Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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.

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