Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2D Design Reflection

What is the one thing you can use from this class? How could it be better?

This class touched on a variety of topics and themes, many more than any usual art class would.  The class learned different art techniques and styles, while also learning about some famous artists.  Students were asked to engage in new creative activities, thus expanding their liberal arts knowledge.  No student was judge on his or her ability to do art.  The focus was on the effort taken to complete the activity and actually follow the directions, expanding on the project's theme.  

I took away the knowledge of abstraction.  I'm gonna be frank, I hate abstract art.  By having us complete many more contemporary styles pieces, I was forced to learn how to interpret things in new ways.  I had to expand my creativity so that I could obscure reality but still have a deeper meaning.

I do think that the pace of the course was a little fast.  I would have liked more time to plan our pieces before having to go forth and complete them so that if we needed to change something halfway through, we had the time to do so.  I created may pieces that I still want to edit but didn't have the chance to.

Construction Paper Landscapes

Jean-Adrien Guignet was a Orientalist that developed his art during the Romantic Era.  His works focused on Oriental culture, specifically Egyptian architecture and landscapes.  I analyzed his work, Afterglow on the Banks of the Nile and this inspired my contemporary pieces.  This piece was made up of a large sunset that took up the majority of the space, and featured some shadowed ruins and plants in the middle ground.
I took this same layout, with the sky taking up the majority of the painting, and made my own landscape.  I used an iconic symbol, the pyramids, as my focal point, and accented them with very small people and a palm tree.  I chose to create two pieces so that I had contrast to the bold sunset.

I began with this sunset piece, mimicking the "afterglow" from Jean Adrien's painting.  I found different shades of construction paper to evenly layer and then used the rule of thirds to place my pyramid.  I cut out a man on a camel and gave him a buddy.  This gives a size reference for the pyramid.  The colors in the piece give it an ethereal and peaceful feel similarly to the other artworks made during the time of the Orientalists. 

I proceeded to make this second piece, having it set around high noon to contrast the first piece's darker atmosphere.  I enjoyed the geometric aspect of the color strips in my first piece and wanted to use this again.  I cut out large strips of yellow paper to act as rays of sunlight spanning across the sky.  This piece appears more positive and joyful than the first piece due to its bright colors.

Both pieces have a different eye path and focal point.  The focal point of the first piece is the dark pyramid because it contrast with the bright colors in the sunset.  My eye then travels to the two small men and then up the colors in the sky.  The focal point of the second piece is the sun because of how bright it is.  My eyes follow the rays down the pyramid and then to the palm tree.

Both pieces are made to mimic the Oriental style that was painted during the early 19th century.  The pieces that were painted in this era depicted the beauty of those countries in the Orient.  European's were intrigued by these new lands and wanted to see more.  For them, the east represented their desires and the luxuries that they could not have.  I made my pieces to have the same fake, dream like quality that the orientalist put into their paintings.  Construction paper was a much harder medium to use than I thought it would be.  It made my pieces geometrical and almost cartoon like, which I actually enjoyed greatly.  This contrasts all the blending done in Jean Adrien's pieces, as well as the many other paintings created during the Orientalist movement.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


As time progressed through the mid to late 1900's we can see a huge variety of change and development.  Cultures are combining left and right, hoping that everyone may soon be equal.  Political unrest in the united states leads to movements and marches unifying races and religions.  Technological advances lead to higher rates of consumer culture; everything is made in bulk.  Television and magazines are filled with advertisements yelling, "Try me! Try me!".  Everyone is preoccupied.  Cities are booming, fast paced utopias where everyone can live out their American Dream.  Artists had the desire to capture the new lifestyles and society arising.  They utilized mass production and the media to gain their fame and spread their opinion on our world.  We see Andy Warhol's famous Pop Art pieces that repeat the same image over and over again.  Everything we see in the postmodern era is hyper-real.  Reality almost no longer exists and these repetitious, massed produced goods and images have taken its place.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fractured Histories

Fractured Histories is an exhibit we have here at Loyola displaying ancient Greek pottery.  It features pots, cups, vases, etc, that were found in Attica, Corinth, and Mycenae.  The pottery in the collection was smuggled into the United States by grave robbers working with Robert Hecht, who then kept them in a collection of his own.

