Friday, April 23, 2010

Resources to prepare for the Final Project

The final project will be due the last day of class, Tuesday, May 11th.

Project Description: Narrative Tunnel Book

Artist Andrea Deszo describes her tunnel books as "drawings in space." In this assignment, you will be asked to draw in space by creating a tunnel book. This kind of book provides the viewer with a single scene that is broken up into several layers and extended through space. A tunnel book is a set of cut-out panels, set one behind the other, and attached together with accordian folded hinges so that the scene can be opened out for viewing or folded flat for storage. Tunnel books were popular
paper toys in the mid 1800's when they were known as "peep shows".

When considering the narrative content of your tunnel book, try to think of narratives not as simply stories, but as situations that present a sense of intrigue. A tunnel book is not a format in which you can tell a narrative with a distinct, beginning, middle, end, and climax-- instead, think of narrative moments in time; scenes that make the viewer question what they are seeing, scenes that are poised in the midst of action. Narrative can be found anywhere, from the newspaper to the pair of lost keys you find on a sidewalk to significant moments in your own life. In a narrative moment, something is happening; the viewer is aware of a history that preceded the moment and some action that is yet to come.

You are free to use whatever materials best convey you ideas; paint, pen and ink, pencil, found objects, cardboard, photographs, etc. Consider all aspects of your design carefully; how will the tunnel book look when it is lying flat? How will it look when it is extended? Where is the focal point of the scene? How will the viewer enter the scene? This is an opportunity for you to synthesize all that you have learned this semester, as such, careful planning and an inventive solution to the assignment is expected.

Project Resources:

Some examples of narrative contained within a single image:

-Photographer Cindy Sherman recreates film stills and ambiguous staged scenes in a continuously reinvented self portrait.

Untitled Film Stills, 1981 and 1982

-Photographer Eleanor Antin

Plaisir d’Amour (after Couture)


Helen's Odyssey

- Eleanor Antin on Art: 21, Creating Histories

Examples of Tunnel Books and Artist Books:

Tunnel books by Andrea Deszo
-Interview (3 minutes) with book artist Andrea Deszo

"The Tunnel Calamity" A tunnel book by Edward Gorey

-More examples of tunnel books

-An altered book titled "The Hummament"

-Current exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design titled "Paper Under the Knife"

-Literary press focusing on book artists : The Crooked Letter Press

-Paper artist Noriko Ambe

-Art: 21 episode we watched in class titled "Stories"

What is a tunnel book and how is it made?

Take a look at the following sites for a sneak peak of what we'll be doing in class:

This drawing is Leonardo Da Vinci’s baby in the womb. It is more like a study. It is very scientific and realistic just like his other drawings and paintings. But it is very artistic also. I especially like his lines. When he shades dark parts, he used wave lines to give some shade and the shape at the same time. For example, on the babe’s head, circle shape, the lines are bunch of long circular lines instead of short straight lines. In that way, he expresses every wavy part of the baby. The topic was interesting too.

Seated Female Nude by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon

I like how the subject and the background don't vary in color or depth. She's covering her face with her arm which is darkened by shadow that follows down from her elbow all the way down to her feet. These features make her seem mysterious or shy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The fresco is a part of Sisteen Chapel ceiling paintings created 500 years ago. Michellangelo and Da Vinci were among the first artists whose paintings depicted nude bodies. Michelangelos interest and knowladge of human anatomy is visible and the details are transfered into his work.

The Vitruvian Man

This drawing done by Leonardo Da Vinco in 1485 on paper using ink is a perfect example of figure. Da Vinci focused mainly on proportion in this drawing. The notes written in mirror writing are Leonardo's descriptions of the proportions of the human body. The superimposed images of the body in different positions and the geometric figures that surround the body show how perfectly proportioned the human body seems to be (an example being the outstretched arms and the square that is formed with the height of the body) Throughout the drawing there are markings that show where Da Vinci used reference points to correctly proportion the different parts of the body. The drawing shows Da Vinci's attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship as every part of the body is drawn according to a very specific ratio. (i.e. - a palm is four fingers wide, etc...)

