are over 15,000 acres of park that has been increased, due to the numerous bills passe1976, 1980, 1986 and 1992 that pushed for more preservation of the land.

The process of creating a work of art has changed my outlook on life in some ways. One way is that I get a different perspective of history. In school, I learn about famous people, events, and heroes, but I am never able to interpret them in my own way. Through this project, I read about Dorothy Buell, an unsung hero, and was able to show how she made the world a better place through colors and a paintbrush. I was also able to change my outlook on life through hearing how people come together to celebrate what people have done that might not have been recognized. It showed me the connection that people share though art and history. I even experienced this feeling in my class where I learned about different heroes through my peers and what they did with their paintings to reveal the significance of them. The last and most important outlook I learned was that to be great, you do not always have to be recognized and noticed for it. Through this project, I discovered so many people that did such a service to the people around them, without every boasting it and trying to receive awards. They purely did these acts out of justice and righteousness and are such selfless people. They are who truly inspire me and I will always keep that in mind.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Vegetable/Fruit Painting

The first thing I learned about color and technique as a result of doing these paintings was how I could never get the same color twice. When doing the background, it was so difficult to go back and forth between the dark values for shadow and then the light for the walls, along with the actual fruits and trying not to paint over it once some detail was done. Another thing I learned about technique was how to get the texture of the fruit portrayed onto the canvas. I had grapes, and it was very difficult to get the values right because I couldn't mix the paints together to get the different lights and shadows on the spheres, but sometimes the marks looked separate from each other when they weren't combined. It was a give and take process for me and I definitely improved as I went on with both styles. Lastly, the thing I learned that helped me the most was the technique of using the pallet knife and then the small detailing paint brushes. The pallet knife was done first and was very frustrating for me throughout the whole process. Once I got to the paint brushes, my technique felt different because I was more aware of the detail and told myself I could actually make i look more realistic. This was a great intro to painting and really gave me a feel for experimenting with different colors and techniques.

Monday, May 16, 2016

LMC Unsung Hero Planning

Many of these stories motivate and inspire me. The ones that really point out to me are Jane Elliot and Dorothy Buell's story. Both of these people are unsung heroes because no one recognized their efforts at the time until later. They did it for the greater good and to improve and help their society. All they wanted was to make a better difference, they would not care if they would be noticed for their actions.

Dorothy Buell really inspires me because although she was not actually saving humans, the world we live in is so precious to us and it is hard for people these days to realize it. I feel that you don't know you have something until you have lost it and that Dorothy is really trying to preserve that feeling because she doesn't want nature to be lost and gone. The location is in Michigan on a beach where there are dunes. A company wanted to take that land and use it as a dump so more coal mills could be made. She felt very strongly against this and formed a group to protest. She is very courageous and prevented any further changes to the dunes.

Jane Elliot also interests me in how she stood away with the crowd. Everyone seems to follow one constant flow and she was very brave to stop with this flow and make a difference in influencing children's lives. Discrimination and racism are not born with children, they are made. During this time, African Americans living in the south were treated poorly and were segregated from the whites. Elliot as a school teacher saw a chance to make things right in society and help alter white people's opinion of blacks. When children came home from school being segregated from the 'higher' groups, the parents got mad at Jane but she continued because this education mattered. Objects that come to my mind is a classroom with green chalkboards and a teacher with two different groups segregated from each other with blue eyes and brown eyes. From this classroom came children realizing not everyone is not meant for a constant flow of life.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What is a still-life?

A still-life is the study of non-moving objects. These objects are typically found around the house like fruits, vegetables, flowers, dishes, and more. Still-life is about the degree of control and precise detail in the work. The value of the still-life depends on the amount of light shown on it and it can either be abstract or very accurate. It was discovered in the painting form in the 17th century from a dutch painter. Today, it is still a common and popular form of art and is practiced by many new and experienced artists. 

"Apples, Bowl and Chest" is a watercolor still-life painted by Melissa Post van der Burg. The date is unknown. 

I chose this painting because it almost relates to what my still-life will be like. I also chose it because it shows so much detail on the chest and I feel like I am looking at it in person with an open window to my right. What drew my attention was the vibrant colors of the apple compared to the chestnut color of the chest. The highlight of the apples also popped out. This might influence my work by giving me tips on depth and value of fruit. There are very dark shadows around the apple but also very light depending on where the light is coming from. It also helps with the layering of the apples because I will be painting grapes and those layer on top of each other, like the apples are in the bowl.