Sunday, August 27, 2017

Who we are...

Our personalities are complex. Humans are not simple creatures. We often wear many masks depending on our context with whom we are speaking too. For example, we are different around our principal than we are with our parents or our best friends. Yet, we do have dominate personality traits or likes that help define us that are recognizable to all who meet us. 

We have things in our lives that are very important to us. Symbolically these things may tell a significant part of our personal story. Many of you know I like Star Wars. It's hard to imagine someone knowing me and not knowing that. Even people who don't know me well, know I have an addiction to Starbucks. I like music that has loud guitars, and there isn't a visual dictionary on the planet that doesn't have my face as the definition of sarcasm. 

What about you?

What are symbols or visual cues that help tell your personal story?

What are some personality traits about you that help define who you are? 

Personally, I'd like to think I'm creative, intense, thoughtful, and enjoy laughing as much as a goldfish loves water. 

We are all different. Not everyone is like me. Our personal experiences are the root of our originality. What are your experiences that shaped you? Where do you want to go or what do you want to be? These dreams equally help define who you are. 

There may be a reality you see in yourself that has yet to manifest in the eyes of those around you. 

A self portrait is a safe way to explore the person you are or the person you want to become.

Most important enjoy defining how you want to be seen. You will always be your most important audience.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Introduction to Self Portraits

Look at this awesome self-portrait by Morgan Penn. It's awesome! Guess who else is awesome? You, and you know why...

We are learning how to do Self-Portraits!

Self-portraits are a tremendous opportunity. Our whole lives we live in categories that often other people try to put us in, or trying to escape them. Terms like gamer, nerd, jock, dramatic, silly, are words that can sometimes latch on to us like a stain that won't go away.

The power of self-portraits is that you get to learn to define yourself! You get to say what you want to about you. 

Rembrandt made self-portraits so important by his study of how his face changed over the years. Every year on his birthday starting from when he was young he would do a self-portrait. His face became a control in a experiment documenting his artistic progress.

This portrait of a young Rembrandt tell us a lot. Notice the limited color palette? Brown... there is lots of brown everywhere. His brush strokes are very precise, he's not taking many chances. His hairstyle would fit in with many of you now. His eyes look almost timid or shy.

I would also note Rembrandt's sense of humor. This is important since most portraits at the time were either royalty, the very rich, or the church. The fact that not only he depicted himself as an everyday person, but having humor while doing it was groundbreaking for the era.

As Rembrandt got older his brush strokes got bolder. Notice how he's using contrast to create drama! Those eyes aren't shy, and look at all those colors. Rembrandt ain't scared. He's transitioned from being timid and shy to bold, an artistic force to be reckoned with. 

Next, lets look at Frida Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo reveals the secret to beauty in this painting. It's confidence. 

Frida was not only a great thinker, but she loved nature. Her images are a striking almost defiant look of who she is and what she loves.

Who knows you better than you? Time to define who you are, but first 
you are going to select a self-portrait that inspires you and doing a 5" by 7" master study. 

Analyze why this particular painting works artistically. What methods and theories are the artists using? Why did you pick this painting. Write what about it appealed to you and how can you use what you enjoyed to help make a statement about yourself.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Vince Low

We are going to look at Malaysian Artist Vince Low for several reasons...

First, Low is a great a capturing likeness and mood. He does this by focusing on the eyes on the face. They don't call them the windows to the soul for nothing. The eyes also can establish a system to measure by.

The Second reason we are going to look at Low is because of gesture. We want to create movement and energy in our work. So we are going to study Low's line work to embrace the energetic power of his drawings.

The third reason also involves gestural lines. Low's wild line work allows for the artist to make discoveries. These discoveries lead one down a visual path to success. When you find what works you darken the lines to emphasize out what is working. This is like singing that amazing note your voice hits a little louder so your audience can really appreciate you got it right.