Jessica Burke drew a women dressed up as Betty Rizzo and the other as Spock. Both of the drawings have soft lives and contrasting values of graphite which makes the drawing very defined. Additionally the space behind the two painting forces the viewer to focus on the women in costumes. The fact that the pregnant woman is dressed up as Spock is intriguing, since one does not usually associate Spock with motherhood or femininity. I think these women in the drawings are challenging masculine roles with their costumes, stances , and expressions.
In art class we watched a video about the artist Carrie Mae Weems in a pbs documentary. Weems uses photography to demonstrate to viewers the history of African Americans and the societal progress that has occurred over time. I think it is interesting that Weems decided to reconstruct her own historical photographs when she did not receive permission to use the original photographs. Weems’ reconstruction definitely shows her determination. Her reconstruction of the photographs is connected to visual thinking since it demonstrates that history is often constructed and that one should be aware of who is telling the story. I think that Weems’ works expands my ideas of visual thinking by showing that that recreating original art can show different sides to a story.
My definition of art is very simple. I believe that art is whatever you make it.
In class today we learned to draw using the blind contour method, wherein we drew objects without looking at our paper. This method was more difficult and at the same time easier than drawing the chair. I think drawing my hand was easier than drawing the chair since I didn’t have to change anything after I finished, which was a relief. The hand was also more difficult for me to draw because I kept rushing when I was drawing. I think that not being able to see my drawing caused a sense of panic in me while I was drawing which led me to draw too fast.
For our first blind contour experience we drew our hands with our dominate hand and then with our non-dominate hand (sorry for the smallness of this picture, my camera phone is not that great!). I was surprised when I found out from looking at my drawing that I paid more attention to detail when I drew with my non-dominate hand. Also, when I was drawing I felt like I was drawing an accurate hand and this was certainly not the case!
For our next blind contour project we drew the random assortment of objects that are pictured in the first picture above. For the first drawing I used a pencil, and for the others I used a sharpie. Drawing with the sharpie was easier since I could feel what I was drawing whereas with the pencil I felt unsure of what I was drawing. The flowers in this assortment were my favorite thing to draw. I think I enjoyed drawing the flowers since I felt that I was actually drawing flowers, whereas with the other objects I found that I was confused on how to draw all the different sides of the object without losing my place on the paper. When I started drawing from the inside of the objects instead of an outline I noticed objects that I didn’t even when I did the outline. I think using the blind contour has taught me to really pay attention to what I see and to actually feel what I’m drawing. I think that this blind contour exercise connects to visual thinking since this method teaches that not thinking can be an art form.
When I learned that drawing a chair with charcoal was my first project, I thought to myself: Oh this should be simple, it’s just a chair. Well, I have never been more wrong! The first picture above on the left was my first try. When I looked at the chair I knew that the chair’s seat and proportions were inaccurate, but I didn’t understand how to fix this problem. Then my professor Ruby suggested that I move the seat, and she showed me that the shape of the chair was a diamond. I think the reason I had such a hard time fixing the chair was due to the way I was viewing the chair. I was projecting what I thought the chair should look like onto my drawing instead of what I actually saw, which was a diamond shaped seat and not a square. This realization of the seat’s shape was an aha! moment that changed the way I drew the chair. I started drawing exactly what I saw instead of what I knew. I also started to understand how to measure the angles and proportions of my chair. The second, third, and fourth photographs show my struggle of trying to get my angles and proportions accurate. The bottom part of the chair and the angle for the top of the back legs were the hardest parts for me to draw. Another difficulty that I experienced in drawing this chair was using charcoal. I smudged charcoal so many times to redo the angles that it made the new lines hard to see!
The last photograph above is my final work. I felt a little sad when I looked at my other classmates’ artwork during our chair critique. I thought my drawing looked terrible compared to everyone else’s drawing. There was so much charcoal smudge on mine and the very back leg looked very wrong to me. If I could work on my drawing again I would probably change the back leg’s angle, and make the top bar of the chair bigger. The chair critique was incredible helpful for me, since I realized that I wasn’t the only one who felt insecure about their painting. Also, I was very shocked when some of my classmates and my professor complimented my artwork. I think the critique was a valuable experience for me since it gave me more confidence about my chair drawing. After the critique, I felt extremely proud of my chair, which was definitely not the case beforehand. I think the value of my particular drawing was that I was able to put a 3-D object on paper that looked realistic. I think the value of drawing in general is to express of your own style. I enjoyed looking at my classmates’ different drawing styles of the chair. I think my visual thinking has expanded since I now understand I have to draw what I see, instead of projecting what I think something should be.
I decided to choose the picture above of a goalie diving for the ball because I think it really encompasses who I am. I played soccer for ten years, and I played as a goalie for some of those years. My dad called me a “dirt eating goalie” since I would try my best to keep the other team from scoring even if it meant eating dirt! I think that I am a “dirt eating goalie” because I work very hard to accomplish my goals in life.
My sentence about myself: I’ve been to the shire! Here is a picture of me in front of Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit hole. I’m an avid J. R. R. Tolkien fan, so visiting the shire was an amazing experience!