My thinking on art has changed a lot throughout the course of the semester. When I first came into this class, I did not realize that literally anything can be made into art. I also learned that when "arting", there is no such thing as a limitation. The unit that I learned to most was in "Artists Solve Problems." In this unit, we were challenged to come up with a limitation and create a piece of art with that limitation. Before this class, I would have thought that being restricted would put a stop to art, and it would be difficult to advance. Also, while given the freedom to make art with whatever medium I choose, I found myself being slightly overwhelmed and unsure of what to do, usually ending up with me creating a drawing. After finishing off the unit, I learned that limitations will spark new ideas to do something, and while it may be difficult, the results will be something interesting.
From the beginning of the semester to now, my art making skills have thankfully improved a lot. I noticed that in the original art, I took the theme of "obstacles" literally, or so I think. I am not completely sure as to what I was going for in the original work, however it appears that there is a person attempting to get around what looks like obstacles portrayed as shapes. In the final artwork, I have drawn a branch of flowers. On the lower part of the branch, there are some dead, limp flowers. On the top part of the branch, there are new, healthy buds waiting to bloom. For the final artwork, I took the theme of obstacles symbolically; the dead flowers show that despite anything bad that has happened, it will hurt but it will pass. The buds represent the new opportunities that will come when obstacles are overcome. Apart from deepness in art, the use of value and composition are taken into account unlike the original art, making the picture look more complete.
My favorite unit from the semester was the "Teens Inspired" unit. For this unit we selected a work from the North Carolina Museum of Art and create a piece inspired by that work. This unit was easily my favorite because for this project, my group made a bridge out of sticks and twine. It was a solid, and rather large bridge that can be put to use. I had never done an art project that required some physical activity, that was life size, and that was slightly dangerous. It was also really cool to know that this project was considered art. While creating the bridge, it was lots of fun, and working in a new environment outside the art room also made this unit my favorite.
Unfortunately this class is coming to an end. What I loved in this class was that I had the opportunity to do anything I wanted for the units; I wasn't bound by a strict set of requirements for projects, and it was up to me to decide how I would take it. I also liked how almost everything we did was encouraged, and even when something in my art did not turn out as planned, it was constructively criticized and the good points were brought out in it. If anything could be improved in this class, I would like to have a few more small lessons on drawing like we did in the beginning of the semester In our sketchbooks, like when we drew spheres and experimented with value. It has been a memorable experience in this class.
For this unit, I worked with the concept of identity. After thinking about several ideas, I stuck with the notion of defining our identity. After brainstorming a few ideas off of this, I decided I wanted to incorporate something about how despite our identities, as humans, we aren't very different from one another. For my final piece of art in this unit, I created a large fingerprint painted with fingerprints of myself and some of my peers in class. When looked at in real life closely, the outlines of the individual prints are visible. The overall fingerprint is symbolic of everyone, and stands for unity. The fingerprints within the print represent individual identities, however when the prints (and the people) come together, they really aren't so different after all.
While beginning the Teens Inspired project, I honestly wasn't very sure as to what I wanted to do. Originally looking the the galleries of the North Carolina Museum of Art, the landscape paintings caught my eye, however when we watched a video as a class of Patrick Dougherty's Bending Sticks, I along with Cam, Midori, Miles, Meagan, and Connor decided we would like to create a piece inspired by Bending Sticks.
I personally chose this piece for several reasons. When we watched the video in class, I loved Dougherty's idea of using natural materials to make something magnificent. I also chose this sculpture because having seen it several times in real life, I have never seen anything like it before. It is extremely unique, and the way the sticks are woven together are extremely beautiful. The part that inspired me the most to make a piece of art inspired by his work is how Dougherty used natural materials. In our case, using sticks, leaves, and twine forced us to be creative and solve problems. Being limited to items found in nature not only opened up new ideas, but was something new and fun to work with. After lots of work on treacherous grounds with plenty of falls and a few minor injuries... the bridge was complete!
A stop motion is a short movie that is "animated" by a series of photos that show small changes in the objects, put together in a film. Depending on how small the changes in the photos are, the bigger the change, the choppier the film. The smaller the change, the smoother the video. A few professional examples of stop motion include...
- Fresh Guacamole
- Move Mountain
There are a few ways to go about making a stop motion. The most efficient way to quickly make a stop motion to download an app, there are several, but the one my group used was called "Stop Motion." Once the app is downloaded, get all the materials ready to be filmed. Plan the motion that needs to be made, then slowly move each object VERY slowly, taking a picture for each slight movement. The app will then combine the pictures making them flow into a movie. From here you can upload the video, or add music or sound effects. Here is our stop motion.
In this unit Artist Solve Problems our tasks were to create a piece of art with a limitation. The limitations we used were to include newspaper in a piece of art, use materials in nature to make art, and we chose our final limitation. For the final limitation, we chose to not be able to touch our canvas directly; this is explained in depth in our video.
During this unit, my perspective on limitations have really changed. I used to think that limitations were something that held you back, and that your quality of work would be reduced knowing you had a setback. However, after going through this unit i realized that the limitations helped us in coming up with ideas. I found when we were brainstorming how to get around the limitation, my group came up with so many creative ideas that would have never even crossed our minds without the limitation in place; it promoted creative thinking and inspired us to try something new.
