Self Portrait

So our last project of the year is a self-portrait. We were expected to spend about 40 hours working on this project in order to make it the best possible representation of ourselves. The hardest part of this project for me was learning to not symbolize. I began drawing what I thought my face looked like, or what I hoped it looked like. I never realized how infrequently I really just sit and stare at my face. I guess I just assumed since I’ve had it my whole life I know what it looks like…well I was wrong.    

To begin this project we started by grinding our own charcoal dust from the sticks of charcoal. We then used toilet paper to rub this dust over a sheet of paper. Once our sheet was completely blackened we were ready to begin. To create our faces we were to erase out our features from the blackened page. We used kneaded erasers and if we made a mistake we recovered the spot with more charcoal dust.    

Blackened Page

 

Unfortunately, I don’t have any early pictures of when I first began so I had to borrow one from a friend (thanks Syreeta!). So here is after the first few days once I completed my nose and my mouth.    

    

After a while I began taking pictures after each class (or after whenever I came in to work on my portrait). The next pictures are progressive of what I did at each session.    

 And here is the final product.    

    

I have gotten mixed reviews on whether or not this actually looks like me. Usually when people see it in person they think it looks exactly like me, but when people see a picture of it they say it sort of looks like me kind of. I guess it’s just the way it looks in pictures.    

All in all, this was definitely my favorite project. It tied all the things we learned in class together in one project. I think is the perfect project to end the semester with. I definitely frustrated myself a few times by drawing what I thought was there instead of what was actually there. Professor Ruby helped me a lot in discerning what was my actual face and what was my idealized face. By drawing what was actually there, I think it really helped to bring out the real me. In the end, I am very happy with my finished product and I know this will be  my favorite piece for a long time.

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Developed Analysis of the Elepeacock

I chose to do a developed analysis of Natasha’s elepeacocks because I feel like this is one of the most creative pieces. I love these elepeacocks because the story she created with them was not only entertaining, but informative. From her project I learned about how elephants mourn  the dead. When I first heard about the grandma I have to admit I didn’t get it, but once I learned about how elephants mourn for their dead it all makes sense.

I liked these animals because she were able to blend the characteristics of both real animals together beautifully. I like that her pieces are abstract, but because of the trunk I think of elephants and because of the colors I think of peacocks. Also, the fact that gold was used for the grandmother shows her value and that she is revered. Someone could look at these pieces and know they go together like a family. I like that because trunks, ears, and feathers were accentuated so there was no need to fill in the animals with solid bodies.

My Unisoaurus

So, our project was to make 3D animals out of any material we could find. The animal could not be shorter than 1 inch or longer than 8 inches in any direction. We could also make real animals or imagined animals. I decided to make a mythical creature even more mythicalish. My animal is a flying unicorn. It would be like if a unicorn and Pegasus had a love child. They are a rare species only found deep in the Malaysian jungles… I’m totally kidding. Anyway, his name is Unisoarus. He is a unicorn that can soar.

I really enjoyed this project because it gave us the opportunity to work with a lot of different mediums. In my animal I used tape, cotton, wire, hot glue, modeling clay, copper pipes, and probably some other things that I don’t remember. The body itself is wire wrapped into a cylindrical shape that was stuffed with cotton then wrapped with tape. The legs and wings are made of a thicker wire while the mane and tail are thinner wires covered in modeling clay. His neck and head are clay molded around copper piping. The base is made of something I found that sort of looks like a round vent cover. I then hot glued heavy materials into the base to make it really heavy. I wanted a heavy and sturdy base so my animal would not tip over. I then covered the base with cotton to make it look like he is flying through the clouds.

I debated a lot with myself and with a friend about what color my unisoarus should be. I initially wanted him to be purple because that was my favorite color. I ended up taking her advice and going with a more traditional unicorn like color. For the wings, I wanted them to be a lilac or lavender color, but I went with the blue because I thought it made him look more ethereal. I would have liked for the wings to be a little lighter, but I think they turned out very nicely.

The hardest part of this project for me was making a good basic form for the body. As soon as the project was assigned I knew I wanted to do a unicorn (the flying part came later). I also immediately knew what pose I wanted him to be in. So I made the form for the body (I didn’t intend for him to be so chubby, but apparently it works for him) and attached the legs. I did a lot of work on him and was just about completely done when I began to freak out about how I would attach him to the base. Because of his position, on his two hind legs, I know I made my job a little more challenging.  I think I used more hot glue around his feet than I have used in my entire life. He was so heavy that he did break off from the base, but I added as much glue as I could get out of the hot glue gun. In the end, he is standing tall and proud and I am also very proud of my creation.

