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I personally thought that this self-portrait project was a great way to end the class and the semester as well. It was interesting for me to observe throughout the time the class worked on self-portraits how different people see their own faces. It is as if some people see more than is actually there, others see less than is actually there, and others are more straight-forward with their appearance so their portraits ended up looking a lot like them. The process was something that I wasn’t familiar with, and I was glad that I was able to use a technique that I had never used before. I entitled my last summative post ” Facing the Truth” because I’ve had some hard times this  school year feeling confident about what I see in the mirror. This project was really a challenge for me to accept my appearance and let go of the things about it that makes me insecure.  When I first began erasing the charcoal off my paper, I had a hard time interpreting what I saw. I would stare at myself for almost three hours, trying to figure out how I was going to be able to erase my face onto the picture, and I became discouraged after the first week of working that I wouldn’t be able to do what I envisioned my self doing. The second week brought about improvements because I began to notice more the tiniest shadows in my face, and my technique with erasing also improved after getting tips from my classmates. I began to interpret just how the slightest shade tones can affect how a picture turns out. I also started to see the beauty in my appearance more as I began to notice even the tiniest qualities that make me look like me. I am very happy with how my face turned out, considering the slow and hesitant start I had with it. I am very sure that I will use the erasing technique again in the future, and I will cherish all the other things that I have learned this year in Visual Thinking.

ASHER (Summative)

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          This project was one of the most emotional projects I’ve encountered in my life so far. My social ill, depression, hits very close to home for me, and I found myself working in a very deep frame of mind with it, just as the media began to report the loss of someone due to severe depression. Through this news, my project became alive, and I began take it more seriously because I further realized just how destructive my social ill is and how I want Asher (which means joy and blessed) to fight it. Through working on Asher, I realized how important the very placing of materials and colors can determine how a piece is interpreted by others, and that having contrasting elements to a piece can help it to convey a powerful message, i.e. when I decided to use blue and yellow to contrast depression with joy and when I used a bold red and green on the webbed feet to represent a red-eyed green tree frog. I plan on taking my fight against depression even further in the future, and I know that the events surrounding my creation of Asher will be a constant reminder to me of how important helping people with depression is. This post is dedicated to Matthew Warren.

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           Figuring out which animal I wanted to do my project on took a little time, but I had no doubt from the start that I wanted to cover the social ill of depression, because depression is a mental disorder that affects over 100 million people world wide, and it is estimated that  by 2020, depression will be the second most common heath problem in the world. After I decided that I wanted to create a super-dolphin, I began doing research on the animal and found out that dolphins use echo-location to locate their prey, which further lead me to decide that I wanted my dolphin’s superpower to be that it uses its echo-location to locate depressed people and as a mechanism to sound joy and peace into their lives. I used fabric, yarn/string, and wire because the color of my materials play a huge role in what my dolphin represents, and these colors are: blue (depression), green (renewal), and yellow(joy), and the color and shape of the wire also represents a red- eyed green tree frog, which symbolizes emotional healing. The shape of the animal resembles that of a dolphin (for the most part), and since many people think of dolphins as happy animals, I think this helps them have some type of idea of what my superpower is ultimately about, also, the colors serve as a guide to those who are familiar with what different colors commonly represent.

Bibliography:

“Basic Facts About Dolphins.” Defenders of Wildlife. n.d. n. page. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.

<http://www.defenders.org/dolphin/basic-facts&gt;.

“Color Symbolism and Culture.” Incredible @rt Department. n.d. n. page. Web. 14 Apr.

2013.<http://www.incredibleart.org/lessons/middle/color2.htm&gt;.

“Depression Out of the Shadows:Statistics.” pbs.org. n.d. n. page. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.

<http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/takeonestep/depression/pdf/dep_stats.pdf&gt;.

“Red Eyed Green Tree Frog.” KerryBear Graphics(c). n.d. n. page. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.

<http://www.angelfire.com/wi/innerwisdom/frog.html&gt;.

Image of dolphin: google.com

An Ill Society

(picture from google.com)

     The social ill is anything that negatively affects society as a whole. The cause of the social ill is described to form when groups of people decide to live in close spaces with each other. It is described to further be impossible to avoid the social ill since groups of people living in a community will more than surely always have disagreements with each other on how to solve problems. People have their own opinions of what they consider the social ill, since the word “bad” is ultimately subjective. Examples of social ills to different people are deaths from DUI’s, smoking,crime, pollution, racism, abortion, and etc. Future ramifications of the social ill are a corrupt world. For further example of the social ill in society, according to ProCon.org, the debate over abortion continues to divide Americans even 40 years after Roe vs. Wade was passed.

     The hypothesis: I have decided that I want my animal’s super power to help cure depression and help people who suffer from it to realize that they have a purpose, and that it is possible for them to be happy again. Young adults have been reported to be the most vulnerable to depression, and this is a serious problem since this upcoming generation needs to be strong in order to help society.  My animal is definitely going to be a dolphin. This dolphin is going to serve as hope to those who suffer from depression, and it may even have components from other animals that represent happiness and strength, like a horse or a frog. My dolphin’s voice would echo happiness and peace into the hearts and minds of those who need it.

Bibliography:

“ANIMALS, BIRDS, INSECTS AND REPTILES AND THEIR MEANINGS.” n. page. Web. 1

     Apr. 2013. <http://www.greatdreams.com/animals.htm&gt;.

“Animal Meanings.” Druid Planet. n. page. Web. 1 Apr. 2013.

