Monday, August 23, 2010

My PLA teacher- what a blessing

Mary Beth Lawton was such a pleasure to work with this summer during this course.
I did not have an easy task with putting together my massive binder requesting credit for my life experience but Mary Beth helped me every step of the way and never once made it seem like a burden.

I had to have handed in over 250 pages worth of essays, content and spreadsheets that Mary Beth read, edited and then re-read to ensure their proper status for submission.

This paragraph quoted from her biography page at Lesley sums up her teaching approach:

"My primary motivation is to support the health, education and well-being of children and the adults who care for and educate them. I hope to be in relationship with students in the way I want them to be in relationship with children."

Thanks for being a wonderful, supportive teacher Mary Beth... you were an inspiration and I look forward to keeping in touch!

Here's her bio page:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trial Watercolors- Advisor Suggestions

I have had some apprehension about my experience at using different mediums; I can draw and sketch my illustrations well but feel I ruin them when I apply color so it's a point of frustration for me right now because I want to hurry up and be experienced or better at color techniques.

Based on a conversation about this that I had with my advisor, Susan Levan, she suggested that I take drawings that I admire, or from artists work that I like and copy them.

It actually is way more fun than attempting to draw my own with color because it takes the pressure off my concern of ruining my drawings that I like. To copy something, is just for fun and it is helping.

Here are 3 images I painted today, based on Eduoard Erlikh's work.

They're a little shakey and I only spent a few minutes on each one, but the fact that I can do this quickly and it only takes a few minutes is extremely appealling... and relaxing.

It seems like an obvious suggestion but honestly I always looked down upon copying work, so I would never have done this if Susan didn't bring it up.

It just goes to show how helpful having the resources and support are at AIB and makes me want to continue to reach out and gain help/advice/feedback from all my teachers and advisors there.

PLA Final Binder- 48 credits for one class...maybe

This summer I was able to take a summer course called PLA (prior learning assessment) and it's been an amazing experience that I am very thankful to have had.
This class took all of my prior learning, professional and personal, and allowed me the opportunity to apply for college course credits based on my knowledge. If you've been one of my friends for any period of time, you know how awesome this could be for me since I am a bit of a 'jack of all trades' kind of girl. There isn't anything I won't try if I'm interested or if I feel passionately about how it can possitively affect my future. Because of this, I have had some tremendously diverse experiences that I haven't been quite sure until now how they would or could benefit me in my future.

I'm allowed to go for up to 48 credits, which for me turned out to be 16 classes in total. This doesn't count for the PLA course itself which counts for 3 credits under AWRIT and is considered a general elective.

In order to get the credit for each class, I need to supply a binder that includes:

My degree overview plan
Courses for transfer credit
My AIB degree requirement sheet demonstrating the courses that match
A syllabus for each course I am requesting credit for, with the course outcome
(finding those syllabi was not easy)
A 7-20 page essay documenting my personal experiences and what I've learned for each topic
Documentation that shows the work I've done on each topic
Documentation and recommendation letters from colleagues/associates on each topic

My resume needed to be redone and included to show all of my experiences and was 6 pages in total when I was finished.

My table of contents was 5 pages long.
The book had 45 tabs seperating all of the information.
The book was almost 6 inches thick.
The classes I ended up applying for were:
6 General Education Classes, 3 Liberal Arts Classes, 1 foundation class, 1 illustration class, 1 media elective, 3 studio electives, and 3 general electives.

The titles of the classes were:
CMATH- Business Mathematics
CBIOL- Applied Nutrition
CWRIT-Writing for the Workplace
CPSYC- Trauma & Development
CHIST- Recent US History
CLITR- Creative Writing
CHLTH- Health 101, Nutrition and Wellness
IDESN- Brand Realization
IDESN- From Concept to Campaign
IDESN- Advertisting Design
IDESN- Introduction to Website Design
ILLUS- Website Promotion
IFNDN-Conceptual Development
IMUSC- Voice Technique 101
IDANC- Introduction to Dance 101-02
IPHOT- Beginning Photography

I was able to use my experiences in advertising, marketing, real estate, mortgages, website development, singing, dancing, personal training, coaching, family history, photo journalism, and writing to utilize for all of these course credits. It was a pretty amazing experience.

