Art Reflection Group project: Five Elements of design pre planning/research before the final idea

In the classes newest project we had to get in groups and work together to create a piece that used the five elements of design (focal point, texture, line, pattern, and negative space). The following reflections are from various people that were in my group.

Journal: At first we started out by looking at different forms of art that we could use to create the piece, we briefly looked at the idea of using cut paper, photography, mobiles, and paint before we decided to analyze different artists from various movements to help us form a better understanding of composition .

Piet Mondrian (Olivia):

Can an object have balance with a focal point?

He was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group, which was founded by Theo van Doesburg. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed Neo-Plasticism. This consisted of white ground, upon which was painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors. The de stijl movement often consisted in abstract, pared-down aesthetic centered in basic visual elements such as geometric forms and primary colors.  It means “the style” in Dutch, emerging largely in response to the horrors of World War I and the wish to remake society in its aftermath. Viewing art as a means of social and spiritual redemption, the members of De Stijl embraced a utopian vision of art and its transformative potential.

What is cubism?

what is fauvism?

what is pointilism?

Have these influenced Mondrian’s work?

We could adopt this simplistic quality that Mondrian uses. From looking at this piece, you can tell that the black shapes catch the eye the most, so if we use a similar range of colors, we could use black as our focal point. This also uses line, shape (geometric) and value, because there is a gradient from white to gray to black. However, if we wanted our focal point to be more conspicuous we might need to dullen the red and maybe even the yellow as well. We could cut different shapes out of paper, crumpling or folding some for texture, and arrange them in distinct ways and photograph them, and observe what is working within each arrangement. In addition, if we are placing these on a darker colored piece of paper as the background, we can easily manipulate the negative space while simultaneously creating line and visual tension. We can explore balance and if we want to vary the texture more we can incorporate photography and cut shapes out of different photos we have taken. However, I think that it would be a good starting point to just keep it simple and start with cut paper, and learn about what is successful and what elements are missing, and then we can move into photography.

Georges Braque- major 20th century painter, played a role in the development in Cubism.

Reflection on  Piet Mondrian: Piet Mondrian was one of the early artists we looked at due to his involvement in the De Stijl movement and his use of Color, varying textures through lines and shading, and vocal points were some key points that we took away from his work. And overall I think that he was someone valuable that we looked at considering our final piece implemented some similar ideas as his, mainly the use of color and vocal points I think.

Rob Ryan: (Clemi)

Rob Ryan is a british visual artist that specializes in paper cutting and screen printing. His work has been used for the covers of many books and magazines. He is incredibly skilled at creating intricate works, as seen below. He generally uses only one background paper colour which means that if we were to create an intricate paper cut out, we would not be able to have a focal point using colour. As seen below, we could use a large object as the focal point but it might not have the same effect as a coloured object. The focal point could also be made up of negative space as seen below in figure 2. As well as with the focal point, it would be relatively easy to create a cut out which had lines, negative space, and texture because of the way it is done. We could choose what type of texture, meaning either visual or physical texture, the latter of which may be harder to create/represent. Because the paper is cut out against a stark background (we could choose whichever colour we want to, possibly even colouring it multiple colours) it would result in very visible negative space, which could be used to various effects. Rob Ryan generally uses primary colours although he also uses neutral tones (and has a few works which are actually a medley of colours) which create less of a contrast between the white background so we need to consider this if we decide to do paper cuttings. We could incorporate various ideas that the group had into one project, such as paper cutting, photography, and other such things.

Reflection on Rob Ryan: What I take away most from Rob Ryan and his pieces are his various uses of visual texture that he puts into most of his pieces. He is a good artist to look into in this regard because he specializes in the intricate detailed texture pieces that really show what one can do with cut paper. Looking at him sort of helped our understanding of visual texture overall but we didn’t end up being heavily influenced my him considering we didn’t use any of the medians he uses (such as cut paper and screen printing). But he was a very interesting artist to look at and someone who I personally am interested in due to his use of cut paper.

Henri Matisse:

He was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid, Original draughtsmanship and as well as his cut outs towards the end of his career. In the late 1940s, Henri Matisse turned almost exclusively to cut paper as his primary medium, and scissors as his chief implement, introducing a radically new operation that came to be called a cut-out. Matisse would cut painted sheets into forms of varying shapes and sizes—from the vegetal to the abstract—which he then arranged into lively compositions, striking for their play with color and contrast, their exploitation of decorative strategies, and their economy of means. Initially, these compositions were of modest size but, over time, their scale grew along with Matisse’s ambitions for them, expanding into mural or room-size works. A brilliant final chapter in Matisse’s long career, the cut-outs reflect both a renewed commitment to form and color and an inventiveness directed to the status of the work of art, whether as a unique object, environment, ornament, or a hybrid of all of these.

Reflection on Matisse: What I think our group most took away from Matisse was his use of focal points and his use of negative space. I would say he did not influence our final piece at all but he did help us understand negative space more and how to better use it when actually trying to make a negative space piece.

Overall Reflection on pre planning/Research: The most influential piece of information we received from our research was probably when we examined Piet Mondrian and his works. I believe he was the only one of the artist that truly exercised the five elements of design in some of his pieces, this made him a very valuable asset to us early on when we needed to find an artist who used the five elements in a way we could understand and learn from and we found his work to be the most helpful early on.


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