Art 2 Final Portfolio

Piece #1- Most Successful Project

       I believe that my most successful project this semester is the self portrait that I created out of black and white photographs. For this assignment, we were asked to create a self portrait, but rather than create it using normal materials, we were tasked with the challenge to use unconventional materials. When I began the process of creating this, I started thinking of what materials I may want to use. It was easy to think of materials that would be simple to use, but I was not feeling inspired by any of my ideas. I began to think of what truly made up a person, so I chose to use black and white photographs of my family. I took a photo of myself and then photo-shopped it so that it would clearly show the values of the picture. I then cut out the black and white photos into the values that they consisted of and used them to shape the values that were in the face. While this method may not have been as simple as some other materials used would have been, but I am really happy with how this turned out. 
    I think that this is my most successful project because I made some smart artistic decisions that I believe definitely enhanced the overall success of the piece. I really considered the shape of the face as well as how the light source read in the photograph and through that, was able to make good contrast between the lights and the darks, creating value. Also, I think that the composition of the piece works really well, because the focal point, the face, is off centered, creating a pleasing visual to the eye. I feel like all of the projects that we did leading up to this one truly aided me in making these artistic decisions, even though I wasn't using traditional materials people would think of to create a work of art. For example, the "Up Close and Personal" project really taught me a lot about the importance of emphasis as an element, so I was able to transfer that knowledge. Another reason why I think that this was my most successful piece is because I was really emotionally connected to it as an artist. If I learned anything this semester, it is that in order to create a good work of art, you have to be passionate about what you're doing, or you won't be happy with the outcome, and I think that the whole process of creating this aided me in learning that.

Piece #2- Most Obstacles
    The piece that gave me the most challenges this semester was the portrait that I created of the roses made using masking tape. I think that I was definitely able to overcome the obstacles that I encountered along the way, however, in ways that ultimately benefited the final piece. The main challenge to me was creating the main rose out of tape, of all things! First of all, it was very sticky :) Also, it was challenging to create rhythm and repetition in the piece, which was the main focus of the assignment. For me, it's difficult to use the same details and methods throughout a whole piece. I usually create pieces that have one focal point that the eye is automatically drawn to, so for me, this required some venturing out of my comfort zone. Ultimately, I was able to incorporate "me" into this by making the one rose larger than all the other, but also create rhythm by using the same color scheme throughout as well as bringing the tape into the background flowers. 
    The main obstacle that I ran in to, however, is the fact that it is very easy to create something when you have a template right in front of you, or you have done something like it before. For me as an artist, frankly, I find that boring. All of those years of coloring inside the lines in the same colors as all the other kids taught me that in order to grow into the artist that I want to be, I need to draw my own lines. In this case, I need to make my own flower... out of tape :) It was definitely challenging to pave my own path in creating this, kind of coming up with the design as I went along, but when I look back at this painting, I can truly say that I grew as an artist from it. Taking this risk instead of just painting something on a blank canvas (been there, done that) helped me to realize the potential that I have as an artist, as well as how much room I have to grow! 

Pieces #3 and #4- Most Growth
    The piece that I completed for our very first project this semester I think represents my growth as an artist and displays very well the skills that I have acquired. While this was only the first project that I completed in Art II, I believe that it shows a lot of direction for me from where I was an artist to where I am now and where I have left to go. For this assignment, we were asked display the theme "What's the Point?." Previously, I would have just created, well, something with a point. I feel like I really broadened my creativeness with this because I was able to think outside of the box. I interpreted the theme to mean something with a unique point of view. I decided to create differing points of view, one more dark and dreary than the other, to show good contrast, both with art elements as well as in literal meaning. I think that my vision came across really clearly in this piece and that is something that I will be able to take with me into future projects. 
    Also with this assignment, we were asked to show contrast as a main element in our piece. I think that with this piece, I was able to improve my approach to incorporating this element. Rather than simply using contrasting colors or sizes, I used materials that contrasted as well as two differing ideas. I think overall, I really improved in my use of artistic elements as well as following my intuition as an artist. I think that the skills that I gained throughout this project were definitely used in my later projects.
    The final piece that I completed I believe is a good representation of my growth as an artist this semester. For this assignment, we were introduced to the idea of an altered book, which is a book that you carve different layers into. It was complicated to get started on this, but once I had a good design planned out, it was a really fun and unique project. While was it was an unconventional  piece using materials that I don't usually work with, I think that the skills that I applied will definitely be able to be carried on to more projects. For example, to be successful in this final piece, I really had to think about the overall composition. Planning out which shapes I would cut in which layers helped me to understand the importance of getting a good composition to enhance the overall design. I also grew as an artist by growing in my understanding of how to get a good proportion and scale by making the white "paper" the largest shape and the other shapes smaller. Finally, I learned the importance of going out of my comfort zone on a project, something that can only be learned with experience. Although I was skeptical about this project at first because I don't usually work with unconventional materials, I think that in the end, that ultimately helped me to grow as an artist, and approach things in a new way. Working with a new material has taught me skills that I will definitely be able to use in future projects. 

    I have grown so much as an artist this semester, and I am truly grateful for the experience that I have had. I can not wait to see where this growth will take me as it has helped me develop a new passion for art! 

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