Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Lady with an Ermine" ? ? ?

This is an odd painting by Leonardo da Vinci, circa. 1490. It's entitled "Lady with an Ermine". I don't know what attracted me to feature this as one of my own "oh so elaborate, in-depth, life-changing elaborate art evaluations". Perhaps it's that I feel as if Leonardo had a sense of a humor whilst commissioning this piece. I like to imagine him painting this and thinking "Maiiiinnnn. This woman be crazy, holdin a ermine and makin me paint her and dat nasty thang."----- What even is an ermine? Google time. Oh. It's a weasel. Why is she holding a weasel? 15th century women are crazy. Oh. Now to get to the elements and principles of art hidden within this exhilarating portrait. Oh, they're in there, hiding in the ermine's eyes, no doubt.. Just look in those eyes... Gaze deep... Deeper... Deeper. Ah. There's that life-changing experience. Now you can go around and tell people you've stared into the eyes of an ermine.... Let's study little leo's painting now! Okay, here's the analysis of the principles and elements. So one thing that I've noticed and am surprised immensely by... is Leonardo's use of line, shape/form, space/perspective, or rather, lack thereof. He seems to do quite well, no surprise there, on the colors and values of the woman's clothes. He follows the contours and records them very well... Every shadow, every crevice of them, recorded with the need of a shadow or highlight. He clearly understands how to paint a value scale. Notice how he paints her skin, and how he also tries to apply this process to it as well. It's not as detailed and precise as the clothing, though. Now notice how he applies this detail on the ermine as well.  However... Look at the woman again. There are some trivial details that I deem... Unexpected... from Da Vinci. First, look at her headband. There is no use of perspective there. It is simply a straight line across her forehead and her hair. It doesn't follow her head, or curve to imply that her head is round. IT ISN'T FLAT, LEO! While you're near her head, also, notice the unibrow looking thing. (What?) Second, notice her hair. He uses the correct value on it, yes, but THERE'S NO LINE. It simply looks like a giant blob to me. If he had used line on her hair with that use of value, it would have created a wonderful example of implied texture. Another thing I noticed... He didn't use perspective or form/shape on her necklace correctly, either. It looks like he simply painted circles on her neck. There isn't enough emphasis on the value to manipulate it to look like a sphere. While we're at it, look at the background. Black? Feeling depressed today, Da Vinci?
All in all, I think leo coulda stepped up his game on this a bit. Come on leo. Get serious, bruh. I don't care if she's holding an ermine and you can't help from laughing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bucknell University ( and maybe a few others :3 )

Let me introduce you to the private, non-profit Bucknell University, of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. You may be like "Clayton. You is crazy. Why PA, bruh?" I don't know. Shut up and listen to me talk about it. Get out of my life if you don't want to listen. :) I really have no idea why I'm so intensely drawn toward schools in Pennsylvania. This is legitimately the 4th college there that I've been considering. Possibly due to my ability to make things more difficult than they're supposed to be, of no surprise, all of these colleges are difficult to get into to, or extremely expensive. This one is no exception. The minimum ACT scores required by the college are a 27-31. Wowowowoww! So obviously chock full of smart people.... Good. That's what I enjoy.... Let's see the out of state tuition... *scrolly scrolly... lookie lookie...* OH MY GOD. WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN... $50,000 tuition. Screw life. Although, there is an average $23,000 scholarship/ financial aid. Let's see admission rate.... *hesitantly scrolly... sad face* 30% acceptance. PENNSYLVANIA, Y U NO MAKE MY LIFE EASY? I'll link the website that I find all of this on at the very end of this. In fact, let's just ALL THE LINKS at the bottom. Alas, tiempo to get serious for a second. I really enjoy this college. It seems very successful with all of these benefits: 1:10 teacher/student ratio, 97% of professors have the highest degree in their field, 67% of students say they have manageable workload, students are teachers are friendly, 93% of students come back after their first year, gives credit for AP CLASSES... It seems fun! Most popular majors are Social Sciences & Liberal Arts, and Language & Literature. My kindof school. :333 I explored the website of the actual University for a while, and it seems quite interesting. I am legitimately considering this school now for my higher education after my basics here in Kentucky. I just hope that my debt won't be too large. It sucks that the school is so expensive. But I'm extremely drawn towards it. I couldn't really find a specific application process for the arts department, however, I saved a few links that are helpful. Here they are. :)) 

Summarized info about Bucknell:

School website:

Admissions (application) website:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What is Art? (Article Brief)

Clayton Tracy
Mrs. Stamper

  • This article was composed by Marilina Maraviglia. She is a college student, a translator, and a freelance writer. I will only summarize the first 3 parts, as the article is very, very long. Check for yourself, if you wish. She starts out the article asking "What is Art?". To me, that is a question like "What is the meaning of life?" I believe that art is what we make of it, and. like most things in life, what we put into it is what we get out of it. She gives the literal definition of art, "...something that expresses an idea, an emotion, or, more generally, a world view." She then goes on to argue how the definition of art has changed with the time period, and how it is a "controversial topic". I do slightly agree with her about art changing over the time period, but not necessarily the definition of art being "controversial". Regardless of however many different cultures have different views on what art is "considered", I believe that art is simply a way that humans connect with one another, and show off their OWN culture, as not two cultures of the world have exactly the same perspective on something.
  • In the second part of her article, she appeals to two professional european artists, Alexander Daniloff and Johnathan Ball, to explain the where traditional art met contemporary. Alexander explains that one cannot trace a straight line back to this point, but rather, a few parabolas, or... a spiral. He then goes on to explain the types of artwork he enjoys, and then artist Johnathan Ball explains his digital design work, and says "Yes, most definitely (we can draw a line from traditional to contemporary art). Many of the same techniques are used, just in slightly different ways and with different tools. The same principles apply, however you create art." I don't particularly care the part of the article where the artist explain the type of artwork they enjoy, I simply care for the topic, how tradition met contemporary. They go off on these little talks about their own artwork, artwork they don't like, etc., but they do have interesting views on how the two subjects met, as I've highlighted in italics. I agree completely with Daniloff, as there are many upon many different sub-categories of artwork and not all of them had reached the "tradition-contemporary line" at the same point. I, however, do not agree with Ball. He claims that the same techniques and principles are applied when you create art, you just do it with different tools than people  in the past did. No. No no no no no no. Some techniques die out, and some new are born. Some principles of art are outdated, and new are created. Even though there are the basic principles of art, movement, harmony, unity, etc., people who created traditional art may not have necessarily even known what some of those techniques were. I can guarantee you not all of those techniques were commonly known until the contemporary time period. Regardless, both artists are qualified to talk about where they believe contemporary met traditional, and have the right to their own opinion. 
  • In her third part of the article, she speaks of aesthetics in digital art. She argues that because of the effortlessness that a person can put into a digital artwork, many people believe that it isn't really art or an art form by itself. She, again, appeals to an artist, Jan Willem Wennekes. I completely agree with Wennekes on most everything that she says about digital art. She claims that, digital art is just like an other art form, where one must master the tools, for example, color theory, position of lighting, and once one does master these, their artwork shows it. Regardless of what form of art it is. Wennekes then goes on to talk about how digital art is, in a sense, an overlap of all kings of different art forms, as shown by how some digital art look like photographs, some look like paintings, etc. 
  • I would have read the rest of the article and posted about it, but it's just toooooooo long. I would have so much writing to do and be sitting here for hours. I hope you get the jist of it all from these 3 paragraphs. :)