Very close to completing my old master recreation! Only the underside of the fabric, the arm, and far sleeve left to shade. The more I use the ebony and charcoal pencils the more comfortable I am with them and the more ready I am to move onto my next project with them!
Using the old masters mark I have been practicing on the Kenyon Cox recreation project, I am just beginning a self portrait. The process has only just begun, and I have only gridded a small portion, and even that still needs refining. The composition is arranged with me slightly in the lower left hand corner looking to the right.
Zakaria Ramhani, a Moroccan visual artist, creates his artwork using the strokes of Arabic calligraphy in different colors to present an image, frequently a face. To the left, "Faces of Your Other 29," is probably one of my favorite modern style paintings of all time, and as soon as I saw it I could not look away. The way that the image is composed of even smaller stands of artwork in the form of calligraphy blows me away. I also love the color scheme that is bright yet understated. This piece helps me understand how to create forms in way other than photorealism, which I am most comfortable with.
The Kenyon Cox recreation has continued to progress, and I have finally begun to understand the light and tight hatching technique used on the original. Instead of hatching that moves with the fabric, it mostly flows in only one direction and becomes darker in the shadowed areas. Hopefully the more I complete the more accurate I will become!
I have just begun to add value in charcoal pencil and ivory graphite at the bottom of the drawing. It still needs a lot of work before the value looks more smooth and put together.
In this project I am currently recreating an Old Master style drawing by Kenyon Cox. I have just finished my gridding and base sketch for the piece. So far I am fairly happy with it, although I am unsure if I should use graphite or charcoal pastel for the final product.
The article Whistler v Ruskin describes what happened when early modern art was questioned. James Abbott McNeill Whistler was a man who painted modernist art in the later 1800’s. His style was very shocking for the time, with aesthetically soft yet severe techniques that often mocked and juxtaposed. In a time where modernism was not yet a normal occurrence, his paintings received a harsh a bitter review from an art critic, John Ruskin, pegging Whistler as a conman. Set in a very different time and place, the second article titled Arab Spring, is very much a similar story. This article addresses the unique modern styles evolving within the Middle East in recent years, and how they are beginning to expand into the West despite slow progress in the past.
One underlying similarity between the two articles is their similar stories of modernism blooming. In the article focusing on Whistler, modern art was about to become a huge area of interest with a massive audience, however was not quite there yet. As the second article says many times, modern art of the Middle East is not necessarily new but only just opening up large-scale to areas of the West, and has been gaining followers as it progresses. In both cases, the artists are trying to break out of the artistic norm of the time, Whistler against the non-modern painters and Middle Eastern with artists of the West making much more money and recognition for similar styles. Just like Whistler faces the obstacle of harsh critiques and skepticism, Middle Eastern artists struggle with government control in places of current unrest as well as Westerners hesitation to open up to them, as well as critics claiming they are "copying" modern art of the West.
While reading these, I was much more surprised while reading the Arab Spring article than the Whistler v Ruskin. This was mostly because I knew more about the modernism spread across Europe and the United States, however I knew very little of the modernist movement currently developing elsewhere. When I think of the Middle East, bold and contemporary art is to what I think of, and this article helped me open up my mind. I really enjoyed the art included as pictures in the Arab Spring writing that allowed me to understand exactly what is happening in those countries as the movement continues on, and I wish that the Whistler article had included images of his art. Overall, I can see one ginormous theme, and that is the question “what is art” being processed by a society of people. This is very interesting to see play out, as in European and American countries it started out slow and criticized, turned in an Empire of art. Based on what has happened so far, it seems that the same art revolution has begun to take hold of Middle Eastern countries.