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!

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