I was mostly thankful to have the chance to reflect on everything I'd accomplished in my life and to have the structure of the class to make it count for more than just general interest or hobbies from my life.
It's been a validating process and to actually get these college credits, will make the things I've chosen to do seem even more worthwhile in the long run. To actually have them count towards a year and a half of my college degree and to get the courses to show on my transcripts will be a fulfilling outcome. Until this class, I never really understood how connected everything was in association to my future,
With so many design classes and a few writing classes, I will now be able to fulfill a double minor as well, so my degree will actually be BFA Illustration, minor Design and Creative Writing. YES!

I hope I get them all!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cool Illustration Artists from this IS Class

I'll Add Pictures soon....

Howard Pyle, Maurice Sendak, Aubrey Beardsley, Alphonse Mucha, Kate Greenway, Edmund Dulac, Jessie King, Beatrix Potter, Pre-Raphaelites, Art Nouveau, Woodcut, Kay Nielson, Thomas Nast, Jessie Wilcox Smith, Maxfield Parrish, Will Bradley, Dave McKean, Anime, Manga, Rose O'neill, Willy Pogany, JC Leyendecker, James Montgomery Flagg, Harrison Fischer, Coles Phillips, Charles Dana Gibson, Howard Chandler Christy, Artists of Push Pin Studios, Bernard D'andrea, Coby Whitmore, Saul Mandel, Eric (Carl Erickson), Tomi Ungerer, Bob Peak, Boris Artzybasheff, George Petty, Edwin Georgi, Robert Riggs, Norman Rockwell, Dean Cornwell, Haddon Sundblom, Tamara De Lempicka, John Held Jr, Henry Raleigh, McClelland Barclay, Walt Disney Studios, Heinz Edelman, Peter Max, Seymour, Chwast, Ed Sorel, Richard Hess, Paul Davis, Jim McMullan, Frank Frazetta, Scumbling, Watercolor, Jerry Pinkney, Natalie Ascencios, Marvin Mattelson, Wes Wilson, Kinuko Craft, Mark Ryden, Animation, Film, Graphic Novels, Games, Tim Bower, Karen Oxman, Fashion Illustration & Retail.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Illustration Survey Teacher- Rick Schneider

Frederick Schneider

Title: Adjunct Faculty

Department: Design, Illustration, and Art History

Biography: Frederick (Rick) Schneider is a graphic designer and illustrator who began his career in New York first as an advertising production artist and then as an editorial art director. He also began freelancing as an illustrator, creating artwork for the New York Times, Business Week, Psychology Today, The Saturday Review and other magazines, as well as for book publishers including Harper and Row, Penguin Books, and Houghton, Mifflin. He also taught at Parsons School of Design, and since moving to Massachusetts in 1981 has taught at The Art Institute of Boston. He has been the principle of two design firms, Dialog Design and Grafis, with clients which have included regional corporations, small businesses, and publishing companies.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Illustration Survey- Artist Profile Page Based on Three Historic Paths

Artist Profile page –
Every student will create a wiki page of their own which will feature a profile of an individual artist of their choice whose works connect to the subject/content of their assigned module.

I was assigned Module 2:
Three Historic Paths: The Holy Artist, The Social/Political Artist, The Aesthetic Artist

How have artists used used these paths and their skills to enrich, enlighten, convince, and inform

1. Discuss the effect religious art has had on the general public. Consider why you think this art was created.
2. When art is used to comment on society, what tools does the artist have to motivate change? 3. The creation of art enriches the life of the artist. What ways have artists found to enrich the lives of viewers?

I chose Hieronymus Bosch for my essay due to the topic.
.........Begin Essay............


