Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Final Thoughts

There were many great learning experiences from this semester. First of all, I one of the most memorable was when we made our first self-portraits without any instruction and then compared them to our final portraits. I found this very interesting and cool because you could see how much you improved. This affected my learning because now I realize that even if you are not good at something and have little instruction, you can improve so much. Next, another memorable experience was when the Unsung Hero Project as a whole. This impacted me in many different ways. I learned about a someone who made a huge difference and this really inspired me. I also got more experience with acrylic painting, and learned many knew aspects to it. Finally, the a great learning experience from this semester was the watercolor project. This was by far my favorite unit because watercolor allows you to be creative and unique. This impacted my life because I will definitely do more watercolor in my free time as the summer approaches. I learned so many new techniques that I will use in my future paintings.

Work of Art that I am the most proud of

There have been many art projects that have impacted my learning. But I would say that I am most proud of the imaginative self portrait. This project made think deeper and come up with symbols that really represent me. As thought about what conveys my life, I came up with many different scenes and images I could draw. One of the main ways this project affected my learning was that I had to plan out the whole portrait and make sure everything flowed nicely. I had not had much experience with this type of portrait and at first I had no idea how I was going to connect everything. Once I started planning it out and thinking deeply about things that I love, I was able to get through it. Also, this project impacted my learning because I got more experience drawing with lights and darks. Not only did I have plan out where all of my scenes and symbols were but I also had to make sure enough space was dark and enough was left white. This really impacted my learning because now I have much more experience with this time of drawing. Thanks to this project, I look forward to my future drawings and I have will be able to express myself even more.

Watercolor Techniques

Purpose: To experiment, explore, and learn a variety of ways to paint with watercolor;
There are many important concepts I learned from painting with watercolor. First of all, I did not have much experience with watercolor at all before this unit. The first activity we did where we learned all of the techniques was very helpful. I found the stiple, tip only and whisking techniques very interesting and they can help make your painting unique. Next, I learned that it is always best to start light because you can always get darker. Unlike acrylic painting, if you mess up you can't just start over or cover something up. It is very important that you keep the values light so there is room for fixing mistakes. Finally, I learned how you work from top to bottom. When you are painting a landscape such as a ocean sunset or mountain setting, you always start with the sky. As you can see, there are many important concepts I learned from painting with watercolor.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Unsung Hero Artist Statement

Not all heros have been recognized or are well-known. Many people do extraordinary acts and go unacknowledged. Through doing this project, I have learned the importance of putting others needs before your own and just doing things that interest you. At the very beginning of this project, we learned about Irena Sendler and the LMC for Unsung Heros. As I was scrolling the various people who had achieved amazings things, one stood out to me in particular. The article was called Under a Seagull’s Wings. I read the whole page and became truly inspired by this true story. I chose to do Maria Mikusz as my Unsung Hero. She was also known as “Meva”, which means “seagull” in Polish. Meva and her family grew up during the 1930s in Czortkow, Poland along with many other Jewish families. As WWI approached, the Jews outlook did not look great. Many began getting removed from their homes and some were forced into the dangerous ghettos. The ghettos were one of the first cruel and awful aspects to the Holocaust. Jews were be split up from their families and sent to live in crowded areas with little freedom. As the war starting picking up, one of the worst ghettos was established in Czortkow. Frieda Hauser and her two-year-old daughter Inka, were two of the victims sent to this ghetto. Luck for them, they had sparked a friendship with Meva before getting sent to the ghetto. When Jews from the ghetto began getting sent to concentration camps such as Belzec, Frieda knew that she had to find a way to keep Inka safe. Somehow she managed to find a way to communicate to Meva that they needed help. Meva, being small and brave, was able to fit through a hole in the ghetto wall and save Inka. Meva and her family raised Inka and remained in hiding for the rest of the war. Mevas story is truly uplifting and inspirational.
I think that my work expresses my heroes character and heroic acts in many ways. First of all, Meva and Inka themselves in my painting represent one of the only pictures they have with each other from when they were young. I tried to show what they really looked like and I drew them in the same pose as the picture. They both look very young and this is important because it shows how even from a young age you can make a difference. Next, I decided to incorporate the Star of David in my painting. When Meva went into the ghetto through the hole, she was wearing the Star of David on her arm. It can also be called the Shield of David. This symbol is very important to the Jewish religion and I believe Meva whore it for protection. Although sometimes it is blue, the accurate color of the Star of David for the holocaust is yellow. Finally, one of the biggest symbols I used to represent Meva and her inspiring heroic acts is the seagull at the top of my painting. I drew it hovering over the two girls to show how Meva took Inka under her wing. It also represents how Meva means “seagull” in Polish. It is incredible how Meva risked so much to save someone who was in need. When she was going into the Ghetto, she knew that any second could be her last, but she continued and ended up being successful. I believe that I created my work uniquely and creatively. Even though I followed the real picture of Meva and Inka when I was making my painting, I still found ways to make it my own. The original picture was in black and white, so this left me with open possibilities for colors.
This process of creating a work of art has changed my outlook on life because I have learned that not all heros are famous and well-known. Through doing this project, I have a better understanding of how many people do extraordinary things and go unrecognized. Also, I have learned how important it is to do things out of the bottom of your heart and not just for the reward. I will definitely approach situations differently and whenever I need a reminder to take people under my wings, I think of Meva Mikusz.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Vegetable/Fruit Painting

