Saturday, April 28, 2012

Discussion: Romanticism Part 1

1) How does these painting reflect some of the ideas people held about spirituality in the 19th century? How might it relate to the excerpts out of Frankenstein or other 18th and 19th century novels such as Dracula or Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights?

2) How might the iconography of these two works be similar?

3) How might Blake's work relate to earlier traditions concerning Byzantine and Gothic Art and the traditions surrounding illuminated manuscripts?

4) How does this painting relate to the poem and musical piece the Erlkonig?

Franz Schubert 1797-1828 Wav file

ERLKÖNIG - J.W. von Goethe Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind?
Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind;
Er hat den Knaben wohl in dem Arm,
Er faßt ihn sicher, er hält ihn warm.
Mein Sohn, was birgst du so bang dein Gesicht?--
Siehst, Vater, du den Erlkönig nicht?
Den Erlenkönig mit Kron und Schweif?--
Mein Sohn, es ist ein Nebelstreif.--
«Du liebes Kind, komm, geh mit mir!
Gar schöne Spiele spiel ich mit dir;
Manch bunte Blumen sind an dem Strand,
Meine Mutter hat manch gülden Gewand.»
Mein Vater, mein Vater, und hörest du nicht,
Was Erlenkönig mir leise verspricht?--
Sei ruhig, bleibe ruhig, mein Kind;
In dürren Blättern säuselt der Wind.--
«Willst, feiner Knabe, du mit mir gehn?
Meine Töchter sollen dich warten schön;
Meine Töchter führen den nächtlichen Reihn,
Und wiegen und tanzen und singen dich ein.»
Mein Vater, mein Vater, und siehst du nicht dort
Erlkönigs Töchter am düstern Ort?--
Mein Sohn, mein Sohn, ich seh es genau:
Es scheinen die alten Weiden so grau.--
«Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt;
Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch ich Gewalt.»
Mein Vater, mein Vater, jetzt faßt er mich an!
Erlkönig hat mir ein Leids getan!--
Dem Vater grausets, er reitet geschwind,
Er hält in Armen das ächzende Kind,
Erreicht den Hof mit Mühe und Not;
In seinen Armen das Kind war tot.
English translation by Natalia MacFarren Who rides through the night o'er woodland wild?
It is a father with his young child;
The boy lies folded, close in his arm
He holds him steady and safe from harm..
"My son, thou hidest thy face as in fear?"
"The Erl King father, see he is near!
With Crown and Sceptre and snow white shroud"
"My son, 'tis but a passing cloud."
"My gentle boy, Oh come with me;
I'll sport and play the day long with thee
And wondrous flowers shalt thou behold
And a garment shalt thou wear all of Gold."
"My father, my father, Oh dost thou not hear
What Erl-King whispers so soft in mine ear?"
"Nay, fear not, it is nothing my child,
The leaves but rustle sharp o'er the wild."
"Thou gentle boy wilt thou with me go
My daughters all pretty pastimes know,
My daughters nightly their gay revels keep,
They'll dance and they'll sing and they'll rock thee to sleep.
They'll dance and they'll sing and they'll rock thee to sleep."
"My father, my father, I feel sore afraid
See Erl-King's daughters in yon dark shade!"
"My son, my son, I see it full well;
The grey knotted willows bend to the gale."
"I love thee, child, in vain wouldst thou now be perverse,
For if thou'rt not willing, I'll take thee by force"
"My father! My father! His cold hand I feel
Erl-King has hurt me; With grasp of steel"
The fa-ther shudd'ring; gives spur to his steed,
Holds fast his darling and groans in his need,
He reached his home in doubt and dread,
Within his fond arms the child lay dead.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Summer Arts Opportunity in San Francisco

This sounded cool so I thought I would post it here:

Teaching Artists!
Southern Exposure

San Francisco, CA

SoEx Seeks THREE Lead Teaching Artists, THREE volunteer Artist Assistants, and ONE intern for Mission Voices Summer 2012!
MVS is a five-week intensive summer arts program.  It gives young people the opportunity to exercise leadership skills and participate in their community by exploring relevant social and personal issues through visual arts. The program is a collaboration between Southern Exposure's Artist in Education program and community-based youth organizations in San Francisco. The program bridges neighborhoods and cultures by pairing local artists with teens from the Bay Area.

Three Teaching Artists, along with Southern Exposure's Artists in Education Program Manager, and three Volunteer Assistants, will collaborate and teach approximately 30 teenagers this summer to produce an art environment based on a socially relevant theme. The program will culminate with a final project and exhibition, on view August 8 - 25, 2012.

Artists are responsible for teaching three times per week for the entire five-week program (Monday, July 9 - Wednesday August 8, 2011), plus pre-program curriculum planning for four weeks starting June 6, as well as extra time to install and de-install the final exhibition by August 29.  Classes run at Southern Exposure for three hours and take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1-4 pm.

