Jen’s September Post (Late Bloomer to Art)

10 Oct

I have always enjoyed making art and art history; however, I never thought of myself as an artist to until I was in high school.  I made doodles and would draw for school like most people.  When I started taking summer classes at the Art Institute in Chicago, and I realized how much I enjoyed drawing and the over all creative process.  Being around the works of from the past only nurtured my new interests.

My class would make a lot of trips to the Art Institute’s collections to see examples of portraits and landscapes.  I had the privilege to frequent the museum for free with the help of my student ID.  I would go to see the impressionist collection and study how the artists would use color.  Looking at the surrealists I could see how they used art to transcend to worlds beyond the present one.

I felt like I was directly learning from the masters.  I was motivated to keep learning.  Today I’m still motivated to look at the works of the past and learn what I can use to better my work.


Aaron’s September Post

7 Oct

As a graphic design major, Art History affords me references for effective visual communication.  Learning about the climate of circumstances that produced important works of art makes me aware of the ultimate message I want to convey and its consequences.  I am also trained in how other perceptions formulate – though I will be constantly learning how the messenger can shape the way ideas are received.

Being aware of culture and its role in artistic expression expands my scope and strengthens my ability to share vision and influence the world around me.


5 Oct

One-point perspective occurs when you are looking at an object (such as a box) straight on from a plane. The object moves back in space. A box with parallel, even lines starts to appear distorted.

With 3-point perspective (above example), you can experience it in a real life situation such as when you are standing close to the corner of a building, looking up.  Along the horizon, there is a vanishing point in the distance to your right and one in the distance to your left.  The third extends upward to the sky.  The further you move back away from that building’s corner, the skyward vanishing point literally… vanishes!  The lines that were converging to that point start to become parallel, and you slip into 2-point perspective (your left and right horizon vanishing points).

Two-point perspective has two vanishing points. In the horse above the vanishing point is on the right and left. The lines are perpendicular and parallel.

When I illustrate cities and buildings, I use two point perspectives to build up the scene.  It also lines up other objects in the scene like a lamp post or how the patrons walk. It anchors the drawing and helps build the composition too.


Giorgione’s The Tempest is atmospheric perspective. Objects in the foreground are clearer and larger. Objects in the background appear to be hazier and further away, despite the two-dimensional canvass.

Raphael’s The School of Athens is one-point perspective. The vanishing point is on the back wall at the center of the painting. The walls, columns, etc. all meet at this vanishing point.

Danielle’s September Post

3 Oct

For as long as I can remember, art has been a part of my life.  I have always been an artistic person and I credit that talent to my father.  He is the first artist I have ever known.  Because of him, I am at Columbia.  From him, I learned to draw and how to take photographs.  I can’t even remember the first time I held an SLR camera, I was that young.  As a child, I remember drawing random things and as I got older I remember my drawings getting better and better.  I would watch my dad in amazement; I would be in awe at how well he could draw, and I remember wishing I could be as good as him.  I didn’t really begin to focus my talent until the fourth grade, when I realized that I loved to design clothing.  It was then that I really tried to become better at what I did.  I would draw every day, sometimes for hours.  I still have my original drawings to this day.  I discovered how serious I was about designing once I got to high school and took a fashion design class there. I was encouraged by both parents to pursue designing.  My parents showed me old magazines and old fashion photography books for inspiration, and by my senior year I was certain that art school was for me. I realize now, after a few years of growth and misguided decisions, that art will always be a part of me.  It’s not just a fad, or something I can just turn my back on.  It is something that I can incorporate into my life every day and something that I can be proud to make a career out of.

Hartley’s September Post

29 Sep

Art has always been a part of my life. I was very fortunate to have grown up in a family with a healthy appetite for travel. I’ve been to Europe multiple times and have seen some of the greatest works of art in living history. At first, I hated being in cities where no one understood what I was saying. I hated not being able to read the menus. I hated walking around for hours and hours. But little by little, I began to appreciate what I was seeing. I started to realize that not many people would have the opportunities that I was afforded. I started to look at brush strokes closer and closer. I was about 12 when I started to really love art. Not art in a sense of art boxes and drawing my pet or pretty flowers, but <i>real</i> art.

Growing up with an artistic mother always helped. She didn’t mind spending money on new art supplies or frames for my newest masterpieces. She always fostered my love for art and helped it to grow. She encouraged me to travel when I was done with school to see all the things that I’ve seen with “new eyes.” I still haven’t been able to travel much (as I’m in my fifth year of college), but I will. I plan on turning all of my past experiences and my 50,000 different art history classes into <i>new</i> experiences, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Egg Tempera

20 Sep

This was our group’s combined effort exploring egg tempera:

The following is a midieval egg tempera painting that displays the common theme of mixing Christian symbolism with pagan styles of the British Isles during the 6th Century.  It is called a “carpet”, because it would have filled an entire page of an illustrated sacred manuscript, such as the Lindisfarn Gospels. One can easily see how mesmerized an illiterate peasant of the time might have been. –Aaron Brown



Lindisfarn Gospels Carpet Page

Lindisfarn Gospels Carpet Page


The following is a more contemporary egg tempera painting.  It was done by Richard Toft. Upon researching his work, I noticed that he has a very serene and peaceful quality of his paintings. They give you a sense of relaxation and calm. This particular painting below is my favorite of his, called Pacu.  It is egg tempera on museum board.

Pacu in egg tempera by Richard Toft

(Each of us will add a sentence introducing our egg tempera picture above these temporary instructions.  The text will be aligned right and the image will be centered.  The last one to enter their part should delete these lines)