I’m going to compress days four and five of my course into one post because on our fourth day, we mainly worked away on the two projects we’d started and spent the afternoon looking around the school at the work that other classes were doing. There was a jewelry class going on where they were making rings out of silver strips and cutting custom designs into them. My favorite, though, was the “That’s Sew Fabulous!” class. They’d bought sewing patterns from the craft store and were altering them to fit their own shapes better! I would ~so~ love to learn how to do this as most of what I buy fits a bit awkwardly. I will definitely look at taking this course next time around as I’ve always wanted to learn how to do more than sew buttons back onto a shirt.
There was a lot to cover on the fifth day. We discussed the emergence of Pop Art (think Andy Warhol) and Op Art (abstract art involving optical illusions), Surrealism, Minimalism and art in the mid-twentieth century. We were also introduced to a concept known as “synetics”, something that interests me greatly. Synetics describe a visual relationship between two unlikely objects and are used often in surreal art. In Dali’s infamous Persistence of Memory, clocks are painted to have characteristics of water, perhaps to symbolize the way time slips by in a fluid way. Surrealism is something I will be looking into much more in the future and the discussion of synetics was probably my favorite talk of this class. I only wish we could’ve spent more time on it.
We also went on a tour of the Ingrid Mueller gallery down town. I’ve walked by this place a million times to gawk in the windows but never actually went in until this point. It’s a beautiful small gallery that offers enough art to enrich the senses without overloading you: a great spot! We were asked to pick out a painting that we felt strongly about and to write a little bit on why it made us feel that way. I chose the one in the window, “A Farewell To The Hungry Ghost” by Marie Fox (please excuse the poor picture). EDIT: Here’s a better image from Ingrid Mueller’s tumblr!
My initial reaction to the work was on how beautiful and realistic it was. I thought that it was a photo-manipulation when I first saw it. The two faces and their expressions and their bright red hair against the bleak foggy background, the contrast of the foreground and background palettes…
The strongest elements in this work to me are the realism and color palettes. The bright, warm and opaque colors in the faces really bring them to the front while the cool, transparent washes push the trees and sky to the back. The dramatic shadows on the faces create a darkness in the expression: are they in danger? Are they in some kind of foreign, mystical world? Absolutely wonderful piece.
To record all of what I learned in this class would’ve taken me three times as many entries and I don’t think I could do it justice. To anyone that has even the slightest interest in abstract art (or even for those who despise it and question its merit), I invite them to go to a gallery and ask for a tour, or to open a book and read about it. Learning the concepts behind abstract art has given me such a large appreciation for it. It will be something I explore more in the new year and something that will improve even the non-abstract work I do.