I learned many things about color and technique as a result of doing these still life paintings. First of all, I learned more about mixing colors. I definitely got a lot of practice mixing colors. Before this project I had little experience painting with the basic primary colors and having to mix them if I want a different color. Because I chose to paint an apple and a plum, I had to make green and purple. Next, I had never paint highlights and shadows before. During this project, we had a light shining on our still life, therefore, we had to draw shadow coming off the fruit on the the table and highlights on the fruit. Finally, I was introduced to a new technique which was painting with the palet knife. I thought this technique was very hard because the painter does not have much control over the paint. I do think that this creates a cool look because it is unique and abstract. As you can see, I learned many things about color and technique as a result of doing these still life paintings.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

LMC Unsung Hero Planning

The story that motivates me the most is Pigtails and Protests. I find this story so inspiring because it shows how you are never to young to make a difference. She was growing up in the times of racism and discrimination in the South. I think it is amazing that she even decided to understand what was going on during this time period, because she was so young and not a lot of people decide to make a change. Another story that motivates me is Under the Seagull's wing. I think the message portrayed in the story is so important. It is that when tragedy beckons, we must take those in need under our wing.

Meva Mikusz inspires me visually because there are so many small symbols and characteristics that describe her. I think it is very ironic and interesting that her name means seagull. The location I could include in my painting is the Ghettos. Some significant objects include the star of david, wing of seagull, and a window to present how she crawled through to save another girls life. I think that I am going to pursue a literal portrait, this way I can make it factual and genuine.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Imaginative Self-Portraits

Looking carefully at my imaginative self-portrait, you can see many different symbols and images incorporated into my drawing. First of all, the top of my head, I used the image of a beach. Some of the symbols include my beach house, clouds, sand, an umbrella, surfboards and rain. These are are all very important to me because in the summer I go to my beach house and I enjoy doing various activities there, which is represented by the surfboards and the sand. Also, I love the weather and how it changes so fast. This leads to the other side of my head which is clouds and snow. The snow leads to the mountains and I have used the symbol of a skier to represent how great skiing is in the winter. I also used trees as a symbol here because when I am on a mountain, I enjoy looking at the trees covered in snow. Next, on the left side of my head, down my hair, I have drawn the ocean. This is probably one of the most important symbols to me because the ocean is a big part of my life. In the summer, I spend the majority of my days in the water, whether it’s on a boat, fishing, swimming with friends or surfing. I incorporated a symbol of a surfer and a fish because these represent my love of the water. Then as the waves go down, I created the image of a waterfall. Every summer, I go to my lake house in Vermont and down the road there is a big waterfall that my friends and I always swim at. I created this image because it is an important place for me because I grew up going there and I have so many memories. I decided to use the footprints, road and flowers as symbols in my drawing because to me, they all mean adventure and exploring the beauty in this world. Finally, one of the biggest scenes that stands out the most in my portrait is the skyline of New York. I chose to put stars, the moon and buildings as symbols. This is because I have always loved big cities and it is my dream to live there when I am older. I have many memories in New York including visiting with friends, going to concerts and exploring the city with my mom. As you can see, looking carefully at me imaginative Self-Portrait, you can see many different symbols and images incorporated into my drawing.

The use of value helps to unify and balance my composition in my imaginative Self-Portrait. First of all, I believe that my skyline plays a big role in the making my drawing look unified. The black sky fills in the space and pulls the portrait together nicely because it is in the middle. I left the moon and stars light, because in reality, they are supposed to be the lightest. This creates a cool image of the sky. By using black areas on the mountains, it makes them stand out. Also, leaving the ski trail white and the making the skier dark, there is a good balance. Finally, I decided to fade the sky into the sand. I think that this looks creative and interesting because the sky starts to get light until it just some small marks. As you can see, the use of value helps to unify and balance my composition in my imaginative Self-Portrait.

I had many strengths and challenges while completing this drawing. First of all, one of my strengths was figuring out symbols that represented me. I was able to list a bunch of images and symbols that are now shown in my final drawing. But one of my challenges that came along with this, was figuring out where I was going to place everything and make my ideas flow. Next, one of my main challenges that was with me this whole project was pressing down to hard on my pen and not changing the size of the lines I would make. I did improve throughout, but this is still a hard thing for me.