Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Final Thoughts

The three most memorable highlights and projects that impacted my learning experience were the unsung hero project, the imaginative self portrait, and the water color unit. I really found the unsung hero unit very inspiring and impactful because it made me aware of so many heroic people that didn't get the recognition they deserved. I also enjoyed this project because it taught me that there are so many people out there that should be called heroes and that more people must learn about them so that they can be inspired just like it inspired me. I also found the imaginative self portrait very memorable and intriguing because it made me look deeper into who I was and helped be define myself. The project made me more creative in my thinking and made me think more imaginatively. Lastly, I found the watercolor unit very enjoyable because it was very creative and didn't have a lot of restrictions. This allowed me to work more creatively and with an open-mind which really impacted my learning by showing what I could do and what I could create.

Work of Art that I am most proud of

My most proud art piece I completed was my imaginative self portrait. I really enjoyed the process of it and think I was able to create a piece that really represented who I was. I found the project impactful in the way that it made me look deeper into who I really was and find ways and images to identify who I was. Through the project, I really learned about balance and how this concept is important when you want the whole piece to draw the eye, not just one section. My learning was also impacted by informing the importance of working on each section equally with as much focus and effort to make a piece look complete. The project also stretched my creative skills into coming up with ways to connect certain images and also come up with symbols to define me.

Watercolor Techniques

- to experiment, explore, and learn a variety of ways to paint with watercolor

I learned multiple new techniques and concepts after painting with watercolor. I really learned the importance of using a lot of water for a successful watercolor painting. Other important concepts I learned included hoe you can always make things darker in watercolor, but not lighter. After completing the technique practice for watercolor, I became aware of the multiple ways and techniques you can use when painting watercolor. For example, the different ways you use the brush (tip or side) and how different amounts of pigment can effect the image and value. Also from the technique practice, I learned the technique of layering and how it can add perspective and depth, which is especially important and helpful for landscapes. Lastly, through our landscape practice, I learned the importance of painting background to foreground and starting with lighter values and layering as you go. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Unsung Hero, Helen Taussig

Helen Taussig was a feminist. Although this wasn’t Helen’s direct goal of profession or directly characterize who she was, through her success and work, she acted as a sort of feminist as she proved her capability and intelligence. Taussig was a very strong and successful woman with the impressive and impactful medical achievement of pediatric cardiology. Through her discovery, Helen has saved millions and millions of lives. One would think she is well known due to her impact and success, however, she was very unappreciated at her time and, therefore, many people today are not very familiar with her. Because she had such a strong impact, was very determined, and stood up to what she believed, Helen Taussig acted as a sort of role model for me which is why I chose to depict her story for my painting. I chose to tell the story of Taussig because I both appreciated her determination and thought she deserved more awareness of her impact. During the process of choosing an unsung hero, I wanted to find someone who I could look up to and learn from. I wanted to choose someone who had such a large impact that it was astounding that they weren’t properly recognized–which is sadly thousands of people– so that I could at least make the people around me informed of an ‘unsung hero’ who deserved to be a ‘hero’.

My interpretation and representation of Helen Taussig had multiple symbols to represent both who she was as a person and her successes. At the center and focus of the painting, I painted an image of Helen along with a infant child. I chose this as the focus because this image was what best depicted her achievements: pediatric cardiology. The child cradled by Helen represents the pediatric aspect of Taussig’s study. The image also includes a stethoscope, the device for listening to someone’s heart, to act as a small symbol of the cardiology aspect of Helen’s achievements. The painting of Helen herself is the largest focus so that I could emphasise the importance of Taussig - this is who she is and this is what she did. In the background of the painting, I pasted multiple maps of where Helen was from and where she studied. The maps include Massachusetts, her hometown, as well as all the schools she studied at: Harvard, Berkeley, John Hopkins, and Boston University. I chose to use these maps to show where all of Helen’s knowledge and ideas began, the starting points for her career. I also pasted a newspaper article that was printed for her cardiology discovery. The article title: “Saving Our Doomed Blue Babies” represents Helen’s success turning point in her life.This article in the upper left corner connects to the date in the lower right corner, 1944, the date in which she and her surgical team performed their first operation for their new cardiology discovery. Taussig’s main achievement was saving these children from this “Blue Babies Syndrome”; therefore, I chose to paint some of the background blue to depict her “Blue Baby” cure. Lastly, I painted a human heart to connect Taussig’s achievements in cardiology, the study of hearts. With the infant child representing pediatrics and the heart representing cardiology, I think I successfully connected the two symbols and represented Helen Taussig’s life impact.

