Tag Archives: College Art

Something’s Fishy…

I thought it may be time to give you a lil sum-sum of my own again.  Here are some photos I took of fish that I bought at the farmers market (and touched with my bare hands!) for a photography project in high school.  Actually it was my senior project, i wanted to do a series on animals, creatures, what-have-you.

Side note: when I went in to buy the fish from the market I made the mistake of telling the man that it was for an art project, and he was quite unhappy with that.  He was adamant that the fish were cleaned and cut perfectly for eating and that it would be a waste.  I felt terrible, but I don’t think they went to waste.  What do you think?  Do you think?!

Now I am pretty happy with these photos, I think the fish look beautiful, they shine and the colors are the greatest part.  The beauty of nature, huh? Yes.

Aside from these waterbabies, I also photographed a friend’s dogs, farm animals, and some zoo animals.  Maybe if you’re lucky… I’ll throw in a little extra here.

Now please, help yourself to some fish.

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I compiled these photos- and a few more- together in Photoshop to create one final product.  With all of my final animal compilations I had a space in the school gallery for the Senior Project Show.

(It kind of looks like child’s play now…but it was cool at the time.)

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Oh alright, I’ll throw in a pup for you.

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Woof.

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A Stroke of Genius, See the Pun?

Oh the world of Introduction to Art History classes, a world of super-famous artists that everyone has heard of already but doesn’t know exactly why.  Well, I suppose we all know this impressionist… Claude Monet anyone? I thought so.

Allow me to direct you to a specific series of his work on the Rouen Cathedral.  Monet did several different paintings of this cathedral from the exact same viewpoint, with the only variations in the time of day and weather conditions.  This type of work was entirely impressionistic in which the subject matter was not the main focus, but the brush strokes and capturing the qualities of nature were the focus.  This was the conceptual revolution people!

(All of these are obviously separate paintings, put together by MOI on Photoshop for easy side-by-side viewing.)

While in  my Intro to Art History class I am usually scribbling down the notes that are on the slides and getting cut off mid-jotted-down-sentence by a professor that goes too quickly, today I just sat back and observed.  You would have, too.

There are a lot of great things about these paintings.  For starters, they were painted outside, en plein-air, on the spot.  There were no real preliminary sketches that prepared Monet for the works, rather just paintbrush, oil paints, and canvas.  Another great thing is the quickness with which they were created.  When one is trying to portray a certain time of day, time is the most important thing, it is a race against the changing colors of the daytime.  Nature waits for no one.  Not even Claude Monet!  Other great things include the believable shadows, depth of architecture, and apparent intricate details.

Monet created many works in this way, as one of the most famous French Impressionist painters of all time.  His similar series of haystacks (http://www.monetpaintings.org/107/haystacks/) in a field are equally as fascinating and skillful, if not more.  Which is saying something.  Agreed?  Agreed.


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My Shallow Interests in Pretty Things

Prepare yourself now for a short post in which all I basically say is ‘its pretty, its pretty, pretty colors!’

Allow me now to share some of my favorite paintings based purely on aesthetics (except maybe the Birth of Venus).  I say this because I know very little about them, but I find them so exceptionally stunning that I must post them.  I must.

First is the Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights.  I first saw this in my high school Art History class and my (attractive) teacher professed his love for its twisted beauty to the class.  He was pretty passionate about it.  I have to agree with his claim of its intrigue.

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The twisted forms and the strangeness of it all makes me curious as the to the thoughts that produced it.  Don’t you wonder?

(I warned you I knew little about it.)

Next, is one of the great masters, Raphael.  In particular, Madonna of the Meadows.  The vibrant colors were exciting in the time it was created because people were just discovering the wonders of oil paint.  (I have recently been discovering the wonders of oil paint myself…).

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I am not interested in this scene for its religious value, though I find it interesting, but for its obvious beauty.  Flat out, I just like looking at it.  The crispness in line of this disegno painting is pleasing to my eye.

If I am being completely honest, I just can’t resist a good-old-fashioned chubby baby.

Finally, The Birth of Venus by Botticelli is one of my all-time favorite paintings.  I have an outside interest in mythology so I admit it helps, but I find the cool colors to be exquisite.  And exquisite is not a word I typically use.  Its stunning.

I dare you to disagree.

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Caravaggio, You Evil Genius

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), the masterful Italian painter,  became more interesting to me once I learned of his ‘rebel’ status.  The man was thrown in jail on several occasions and had a death warrant issued for him by the Pope. THE POPE.  Caravaggio was known for ‘swaggering about for a month or two with a sword at his side’ after completing much of his work.  Eventually Caravaggio killed a man in a late-night bar brawl- making him the most bad-ass painter I have ever heard of from his time.

 

I first heard of Caravaggio in my Introduction to Art History class where we studied his genre paintings, in particular The Calling of Saint Matthew.  This painting showed up on the class Midterm, as well.  Caravaggio masterfully mixed contemporary life with a religious scene.  The figures around the table are in contemporary attire, counting money as they are interrupted by the traditionally attired Christ figure.  The viewer is also seeing this scene as it happens, live.  The viewer interrupts the moment just as Christ does.

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The fact that this genre painting mixes the contemporary and the traditional (the nerve!), made it a revolutionary gesture of the time period.  It allowed viewers to relate to the moment and believe that anyone could be called to be an apostle at any moment by Christ himself. 

 

Subtle symbolism makes this painting interesting.  The window flung open revealing the cross in its frame is not accidental, nor is the light pouring in from an unidentifiable source- meant to call upon the divine.  The light playing off of Jesus’s naturalistic face is matsterful in its use of chiaroscuro. 

 

All of this said, when I first saw the painting I was not blown away.  I think the colors are dull and it is a bit dark for my taste, but I cannot deny that it is a work of genius.  Maybe it is the fact that I can never wrap my head around just how exactly painters can communicate naturalism so well, while interweaving symbolism and meaning at the same time.  Yes, it is that exactly.  How do they do it?!

 

I am captivated again and again.

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Mine and Me

Okay…. So I can dish it out but what about my art?  This won’t happen often but I suppose it is only fair that I should put my own out there for judgement (judgement that can be kept to yourselves…).  Here is a self-portrait that I did for my photography class in the fall of 2010.

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And here is the painting that I did of it for my INTRODUCTION (key word!) to painting class in the fall of 2011 (taken by my cell phone camera… but that’s not an excuse…).

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I personally like the color palette of the painting, maybe because I picked it.  But it actually kind of picked me as it just sort of turned out that way.  Ever notice how paintings just sort of turn out?  I can’t plan them and I never know how they will look at the end.  Sometimes I’m proud of them but more often then not I am usually just reassured in my decision not to make a career out of it.

Extremely reassured.

But don’t get me wrong, I still hang all of my art all over my room.  I’m a private narcissist.

But who isn’t?

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