Hieronymus Bosch was born in the mid-fifteenth century(1450 – August 9, 1516), the exact date is unknown. He is considered an early Netherlandish painter and although he was originally born Joroen Anthoniszoon van Aken, he is known by the name of Hieronymus Bosch derived from his birthplace of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, commonly referred to as “Den Bosch” (pronounced as Boss in Dutch). He is widely known for his fantastic remarkable creatures and visual interpretations of hell, death, sin and folly. He is celebrated as an eccentric painter of religious visions and was recognized as one of the most clever, most perceptive, most apocalyptic masters of his time. His use of symbolism in his terrifying creations seemed bizarre, distasteful and sometimes even heretical. His paintings are full of shocking artistic depictions of human sin and ethical failings and his work is widely known for its fantastic imagery illustrating moral and religious concepts and narratives. In the twentieth century, his work has been “rediscovered” as tourists are in awe of his great triptychs of the unusual.

(Shown Above)
Portrait of Hieronymus Bosch
. Red and black crayon believed to be drawn as a self portrait in his later years.

Life & Biography

Little is known of Bosch’s life or training. He left behind no letters or diaries like many other great artists, and what has been identified has been taken from brief references to him in the municipal records of 's-Hertogenbosch. Nothing is known of his personality or his thoughts on the meaning of his art. Considering how unusual his art was makes this difficult to analyze any of the real or true meaning behind his creation of them.

Bosch lived all of his life in and near‘s-Hertogenbosch which was a flourishing city in the fifteenth century in the south of the present-day Netherlands. His grandfather, Jan van Aken, was a painter along with four of his five sons. Bosch’s father, Anthonius van Aken acted as artistic adviser to the Brotherhood of Our Lady, an arch-conservative religious group of some 40 influential citizens of 's-Hertogenbosch, and 7,000 'outer-members' from around Europe. In 1488 Bosch himself joined the highly respected Brotherhood of Our Lady (a Virgin-Mary cult). The fraternity had a white swan as its emblem, which is curious considering its sacriligious use in his paintings. It is generally assumed that either Bosch’s father or one of his uncles taught the artist to paint, however none of their works survived over time.

When he was about thirty years old around July 15, 1481, he married Aleyt Goyaerts van den Meervenne, who came from a wealthy family in Hertogenbosch. Bosch lived with his wife in a house on a market square. They had no children but it is likely that he lived a comfortable life and may have enjoyed considerable artistic freedom.

In 1463, 4,000 houses in the town were destroyed by a catastrophic fire, which the then (approximately) 13-year-old Bosch presumably witnessed. It is easy to wonder if such a traumatic experience may have effected the young artists mind, especially when the content of hell is depicted in much of his artwork.

Bosch became a popular painter in his lifetime and often received commissions from abroad. Bosch lived during a time of turbulence in western Europe, they were unsettling and anxious years. This was just before the Protestant Reformation and there was widespread discontent with Roman Catholic clergy, who were believed to have become corrupt and immoral. The general public were increasingly losing respect for the moral tenets of these leaders, which, without strong moral leadership, led them to hedonistic and greedy behavior. Heretical sects were common and in reaction, in an effort to control the populace, Catholic Inquisitions condemned citizens as witches, wizards, and heretics. Hangings, beheadings, and burnings-at-the-stake became everyday public sights. The age was marked by violence and pessimism. Kings and dukes were murdered, soldiers pillaged and killed, cruelty to the poor and the animals were prevalent. Epidemics plagued the populace and killed thousands. More than the printed word, art communicated moral messages, because most people were illiterate. Images of the devil and monsters were used as warnings and premonitions of the coming Last Judgment, which was predicted for the year 1500. It is quite possible that Bosch's paintings were commissioned by discontented new leaders who had lost respect for established authorities of the Church, which would explain the choice of his acrid anti-clerical images. The old medieval order imposed by the Church was cracking under the growth of cities, the power and commerce of capitalism, the rise of national states, demands for religious reform and the beginnings of science.

More and more minds were growing curious, analytical and adventurous. The future seemed dim with visions of demons, darkness and hell. Opposing the current times, Bosch portrayed his message with a visual impact so fierce, it chilled his contemporaries and fascinates us through the centuries. Historians point to this time as the beginning of the modern world.