MARTA Project Critiques

    I decided to critique Kylen’s MARTA project because I thought her idea was very creative. She was able to create a book, but not a traditional book that one reads from left to right flipping pages as you go.  Her book folded out into the actual shape of the MARTA rail lines. The cover was created to replicate a Breeze card. The fold out nature of the book combined with the Breeze card cover represents how a Breeze card opens up the MARTA system for you. At each of the endpoints of the lines, she has pictures representing what someone would see if they got off at that stop.

I really enjoyed the creativity of this project. I can appreciate the time and effort she put into coming up with this idea and executing it so nicely. I like that the concept is simple, but the execution is probably more complicated than we would expect. I like that she was able to give her project a philosophical theme instead a more objective theme. I think the one thing that could have made this project better is to make the entire book larger in order to include pictures from more stops. Overall, I think this was one of the more creative projects and really captured the essence of MARTA without relying solely on pictures of the actual MARTA terminals and trains.

Visual Verbal Evalutions

The visual verbal projects we just completed were lined up side by side on a wall. We split off into groups and picked two projects that were not created by a person in our group. We were to look at the formal qualities of the piece and then decide what word we thought the artist was trying to convey. These are the two pieces we picked.

The word we chose for the first piece was aggressive. We chose this word of the way the different shapes on the square interact with each other. Most of them have sharp edges that are bumping into or covering another shape. This made me think of aggressive behavior. Even the more organic shapes, such as the snake-like shape at the top, have rugged edges or sharp hooks on them. Also, the fact there is no consistency in size or shape resembles the inconsistency of aggressive behavior.

The word we chose for the second piece was gloomy. I personally related this to my own visual verbal project because my word was gloomy. I think this is also gives a sense of impending doom, which is what I was going for in my piece but I didn’t quite achieve. We thought the swirly shapes resemble dark night clouds swirling around a full moon. It also resembled sort of the calm before the storm or the eye of the storm.

Visual Verbal

For this assignment we were given a word and we had to visually represent this word. We were not allowed to use recognizable objects (i.e. teardrops for sad or smiley faces for happy). We were given a black square and white, gray, and black paper. We also were to use geometrical shapes with a focal point in the middle. I’m not sure how well mine represents my word, but I gave it a good honest try. Can you guess what my word is?

 

Well, if you couldn’t guess, my word was “gloomy”. I’m not sure how gloomy it is , but I can tell you the thought process I had while designing it. I was trying to create a sense of impending doom. Wouldn’t impending doom make you gloomy? Anyway, I wanted the “light at the end of the tunnel” to be darkness. Also, the circles are supposed to alternate in size. The black rings should be getting larger as you get closer to the middle and the gray and white should be getting smaller. As you move farther outward from the center the black rings should be getting smaller and the white and gray getting larger. The idea worked a lot better in my head than it did on paper. To be completely honest, I’m not sure where the gray and white arrows came from. I’m not really sure how this makes me feel, but I’m not sure if gloomy is the right word.

Klimchak Performance/Service to the Arts

What originally began as my service requirement ended up being an on-campus event as well. I went to Dana to help with whatever needed to be done, and I was redirected to the Observatory. I had completely forgotten that Klimchak was supposed to be performing that night, but I went to see if I could help in any way. For my service to the arts, I assisted Lisa Alembik during the Klimchak performance. My job was to greet people as they came into the Observatory and direct them to the right area. I was also to answer questions they may have had about the art in the front area by Richard Sutton.

The Klimchak performance was my first time every attending a performance that was not only auditory, but visual as well. As Klimchak played, the observatory ceiling displayed images of the universe. The entire room was completely dark except for the ceiling and Klimchak’s instruments. I enjoyed the serenity of the environment, even if the music itself was not serene. As the mood of the music changed, the ceiling changed. Louder percussion rhythms sent us flying through space at lightning speed, whereas softer stringed instruments caused us to experience the gradual change from night to day. I enjoyed the feeling of being outside although I knew I was in a building. It is an amazing experience to feel like you’re somewhere you know you’re not.

