Sunday, May 24, 2009

More School Stuff

I'm almost at the halfway point of my class and it has been so intriguing. I wish it could go on forever. There is so much to learn and I'm only scraping the surface. I was really surprised by how much of my second class was made up of Japanese art. One thing that people forget is that art doesn't occur in a vacuum. When the first Japanese prints were exhibited at the Crystal Palace in London in 1851, it ushered in the era of modernity and Western artists began to borrow Eastern elements depicting time and space. Similarly, Japanese artists gave perspective a shot as well as shadows and value. It was such a fascinating class - the differences are obvious, but sometimes one doesn't know until someone tells you!

Lately we have been looking at German art up to World War 2 with a brief detour to Soviet propaganda. It's fair to say that Hitler set the design world back a good few years. In fact, there was one class where Bozenna used the word "degenerate" to describe every work. San-serif fonts, anything modern and not like "the old way" was considered degenerate. As a result, many German architects and designers, like Mies Van Der Rohe, brought their style to North America as it was hard to find work in Nazi Germany.

I'm almost finished my research paper on Franz Marc. I think it's going to be quite enjoyable...I just need one last paragraph, then fix up my citations.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Me, My Mess and My Model Horses!

I'm having almost too much fun making movies now. Here's one from a few weeks ago as I aim to clean up my downstairs work area. I'm hoping that organized will equal productivity, especially as I have a contest deadline coming up. Eek!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Back to School!

I was a woeful ball of nerves today until I actually got to class. I was walking around in pointless circles trying to remember if I had forgotten anything, and then even catching the train caused some anxiety. As Calgary Transit is a relatively poor system of public transportation, I just couldn't trust that it would get me there in time. I work just down the road from the art college, but on Tuesday mornings I'm on the opposite side of the city.

I think I'm going to like this class! There is only one assignment, a research paper, and there were lots of good topics to choose from, but I think I'll take "Option 2" and pick a painting to write about. I could pick a Eugene Delacroix or a Franz Marc - they render horses so lovingly :-)

One of the reasons I'm so enthusiastic about this class is that I think it will answer a personal question for me - "How the heck did we get here?" Modernity spans 1851-1933, or perhaps even 1945. Although there really hasn't been a time when humans have not been under stress, this period was particularly stressful due to industrialization, war, political changes and changes to the social fabric. It's going to be a fascinating journey!