For an art experience outside of school, I went to the VMFA. I didn't go to a specific exhibit because you have to buy tickets, so I just went for general admission.
The things that caught my eye were impressionist works, because that's what we had been studying. I also saw a piece by Picasso, which is relevant as we just started to study cubism with the Connect reading and the video we watched in class.
After doing the impressionist landscape painting, I have a newfound fascination with brushstroke. I find it really interesting to think that the marks I'm seeing were put down by an actual person's brush, that a real person actually painted this. I'm not sure if I'm articulating my thoughts well, but essentially I like the history and real-ness that brushstrokes give to a painting. This is why I have detail shots of many paintings I photographed. I also looked at the landscapes in particular.
I also tried to find sculptures to inspire me for the upcoming sculpture project. I have an idea of what I want to do already, but I'm not really sure how to execute it. So, when I found sculptures that I liked, I wanted to photograph them to look at them later. We studied Calder in Art I at my middle school, though I never developed an affinity for his work. I did find it interesting to see and recognize his work at the museum, though. (This is the same reason I photographed the Edward Hopper piece! I recognized it right away.) I found Mucha's "Nature" intriguing, with the coiling headpiece that wraps and drapes around the figure. The flowing movement was very nice to me.
Barye's "Pheasant" was just cute to me. There were three versions of it, and the one I photographed was the model, not the final. They all looked like they could be the same sculpture except for small differences. The final was darker and had less color variation than the model, which I found strange. I'm curious as to why Barye changed what he did between the three versions. (I'm wishing I had taken pictures of all of them now.) Degas' horses were intriguing in their strange forms. Both of them kind of give an air of falling apart, which I'm not sure if they literally are or if Degas created them that way. In some horses displayed, there were spaces where the armature was clearly visible. I'm not sure why I'm drawn to the twisty-tiny legs of the Prancing Horse. It's almost like it's decaying. It would be interesting to find out if Degas created them in this falling-apart aesthetic or if they have naturally become this way. (I hoped this article would help but unfortunately I found no answers.) The past three sculptures mentioned were all made out of wax, something I hadn't thought of using before.
Overall, this trip was a fun, brief, interesting look at some art I expected to find, and some that I didn't. While it did more for me in terms of aesthetic appreciation ("wow, I like this piece of art") rather than applying it to my work ("wow, I want to emulate this piece of art"), it was still a positive experience.
Kristin Hines - Student artist at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School