My two favorite pieces featured in the collection were the two small Mycenaean jars, both from the mid-14th century.  The first was used for dispensing oil and its abstract design was actually very uncommon for its time period.  The second was a much more common jar for water and things that ranged in various sizes depending on its purpose.

The simple, more common jar was actually my favorite altogether.  I enjoyed the simplicity of its design and the colors used to decorate it.  It was functional yet very aesthetically pleasing, and to me, just really cute.  The stripes accentuate the curve of the jar and having the handles and spout a darker color is a nice artistic touch.  I enjoy that even though these pieces of pottery were every day objects, they were decorated like they were much more.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Art of Data Visualization

 Visualization began with maps and cartography, and then went on to develop in the field of science.  Cells, all the way to planets, can be artistically depicted in order to convey data.  Because science is deeply rooted in research, scientists need simple yet informative ways to display their data.
You, the viewer, and the data itself influence the visualization that is being displayed.  You want the way you depict your information must be representative of yourself.  Then, the viewer has their own opinions and will judge the design of the visualization.  Additionally, the data must be true, one cannot put false information to their visualization.  Art cannot make up for false truths.
We as humans make snap judgments about our surroundings every second.  Having a well designed visual format can greatly influence the way your data is interpreted.  If it is depicted well, the viewer will easily be able to tell what the information is and why it is important.  It can simplify very complicated data, and help spread the truth of matters to society.
For my sound project I chose the song Glass House by Kaleo.  Like many of their other songs, this one is deeply rooted in Blues and Rock & Roll.  It features a consistent drum beat, deep bass tones and a shrill electric guitar.  The leader singer's voices is shaky and extremely masculine.

You can listen to the song here:

I created this painting to represent each sound that stood out to me.  I used a dark blue-purple for the bass notes, a range of yellow-orange and red-orange for the guitar notes, and a shade of maroon for the lead singer's voice.  I added additional shades of the colors through out my piece in small lines and splatter paint to give the piece texture.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Similarly to every other standard color in the rainbow, white has many different shades.  When comparing different objects that are white, one see's different tones through out each of them.
I first compared the index card to the paper in my sketchbook.  When placed on top of the sketching paper, the index card looked brighter and slightly greenish-blue.  On the other hand, the sketching paper appeared more pink and slightly grey.
I compared these two white additionally to the white of my comforter.  The space that were white seemed to be almost a light grey rather than white when placed in comparison.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Digital Advertisement Adjustment

I chose edit this Revlon ad because, as much as I enjoy make up, there are many critiques that can be made about the make up industry.

I edited Emma Stones face, giving her blemishes and dark circles under her eye, to show imperfect skin.  I also change the text at the bottom of the advertisement which was a description of the product.  It now discusses the product's light coverage and how one should embrace their nature beauty.  The changes were subtle but impactful.

Magazine Advertisement

For my Advertisement Breakdown project, I chose to used this ad for Del Monte canned green beans.  I found the ad in a Real Simple Magazine which inspired me to use images of food in my collage.  This ad had a very simple design, with the can as the focal point.  The viewer's eye follows the green beans up to the beanstalk and across the page or down to the text at the bottom of the page.  

This advertisement focuses on the ides of freshness, implying that the green beans go straight from the beanstalk to the can.  You are getting the best quality food that you can.  This is also emphasized with  the words "Bursting with Life" in bright red, a contrasting color to green but also the color of their logo.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ways of Seeing ( Episode 1)

European paintings once catered to the human individual, adding perspective for its audience.  The eye was the only mechanism of sight, with all views of the world collecting in the through the eye, in an individual's brain.  Perspective allowed paintings to mimic the world and entertain the human eye.

Then the camera, a machine was invented. The photograph is "free from the boundaries of time and space" (Dziga Vertov).  I found this quote very intriguing and powerful.  European paintings, their styles and the many technique used to make them, were very dated.  The camera was new and could move all around the world with humanity.  Pictures captured seconds of real life and held them forever.

