Art 1 Final Portfolio

1.     Which project was your favorite or most successful this semester? Please explain.
My most successful art project was most likely my traced car. It took me a lot of time, and when I made the first tracing I didn’t understand the part when we had to trace the main outlines of the car. After three unsuccessful tries Mrs. Rossi explained to me that I needed to focus on the little shade changes in the car, not the main outlines. To make this project more successful to me, would be to tape the tracing paper and the car together so when you picked it up, things wouldn’t get crooked. Although there were challenges in tracing the car’s shades for me, it was my most successful piece of art because when I held my drawling up to the original picture, they looked the exact same. You might say “Well since you traced it I hope it looks the exact same,” but because of the highlights and shadings on the car, to make them look identical you have to pay particularly close attention to all the color changes.
Another reason why it was my favorite project was because there were no messes, it was very hands on, and you got to pick your own car off the web to draw. One of the challenges for me though was because you had to press so hard down on the pencils I used up an entire pencil drawing and shading the car!! For me this project was enjoyable, I learned a lot from it and it was very cool to say, “I drew, shaded and traced it!!”   
2.     Regardless of whether you liked or disliked a project, which one did you learn, grow, or developed the most from? Please explain.
The project I learned most from was my Linoleum tile. Through the tile, I learned to be patient, to take your time if you want a good result, and to have lots of pictures to base your art-work off of. Although I would say I didn’t enjoy the tile that much, I learned, grew and developed the most from it. When I was finding images and animals to use, I first wanted to do an Anole, (which is a lizard that changes color) but I soon realized there was too much of tiny details.  Then I thought of a barn owl, so I stuck with it and found six pictures of Barn Owls in flight, catching prey and landing. After I found my images I went back into drawing and painting the Van Shoe, which took a lot of time! After two whole weeks of being away from the tile project I returned to find all my classmates done tracing their pictures onto their tiles. So unfortunately I rushed a whole class period to catch up with the people in the front. The end result was that my tile was rushed, sloppier then all of my other work, and did not have enough tiny detail. Since tiles are not cheap, I couldn’t redo my art work because of my lack of patience. Instead all I could do was sit around for a day or two waiting for all my other class mates to catch up to the point I was at.  Previously I had never made and used a stamp from linoleum, so using a brayer and a bench hook (aka a paint roller and a pad to put your paint on) was all new to me!! The paint was messy but I learned how to keep it off me and my clothes, and how to press down hard to stamp my page. We had to do five stamps and one practice, but after I finished I realized I actually enjoyed the excitement of not knowing how it would turn out, and if I liked the colors I used in the stamp. So after I finished I made five more prints and tried mixing two or more different colors at a time, which was a lot of fun! I believe through the linoleum tile I learned, grew and developed from what I used to know. 
3.     Choose 1 piece of Art that you used skills and techniques learned from previous projects. Discuss your growth as an artist and how you incorporated these skills and techniques to create the piece.

    The Clay tile used painting skills and carving skills (from linoleum tile and painting project). I used skills and techniques that I learned in previous projects a lot with the clay tile! First I had to find reference images, and then plan it all out in my sketchbook, like I did for my painting and my linoleum tile. I learned from the linoleum that you want to use patience and to be practical with the tile and not try to overdo yourself. From the painting I learned scale and how to balance the image onto the clay slab, making sure that the horizon line was straight.
Once you started molding the clay, you had to know how to clean your area and tools correctly so the clay wouldn’t harden to all your tools. With the clay tile, knowing how to carve was very important, because your structures had to be hollow. Structures that were not hollow had trapped moisture or air inside of that would explode in the kiln.
Finally, when you started to paint your tile, knowing how to give your tile shading and highlights came from a skill learned from our canvas painting. The painting taught you to put lots of little detail into the clay tile, and how to add dimension in the background and foreground. If we had painted the tile first, we would have been really rushed to start our paintings and to understand the concept of painting our tiles.
The number one piece that used all of our skills and techniques was definitely the clay tile. I grew as an artist with the tile because I had to reflect back on the painting and carving from past projects.   
4.     Which project do you feel was the least important in learning the concepts taught in this course? Please explain.

Photo shop stuff, because we were more focusing on painting, carving, and sketching. I feel like even though it was interesting to play with Photoshop and some people might have wanted to know how to use it; I think it was not related to the course and it wasn’t very important in learning how to draw. While doing Photoshop, since we had to watch a video and do the task, switching between windows became challenging to view the teacher and the art at the same time. I personally was ok with it because I had done art programs on line with a video playing at the same time, but most of the class needed to go slower. I would say everything we did was really important during this course, but the photo shop was definitely the least important. It we were going to learn about Photoshop I feel like the videos should have gone into more detail to make the objects less cropped in.
Most of the other projects all focused on either using our hands, paints or pencils, not a computer mouse. With art being used on iPads and iPhones today, it is important to use the technology. But in general, I think we should focus it on other classes, not art one. Choosing what was least important is really hard for me because I definitely enjoyed every project we did, but the project that was least important to Art one skills would have to be the Photoshop projects.
5.     Choose a piece or artwork where the subject matter reflects you as an artist. One that you have a personal connection to. Please explain your choice.
For the piece of artwork that reflects me as an artist, I chose my painting. I still can remember my dad going away on business trips for IBM and coming back with cool photos of Stockholm, London, and Belgium. At first I really wanted to a photo from our Grand Canyon trip, but I soon realized with my dad that the complexity of the Canyon would be very challenging for a painting. After some searching through old files, my dad asked me if I wanted to paint a boat from Stockholm. It took some thought, but it was a definite yes! The symmetry, darks and lights reflect my style of balanced paintings with gentle, smooth lines. I usually paint birds and lily pads, so this was a big jump of categories. Although the boat was a lot different from what I usually paint, I thoroughly enjoyed painting it.
I believe that out of all the art projects we did, as a whole, this project reflected my artistic style and character. Although I didn’t feel very comfortable smacking white in black in places because of all the shadings, I love looking at it from far away and up close. I really had to trust my teacher and class mates with their opinions and questions on the symmetry and shadings of this project. Sometimes I would think I would be all done but in reality I still had a long way to go in little detail and evenness in the photo.

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