Friday, January 18, 2013

Blind Contour Portraits

Drawing something without looking at is... interesting. As you make one continuous line to portray a face, you realize how not one-liney our faces are. None the less, I have created a blind contour portrait of myself. At first I didn't really get it, it took me a couple wasted papers before I got my one. Then came the writing part–– the classic questions of life: I am...? I dream...? I don't like...? I want...? and more. Answering those were pretty tough. Some I answered silly: (I have a giant collection of earrings.) While others I answered seriously: (I wish everyone could be accepted for who they truly are.) Then these were placed around my portrait. After coloring it (very brightly, which wasn't the best choice) it is almost complete, except the hair. Here it is in the process.
I also added a couple, smaller blind contour "mini-me"s between the words to spice it up a bit.
At the moment I wouldn't say this is anywhere close to a favorite piece of my art collection... but I'm going to fix it up next class period. I did however enjoy establishing "who I am" with the questions.

Paper Lanterns

I've discovered that sometimes negative space is beautiful. It was the empty space that I cut out for my lantern that made it so cool, not the actual paper. Because the empty space could be filled with light... and Voila! A lantern! Exacto knives did the deed, and alot of hard work. Luckily I wasn't one of the kids to get sliced by one. The theme of my creation was the morphing of winter to spring.
My lantern's design consists of two winter trees on either side of a keyhole, and that looking into the keyhole was spring. The trees are definitely my favorite part by far. They're the most intricate, delicate part, and they got the most work put into them too... A whole week was just spent on one! While a lot of students signified winter with Christmas... others went deeper with some really interesting and beautiful designs. It was really amazing to see everyone's paper start to evolve as they cut. In the end, there were some really great lanterns.

Empty Bowls

Every two years or so at our school we have a charity event called Empty Bowls. This event involves everyone who takes an art class at the school, and we all love it. The students make all the bowls; form them, dry them, paint them, and then repeat. By the end of the month we have soo many beautiful bowls and platters. Then on February 9th, anyone can come to the school for a giant Pasta Potluck Dinner and buy a bowl or two and get that bowl filled with pasta or soup. And they get to keep the bowl! All the money we get that night goes to The Foodbank of South Jersey. Over the years this event has helped raise thousands of dollars for the charity. This charity gives money to people in South Jersey who actually have empty bowls very often. This cause will help fight hunger for the needy. And we get to have fun doing it! It's very gratifying that while making the bowls, I can think to myself, "this is giving a needy family a meal." It also makes me appreciate all that my family has, compared to many families in the U.S. who have less. This year I made three very unique bowls that I love... hopefully I can buy one to keep! Here are some that other students made.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gustav Klimt

Last year, my favorite artist was Frida Kahlo. I loved her for her unique art, which was different from anything I'd ever seen before. This year, I've gotta say I'm loving Gustav Klimt. Every piece of art by him I just love! He has this great rich vibe to all his work that's just amazing. Before I did this project I had no idea who he even was, but now I know he'll be one of my favorites for life. Also, I think I'll need to be getting a painting of his for my room. Here's some background information about him. Gustav Klimt was an Austrian painter born in Vienna in 1862. His family was lower middle-class, so they always were having financial problems. Gustav with his amazing talent was awarded a scholarship to the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, and received training as an architectural painter. Before he actually started his paintings, he was an interior designer for theaters in Europe with his brother. They were very well renown for their magnificent work. But in 1892, Ernst Klimt, Gustav's brother died and he stopped the theater business. Alone and away from everyone he started to paint in his own way. He wanted to strain from the original Austrian art which was at that time very boring and realistic. Then around 1898, Klimt started his "Golden Age" in which he created some of his most famous pieces of art. Many of his paintings from this period used gold leaf, which is what he is known for today. During this time period, he visited Venice and other European cities where he was inspired by the beautiful mosaics. He incorporated this element into his work also. His most famous painting The Kiss is made with both the gold and mosaic styles featured. This also shows a main style of his paintings: erotic portraits. I love this painting because (other than the fact that it's just so cool) is how detailed it is, yet how simple the actual content is. It's the blanket and the background in this painting that is so rich and interesting. The people also are so interestingly painted. Very non-realistic. This is such a cool painting.
Another famous painting of Klimt was Adele Bloch-Bauer I. This painting turned out to be the most expensive work in history at the time, estimating at $135 million!
I really love this painting. She looks so surrounded by richness and warmth; I want to be her! Gustav must have liked her too, because he sure made her beautiful. I don't think I've ever seen a portrait as different and unique as this. Kilmt's technique of art is just so beautiful. Another painting by him that I love is Death and Life which is actually his last painting.
This depicts the classic Grim Reaper as death on one side and a mass of happy (and naked) people on the other side as Life. I like how this is saying that Life is love. The whole one Life side of the painting so clearly is love and I really like that message. Also, this is different from all the other Klimt paintings, because there's no gold! I do love gold, but this looks so much better with just the rich colors and strong pictures, and gold would have taken away from that. Sadly this was his last painting before he died on February 6, 1918. But I know he'll always be a part of art, for his unique and creative work. I know I will always keep him in my mind when I'm thinking of top amazing artists of all time.