Paintings eventually become images like these because they are photographed.  In our very technologically-based modern world, we spread these images, and others, everywhere.  We have no need for painting any more.  I thought this was very impactful because art has so much more value for me than an image on a screen.  Photographs, and photography in general, is great.  But paintings, the stuff that takes time, lots of time, to make, has more meaning in it when viewed in person, not on a screen.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Baltimore Museum of Art

This first piece is Clearing in the Forest, by Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Pena.  It is an oil piece on canvas from the year 1863.  I really enjoy Pena's use of light to illuminate the clearing from an almost central point in the background.  The trees and shadows create interesting depth and the small subjects allow the viewer to imagine themselves in the environment.
Afterglow on the banks of the Nile, c. 1840-1848, is by far one of my favorite pieces found in the BMA.  This French painting, by Jean-Adrien Guignet, was made during the romantic era of art and is not an accurate depiction of the Nile, but it is beautiful.  The horizon line splits the painting quite low, leaving a large portion of space for the sky.  The color fade to create a well blended sunset with just small hints of dark detail to give the painting character.
My favorite piece in the Baltimore Museum of Art is Venice, the Grand Canal with Santa Maria della Salute, by Francesco Guardi, in 1750.  Guardi painted what was known as view paintings during the era of the Grand Tour, a time when artists traveled around Europe to visit the best artworks  known to man at the time.  This painting of Venice, and many others, were sold as if they were postcards, so that travelers could have a keepsake of the city.  I enjoy the symmetry of this piece greatly.  The cathedral in the background sits as a center vanishing point for the lines of the canal and its buildings.  This painting is about 3 ft by 4 ft and the tiny architectural details are stunning.  Along with the composition and small detail, I find the choice of colors quite intriguing.  The painting is dark, reflecting the underlying turmoil that was occurring in Venice at the time of the Grand Tour, but Guardi wanted to make his city look as best as it could.  He most definitely does that with this painting.

Monday, January 23, 2017

I found Italo Calvino's description of imagination very interesting and intriguing.  He presents the concept of imagination in a couple different ways.  The reading begins with a relation to Dante when he discusses "high fantasy".  This seems to be a more complex side of imagination, different from simple tasks such as dreamer.  It constitutes higher order thought.  Calvino then goes on to describe two types of the process of imagination, "the one that starts with the word and arrives at the visual language, and the one that starts with the visual image and arrives at its verbal expression" (83).  I thought this was very easy for any member of society to relate to.  While we can read words on a page in a book and create a mental image of the passage, we can also see an image and describe its details and how we interpret it.  Calvino also discusses imagination related to St. Ignatius of Loyola and Christianity.  The idea of using imagination through meditation and contemplation appears extremely rational and helpful.  Loyola wishes that his followers are completing his spiritual exercises and imagining before themselves physical places and metaphorical goals, or even sins, that are a part of their lives.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What is art?  Art is more than a painting, drawing, or sculpture.  Art is an experience that we as humans do not, and will not, fully understand.  It has the ability to inspire and arouse all sorts of emotions, and every piece is uniquely made to provoke a large array of reactions.  In the article, The Whole Ball of Wax, Jerry Saltz discusses the abilities and meaning of art through philosophy and its influence on the mind and person.  Art has the ability to combat the issues of a society and heal not only an individual, but a nation.  It creates both a collective mind and also thousands of unique interpretations that are debated through out centuries of history.  Among his artistic diction and philosophical tone, one line Saltz wrote really stuck out to me.  He wrote that "art tells you things you don't know you need to know until you know them."  Art has a way of explaining the unknown to us.  Even if we do fully understand it, we develop a connection that allows us to process it as it best relates to us individuals.  This connection is adds to the experience that a work of art gives, encouraging one's mind to either love or despise a piece.  Art is complicated and difficult to explain but it can impact the world in beautiful ways.

2D Design Reflection

What is the one thing you can use from this class? How could it be better? This class touched on a variety of topics and themes, many ...