Being so close to the medieval years, the use of symbolism is rampant throughout his work. He painted at a time when symbols constituted a basic visual language. Paintings were displayed in public, mostly in churches, and were a proclamation for everyone to read. A few examples of symbols used in Bosch’s painting are:

fruit–a symbol of carnal pleasure
flames–a symbol of the fires of hell
mussel shells–representing infidelity
ice skaters–folly
eggs–sexual creation

In an analysis done about forty years ago, the Dutch scholar Dirk Bax concluded that Bosch was a moralist with contempt for the lower classes. He had no sympathy for the poor and used bitter symbolism to satirize beggars, monks, nuns, soldiers, peasants, pilgrims, whores, gypsies, vagrants and jesters. He occasionally lashed out an emperors and nobles as well, but rarely against burghers like himself and others of the wealthy middle class. He vented his anger the most on the excess of lust, license, drunkenness, gluttony, folly and stupidity. Some art historians have since interpreted Bosch’s paintings as displaying less pessimism and more understanding of the difficult plight of his fellow human beings.

The way Bosch painted the visual images of hell, sin, and religion still captures our attention today. His paintings have inspired Broadway shows, poetry, music (the Dead Can Dance cover for “Aion” is a tiny portion taken from the Garden of Earthly Delights’ central panel) and maybe even the surrealist art movement. Bosch could visualize these horrific images like no other. Many have tried to copy his style, but very few had succeeded to imitate the unique style. Bosch was a man ahead of his time; the time frame in which he created his masterpieces that these sins, follies and stupidities occurred could very well be depictions of current day events. He is said to have been an inspiration to the surrealism movement in the 20th century.


The Garden of Earthly (or Worldly) Delights, pictured above, is Bosch's most widely known triptych (works of three paintings on wooden panels that are attached to each other) although he produced several triptychs throughout the years. This painting, for which the original title has not survived, depicts paradise with Adam and Eve, and many wondrous animals on the left panel, the earthly delights with numerous nude figures and tremendous fruit and birds on the middle panel, and hell with depictions of fantastic punishments of the various types of sinners on the right panel. When the exterior panels are closed the viewer can see, painted in grisaille, God creating the Earth. These paintings—especially the Hell panel—are painted in a comparatively sketchy manner which contrasts with the traditional Flemish style of paintings, where the smooth surface—achieved by the application of multiple transparent glazes—conceals the brushwork.

In this painting, and more powerfully in works such as his Temptation of St. Anthony (Lisbon), (pictured below- center panel)

Bosch draws with his brush. Not surprisingly, Bosch is also one of the most revolutionary draftsmen in the history of art, producing some of the first autonomous sketches in Northern Europe.

Bosch never dated his paintings and signed only some of them, which is unusual for the time.

All in all, about 25 paintings remain today that are attributed to him. In the late sixteenth century, Philip II of Spain acquired many of Bosch's paintings after the painter's death, including some probably commissioned and collected by Spaniards active in Bosch's hometown; as a result, the Prado Museum in Madrid now owns The Garden of Earthly Delights, the circular tabletop of The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things (shown below)

Tabletop of the Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, (detail of The Eye of God which Sees the Committing of the Seven Deadly Sins) - Hieronymous Bosch -

the The Haywain Triptych (shown below)

Triptych of Haywain (1) 1500-02 - Hieronymous Bosch -

and The Stone Operation (Shown Below)

.The Cure of Folly (Extraction of the Stone of Madness) 1475-80 - Hieronymous Bosch -

Debates on Attribution

The exact number of Bosch's surviving works has been a subject of considerable debate. He signed only seven of his paintings, and there is uncertainty whether all the paintings once ascribed to him were actually from his hand. It is known that from the early sixteenth century onwards numerous copies and variations of his paintings began to circulate. In addition, his style was highly influential, and was widely imitated by his numerous followers. It is also said that he may have signed several other signatures that were certainly not his own which also help account for the very few paintings that can be officially attributed to him.


Some see Bosch as a proto-type medieval surrealist, and parallels are often made with the twentieth century Spanish artist Salvador Dali. Others attempt to interpret his imagery using the language of Freudian psychology. However, all are debated and are commonly rejected by each other; according to Gibson "what we choose to call the libido was denounced by the medieval church as original sin; what we see as the expression of the subconscious mind was for the Middle Ages the promptings of God or the Devil”.