Grimonprez’s Doubletake

For my off-campus event, I went to the High Museum of Art for a film screening. The film entitled Doubletake is by Johan Grimonprez. The description reads as follows:  

  

“Grimonprez’s second film essay, titled DOUBLE TAKE, questions how our view of reality is held hostage by mass media, advertising and Hollywood. Written by award winning British novelist Tom McCarthy, the film targets the global rise of fear-as-commodity, in a tale of odd couples and hilarious double deals. Paying tribute to the themes of doubling and mistaken identity, Grimonprez creates a unique interpretation of Alfred Hitchcock’s illustrious cameo television and film appearances, through which Grimonprez examines the influence of this cinema-icon on a deeper, more socio-political level. The film covers the post World War II period, characterized by prosperity and innocent consumerism, as well as institutionalized fear, through the beginning of the 1960s featuring Sputnik, Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon. The cold war era was characterized by the conquest of space, sexual politics, anxiety and paranoia disrupting the idyllic American suburban dream. In the words of Alfred Hitchcock, “Television brought murder into the American home, where it has always belonged.” Not without humor, DOUBLE TAKE invites the viewer to question today’s hegemony of the image, the truth and lies of reality and its influence on our society, politics and culture.”  

I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on in this movie. I’m not sure if I was really tired or I just didn’t make the connection. After going back and reading the description a lightbulb went off. I realized the underlying theme of the movie is what fear can do to people. Propaganda and hysteria have led to many unfortunate events throughout the world’s history and this film presents that to us. I think I appreciated this film much more once I made the connection between the different components of it.  

Credits Rolling

  

I tried to sneak this picture in at the very end, but my flash went off. I felt so bad. My crazy camera has a mind of its own.  

Cloth and Tulle

The purpose of this project is to throw the idea of lines out the window… I think. We were to define shapes based on contrast of light and dark of the object and the space behind it. The only lines we could use were the basic outlines of the shapes, but as we worked we had to fill in the space around it so the lines disappear. The most important part of starting this project was to fnd your lightest light and your darkest dark of the area we wanted to draw. All of our other shades and tints would be based off of the values of the lightest light and darkest dark. Another requirement of this project was to pick a small area of a larger still-life and magnify it to fill our page.  

So I started out timidly in the top right corner.  

The Beginning

 

I thought that turned out pretty nicely so I filled in the objects directly under it and the other corner.  

  

At this point I realized I made my life a little harder. Because I did not shade continously from one point across the drawing I had to try to find a shade for the middle that was an accurate representation of the lights and darks of the objects already filled in. Once again, as always, I felt the need to compensate (I’m really beginning to dislike that word). So I filled in the middle and bottom being as true to the values as possible without having jet black cloth. So here’s my final product.  

The Final Product

 

I think I may be one of the few people who enjoyed this assignment. I feel like I have a new perspective on drawing because of this assignment. I learned that lines don’t exist (in the artistic sense at least, calm down Math people). We only see lines because of the edge of an object meeting the edge of another or contrasting the space behind it. I think this project will change the way I create art from now on.

Conte Crayon Still-Life

Conte Still Life

Conte Still-Life

Let me first start off by saying that I super dislike Conte crayons a lot (and that’s only because hate is such a strong word). Other than that, I enjoyed making this drawing. The most difficult part for me was the fact that all of the objects in the still-life formed straight edges, but I didn’t have anything with a straight edge to make those lines with. As I have said many a time before, I like for my drawings to look realistic. Personally, I think straighter lines would have made the drawing look more realistic. On the other hand, I do like the character the drawing has because the lines aren’t all perfectly straight. At one point I came back to my favorite pastime, compensating. Hopefully no one else can tell, but I know where some angles don’t quite come together in the way they should.

The only thing I liked about the Conte crayon is the rich color it has when applied thickly to the paper. I pressed down very hard to get the darker pieces to look darker. The natural texture of the paper and the Conte produced a rough texture similar to actual wood.  The thing I disliked the most about the Conte is that it’s so hard to erase. When I think a line should be gone, I want the line to be gone all the way. And I also don’t like the Conte because it’s so fragile. Every time I came in to work on my drawing my Conte pieces got smaller and smaller due to their unfortunate encounters with the floor. If I ever wanted to draw something wooden I think this would be a great medium, but other than that I think I’ll stick to my pencils and charcoal.

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