The overall process and unsung hero project has definitely impacted me as a person and my outlook on life. For example, Helen Taussig’s story has made me realize the importance of courage and determination, especially when you are trying to achieve your goals. I also realized from this project that there are so many people that have not been recognized or appreciated for their heroic lives and actions. Unfortunately, this means that lessons like the ones Taussig taught me are being overlooked or missed out on just because these people haven’t been given the respect or acknowledgement they deserve.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

LMC Unsung Hero Planning

I found the stories of Sheyann Webb, Helen Taussig, and Jane Elliott quite inspiring. Webb was an 8 year old girl who joined Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement to stand up for her freedom. Taussig founded pediatric cardiology which has led to the saving of millions of children lives in the world. Lastly, Elliott found a new way to inform children of the unfair prejudices between races through this “Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes” method.

I find Helen Taussig very inspiring because she was to come up with a new medical technique that has had an enormous impact on lives by saving millions of children. Her discovery and creation of pediatric cardiology was and is hugely successful. It both promotes the feminist idea that women are just as capable and intelligent as men; and is also successful in being capable of saving so many lives, therefore creating so many more opportunities especially for these people being saved because now they can make their own mark in the world, which wouldn’t have been able to happen if Taussig didn’t exist. Visually, I am inspired by all these children being saved -- seeing a poor and sickly child be rescued by Taussig is quite a vivid image. I also get this image in my head of Taussig working with such courage and determination both with the children, and in her studies in order to come up with a method of saving all these lives. Lastly, I see this feminist image of Taussig proving to all the men and people who doubted her wrong through her success and knowledge which led to the science of pediatric cardiology.

  • Location (maps, geography, etc.): map of massachusetts; harvard; berkeley; john hopkins; boston university; hospital; anti-feminist town/area
  • Unsung Hero images: feminist; strength; passion; determination; intelligence; caring
  • Significant Objects: newspaper of her discoveries “saving out doomed blue babies”; hospital; babies/patients/children; “blue baby syndrome”; the heart; helen taussig as doctor; stethoscope (tool used to listen to heart); x-rays

Vegetable/Fruit Painting

One thing that I definitely improved on and learned how to do was creating shadows. First of all, I learned that when painting, it is best to just use a darker shade of your background color in order to capture the shadow effect realistically (rather than black or grey). I also learned that you really have to pay attention to where the shadow actually is in the still life to make it look realistic. For one of my paintings, I didn't pay close enough attention to this and therefore it didn't look as good or as realistic as it could be. Another thing I learned how to do was combining and mixing colors in order to get certain values or colors. After attempting to make colors like purple and green, I learned that it is better to start out with less blue or less red etc. so that the color isn't too dark -- you can always add more. For example, I shouldn't add very much blue when I want to make a light-ish green. For technique, I learned that it is very important to let the paint dry before you add another layer of color. I was pretty good at this for the most part, but there were a few instances where I should have let the paint dry more before adding more paint. Lastly, after comparing my palette-knife painting and my paint-brush painting, I learned that you shouldn't put a ton of paint on the brush/knife -- it is easier to get more precise edges with less paint, especially with the brush. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

What is a still-life?

Still life is the depiction of inanimate objects, especially those that we see everyday like plants and cans etc. The artist creating the still life has quite a lot of control of the piece because they can choose where each object goes as well as the source and location of the light. Still life as an art style can be both pure and abstract. As a painting genre, still life painting originated by Dutch artists in the 17th century but still life in general was originally done by ancient egyptians. Overtime, still life has gradually changed and taken new directions, especially in the 19th century as well as the 20th century when pop art and cubism became incorporated. Still life today is quite popular and continues to change while some artists still remain with the traditional idea of still life.

Artist: Annie O’Brien
Title: Maui Memories
Date: Unknown

I chose this picture because I really liked the colors, especially how the colors of the flowers connected to the table/object that the flowers are sitting on. I also liked the fact that although it wasn’t super abstract, it had an abstract feel by not looking extremely realistic. What drew my attention was how it used a lot of different colors and values of color, which made both the flowers look unified as well as the whole piece look unified because the flower pinks and reds connects to the pinks and red of the table. These connecting colors really make the piece look balanced and unified. I think some aspects I will use in my one still life based on the painting above is the assortment of many colors as well as the slight abstractness.