To apply:
  • Your resume and a cover letter
  • Work Samples: a CD or flash drive with no more than 15 images; for video work, submit a DVD with no more than 5 minutes of work. Please include a descriptive list describing each sample. If you would like your work samples returned to you, please include a SASE.
  • A brief description of your ideas for the program (no more than one page) and one sample thematic and skill oriented lesson that addresses materials needed, the objective of the lesson and skills learned (no more than one page).

    Mail or deliver all materials to:
    Aimee Shapiro, Artists in Education Program Manager
    MVS Teaching Applications
    Southern Exposure
    3030 20th Street
    San Francisco, CA 94110
**no original artworks, email or fax submissions will be accepted.

Contact:Aimee Shapiro

Deadline: 05-07-2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Discussion and Video: Impressionism Degas and Color Theory

1) Compare and contrast the two paintings above in terms of their form. Be sure to use as much of the following vocabulary as you can, perspective, illusionism, realism, chiaroscuro, hue, value, intensity, primary, secondary, tertiary, non-local, local color, optical mixing. 

2) Come up with a thesis and compare and contrast the points of view of each of these artists.

"I Sit and Look Out" by Walt Whitman portrait of Whitman by Eakins

I Sit and Look Out 
Walt Whitman
I SIT and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame; I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done; I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate; I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the treacherous seducer of young women; I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be hid—I see these sights on the earth; I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see martyrs and prisoners; I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill’d, to preserve the lives of the rest; I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like; All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon, See, hear, and am silent.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Discussion and Video: Neoclassical Art


1) What style of painting is this? How is this style a break from past traditions? What kinds of things is this painter borrowing from past styles? Names some of the periods/styles that this artist is referencing. How is detail used as a kind of rhetorical or pursuasive element? How does the iconography of this painting reflect some of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideas about society? 

2) Describe how this painters use of classical humanism and classicism in general is a break from earlier uses of classicism during the Renaissance. How does this style incorporate elements from Caravaggio’s and Velasquez’ paintings? 

3) How is this painter using references to classicism in a different way then other artists? How does the iconography of this painting reflect some of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideas about society? 

4)Both of these works are based on a treatises by two famous architects. Name both architects who wrote and or republished treatises and discuss these architects influence on these two buildings. Make sure you discuss how this architect has affected both the iconography and form of these structures.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Some Wash Drawings

I love pen and ink wash drawings so I've been doing a bunch and selling them on Etsy for about $25 each.  If you like one please visit my shop:

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Changing Face of Homelessness: A Collection of Portraits by Santa Clara University Photography Students

I'd like to invite you to attend an exhibit of photographs by students from Santa Clara College.

The exhibit, The Changing Face of Homelessness: A Collection of Portraits by Santa Clara University Photography Students
is in the 

Louie Meager Art Gallery of the Smith Center at Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Blvd. Fremont, California 94539
Reception Saturday April 28th from 6-8PM.

There will food, a jazz musician and Ohlone's Annual Dance Recital begins at 8:00pm in the Jackson Theatre across the hall.

This exhibit is open to all!

Here's a bit more about it:

The Changing Face of Homelessness features a collection of portraits created by Santa Clara University students who enrolled in the course Exploring Society through Photography, taught by Renee Billingslea from 2006-2011. In addition to learning camera function and examining ethics in photography, students visited local shelters and got to know individuals and families experiencing extreme poverty. Midway through the quarter, students held a "portrait day" and everyone living in the inn was invited to have their portrait taken free of charge. Later, they were given copies of the photographs.

Students haven taken great care to ensure that individuals are shown in a positive light as a continuing process of breaking down stereotypes perpetuated by our society. Oftentimes, the difference between the homeless population and ourselves is circumstance.

Prof. Kenney Mencher
Department of Art and Art History
Director Louie Meager Art Gallery
Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Blvd.
Fremont, California 94539

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monet's Ultraviolet Eye

Reblogged from:
ColorsColor Uncovered. Produced by the Exploratorium. 
Reviwed by Carl Zimmer

