Sunday, November 11, 2012

Finished Shoes!

   I just wanted to make a quick post about my finished shoe drawing! I have now completed my first drawing assignment of the year, phew. It took a while and shading is my enemy, but I am pleased with the outcome.

In progress drawing
Finished drawing

Monday, November 5, 2012

Time to Reflect

   The first marking period has come to an end. A lot has been learned. Drawing is still not my forte, but I do believe more practice will help. I have learned that I have a knack for possibly campaigning for presidents! I definitely have grown since my first year in creative arts. It's nice to know what art terms mean and how to grow as an artist. 
   The books this year are also different. Instead of choosing the do whatever, our books have to have a color and subject theme. I chose to have warmer colors such as, red, pink, orange and yellow I haven't quite figured out my subject theme yet, I was thinking freedom or possibly hope. This could be ambitious and I would with out a doubt have to think of ways to express one of these subjects, but for now most of my papers just have color on them. 
   Through out this marking period I learned how to shade difficult pieces, and how to build a collage. Last year I can remember my fruit drawing looking a little "shape-y" not really having that much dimension. This year I can safely say that I have made an attempt to stray away from that quality. My collage skills have grown as well. My identity collage year didn't have a lot of substance. There were pieces that were placed awkwardly and a lot of was going on. There wasn't much layering so it was pretty much one sheet of confusion. This year I planned out my collage before I started. I wanted a clear path that I could follow and along the way I was able to add or take out some ideas. It was satisfying to have these options.
   I am interested to see what else I am capable of thinking about and able to create this year in art. 

Who is it going to be?

   The second and so far my favorite assignment of the year was the mixed media collage. This year since it is the presidential election our goal was to make a collage representing either who we wanted as president, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, or a topic being debated by either president. 
   I chose to express who I wanted as president which is Barack Obama. I started out by transferring a picture of the American flag, but instead of the top corner being blue with stars it was the Obama logo. Once I had the foundation I built around it. I lightly painted over the left half of the flag in black, letting some of the flag peek through. I then transferred a silhouette of the back of Obama's head onto a white piece of paper and took that transfer and glued in onto the bottom left corner of my collage. 
   I had most of my pictures and materials before I started the collage, but I decided to look through some magazines and newspapers which was a smart choice. I found newspaper articles of Obama and cut them out and transferred them onto the right half of my collage. I then found a picture of silhouettes of a couple men that seemed to be looking out into the horizon. I transferred this picture onto the half that wasn't black, but right near where the black stops. The coolest thing happened which was a perfect surprise. The black silhouettes that I thought would turn black didn't transfer. Only the outer part of the silhouettes transferred. So the middle part of the figures were the flag and newspaper articles. 
   The collage was coming together quite nicely at this point, but it was still not done. I decided to use the Obama logo and make in into the logo for Obama Care. I achieved this with paint. Once that was done it seemed to take over the collage. So I covered the logo up with a tissue. This created some what a sheen to the logo making it a lot less BAM! After this step I cut out the state of Hawaii where Obama is from and glued in onto the collage. Another amazing surprise occurred. I happened to glue the state in a way where it looked like a "thought line" coming from the silhouette of Obama to the health care symbol. I didn't even realize this until Ms. Kiick pointed it out to me. 
   At this point I  was almost done. The last major thing I wanted to include was Obama's slogan: Yes We Can. With the help of Ms. Kiick, I very lightly using a dry brush and paint wrote it onto the top left corner of my collage. I also decided to only show half of each letter like it was falling onto the collage. 
   Little details made this collage pop. For instance when I covered half the flag with black paint it made the collage look a bit "blocky." So I went in with a dry brush and paint and connected the lighter side to the darker side. Another little detail was softening up Obama's silhouette by using this dry brush technique yet again. I also used, can you guess, dry brush to make my little men silhouettes to stand out better.
   Overall I was overjoyed with the finished product. I didn't know that I had it in me. I can say that it might have helped that I was passionate about the topic, but it was exciting to see me ideas jump to paper. 