In our first project, we were forced to use newspaper in our piece. My group used our problem solving skills and found that when you roll up newspaper, it becomes stronger and can hold itself up; we had some prior knowledge on using newspaper from the box challenge. From here we constructed a huge DNA model made entirely out of newspaper and decorated with paint. Our second project required we use materials from nature to make anything we wanted. Since there were several leaves, flowers, and berries in the small wooded area near our school, I used all of these materials to make a fish underwater. I chose to make a fish because when i looked at all the leaves i collected, they all had points and rounded edges on them which reminded me of fish scales, heads, and tails. I felt it would be interesting to arrange these items into a fish. To complete the piece i used water color to paint the blue sea around him. Lastly, we had to make our own limitation where we could not directly touch the canvas, which is explained in our video.
While working with our limitation we selected, our ideas were the most creative they have been ever since we began this class. However while we were working with the paint, we realized our original idea of using water guns and spray bottles with thinned paint was not going to work; the paint would shift around too much and the color would not be as intense as regular paint would be. To solve this problem we used regular brushes to fling around our paint. What we ended up with was beautiful, abstract pieces that really draw your eyes in and can be looked at from several angles. I believe this unit produced some of my best work.
In the unit "Artists Steal", we took art from any medium that was already created, and changed it to make it our own. When changed, the art would be considered our own, despite the stolen parts of art. Going into this unit, I believed that original art was art that had never been done before but was 100% your ideas with no outside influence, and that if you were to take an idea from another artist, you were to give them credit. After going through this unit and learning about what stealing is, I now have a totally different perspective on stealing. Perhaps the biggest difference is my view on original artwork. No matter how new and unique your artwork seems, there will be elements from different art works; places you have been, music you have heard, and more. An idea from an art is not original in anyway, because you take inspiration from things that have already been created. What makes a piece unique and original is how you put those ideas you take down and compose them into art. Even masterpieces of art have elements stolen from other works. Original ideas are in a way, not real.
In the first project of the unit "Artists Steal", we did a character remix. I chose to do my favorite princess, Aurora, and change her up. I morphed her into the opposite of what Disney Princesses are teaching young girls to be. Sleeping Beauty is symbolic of innocence, beauty, patience, and kindness. What came to mind when thinking of the opposite is a criminal, so I chose to do a mugshot of Sleeping Beauty. The idea of stealing comes from that I took an idea that was already created (Sleeping Beauty) and added another idea to it (a mugshot), combining the two ideas so it is something new and original.
Another project in the realm of stealing is combining two ordinary objects. The drawing above is a blend of a light bulb and a spiderweb. Initially, I planned on doing a jar made of spiderwebs, but the jar was boring and there was nothing I could add to make the jar recognizable. To solve that problem, I chose a light bulb and created the shape out of a spiderweb. To make the spiderweb look like a spiderweb and not random lines, I added a spider. Stealing comes into play here because a light bulb and spiderweb are both already invented, and many people can take credit for drawing either of the objects, however it is how I took the two pieces and put them together that no longer makes them stolen.
Lastly, for the final "Artists Steal" project, my group consisting of Miles, Cam, Midori, and Meagan, made a stop motion video incorporating the idea of science. In our video, a group of scientists are mixing up a potion, when it spills on two of the scientists. Those who got the potion on them began to undergo life threatening changes, turning them into zombies. There are a few underlying themes in our zombie video, even though it may not seem like it. Science is wonderful, but there are limits to it, and we need to recognize those limits before something disastrous happens. The zombies are a very stretched representation of what could go wrong. The video is also connected to science in that there must be several precautions taken when working in a lab, because a screw up will not just affect those in the lab, and has the potential to reach everyone. For the inspiration for this project, I drew it from the class activity where we brainstormed various topics on a sheet of paper, and when our group bounced ideas off of each other while planning; we came up with a zombie apocalypse. I also had source material i gathered from Pinterest. Also as a side note, face paint is extremely hard to work with; it dries very fast leaving little time for blending and making an even coat, and it is much different from paining on a canvas or paper. People who have mastered the art of face paint have serious skill.
Since the start of taking this class I have learned a lot of new skills. My only past art experience was in 8th grade when I took art, but there wasn't much focus on drawing. When I came to this class, already I have learned so many new techniques. My favorite and most useful skill learned is vanishing point. From my first drawing of a hallway to my final piece on vanishing point, the improvement was great; all lines lead up to one point, and the drawings actually are from one point of view and are going in the same direction, and the corresponding pair of lines on each building are parallel.
Another skill I developed is shading, and using different values. In my perspective drawing of the buildings above, even though I'm not too great at shading, the range of values do make the drawing more realistic around the windows. The drawing would be more complete if I had time to shade the entire building, too.
Lastly, the final skill I learned which was completely new to me was using a range of values when drawing rounded objects using a light source. Depicted above is a hard hat I drew when I did not have the skill to make something look round, and two spheres in which I tried to use burnishing to build up the mid tones, shadow and cast shadow of the sphere. I also left room for reflected light. Unfortunately, I drew the shadow on the same side of the sphere. Of the skills I have collected, none of the materials I used are anything new. All I have used are pencils, colored pencils, rulers, and the occasional blending stump, nothing that I haven't seen before.