References and Links:

Illustration Survey - Three Historic Paths: The Holy Artist, The Social/Political Artist, The Aesthetic Artist

Below is an Essay I wrote this summer based on the following discussion question presented in my Illustration Survey Class with Rick Schneider.

How have artists used used these paths and their skills to enrich, enlighten, convince, and inform?

• Discuss the effect religious art has had on the general public. Consider why you think this art was created. (See: panel painting, fresco, sculpture, and book art between 1200 and 1600 in Europe or Asia)
• When art is used to comment on society, what tools does the artist have to motivate change? (See: caricature and social/political illustration for journals, newspapers and posters from the 1800s in Europe)
• The creation of art enriches the life of the artist. What ways have artists found to enrich the lives of viewers? (See: 20th century painting and illustrated books)

..........Begin Essay...................

Images allow humans to share information and messages without words or text. Pictures allow us to express ourselves universally and with a general understanding through the common elements displayed. No matter what language you speak, or what education level you have achieved, or what your social status is, or what your political beliefs are, if you see a picture of an apple, you understand it is a piece of fruit. You wouldn't need anyone to explain to you that it was an apple, unless you'd never seen an apple before. If you had never seen an apple before, than maybe you would then be inspired to go find out what it was because of curiousity.

Depending on the context that an image is used in, they also can deliver a feeling or generate an emotion with the audience.

I’m pretty certain most everyone will have a different response based on this apple image because we connect these images with things we have learned.

No matter what genre an artist worked in (Religious, Political, Social, Aesthetic) or what time period the artwork was created (Paleolithic, Medieval, Renaissance, Industrial Revolution), artists have the potential to generate a strong influence over the viewers of their artwork and spawn wide spread reactions as a result. This occurs because artists have the ability to use powerful imagery, and humans absorb and translate these images easily, mostly with an emotional attachment. This also enables groups of people to be united through one visual connection and potentially change the course of history.

Religious art had the potential to be light, uplifting and encouraging with images of cherubs and nurturing deities, or it could present fearful images to the viewer and demonstrate mankind’s damnation and penance for our mortal sins. With one glance social and Political art can evoke deep thought, emotional reactions, public awareness, conflict, public uproar, sway popular opinion and even incite war when presented to the general public with its biting images and clever placement of text. While aesthetic art can bring entertainment, beauty and joy to the viewer, allowing many people to share in the experience.

As far back as 15,000 BC, cave paintings were used to relay stories, document rituals, and to potentially offer thanks to the spirits to demonstrate appreciation and ensure the spirits continued support for their survival from the elements of nature. These cave paintings could be considered the first religious paintings because they were meant to offer thanks to a higher form of being with a ceremonial or religious purpose.

This could potentially be the most pure and sincere form representing religious painting. People could not read and write, they depended on this form of communication in order to understand their tribe’s history and to understand messages documented over time from their fore-fathers. These images were created to share, protect and enlighten.

As time progresses, reading and writing become symbols of education, wealth and social status. They are forms of communication reserved for the privileged upper-class. As men develop conflicting political views and the desire to control territories, reading and writing become valuable tools to control lower class citizen’s minds; to obtain or maintain power. Lower class citizens, being illiterate and at the mercy of the people controlling the information funneled to them, were left at a tremendous disadvantage when forming opinions or considering important topics in their lives.

During the middle ages, religious leaders began to see the importance of forming alliances with political leaders to achieve support and gain leverage to the masses. If the church could gain the support of a strong leader it would be guaranteed to have followers and prosper. Artists during these medieval times were mostly required to paint or illustrate pictures glorifying god. Even in the illuminated manuscripts, the main illustrator’s were clergy men themselves or monks. It seems that in developing religious art, there was no freedom of speech or unbiased opinions. It was not uncommon for artists to leave their work unsigned and many of them remain unknown.