Picture of my 2012 presidential collage
Another picture of my 2012 presidential collage



   Our first assignment of the year was a drawing piece. You can imagine how excited I was... I'm not the strongest at drawing and I tend to over think what is being put on a piece of paper, but I almost have a finished project and I didn't suffer too much.
   The assignment was to draw shoes. Each class had to bring in at least one shoe which would later become our models. Once the shoes were arranged on the tables the drawing began. Finding a section of shoes I wanted to illustrate was already difficult for me. Once I finally settled on a view of the shoes through my handmade view finder, I was ready for the pencil to meet the paper. 
   The drawing has three shoes in it, all of them having interesting and different patterns and materials. I wanted to attempt to capture these 'characteristics' that made the shoes unique. This was a lot easier said than done. I started by drawing the baby shoe which is at the top of the drawing. This shoe wasn't too hard, it was easy to get the basic shape and then go back and add the most important part, details. The second shoe I drew was the Nike one. This show was a bit more difficult. The shape of it was simple, but I really liked the pattern it had all around the shoe. Figuring out how to achieve this pattern was a bit frustrating. Thankfully it eventually came to me. Now, the last shoe which is the converse gave me the hardest time. In the picture I was going off of the shoe had a curve to it. This required a bunch of shading around that area, but I really enjoyed how awesome this shoe looked. I haven't finished my drawing yet, but when I do I will post a picture of the final product. Each shoe needs a lot more detail and I am still working on the stubborn converse, but the drawing will be finished before the end of the marking period though so you shall see it soon!

Here is a picture of my shoe drawing so far.  When it is finished I will upload another one!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welcome Back

   Hello again! I have returned to the blog world after a fun summer. As a returning art student I am excited to see what this year has in store. 
   My goals for this year are to develop my drawing skills and let go of my "perfect" mindset. I left off last year able to create a ceramic place setting, get through metals without pulling my hair out, learning the ways of tempera batik, and begin my drawing abilities. An eventful year, but still a lot of skills to develop.
   When reading this years syllabus there are some modified changes from the projects last year. The feeling of being almost one step ahead of the game is comforting, but I'm going to push myself harder this year just for that reason. The one project that I'm looking forward to are the lanterns. I always see them hanging in the art room and they always look so pretty with the light shining through. 
   Honestly, last year I joined creative arts thinking it was going to be an easy 'A' class. I quickly learned it was not, but over the year I found art to be fun and a way to express yourself. It's also a nice break from school work. I'm back for another year to build on the foundation I started last year. So many possibilities to be unlocked!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

End of the Year Reflections

   This year has been such a learning experience. Even though the school has taken away our art program some how my art teacher, Mrs. Kiick, has managed to do it all. From sketching fruit to creating a place setting just out of clay. Honestly, I thought by taking this class it was going to be an easy 'A,' but over the year I have realized art is so much more than just a grade. It takes time and effort. What you put in is was will come out. 
   There have definitely been some challenges along the way. I'm not that strong at drawing. I mean, I can draw if you give me something to draw, but the skill to just draw whatever comes to mind isn't my strong suit. What made me better at drawing is the freedom and interpretation Mrs. Kiick gave us have by choosing what we wanted to draw each marking period. Each assignment did have some 'ground rules,' but it gave us a bunch of possibilities. 
   Some of my favorite projects this year were definitely metal and clay. I really enjoyed the end results of both of them. The metal was quite tedious, but it was fun to see my ideas spring to life. The hardest part about the clay was the anticipation. "How will it turn out?" "Will it blow up in the kiln?!" "What if the glazes aren't right?" all these questions and no immediate answers. Once all those fears passed the completed look was spectacular.
   Overall I would say it's been a pretty great year. I will take the lessons I've learned and hopefully put them to the test during the summer. I've found the art can be relaxing. You just can't go into is thinking it's going to turn out perfect, but if you let loose the outcome could be amazing!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Dinner Party