Pablo Picasso

I chose this piece because Picasso’s pictures are different from other artists. Unlike other artists, he viewed and drew objects differently, like abstracted pictures. There are five nude women in this piece who were partially draped in white sheets, stared out of the painting at the on looker. Their bodies have been flattened, making them sharp and angular which looked kind of aggressive. Besides the two figures in the middle, their faces look as if they are hidden behind masks, having been disfigured by the bold blocks of color and shading. When I see this piece, its looks sharp and violent. But the flow of the white and blue material makes the scene feel a lot calmer. People may dislike when they see this picture but to me, it attracts attention.

Figure Drawing

"Figures on Blue Construction" -Bill Traylor

When i first took a glance at the thumbnail image for this piece i thought the item in the center was a blue "ET" that had arms extending out. This got me interested so i clicked to open the full page. I then saw the full sized image and noticed that the "ET" i thought i saw was actually some sort of object these other figures were building (or so it looks like they are building something..the figure on the top left seems to have a hammer or some tool in his hands).

I like that as you look at more and more of the piece you find something else. For example the legs of the table are drawn and almost look like human legs/lower body.
I think this is one of the most beautiful drawings of the human form I've ever seen from the back :) I love the way you can almost see the muscles ripple beneath the skin in movement. Everything is in proportion and the shadows show exact depth and curves. Michelangelo is awesome!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This image really took me back when i first saw it. I didnt see that it was even a work of Picasso at first. What i seem to really like is, he takes a basic drawing meathod and then escapes into a altered sence of what the human body looks like. There are overly dramatic muslces that seem very masculine, but then there are very intentional feminine features. the breasts, lower stomach, and butt, are all put there because he strongly is saying this is a woman. I think the style, obviously is his own, but also remindes me of the roman stlye of drawing women. The main part of the body to concentrate on is the lower half, and reproductive area. I dont think this is not done on purpose. The flow of the drawing is fluid as well, it almost seems as if he never takes his pencil off the paper.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Alex Grey is known for his unusual subjects and use of vibrant colors. In this piece, he obviously uses many different colors on the spectrum. His use of contrasting colors in the background makes the yellow "sun" area really stand out as a halo around the body. The mostly analagous colors in the body look similar, but still pop out against each other and then the contrasting colors make all of the arteries and bones and such stand out in such a way that they almost seem real. I think that this piece is overall very successful and makes me want to look at so many more of his paintings, though I've already looked at most.

What's Due Friday?

Here it is in list form; all that is due Friday 4/23:

- Bring one (or more if you have extras) road map that you do not mind destroying (the map must be paper, not plastic, and not a computer printout)

- Bring unexpected drawing materials

- Bring an Xacto Knife and cutting mat (you may also bring several thick pieces of cardboard in lieu of a cutting mat, and a box cutter in lieu of an xacto knife, if you have one)

- Three 10 minute figure drawings (10 minutes spent on each drawing) : these should be full body poses--- please do not bring drawings of someone's face

- Post on the blog : one piece that features figure drawing prominently

I just googled "color paintings" and this one caught my attention. It is by Steven Pollard, Ph.D. who practices in Hawaii and apparently it is part of his therapy to have this done. In his statement it says he does therapy with others in his art. He says it helps them look at their lives differently. He lets his unconscious do the art, with no preconceived notion. As far as my own perspective, I can see the rich emotions that would be perceived through the use of the colors and the randomness yet structure to the lines that go through the painting. There is a rich variety in texture. The medium he uses is first digital painting in Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter IX then he prints the digital canvas and adds to it on a canvas with real paint. love his unique approach of incorporating graphic design AND traditional art. It gives a different idea of what traditional art can be.

Artemesia Gentileschi, Judith and Holofernes

This is a painting by Artemesia Gentileschi called "Judith and Holofernes." I love the way the woman's face tends to blend into the shadows of the background and the incredible expressions. Both women seem as though they're just cutting off a piece of bread, rather than a man's head, and the background is practically absorbing the features presented in the light. If you draw a line between the woman's head (the one furthest to the right, the man's shoulder and his knee, you will see a triangle that is perfectly centered on canvas. The light hitting the folds of the mattress is so soft and the colors used are so rich... it just makes the whole scene all the more terrible and beautiful. The movie was excellent too, by the way!!

