The study abroad trip in Rome required us to complete a sketchbook and have a final work of art. For my final, I did gel transfer portraits of Roman males. I did these image transfers on italian silk that I bought in Rome. After I transfered the image, I used acrylic paint to enhance and abstract the image so that the face would have unnatural tones giving interest to the piece. I wanted to capture the essence of Rome in my piece. Rome is a powerful and proud city but also one of the most beautiful, if not the MOST beautiful. The silk is to reflect the softness and beauty of Rome while the male portraits are to reflect the strength. Also, the woman can be symbolized as the fabric and the male portraits who, obviously, reflect the men of Rome so that the work can embody the people of Rome. I wanted the fabric to show through the faces so that the portraits looked unified. Image transfers all come out differently and can be unpredictable – some of the image didn’t transfer in the works so there are these little holes in the men’s faces. I could have gone back and hand painted them but I ended up really liking the way they were distressed.
My parents gave me the greatest gift. The opportunity to study art and art history in Rome this summer! Each student completed a sketchbook, it took a lot of time but truly stretched my drawing skills. These are some pictures from my sketchbook this summer.
For our final project in my Drawing II class, we were assigned to paint a portrait of someone around Auburn that were inspired by the portraits by Chuck Close. The person couldn’t be a student but, instead, someone that contributed to the community of Auburn. I was very excited about this assignment, A.) because I love Chuck Close and I am very inspired by his many works B.) because I knew that I would really learn a lot about portrait study through this. After brainstorming about my subject, I knew who I wanted to paint; I wanted my Italian teacher, Audrey Martinko, to be my subject. I contacted her and she was very happy to be a part of my project. I went to her office to take some photos to work from and this was the one I chose to use –
She was so kind and patient while I took snapshot after snapshot. So now that I had her photo, I knew that I should go ahead and begin the painting. Chuck Close paints using a grid and concentrates on his paintings square by square, rather than tackling the portrait as a whole. So I gridded the photograph of Audrey and my canvas. After making the grids, I painted each square of the painting separately. It seemed like magic how it pieced together because I wasn’t trying to see this work as a portrait but a system of squares that would make a portrait. Here are photos of my process and final work.
The Drawing II students had a ceremony for these in our Art Building! Parents and friends came and we are square foods like wheat thins, brownies, and juice boxes to keep the Chuck Close square portrait theme. I have the greatest friends in the world and they came to see my work.
I love my art classes but I have yet to have a painting class. That is all that I did in my high school art classes and I really miss it. I wish I had more extra time to do paintings in my apartment but school keeps me busier than I would like to be, who would have thought? So during my month long Christmas break, I decided to get out a picture that I had been dying to work on. I have wonderful friends who happily agree to help me with my projects so two of my amazing friends made this work happen. Over the summer, Mary, Tyler, and I woke up around 6:00 a.m. because I knew that the morning light was soft and would photograph really well. Tyler was my photographer and was very patient with me because I was constantly trying to show him exactly what I wanted and asking him if he’d get on his stomach to get a good view. I wanted Mary to be barefoot and was making her walk towards the camera over and over again until we got a great shot so she had a lot of patience with me too. They are phenomenal! After a long morning of taking photos, we got the perfect one so it was well worth it:
I was in love with this photo and knew that now that I had this picture, I had no excuse not to work really hard on it. I kept thinking that I would have an off weekend this past Fall semester but with a busy Auburn football season, I rarely had enough time think about getting started on it–So I knew that I would tackle it over the holidays. It was a slow start.
I was getting really frustrated with the grass part but then I realized if it looked just like the photograph then there would be no point in making a painting; so I made it look much more “painterly”.
Getting the skin tone is definitely one the hardest parts and I wanted the skin to look more pink than brown
And then, I finished my 22″x28″ painting.