      Over the past couple of weeks we have been working with clay. It's gooey, cold, and messy, but sure fun to play with. The first week or so Ms. Kiick let is practice making bowls just to get the hang of clay. It's quite tricky actually. You have to roll out a large piece of clay which is really tiring. I was even breaking a sweat! Then you place the piece of rolled out clay onto a form. After that you cut off the excess clay and then use a heat gun to speed up the process of getting your clay off the form. When your clay is hard enough to peel off the form you then use the heat gun to achieve the basic shape of your bowl or whatever your making. The best stage of your bowl is called leather hard. It's where you can shape, trim, and almost do anything to your piece. After that you can then add any design or 'doo-dad' you want. Ms. Kiick then put our pieces into the kiln. Here a link that will explain what a kiln is: When a piece comes out of the kiln it's time to glaze. This is really fun! It's basically like painting. You can mix a bunch of colors together to come up with your own unique color. After you glaze the piece it goes back into the kiln and then its basically done! 
      Once we conquered bowl making we moved onto our dinner piece set. I will be making a bowl, plate, and cup. I have finished the sculpting of the bowl now I'm on my plate. Everyone had to pick a person that they would represent through this set. When we are all done we will have lunch together using the ceramics we made. I chose to make my set with the influence of my family's friend Kate. She is more like an aunt to me since my mom and she really close. Kate loves sailing, sewing quilts, and nature. But, she is very honest and kind hearted. If I'm having any problems going on in my life I will always go to her to talk. She will listen and comprehend, but she definitely tells me if out of line in a situation. She doesn't sugar coat anything, but she is very loving.
      So, I decided for the bowl I would base it off of her love to sail. I don't have a picture unfortunately because it is in the kiln, but I'll describe it. It's pretty basic, but on the edges of the bowl I have waves coming off of it. I want it to look like an ocean and the waves will be whirling around the bowl. For my plate I am using her love to sew as my idea. I made a spool of thread and wiggled a long and skinny piece of clay around the plate, then I made a needle. My plan is to make a design on the base of the plate and have the needle be making a quilt in a way. I'm going to make the design some type of wave pattern so it will flow with the bowl. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with the cup, but I'm brainstorming ideas, so I'll update when I know more. So far it's been a blast working with clay, but here and there I have my moments where I do get frustrated with it. I'm really eager to see how everyone's finished dinner sets turn out!

Here's a picture of my plate! It's not finished yet. I still have to make the quilt design, but so far I'm really pleased!

Finished Metals!

A couple of months ago I was working on my metals project. Well, I finally finished! I gave a couple pictures of what I envisioned my metal to look like on my previous blog post. The finished product looks quite accurate to the one I had in mind. The colors are a little different, but the textures in the piece are extremely cool. Once I cut all my pieces of metal out I textured them the way I wanted. For my main two bronze pieces I hammered little circle indents to the ends and with my two copper pieces I added a fish net design. After aligning all my pieces together I had to solder.  Here's a link on what soldering is: I used little pieces of solder to hold each of my metal pieces together. Sometimes picking up the solder and positioning it to the place you want was tricky, but I eventually got the hang of it. Then came the fun part! I took a torch and melted my metal pieces together. It was interesting seeing the metals dissolve into each other. My metal came to life. It had texture and different variations of colors. When I was done with the torch Ms. Kiick immediately dunked my metal into water. I heard a sizzle and saw a bunch of steam. When she took it out of the water I was in awe. It shocked me that I was capable of making such a creation. It was a pretty good feeling. 

Here are two pictures of my metal. The top one is my metal on a black piece of velvet and the bottom one is my metal hanging up on the board. It's interesting how my phone camera picked up both pictures. Then again my phone camera is very low quality.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Metals in Progress

 A picture of the cutting process of my metal
This week I started working with metal. I came up with three designs, but it came down to one that I love. Working with metal is very demanding to say the least. Once you have your design you have to make a prototype of it. When you like the way your prototype turns out you then have to figure out the type of metal you want for each part of your design. Then you have to outline each of your pieces on the appropriate metal you want to use. Finally the most irritating step up all. Sawing. You have these tiny saw blades that will cut through metal. It's actually quite astonishing how powerful they are. Did i forget to mention that this is all by hand? You have to saw up a down in a light motion. The slightest bit of pressure and snap! There goes your saw blade. Once you finally get into the metal from the edge it takes a while to achieve a simple cut. For the past four days all I've been hearing are saw blades against metal. Not the most pleasant sound. Although the process is monotonous the outcome is very rewarding. I'm not nearly finished yet, but what I'm seeing so far is satisfying. I can't wait to see all of my pieces textured and put together! I'll keep you updated throughout my process.
 A picture of my design. The color of the pieces represent the type of metal I'll use.


