Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Final Blog Post - Reflection

Visual Analysis of Artist Response Piece

My final project for two-dimensional design was one of the pieces that ends up being far from what it was at the beginning, conceptually. My artist was William Lamb Picknell, an American Impressionist known for his beautiful landscapes. Another characteristic that made Picknell unique was his use of "urban" imagery to portray the changes towards industrialization that were happening during his era. I knew that for my final piece I did not simply want to respond with a landscape, I wanted to make a statement much like Picknell.

The piece was originally meant to be a series of three landscapes, depicting three eras in time, past, present, and future. The idea came to me after I trashed my first work, create one massive landscape that is made up of tons of little landscapes that depicts the three time periods. I used InDesign to create the "collage" type sections featured. I also altered the dimensions on the corners of the three section to make them connect, the idea was to create a movement through time. The first section begins with beautiful rural landscapes that slowly evolve with the addition of buildings. Following that section is the transition towards the modern day city landscapes. As the landscapes become more crowded in the city era, the idea takes a turn. 

I did not see myself going with the dark concept that followed, but it just seemed to work. The cities in the middle of the work begin to be flooded with violence, rioting, destruction, and fire. I wanted to depict movement towards a chaotic breakdown within society. This led perfectly to my end goal. Wasteland. I recently read a post-apocalyptic book and was hooked on the idea of what a world post complete destruction would look like. Thus the final section features frightening landscapes void of much human life and full of dilapidated building and abandoned cities. In the end I returned to rural landscapes, but unlike the ones in the beginning, these work barren, cracked stretches of emptiness. Ergo the end of humanity as we know it.

Two other important notes to consider. Picknell was an impressionist, meaning the use of color and light were very important to his work. I wanted to also experiment with these two elements. For light, I used the transition between day and night in all three time periods. As for color, I used colors relative to the time of day. I also tried to transition the colors from vibrant healthy looking environments, to cool metallic looking cities, to finally a hot, dry, wasteland type expanse. The final note of analysis is the black border. I wanted the shade of black to transition from a lighter black to a total darkness so that it fit the theme of the piece. I hope you enjoyed!


This course was awesome for someone completely inexperienced in the world of art. It gave me a full look into the various mediums and methods used by artists over various different artistic movements. I think that the two main skills I could take away and apply in the real world are attention to detail and taking more than a surface deep look. This course taught me that paying attention to every detail of a work of art, denotative, connotative, and ideological can help guide you towards a greater understanding. I think that this skill could be applied to almost everything outside the world of art. This goes hand and hand with the second skill. This course showed me that almost everything has more to offer if you get past the surface interpretation. The "30 minute" rule we were taught at the BMA could really work in a business environment, really anywhere. When I'm stuck on something, I will definitely take a pause and look/think about it for thirty minutes and I am sure I'll have a better idea of what the issue is. I really didn't find any issues within the course overall, I felt that the workload was reasonable and the overall structure of the course was clear. Definitely would recommend to a friend with some interest in art, but not much experience!

Art Event - Student Showcase

Student Showcase 

For my art event requirement, I went to the large scale student showcase. A variety of different works were on display and all were unique and different. The work of art I chose to write about is feature below:

Emily Griffin, 17' Crypto-Zoological Observation 
There are several aspect of this work that I really like. The first is the medium. Creating a work of art with only a pencil can be difficult and Emily did so with an amazing amount of detail. The work portrays what looks to be a domestic house-cat turned into a mythological creature. Being a fantasy buff, I was instantly drawn to this image due to its imaginative nature. Surely this creature does not exist, but Emily's attention to detail made it seem undeniably lifelike. The shading created by pencil gives the creature depth and form in two-dimensional layout. If I were to pull an ideological meaning from this work of art it would be even the most ordinary aspects of our life, like a pet cat, can be truly fantastic. I truly enjoyed the creative style Emily demonstrated in Crypto-Zoological Observation.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Post-Modernism Piece - The Current of Consciousness

Current of Consciousness 

In my piece for the Post-Modernism era I chose the quote about artificial intelligence. I first designed a collage using images of robots and symbols to represent cunning and artifice. I wanted the collage to represent the main frame brain of an artificially intelligent creation. I also chose images of humans and robots connecting to portray the link between humanity and creation. Outside of the collage I chose to use dark black lines created with acrylic paint to symbolize a sort of mother board of circuits giving life to the brain. To add depth to the bold black lines, I complimented them with several line patterns in primary colors. Within these areas of the mother board, I added human organs floating in space to give a sense of informal creation. The piece contains a mix of human and robotic, electric elements. 