During the 14th through 17th Centuries Renaissance Period , artists depended mainly on commissions and patrons to hire them to complete specific requested work. Nobility, Religious Organizations and wealthy entities were the main sources that required art commissions. During this time, the art content was not freely created by the artist; the artist was told what to paint and was paid to paint it. The paintings, once completed, could be rejected or destroyed if not appreciated or to the patrons liking. It was also quite common for the patron’s portrait to be included into the artwork itself; as in Mantegna's "Dead Christ" where the patrons are shown kneeling by Christ's bed.

Artists were chosen on their style and execution of previously commissioned artwork. However, artists had now learned that by signing their work, they could become famous far outside their own area.

Because of the way content was controlled by these patrons, who were the most powerful people and generally men, there was a complete dictatorship of which types of art would be developed, what subjects were deemed worthy of being commissioned or created, and to what purpose the art would serve. It is quite unbelievable how much control such a small group of people had over our entire historical artwork collections. Recently, after some research on a project, I discovered how many historical paintings idealizing the naked female form in submissive poses.

Of course, there is also a tremendous amount of religious artwork from this period, with varying styles and technique.

Because of shifts in politically to republican or representative forms of government, there was a movement encouraging education in social and political life. They believed in patriotism, humanism and pride in documenting history which was translated through artist work. In the southern part of the Renaissance, the nude was entirely appropriate as a suitable subject, however, in order to pacify the church and pass religious censorship in the North, artists especially would make their works appear moralistic, the artists were happy just as long as they could paint the nude. A good example of this is Hans Baldung’s (1485-1545) Death and the Maiden, an artist who could paint delightfully sensual nudes while still giving them just enough chastity to pass the religious censor by calling them Adam and Eve.

During the Renaissance, paintings may have contained the same content over and over but were drawn with different styles that depicted different emotions and responses, differentiating them from one another. Triptych’s and Panel paintings were used for religious alter pieces. Bosch inspired fear in his triptych “Earthly Delights” documenting punishments for the sins of human kind and atrocious penalty’s for mankind’s immoral behavior.

Frescos were used to cover entire walls, ceilings and hallways in massive dimensions in religious churches. Michelangelo inspired awe and power in the “Creation of Adam” his idealized version convinces the viewer of Adam’s initial spark of life, with the powerful and beautiful human form and the tangible energy exuding from the tenuous posing of the bodies.

Caravaggio’s paintings, such as the Calling of St. Matthew, depicted dark scenes set in common places with a glowing beam of light surrounding Figures in heroic activities that ordinary people could relate to because of the similarity to their everyday life environment.

Artemisia Gentileschi, influenced by Caravaggio, created similar, chiaroscuro portraits depicting extreme light and dark settings full of powerful, heroic imagery that delivered messages of hope and triumph to the viewer. She was highly influenced by the times and took to heart the high contrasting style. Her most intense painting and possibly most famous is Judith Slaying Holofernes (1612-1613)

Jan van Eyck used a tremendous amount of symbolism in his “Arnolfini Wedding“ and also used his skill as a miniaturist. In the painting the dog represents fidelity and loyalty, the candle represents God’s presence, the elaborate signature is that of a witness to the Marriage Contract, the miniature mirror reflection includes another individual drawn as a witness, the man is closer to the window demonstrating he goes into the world to support the family, the woman is closer to the bed, the bedpost has a saint of fertility represented and the bride herself almost appears already with child, though she is not.

All of these paintings were made using different techniques, formats and materials, however, no matter what style was used and how different the artwork seemed when represented to the audience, the mission was always the same; each painting was commissioned by a paying client to create a desired image. These paintings represented the client’s wishes, not the artist’s, to be displayed to the public in order to generate a desired response or relay a specific message.

The artist only had their style and subtle elements to document their own thoughts.

One of Michelangelo’s paintings that I find quite hilarious is his painting of the Last Judgement of Minos. Michelangelo was known for being difficult to work with and temperamental. Baigio da Cesena, a papal master of ceremonies, criticized Michelangelo's work saying that nude figures had no place in such a sacred place, and that the paintings would be more at home in a public tavern.