Painting Title: Cafe Terrace at Night 1888Oil on Canvas, 81 x 65.5cm - 31 x 26 Inches (approx)Vincent van Gogh
The title of this painting is “Café at Night” and done by Vincent van Gogh. In his paintings, sometimes a touch has a color. I mean we can see the touch of the brush easily. I think that gives us very strong feeling. In this painting we can see them on the street. Its blocks and the lights expressed with yellow and dark lines. His yellow and blue with white and black work really strong in many of his drawings. I think his green makes the painting more natural between strong contrast of yellow and blue. In this painting, yellow hold my eyes first and the white stars in the sky and the tables make the whole work harmonious.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Le Bonheur de Vivre

This painting was completed by Henri Matisse in 1905. The title translates to The Joy of Living. There is a yellow undertone that gives the entire piece a sense of warmth and lively energy. Matisse uses oranges and reds heavily on the upper left side and greens on the upper right side. The complementary colors and the underlying yellow reflect the optimistic title and give the painting a pleasant atmosphere. The expressive figures also reflect simple joys of living which include music, dancing, friendship, sex, and even solitude. Matisse uses red to guide the viewer across the painting starting from the nude woman on the left to the figures conversing in the middle and finally to the lonely figure by the goats. Red is a high energy color often representing passion and green is a low energy color often associated with tranquility. Matisse's use of both of these colors to halo the two center figures could be his way of expressing that enjoyment can be found anywhere, from high energy passionate moments to relaxed passing moments.

Maurice de Vlaminck - Restaurant de la Machine

Maurice de Vlaminck
Restaurant de la Machine a Bougival

The oranges/blues in the street and the reds/greens in the garden are great examples of both complimentary colors and analogous colors. I like the fact that the painting is completely swallowed by so many different vivid colors; it is so vibrant and full of energy while the little touches of white make it delicate. I think we can all be attracted to this one today because the weather is getting warmer and the trees are getting brighter and fuller and this is a portrait of a perfect summer day.

Air & Space

I choose Air and Space by Jim Drain. It was done with felt tip pen and cut and pasted paper. Chromogenic color print and synthetic polymer paint. I like the use of analogous color and complimentary. I think the painting it self is very interesting. these huge pops of color "stars" that are almost like a fireworks show. then the picture has this surprising element of a face in the top right corner, and what to me is very interesting is that the face has no color or is monocromatic. then on the left side of the canvas i see all black. this is almost like a sky that these firewroks are receeding from. I feel like this painting is telling an intimate story, perhaps of a girl lost or overpowered by something, it just has a very amazing way of grabbing the viewer and not letting go,

Self Portrait 1967

This self portrait by Andy Warhol is an example of an abstract art. Warhol was famous for often using his own image in his work as well as the portraits of many other celebrities. Many times he used the same image only changing colors to create an array of self portraits.
I saw this particular piece also in black and red.
He was a shy, non communicative person and while I was reading about him I found a quote which I liked: " If a mirror looks into a mirror, what is there to see?"

Portrait of Madame Matisse

I chose this piece because it is an abstracted portrait like we did in the class. This piece is drawn by artist named Henri Matisse. He was one of the leaders of Fauvism (Artists who used strong color over the representational or realistic values retained by impressionism). I like this picture because it looks like he described this lady's personality using warm and cool color. By putting the green line or stripe in the middle of her face, the artist divided the face with cool and warm side. When I saw this, I feel the energy/power of this lady, but also calm side of her characteristic. Also, it looks like there is contrast in this picture. Left side of her face looks smooth but right side of her face looks kinda rough.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Colors Post

I like this piece by Jackson Pollock which is called One: Number 31,1950 because as with all of his other works, they can be interpreted in many different ways. Anyone can look for a specific color, think they found it, then someone else can have a different opinion about that same color. there are so many colors all thrown together that there is no correct answer. While in this piece it looks like there is a lot of black and white, if studied closely one could see some yellows and what appears to be dark greens. I wonder if when Pollock was making his pieces of work he had a certain plan of what colors he would use and when. I know that he would just fling paint onto canvas, which i think is a unique and pretty cool style of painting, but i wonder if he tried to get certain colors to appear in certain areas or if he wanted more of the paint to land in a certain part of the piece.