     <http://13thdruidofavalon.tripod.com/druidplanet/id89.html&gt;.

“What are Some Social Problems.” wiseGeek. n. page. Web. 1 Apr. 2013.

     <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-some-social-problems.htm>.

“What is a social problem?.” Public LEGAL’s Public Policy Analyst. n. page. Web.

     <http://www2.maxwell.syr.edu/plegal/TIPS/sp.html&gt;.

Strange Familiarities

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Lizzie Booher’s piece was one of the most eye-catching pieces that I noticed on the wall and it was interesting for me to see her final product after watching her go from each process. The first thing that really stood out to me was the similar pink tones in both of the real-life pictures. It makes the two pictures cohesive as much as the abstract ones since they both use similar color schemes. I also loved how she used the bathroom illustration of a female to describe what was familiar in real life to her. In her abstract, even though she had a triangle stacked on top of a square, it still made my imagination want to think of a house, which I thought was impressive for her portrayal of “familiar”. I wouldn’t have thought that her “strange” real-life was her hat, which I think made the picture more strange. Her picture, in my opinion, would have stood out more if she used the black back board to mount her pictures on, instead of the grey one. Overall I enjoyed the other elements to her project that made it unique.

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      I thought it was interesting what Debbie Grossman talked about during the keynote address during the gallery opening night. I especially found it interesting when she was talking about the inspiration for her Postmark collection. After grieving the loss of her mother, Debbie decided to make an art collection inspired by her mother’s letters. I agreed when she said that art is therapeutic for people who are going through issues in their lives. In her own words, ” People need to make art in order to have stable emotions,”. I also loved how she made the phrase “I miss you” such a staple in her collection, especially with the lamp that she made. She also expressed that she tried to use photography to work against death, which really captivated me because people who have passed still live in photographs of themselves. Grossman is someone that people can look up to in order to create exceptional pieces; she proves that even some of the most captivating pieces can simply be words on a page.

Conceptual Contrasts

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My experience with this project was probably one of the most challenging experiences that I have ever had with a project, but I did, however, enjoy the challenge and process of putting it together. I first had difficulty trying to conceptually portray the words that I was given through shapes. The shapes that I finally chose to represent flawed and exquisite came from my own experience with how I’ve interpreted many things that I’ve seen that look “flawed” or”exquisite”. For example, I’m used to seeing a round object in a perfect circle or oval, especially through countless math assignments. Also, the first word that comes to mind when I think of exquisite is detail. I chose to make a lop-sided round shape and a dramatic abstract from these experiences. Also for my real-life objects, the bent can looked “flawed” in my perspective, and my abstract reminded me of a dramatic bird feather, so I found an earring that I felt resembled my abstract in some way. I was glad that I was able to use mounting techniques that were new to me like the oven and the dry-mount rubber cement the class used. I also enjoyed seeing the ideas that my peers came up with, one that specifically captured my attention was Lizzie’s, whose words were strange and familiar( I  discuss her work in a separate post). This project really tested my knowledge on how difficult it can be for  one person to try to convey a word through a shape that others will understand. Overall, I enjoyed this project, and with take what I learned from it with me.

Blind Contour

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On Monday, I spent my time in class challenging my visual interpretation by doing blind contours of my hand and different objects. I did an exercise like this in years past, and I forgot how difficult it is to try to draw something you’re looking at without looking at what you are doing. I think what I did in class will help me to do well on my next project.

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To be honest, I didn’t know what to do when I first started working on my project. I envisioned a model of my chest, where my scar is located, and I kept on thinking about how I was going to pull off a cast of my chest with my scar on it. I even thought about adding a model of my head, so the chest cast by itself wouldn’t look too odd. I decided to start working towards that vision by first asking a cafeteria worker for a cup of flour. I then cut sheets of paper towel into proportioned strips and then dipped them in the water- flour paste I made and carefully placed them over the parts of my body that I wanted to mold. Afterwards, I used my blow dryer to dry the paper on my body, which was at times painful. I did about three layers of this. Afterwards, I coated the  cast with gesso, and then I  cut it, after realizing that it would be more stable in the form of a heart, instead of the form of my body. Afterwards, I  painted over the gesso, and then  glued the ornaments representing my scar over the breastplate. For the straps, I had originally thought to just use ribbon, but chose a more affordable alternative.  I basically followed the previous steps, except I didn’t use paper mache paste. My finished project is a breastplate, conveniently shaped in the form of a heart, with minimal design, and a text relating to what the breastplate represents. The breastplate is fit to my form since I used my upper body to create she shape, and it looks very strong and secure, even though it is very fragile, which is kind of symbolic to me. I am mostly content with my project, even though I wish I could alter a few thing.

If I had  an unlimited budget, I wouldn’t do much else over what I did, or change the materials too much, but I would most- definitely buy paint with  copper, red, and brown tints and use that over the colors I used, and I would buy metallic ink in a bottle and use an old-fashioned scroll pen in a gold/copper color for the text. Last, I would buy a nice finish gloss to paint over my breastplate.

I had a fulfilling time doing this project, and I  learned a lot  during the critique of it as well. I learned how spontaneous art can be, especially when you are so limited with the materials that you need to complete your work. I learned that planning your time is important, especially when you don’t know what might happen between your working time and the deadline. I last learned that it is important for your work to have a universal appeal that everyone can feel they can relate to, even if your work has a deep connection to your life and what you believe.