Art 2 Final Portfolio
2. The project that I overcame the most obstacles was the portrait project of the Day of the Dead skull. The project also required that the portrait be made from unconventional materials. I chose to do my portrait of a Calavera or a Day of the Dead sugar skull. Making these Calaveras can be done as a craft in Spanish- Speaking countries where children make little edible skulls out of sugar for el dia de los muertos. I, however, did it a little differently. I wanted to make a life size skeleton face with the sugar paste. I decided to use my own sugar paste mixture that I made from scratch; this was the first obstacle. I have no experience with sugar paste so while I was mixing sugar and glue and egg whites (what?!) I was hoping for the best! Another obstacle was the sugar cubes that I used to make the rough base for the face. It was very difficult to determine the height and placement of the sugar cubes; I had to do a lot of measuring and comparing with Chick.
Once I had the base and the paste, I had to do my best to spread the substance over the base and make it resemble a skull. My random guessing ended up successful in terms of my sugar paste! It dried very hard and I was able to layer more on top. However, these obstacles were trivial compared to what was to come. Once I had finished with the paste, it was time to use the Dremil and sand-down and shape the rock-hard sugar. This was a seven day process (at least)! I struggled a lot with making the proportions correct and to keep my patience when I could only sand-down half a chin in one day. This was a really great project for me because of all the things I learned, and I don't mean how to make sugar skull paste. What I really learned from this project was how to take risks. In my past art projects I had never really let go and gone with the flow. I learned that sometimes it works out when you do something spontaneous and your artwork can benefit by taking crazy risks.
3. The art that I have created this year is very different than it has been in any other art class. Throughout the semester I have really grown as an artist. Starting with just a safe pencil drawing and finishing with a 3-D sculpture with mixed media my technique and artistic vision has changed a lot. I have started to think more outside the box and not worry as much about the final product. The first piece where I started taking small risks was the Up, Close and Personal project. I started to think more creatively about the theme and materials used. Though it was a very small risk, I tried layering the ink and watercolor. This shows how I slowly eased into new techniques. Later on in the year, when I had developed more in creativity, my projects became more advanced. One example of this was the proportion project. I do not think I would have thought of putting a clay man in a jar with fireflies at the beginning of the year. I extended the boundaries of my art and used clay, solder, glass, wire and thin metal to create this project. As I was working on it, I was constantly developing new ideas about how to do things.
I chose to describe these two projects to compare how much my projects have changed during this class. I have challenged myself in many areas such as materials (fireflies made out of metal and beads), techniques and skills (soldering clay to metal), artistic vision (making a face out of sugar), use of principals and elements (working with positive and negative space), creativity (Up, close, and personal), and use of subject matter (narwhals for what's the point).
4. This change in teaching was critical to my learning experience in this course. In Art 1 last year I learned how to make perspective, how to blend pastels, and draw the same piece of fruit as the rest of the class. While that was helpful, it did not allow for very much creativity. So when I came to Mr. Sands class I was still in the Art 1 mindset. After a few days passed and I heard "Sands stories" about all the crazy things kids have done in class. I realized that I was not going to be told what to draw or paint and no idea would be put down. I would never have produced the projects I did this year in an environment like the one in Art 1. As stated before, the biggest things I learned this year was how to take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, and experiment with new materials.
Thanks Mr. Sands!