This marking period I created a self-portrait, which portrayed my physical identity. I then created a collage that illustrated my hidden identity. An identity that wasn't obvious to the naked eye. My collage is fairly clustered. I started out with magazines, cutting out pictures that drew to my attention. I then brought in some of my own personal pictures. When I went through all these pictures I picked out the ones I enjoyed the most. Figuring out how to put feelings and emotions on a piece of cardboard was a challenging for me. I started out with crumpling little pieces of tissue paper. I then went over them with paint of the primary colors. Mixing those colors to make different ones. I then added pictures of icicles which represents the sad and dark feelings I've had and winding string that symbolized my never ending thoughts. There are some hidden pictures of my friends, events that have occurred in my life and even some quotes. I learned from Mrs. Kiick how to make pictures less evident. Techniques where you could make a transparent sheen over pictures or make your paint matte and not shiny. As an art class we all had to write a lune that went with our collage. Mine is... 
slowly opening up
masked by colors and textures
emotions deeply buried

It was a fun process making my collage. Being able to to glue on a bunch of stuff, but have it mean something more than just stuff. 


A Painted Face

Over the past couple months I've been working on my self portrait using the method of tempera batik. Here's a link I found that describes tempera batik- I worked for a long time on a substantial painting/portrait of myself. Right off the bat I had a feeling I wasn't going to like this assignment. The more I worked on it I found out it was pretty interesting to see if the finished product would look like me. The picture I decided to use for this assignment was a picture of me smiling pretty straight on. The most difficult part about this project was the painting. The paper we used was rather thick so the paint seeped right into it and dried quite quickly. It was hard to figure out how to shade with paint. All we were allowed to use was the color we created with black and white added to it. The black paint making your custom color darker and the white paint making it lighter. I found to be using more of the white than the black, but the black did come in handy, especially with the shadows of my face. Once I finished the painting part I inked it. I was hesitant to ink. All that work on the painting and now i have to cover it up with black ink?! I knew it had to be done though. Once the ink dried I rinsed it off and then went back into my portrait with colored pencils. I only used four colored pencils to achieve my finished portrait, a shade of purple, tan, white and black. My favorite part of this whole process was working on my teeth. Sounds kinda weird huh? Well it seemed to be that I was the only one who had braces in the portrait. It surprisingly wasn't that challenging for me to draw and paint them in. I think they give my portrait a unique touch. While it was long, tedious journey, I am exceptionally happy with the end result.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Inspirational Artist

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhola, know as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement know as pop art. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 6, 1928. Warhol showed early artistic talent and studied commercial art, which is art created for commercial purposes, at the School of Fine Arts at Carnegie Institute of Technology. 
Here is a picture of one of his many shoe advertisements

In 1949, he moved to New York City and began a career in magazine illustration and advertising. During the 1950s, he gained fame for his fanciful ink drawing of shoe advertisements. These were done in a loose, blotted-ink style, and figured in some of his earliest showing at the Bodley Gallery in New York.

Warhol was an early adopter of the silk screen printmaking process as a technique for making paintings which creates the painting to look like the texture of a television scree in front of an image.  With bright colored images it looks like the painting sparkles. The effect is most visible when viewing bright white or very light colored images.  

Painting of Marilyn Monroe. The technique of silkscreen was used.

 Warhol began exhibiting his work during the 1950s. His first one-man art gallery exhibition was on July 9, 1962, in the Ferus Gallery of Los Angels. This exhibition marked his West Coast debut of pop art. It was during the 1960s that Warhol began to make paintings of iconic American products such as Campbell's Soup Cans and Coca- Cola, as well as paintings of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor. He founding "The Factory," his studio during these years, and gathered around himself a wide range of artists, writers, musicians, and underground celebrities. His work became popular and controversial.
In 1964, The American Supermarket exhibit was held. It held Warhol's famous painting of a can of Campbell's soup. The exhibit was one of the first exhibit’s that made the public aware of pop art.

Something interesting I found out about Warhol was that in third grade, Warhol had chorea, the nervous system disease that causes involuntary movements of the extremities, which is believed to be a complication of  scarlet fever. He became a hypochondriac, developing a fear of hospitals and doctors. He became an outcast at school and bonded with his mother. Confined in his room he drew, listened to the radio, and collected pictures of movie stars. Warhol later described this period as very important in the development of his personality.

I like Andy Warhol because he brought a new meaning of art to the world. He used color so differently then artists before him. He made people ask themselves what is art. One of my favorite paintings of his is Ten-Foot Flowers. The first time I saw this painting was in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It was right above the ticket desk. Even though he painted this same painting, but in different colors, the one in the MoMa is so mesmerizing. The alluring teal color makes it so beautiful.

Ten- Foot Flowers painting in the MoMa.

I enjoyed learning about Andy Warhol. He is such an inspiration and will never be forgotten.