Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Artist Equivalent

I Create Original Work:
Though I replicated a family photograph, I manipulate the photograph a little bit.  In the photo, someone's finger obscures the top right corner.  I knew the room that the picture was taken in, so I was able to take that out.  Details of the painting were also modified to fit my skill level, because I haven't painted anything of this intensity ever.  So, this wasn't entirely someone else's image, even though it is in essence.
       The goal of this project was to paint in the style of a chosen artist, and mine was Mary Cassat. I am not very happy with how I painted in that respect--Mary Cassat was an impressionist for the most notable part of her career, and she used brighter colors, mixing the colors on the canvas, scorning the colors black and using concrete lines.  I didn't feel that I was skilled enough to mix my paints on the canvas--though I did experiment with that on the wall on the background and the cabinet--and I used black because black was used in the photograph.  And I absolutely felt that I could not paint a coherent picture without lines to guide me.  That I couldn't do this was disappointing, because I admire her style of art, but it gives me a greater appreciation of what impressionists did.

I Communicate Through My Art:
I wanted to create a piece of art like Mary Cassat's, and she was most notable for her portraits of mothers and children.  "The private, inner lives of women," one website phrased it  (  When I started, I had the idea of doing children, or, my younger brother.  I was looking through boxes of pictures when I spotted the one of him sitting on my cousin's lap.  It is strongly reminiscent of Mary Cassat's paintings, because it's a younger figure relying on an older one (in the photograph, and I don't know if you can tell this in the painting, but my cousin's hands are cradling my brother's feet, making sure he doesn't fall), but it has modern elements.   I think that I was trying to communicate was the fact that no matter what the time period, or the gender of the people involved, there can still be a connection between them.

I Developed My Art Making Skills:
Yes, yes I did.  I haven't painted anything but color wheels in so long, so it was so difficult to get all the different values, and make sure I didn't splatter paint in the wrong place (that happened so many times), or to match values to what I had the previous day . . . I also learned about the application of paint.  I wasn't good enough to create the illusion of actual fabric, but I think I made the walls textured enough, and maybe the skin. I also think I accomplished the cabinets in the back very well.  I created value between the shelves by mixing a darker gray and then putting a bit of water into it, so it went on thinner.
       I think the background was the most 'impressionist,' because there I was the most fearless.  I knew that if I made a mistake on the walls, I could easily fix it.  If I painted more, I would defiantly be better at it, and hopefully I would be able to mimic, at least partially, the style of Mary Cassat.

A rough color draft.
A portrait I did as a draft, to help myself understand painting.
The original photograph.
It looks better in real life, I wear. Only a little, but, still.
A secondary planning sketch.