Michelangelo included da Cesena in the Last Judgment as Minos, one of the three judges of the underworld. When Baigio complained to the Pope the pontiff explained that he had no jurisdiction over hell and that the portrait would have to remain. In Greek mythology, Minos was the king of Crete and was the son of Zeus and Europa. He became one of the three judges of the underworld after his own death and Michelangelo has depicted Minos with ass-ears and wrapped in serpents coils. The coils indicate to what circle of hell the damned are destined. The serpent's bite on the genitals of Minos or da Cesana illustrates Michelangelo's disdain for the Cardinal. Touché Michelangelo!

This is definitely one of my favorite religious paintings because it shows the personality and potential creativity an artist could have during this time if they were allowed to use it more freely.

Another painting’s history I am intrigued by is “Feast in the house of Levi” by Paolo Verones. Originally titled the “Lord’s Last Supper”

The religious leaders were so appalled by the painting it led to an investigation by the Roman Catholic Inquisition. Paolo Veronese was called to answer for irreverence, and was accused of the serious indictment of heresy. The trial could have ended in a punishment by death if the Paolo was found guilty. However, what makes this so interesting is that all charges were dropped when the artist agreed to change the name. The dogs and midgets that were found completely offensive in Christ’s presence were no longer an issue if it wasn’t in representing the Lord’s Last Supper. So ridiculous but I suppose lucky for Paolo.

It would have been interesting to see how an artist’s work would have progressed during these historical years, and how the general public’s opinions would have benefited, if they had the opportunity to explore and create what was within their own minds freely. There is no doubt it would have been different.

By the 18th Century, the Renaissance had evolved into the “Age of Enlightenment” and had a widespread effect. Philosopher’s wanted to liberate thinking and superstitions from the Middle Ages and applauded the declining power of the Roman Catholic Church.

Political cartoons had an advantage because of timing of technological advances and the birth of the printing press; printing presses inspired the growth and support of literacy through the general public and allowed for artists to get paid by publications for original artwork that included their personal opinions and views. Harper's Weekly for March 15, 1879 carried a cartoon by Thomas Nast satirizing Blaine. The title of the cartoon puns upon the title of a famous comic poem by Bret Harte published in 1870, "Plain Language From Truthful James." In the poem "Truthful James" and his friend Bill Nye seek to fleece a Chinaman at cards. Ah Sin professes not to know how the game is played. Nye, taking no chances, cheats any way. But, to his and "Truthful James'" dismay, Ah Sin wins hand after hand. He too, it turns out, has cards up his sleeve.

It is significant that Nast did not cite any Chinese. As noted above, there were no Chinese who took a prominent role in this controversy. There was not even a Chinese consul, much less an Ambassador, to speak on behalf of the Chinese government. In the cartoon Blaine kicks the Chinese laborer off "the corner-stone of our republic." Why? Nast's answer lies in the figure to Blaine's left. He represents "dear" or expensive labor, as compared to the Chinaman's "cheap labor." He has "a vote" while the Chinaman has none. He also has a whiskey bottle protruding from his pocket as well as a club. Who is he? He is the Irishman. Nast made the point even more bluntly in another famous cartoon from 1879, "Every Dog (No Distinction of Color) Has His Day" and more bluntly still in an 1882 drawing, "Let the Chinaman Embrace Civilization and He May Stay." In the latter, "civilization" is a whiskey bottle. The Chinaman proves his fitness to remain by drinking, striking, fighting, loafing, and voting "early and often." All were traits Nast and others attributed to the Irish. The general public was now able to acquire their own information through newspapers although there was still a large discrepancy in the class of people. Political cartoons allow for the quick absorption of political messages using imagery, symbolism, limited text, and scathing, opinionated criticism of events.

While Religious Art and Political art clearly hold a calculating agenda, aesthetic art’s intention may not seem as deliberate. Aesthetic art may be difficult to define because of the theory of beauty itself. What is beautiful? This has been an ongoing debate for centuries. The traditional interest in beauty has seemed to broaden since the eighteenth century and since 1950 or so the number of pure aesthetic concepts have expanded even more.

My personal take on aesthetic art, is art that makes us feel good or generates a positive response from us personally.

