Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blind Contour

This year as another assignment for our book we were told to do a blind contour drawing of ourselves. I remember having to do these in middle school where it wasn't of ourselves but of other people. It was a little awkward, staring into someone else's face for a long period of time so this was much better. The self portrait was fun, even though I hated almost all of the ones I came out with. But finally I decided to choose my favorite and this is the one that ended up being the best.


We had to write certain questions given to us to add into our picture. I wasn't really sure how to go about this but sort of winged it with the placement and fonts. I like how it looks so far and I'm deathly afraid of adding color. But I know the color will only enhance it (I hope) and that I shouldn't be too afraid since things usually come out alright. My intentions now are to finish going over the text with black ink and then maybe dripping color down from the top of the page. Just got to find a way to do that without bleeding the ink too much.


In the beginning of the year we got to make paper lanterns based off of a season of our choice. I choose winter, obviously from the naked trees, and based my lantern on how the trees lose their leaves and how intricate the winding branches look. In the beginning of starting my lantern, we were given fresh exact-o knifes, and as our 

teacher was explaining on how to carefully take the cap off of the blade, I ended up pulling the cap off and slicing my hand in one swift motion. I got about a two inch cut and needed stitches, but in the end my hand was alright. That was probably the most exciting part of my lantern process.

But I really loved cutting out the paper for this. How the blade moved gracefully over the paper and made a clean cut every time. Soon enough I would be left with an outline of trees and eventually it would look like a forest. Putting the tracing paper over it made the lantern come together. I really like how it looks when it's lit. It looks eerie and mysterious. Almost like the big bad wolf could be hiding within those trees.
I also had time to create another, smaller, lantern. There was the dilemma of which was to fold it since both sides looked good but in the end I chose the less appealing side to show because when it is lit up the inside looks amazing. This one is clearly mysterious and dark, something I was going for. I painted the tracing paper black to give even more of a shadow which made this lantern even better. The only thing I dislike would be how small and cylindrical it is. I wish it were as big as my other one.

Empty Bowls

Cheers to another year of Empty Bowls!

Empty bowls happens every two years, the proceeds going to  The Foodbank of South Jersey, and I'm fortunate enough to experience it both years here in high school. The Empty Bowls is a tradition at township, making the wide spread of hunger be known to the community. Everyone can enjoy a meal together and get to take home the bowl once they're finished. All the bowls are made by the Haddon Township Art students and the food is donate locally by families or businesses. this dinner brings attention to all the bowls that never known if they'll be filled one day or the next, and that hunger among the community is more common than people think. In the weeks leading up to this event, everyone has been busy at work making bowls and plates. I'm extra excited because instead of only serving soup like the last year, we're doing a pasta pot luck. The event has changed from the previous year so I hope it will be even better this year.

I can't remember all the bowls I made, most of them being generic bowls that small details to identify them, but this one shown below is one of my long bowls that I made and glazed myself. The glaze is weird, I couldn't even tell you what I did to get this look. This year while glazing I decided to take a lot of risks with my color choices and layering so I never k now exactly what I'll be getting. I like this bowl though, even with it's imperfections.

These other bowl I did not make myself but I did glaze it. I think the glazing came out alright for the most part. Glazing is probably one of my favorite parts about the Empty Bowls event. It's always a gamble with how the bowl will come out and so far I have seen plenty of really amazing bowls.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Artist Blog Post

R E N  E  M A G R I T T E

René François-Ghislain Magritte was born November 21, 1898 in Lessines Belgium. His father,  Léopold, encouraged his early interest in drawing but his mother was heavily depressed. At the young age of fourteen, Rene lost his mother. She fled in the night and threw herself over the bridge into the river Sambre. Rene was deeply scarred by his mother's death, and she will appear later in his paintings. 

A year after he met his future wife, Georgette Berger, Rene enrolled at The Academié Royale des Beaux Arts in Brussel. He wanted to master the 'proper' techniques of painting that was usually attributed to artists who worked in the figurative style, before breaking free of them. He was inspired by many artists that influenced his style, but it was when he discovered Giorgio De Chirico's surrealist works that he found true inspiration. He decided to make each of his paintings a visual poem, a quality he found in De Chirico's works.

 By chance, Rene stumbled upon Georgette at an art supply store in 1920. She was a wallpaper artist, and soon after reconnecting they married in the fall of 1923.

In 1929 Magritte joined other artists and writers who were part of the surrealist movement in Paris. His art was different from the others, special,  because he was incredibly skilled at painting realistic objects and figures. What set him apart from other painters was the way he played with placement of the objects in reality. He left the objects in tacked but the way he painted them played with logic and and instead of leading to answers, they only led to confusion and questions as to why.

Over his career Rene Magritte had created over a thousand paintings that played with the reality and the mind. At age 69, Magritte died in his bed in Brussels from Pancreatic cancer on August 15, 1967.

"Like Salvador Dali, Magritte's work will forever come to mind when we hear the word "surreal"."

 What I really like about Rene are the questions that are attached to each of his paintings. They are all so strange and different looking without looking crazy. The objects he uses in his paintings are very ordinary objects, but he places them in an unusual setting, or puts them with other objects that don't belong. It makes me wonder why he did this and makes me question his train of thought while painting. I like paintings that make me think, because most artists paint a picture that looks straight forward, even if there's a hidden meaning behind it, so I never really take a minute to think about what the artist was thinking about while painting. Rene Magritte's paintings, however, are abnormal and outright weird to look. They stick in my brain longer than the usual painting because of how different they are.

A classic example of Rene's works would be The Son of Man. I love this painting because how normal yet abnormal it is. It makes me wonder what the man's face looks like behind the apple, and why he decided to place the apple obstructing the man's view. This painting looks very simple, but from the way Magritte placed the apple it became entirely different.

I found this one humorous because in The treachery of images the caption below says 'This is not a pipe". Well, from looking at it, it certainly looks like a pipe to me. What else could it be. With the use of the words underneath his painting, Magritte turned a simple object into a confusing work of art. if this isn't a pipe, it makes me wonder what it's supposed to be. So now I start imaging what else it could be, even though it still clearly looks like a pipe. I like how Rene twists my mind with his paintings which makes them more interesting to view.

The Black Signature is a painting I've seen before but never knew who painted it. It looks ordinary, a women on a horse. But then you really look at it and you realize the horse is divided up but the trees, but you have to question is it the trees that are behind the horse, or is the horse behind the trees. I could stare at this picture forever and still never understand it. It plays with my eyes, especially the middle of the horse where the women is still and it looks like she could just be in front of that tree, or you can see through the tree to her. This is a really good twist of reality in my opinion, which is why it is one of my favorites.