The meaning behind this piece in my opinion is really up to the viewer. My original intention was to create a sense of connectivity between humanity and creation. I wanted to also create a sense of chaos and cluttered within the overall imagery. Artificial intelligence contains no stream of consciousness, rather a set programmed way of acting. The main point I wanted to drive home is that while robots do not have their own consciousness, their creation was subject to the consciousness of the maker. Thus, they are an extension of humanity and in a sense reflect the mind and thoughts of those who design them. The rest is up to you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2D Art Design Project - Subvertisment

For my subvertisment project, I wanted to take a stab at McDonald's. The advertisement they originally had said something along the lines of McDipped and asked the question, what is your favorite flavor. I wanted to make a mock slam ad that attacks the unhealthy quality of teir food. Another idea that I implemented was the way in which cigarette companies have to include warning signs on their labels. Since we know McDonald's is unhealthy like how we know that cigarettes are unhealthy, I thought that this parallel would work well with the advertisement.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Reaction to John Berger Reading

The Complications of Perception
In the reading for this week, John Berger dives into the deeply complex concept of perception. Towards the beginning of the reading, we are given a broad overview of the many factors that can alter ones perception, be it emotional attachment, cultural background, religious beliefs, or even physical location. The main point in mentioning all of the varying factors is to demonstrate that since no two people are exactly the same, no two perceptions are either. 
The reading goes on to discuss the relationship between technological progression and how it influenced the development of perception throughout history. With the invention of the camera, artists were able to create a tailored perception of their target through multiple different viewpoints. I would like to think that this development was a primary catalyst for the shifting of artistic eras. 
One of the most compelling ideas for me was the relationship between written text and artwork. Berger discusses how combining a work of art with a descriptive or maybe even arbitrary piece of text can alter the viewers perception of the work. I definitely think that this is true for myself when analyzing art, the more descriptive the text, the less my imagination takes over. However, when there is no text associated, I find myself creating a wide variety of possible explanations for a work of art. Overall, I found the reading to be really interesting and also helpful in regards to this semesters discussion of artwork.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Visit to the Baltimore Museum of Art

Paysage (A Winter Day in Brittany, 1881
William Lamb Picknell
The Embroidered Dark Blouse (Woman in Red Chair)
Henri Matisse - 1936
Andy Warhol - 1986
My Favorite Painting

 The painting that I found inspired me the most of the three featured above was the one by Andy Warhol. I do not know much about Warhol other than the fact that he was in some way or another a little crazy. However, his art work has remained a staple of the contemporary art community since the moment he started producing artwork. Before I get into my description of what I liked about the painting and how it made feel, I want to note that this was purely my interpretation and could be completely wrong. That being said, let's get into it.

One of the first aspects of this painting that caught my attention was the way Warhol created contrast utilizing light colors set against black space. In doing this, Warhol created a subtle, but easy recognizable counter-face. He titled the painting Self-Portrait, and I believe that this was more than simply a literal description of him painting himself. (Here is where my interpretation gets a little more complex) I believe that this painting was a personal statement from Warhol. I believe that in creating two contrasting images of himself, he was making a statement about the ways in which humans have multiple facets to their personalities. In a way, Warhol is almost saying that he cannot paint one image of himself because he is to complex of a human being. Another interpretation I had while looking at this painting was that we all have an internal conflict with ourselves to balance out the good in our life with the bad. Maybe in the way Warhol utilized so much black space, he is portraying there was more darkness in his life that the light is trying to pop out of. This could explain the choice of somewhat neon like, highly vibrant pink tones in the painting. Let me reiterate that could all be completely wrong, it's just what I gathered. 

Now on to the technical aspects of the painting. One thing I learned by studying this painting is that you can do a lot while not doing that much. By this I mean that you can utilize the space on your canvas to help you create your image. I also learned that contrast can really add emphasis within painting. Warhol created an image of himself using a minimal amount of colors, long brush strokes complimented by more filled it broad shapes and black space along with some slight shading in the face area. Seems easy right! Well I may have to put this style of painting to the test for my own self-portrait sometime. All in all, I had a great experience with this painting.