Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Reflection on the Year

My year in art ended a lot differently than I had envisioned it would. At the beginning of this year, I had signed up for art 4 and didn't intend to continue onto AP Art. I was intimidated by the prospect of completing 24 pieces especially within the time constraints. However, as art 4 progressed I became more confident in my skills. In art 4 I had the opportunity to try many medias I had never used before. My first piece was using Prismacolor Colored Pencils, something I had never done before. I enjoyed the challenge of being so precise with my lines and shapes and the ability to blend colors. I also had the opportunity to paint with oils, something I had always wanted to try but had never had the opportunity to use. I've painted with acrylics for years but oils provided a unique set of challenges and results. I quickly learned that painting with oils required much advanced planning. Oils take weeks to dry, so when I decided I wanted to change my painting, I had to wait weeks to do so. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the texture and saturated colors oils could achieve.

Through my breadth I really wanted to focus on exploring the principles of art and design. One challenge I faced through all my pieces was establishing value. In my prismacolor pieces, I established a depth of values by layering the colors and by adding in darks shades of blues and violets. In my pen and ink pieces, I darkened some areas by making my strokes closer together and larger in width. I also explored the element of space through my breadth pieces. Over the course of the class, I worked to develop better compositions and to utilize the forms of the objects as well as the negative spaces that exist. From my earlier pieces, like the foil still life and pencil shoes to my later pieces such as the shells I painted, my utilization of space became more sophisticated and interesting. I used not just the object of the shells, but also added to the interest of the piece by considering how the interior spaces of the shells and the negative spaces between them would affect the overall feeling of the piece.

As the year progressed I experimented more with prismas and oils, as well as pen and ink. I grew more confident with my skills and I was beginning to consider continuing on into AP Studio Art. About halfway through art 4 we were assigned to paint a landscape piece. I'd dabbled in watercolors throughout the years and decided I wanted to give them a try for that piece.
The scene I chose was a photo I had taken while in Budapest, Hungary. The scene had rich blues, reds and greens which I put in using lots of layers and water washes. Watercolors enabled me to make both loose strokes and coloring as well as fine details. 

I finally found my stride painting in watercolors and decided to continue onto AP Art. This year has been one of tremendous changes for me and I wanted to explore that idea through my concentration. After considering a variety of ideas I decided I wanted to focus on the idea of home, what "home" has meant to me throughout my life, what it means to me now, and what it means looking forward to the future. 

My concentration centers around the notion of home and the evolution of the role of home throughout a person’s life. Through exploring the different physical manifestations of the idea of home, I investigated how the concept of home grows with a person, how home is simultaneously where we come from and where we are going.Through my concentration I wanted to portray the different roles home has taken on at different points in my life. Through pieces one and four, I focused on home as where my ancestors came from. The landscapes of Hungary were home to my ancestors and are an important component of who I am. Through works two and seven, I expressed the home of my childhood, how I grew up and who I grew up with. Projects six and twelve delved into how the customs and traditions of my family and country play  a defining role in my life. Piece ten looks toward the future and the new ways my home will change and again expand as I go to college next year.

Throughout this year, I wavered about whether I would submit an AP portfolio but after going back and forth many times I decided to do so. I couldn't be more happy that I did. This year has challenged me as an artist and student more than I have ever been challenged before. I have ventured into trying new mediums, worked under tight time constraints, and learned more about setting up my own compositions. While there were definitely stressful parts, of all my experiences this year, completing my AP portfolio is one of the most rewarding. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to push and challenge myself and to see what I'm capable of creating.