This drawing was part of my class final. The assignment was “anything that interests you that is interesting.” I’ve been knitting ear warmers for friends and so I was thinking about drawing a lot of yarn and then she told the class, “Don’t choose something bland that we probably won’t say much about.” So I immediately weeded the knitting thought out of my head because I wanted a more complex thought. For me, drawing and painting are not the hard parts about art; the ideas are the difficult part. When I got home from class, I turned on Oprah. She was discussing femininity and how it’s kind of fizzing out in America. Women get the same jobs men do and women seem to be more power-hungry in this generation. They went on to talk about how women wear less make-up and don’t fear to have men as friends instead of women. This isn’t a thought that I’m constantly interested in but it did grab my attention. So I thought, maybe this assignment doesn’t have to be a hobby or something you constantly think about, but maybe something you just thought was interesting, even for a couple of minutes. So I thought I would take a picture of a girl doing a “guy thing”, comfortably, with a bunch a guys. My friends are really great and always volunteer to help me out when I need “models”. I thought maybe Poker was the best “guy thing” route I should take so I got 4 boys and 1 girl to pose for me around a table at a friend’s house in Auburn. I bought cigarettes for them to light because I thought it would fit the scene. I told them all what to do and where I needed there hands, eyes, etc. and the pictures came out great!
I took several photos and and picked and chose from certain things about certain photos and made a charcoal drawing. I love charcoal because it’s such a good smudging medium and I wanted all of the darks and lights to kind of wind together. It’s a really soft drawing. I didn’t focus so much on the smaller details but on the image as a whole. It was hard not to keep going back and working on small areas but I liked it’s subtle quality. I felt awful cutting Connor out of my composition on the far left but I had to to keep my images clear. I loved this project and would love to do a series of this picture. Thanks to all my wonderful friends who helped me out!!!!
My drawing 1 teacher this past semester was really great! She was super involved with my class and really encouraged us. She loved to push us and help us develop strong eyes for creativity. One of her assignments this year was to let us work on 24″x24″ paper and divide that paper into 36 squares, all 4″x4″. In these squares, we had to see each one as a separate window and fill that square with one view. The class was free to choose whatever subject they wanted. It could all be the same subject in each window or squares filled with all different kinds of subjects. I’ve noticed that as I progress in my art classes, the rules and directions for assignments get more and more vague. It makes us reach for ideas and interests, which has been such a growing experience. So as I was trying to find a strong subject, I thought I should draw my hands. Draw with my right hand while I contoured and flipped my left hand anyway I wanted to draw it. I saw each square as a different piece, but every time I started to draw my left hand again and again, I would stare at the drawing as a whole to make sure that it belonged. I kept having to remind myself that these were individual squares that belonged together to make one piece. It was such a challenge and gave me a couple headaches but I know my left hand by heart now. The full piece looks like this:
These are some closer views of the drawing.
My final project for my 2D class this year was to make your own book. The theme was identity but my professor said to really do whatever we wanted with it. So my thought was to gather a few friends and to sketch them. Making the hard cover was a challenge. I cut sheets of mat board and covered it with an interesting textural paper and sewed in, with binding thread, drawing paper. Most of the students did a traditional looking book but I chose to a style of book called “French Doors”. The outside looks like this:
I loved the light sienna color of the paper but brushed it up with a deep brown paint to give an old, rustic feel.
Next to the faces, before you flip the tiny page open, is a primary color used in the inside design. The color is on top on a Kleenex tissue to create texture.
“Every person dies. But not every person really lives.” – William Wallace
“But the scenic route is so much prettier” – Mr. Fox from Fantastic Mr. Fox
“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” -Charles Darwin
“It is not the length of life, but the depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“That wasn’t flying! That was falling with style!” – Woody from Toy Story
“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” -Henry David Thoreau
“Better things are coming, I swear there’s truth in that” – Passion Pit
The ending quote was one that I chose. It’s from the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox when Mr. Fox questions who he is and talks about his identity, which sums up the theme of the book.