Late in his life, Claude Monet developed cataracts. As his lenses degraded, they blocked parts of the visible spectrum, and the colors he perceived grew muddy. Monet's cataracts left him struggling to paint; he complained to friends that he felt as if he saw everything in a fog. After years of failed treatments, he agreed at age 82 to have the lens of his left eye completely removed. Light could now stream through the opening unimpeded. Monet could now see familiar colors again. And he could also see colors he had never seen before. Monet began to see--and to paint--in ultraviolet.
We can turn light into vision thanks to the pigments in our eyes, which snatch photons and trigger electric signals that travel to our brains. We have three types of pigments tuned to violet, green, and red light. Birds, bees, and many other animals have additional pigments tuned to ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet vision has led to the evolution of ultraviolet color patterns. In some butterfly species, for example, the males and females look identical to the ordinary human eye. In UV light, however, the males sport bright patterns on their wings to attract the females. Many flowers have ultraviolet colors, often using them to get the attention of pollinating bees.
While each kind of pigment responds most strongly to a particular color, it can also respond more weakly to neighboring parts of the spectrum. The violet-tuned pigment, for example,can respond wealy to ultraviolet light, which has a higher frequency. Most of us don't get to experience that response, because our lenses filter out UV rays.
But Monet did. With his lens removed, Monet continued to paint. Flowers remained one of his favorite subjects. Only now the flowers were different. When most people look at water lily flowers, they appear white. After his cataract surgery, Monet's blue-tuned pigments could grab some of the UV light bouncing off of the petals. He started to paint the flowers a whitish-blue.
I just learned about Monet's super-vision while reading the lovely Color Uncovered, produced recently for the iPad by the Exploratorium of San Francisco, one of the best science museums on Earth. I don't quite know what to call Color Uncovered. Its iTunes page describes it as "an interactive book that features fascinating illusions, articles, and videos." Yet it feels like an elegantly designed museum exhibit poured into an iPad. Making matters more confusing, you have to go to the education category of the app store in iTunes to find it. When it comes to describing what it is we review here at Download the Universe, words often fail us. Sometimes that's a bad thing, because we're reviewing muddled products of muddled minds. In other cases--like this one--it just means that someone is making good use of several different genres, and melding them into something for which there's no good label.
One challenge to this kind of mixing is that different kinds of presentation work well in different formats. As a science writer, I know that the straight-news style of a story for the New York Times will fall hard on its face in a blog post. If you try to write a book as 20 magazine features, you'll end up with a disjointed mess. Television scripts have their own rules, as do tweets. I encountered the hardest rules of all while working on a museum exhibit. I had to write legends for a collection of objects ranging from whale bones to finch beaks. My instructions basically ran as follows: your audience is made up of ten-year-olds who are running through the room. You have to stop them and explain what they're looking at. And you only have fifty words in which to do so. Go.
Museum exhibits are good training for writing about science on apps. Color Uncovered contains 17 "chapters" covering a wide range of subjects related to color, from optical illusions to food dyes to why dogs shouldn't drive (they can't see stop signs). The text is sharp and concise. It doesn't delve deeply, the way a full-blown book might, but it does deliver instructive facts and stories. While children may get the most out of it, this adult enjoyed it as well.
Museum exhibit designers are also accustomed to combining text with images and interactive experiences, which is crucial for good ebook design. Colors Unlimited contains the classic afterimage illusion, for example, but it uses a built-in timer and other tricks to help you appreciate how your eyes create a color illusion after staring at an image for 30 seconds. It is even so bold as to instruct you to put a drop of water on the iPad screen, so that you can see how a white circle is created by red, green, and blue pixels.
Colors Unlimited doesn't last long. You'll probably spend as much time as you might strolling through a museum exhibit on the same subject. But you'll come away having learned something interesting, and, unlike many museums, Color Uncovered is free. In this case, you get a lot more than you paid for.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rembrandt and His Wash Drawings

I really love the wash drawings that Rembrandt made.  I think that there is a very modern kind of esthetic to them.  They are very gestural and about line quality. 

The handling of wash materials is incredible. 

The subjects of his drawings range from simple genre scenes to biblical stories.

These drawings have inspired me so much I made some for myself.  Of course I'm no Rembrandt but I can learn from him.  Here are some of my attempts at it:
You can by these on ETSY 

You can buy these on ETSY

You can buy this on ETSY

Similar blog posts about technique and the use and misuse of art history:


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nina Katchadourian and Flemish Self Portraits in a Bathroom

Nina Katchadourian made a series of Vermeer like self portraits in the bathroom of a plane. Here's what she did! It's brilliant!

 Her website:
Seat Assignment: Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style

Photographs, digital images, video and sound (2010 and ongoing)
While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror. The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture. I decided to add more images made in this mode and planned to take advantage of a long-haul flight from San Francisco to Auckland, guessing that there were likely to be long periods of time when no one was using the lavatory on the 14-hour flight. I made several forays to the bathroom from my aisle seat, and by the time we landed I had a large group of new photographs entitled Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style. I was wearing a thin black scarf that I sometimes hung up on the wall behind me to create the deep black ground that is typical of these portraits. There is no special illumination in use other than the lavatory's own lights and all the images are shot hand-held with the camera phone. At the Dunedin Public Art gallery, the photos were framed in faux-historical frames and hung on a deep red wall reminiscent of the painting galleries in museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Scroll down for more images.