The only other thing of note that I would add about aesthetic art is it seems to be generally dictated by the media and absorbed quite easily in the masses. I find it a bit sickening as a woman to see how early-on the female form was idealized and how that idealized image was set as the standard for generations to come.

Botticelli’s Venus is a good example, as well as, Ingres’s Odalisque.

Don't get me wrong, I love these paintings, they are actually two of my favorites, but I find my response to this style internally conflicting and I continue to explore the reasons why... however, that is another full essay altogether.

No matter what the topic, image or message the artist is trying to conbey, the viewing experience is a shared experience between the artist and the audience. The audience benefits from being exposed to new ideas, whether religious, political or merely aesthetic, through the creativity of the artist. The format the artist uses and the message enclosed within the work can stimulate appreciation, thought process, inspiration, conversation, conflict and varying reactions throughout the audience that they may never have experienced had they not been exposed to the particular work. A piece of artwork can be like a two-way conversation. The artist has completed and relayed their portion of the conversation in the artwork, but the viewer has the advantage of an ongoing interpretation that can transform and evolve depending on the time spent considering the artist’s message. The artist’s message can change based on the viewers interaction.

I have learned that no matter what the purpose or intention of the artist is, it is equally important for me as the viewer to take responsiblity for it's meaning and my own response.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

'Sex and the City 2': From Downsizing to the Desert -

I love the clothes, color and backgrounds from this photo shoot!
So Fun!

Check out these outfits from the next movie.
'Sex and the City 2': From Downsizing to the Desert -

Monday, May 3, 2010

Art History - Visual Analysis Final Draft

I have truly enjoyed my Art History Class. What I thought would be boring and monotenous has turned out to be really intriguing and enlightening.

Our Teacher, Henry Altmann, has a great way of continually repeating information so that we retain it without making it obvious that he's doing it. He also is extremely talented at entertwining a piece of artwork with a clever story or anecdote in order to give us a more entertaining relation to the time period or artist.

I've learned quite a significant amount about how connected art is to its environment during different time periods, as well as the artists purpose and subjects due to these circumstances.

I also feel I have a better understanding of how it relates to the present day because of this.

Here is a jpg of my Visual Analysis Comparison - Final Draft.
The pages should enlarge if you click on them.
There is more info on the artists I chose in my previous post if you want more info.
The paper generally covers the 3 artist's history, influences, style, medium, subject, criticism and personal opinion.
Henry allowed me to chose the subject & artists so this was especially rewarding and interesting to me.

Check it out and would love to hear what you think!

Drawing Class Update- 6 More Drawings

Here are 6 more completed drawings from my Drawing Intensive Class.
Our teacher Joanie Ryan has us using several different mediums to gain some confidence while we experiment with them. All are monocromatic to allow us to see light, medium and darks in depicting light and shadow. It's tougher than you might think!

We've used:
Charcoal on Toned (colored) Paper
Ball Point Pen with Abstract Line
Acrylic Paint
Water & Ink

I also included a reworked Charcoal Drawing I did for extra credit... you'll see it on a previous post, but this one has darker shadows in the background. I think it helps bring the other objects to the front in perspective.
Some of these techniques I am more comfortable with than others.
Also, some of these techniques work better with my style than others
but it's definitely been very fun to try them all.

Reworked Extra Credit
Charcoal Drawing

Toned Paper

Experiment with Light & Shadow Source
Change Focal Point of Original Drawing

Ball Point with Abstract Line

2nd week
Ball Point with Abstract Line

Acrylic Paint

Sumi Paint Brush, Water & Ink

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Fashion Illustration Icons

There are so many Fashion Illustration Artists that I admire, I thought it would be cool to share some of my favorites. These guys continue to inspire me on a regular basis. There is no particular order... Feel free to share your comments or some of your own fav's

Ruben Toledo- you've probably seen his Nordstrom Ads


Sujean Rim- She may look familiar from the Daily Candy of better times

Alberto Vargas- Vintage Playboy Illustrator

Erte- Sculptor and painter... classic

Eduard Erlikh- Fabulous style

Bella Pillar- may look familar from Target, Papyrus or any other specialty notecard store

And the master of Fashion Illustration Portraiture- David Downton