Last year I felt my most successful piece of work was my self-portrait. It was the first time I had ever used charcoal and I knew I wanted to experiment with it some more over the summer to see what I could do. So, I worked on a smaller scale compared to my self portrait to begin. I chose to do my drawings of nature, its' beauty and the animals that live in it. I had the incredible experience of helping hundreds of baby sea turtles hatch and find their way into the ocean and decided to capture that memory in one of my drawings. As I worked more with charcoal, I became more comfortable with it and hope I can continue to improve upon my drawing skills in the coming year.
The School of Athens
Raphael’s School of Athens typifies the ideals of the High Renaissance in a myriad of ways. The painting
melds paganistic themes and imagery with Christian architectures and compares old classical masters with the new, commenting on how the discoveries of antiquity are present in modern thought. It symbolizes humanism and the conjoinment of ancient Greek, Hellenistic culture and Renaissance ideals and perspectives. The overall message of this masterpiece is “we are as they were”.
In this painting, Raphael illustrated the idea that Renaissance artists were just as innovative and spectacular as the philosophers of ancient, Hellenistic Greece. He depicts this by painting several Renaissance artists as philosophers. For instance, one of the prominent figures in the painting is Leonardo da Vinci, who is portrayed as Plato with his hand pointing to the sky, indicating Plato’s idea that all philosophy and ideas come from the Gods and from the Heavens. Beside him is Aristotle, whose hand is palm down, suggesting that all ideals and philosophy come from the observation of the real world and from the Earth. Together, these two figures represent the Renaissance ideas of Heaven and Earth coming together in the philosophy of Humanism, the main belief during the Renaissance (symbolized by a circle within a square).
To further his belief, Raphael painted Heroclitus, a philosopher who believed that suffering and despair are a part of life. Heroclitus assumed the role of the melancholy, moody, perfectionist Michelangelo (sassy Jesus); the creator of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, located in St. Peter’s Basilica. The School of Athens is also housed in this church. Bromante, the designer of the Basilica,is portrayed as Euclid, the father of modern day Geometry, symbolizing his mathematical genius and his superlative skills. The background of this painting is the unfinished Basilica, as it appeared in 1509. To even further instill his belief “we are as they were”, Raphael paints the carvings of Athena and Apollo into the walls of the Basilica, and displays mythological figures in the sea of
Raphael painted himself in the undulating wave of philosophers to show that he is one of the greats and that he will not be forgotten as the ages of time wear on. He is located in the left corner, next to Ptolemy, a believer in the geocentric theory. Raphael is one of the few figures in this master piece that is peering at the audience.
Other important figures that appear in this piece are Socrates, one of the fathers of modern Western philosophy and the questioner of the universe, Diogenes, one of the founders of the Cynic philosophy, and Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism (the belief that there is an eternal war between the
benevolent and the wicked). These figures are included in order to show that these virtuoso thinkers of the ancient Greek period were great and immortal. They were depicted in order to show that even though they were gone, their ideas and perspectives were being shed back into the light in this period of rebirth and reawakening.
The School of Athens was created around the time that Michelangelo was breathing life into his masterpiece,
The Sistine Chapel. Awe-struck by this adroit, Raphael would furtively sneak into the Chapel in order to watch his idol work. He was thus inspired by the great master.
St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world; therefore, the inclusion of paganistic influences in its structure is all the more symbolic.The Grecian deities Apollo, god of music, athletes, and male beauty, and Athena, goddess of wisdom, battle strategy, and patron of the arts, are painted on either sides of the entrance as gigantic statues. This is to show how classical thought is integrated, and makes up the infrastructure, of Renaissance thought - a very humanist view.
In conclusion, Raphael created this awe-inspiring piece of art, the apex of the Renaissance, and used it to show how the “Greats” of his time were as the thinkers and philosophers of Ancient Greece were. He uses linear perspective, a new technology at the time, and manages to paint St. Peter’s Basilica in incredible, minute detail. This painting typifies the Renaissance because it captures Renaissance innovations, ideas, and portrays them in a humanistic, unique, and beautiful way. It is a full visual embodiment of the Renaissance.
For the figure drawing critique, I got a lot of feedback. They were that my proportions are off in Matt's forearms, hands, and elbow. Also, that I needed to shift him to the right so the eye flows into space instead of off the paper and to use more varigated lines.
To fix this, I darkened the lines to make them more varigated. I also drew the background behind Matt to fill up the empty sspac
Suzanne has artwork exhibited at the Studio Gallery and the Art League, Inc. which are both located in Washington D.C. All of her artwork summarizes her life experiences. A lot of her work is landscapes from places she has seen and/or visited.
Her mixed media work has abstract compositions saturated with color and the use of line, texture, and found objects. Over the years of being an artist, she has developed more skills that have allowed her to change the surface with charcoal and oil pastel.
Her landscape paintings are about a painting trip to Les Bassacs, which is a small thirteenth century hamlet. She absorbed all of the feelings and sensations that came to her when she was looking into vineyards and trees. In 2009 Suzanne took a trip to Italy for the first time. When there, she captured almost 500 photos to help her understand and capture the essence of Italy since she was a tourist for the whole trip. The scenes and people she met helped her to create the paintings as well. One of her best pieces created there was “The Road to Villa Baldell” which captures the scenery of Italy.
For many years as a painter she worked privately, but recently she has been working with other artists and it has helped her become inspired to create more in depth work as well as changing it.
Sara was born in Far Rockaway, New York. Her family was an Orthodox Jewish family of Eastern European heritage. During her childhood, her favorite thing to do was read. As she grew older, she studied English literature at Brooklyn College, Barnard, and Columbia University. A year or two after college, she broke away from her family’s culture and moved to SOHO. She began going to museums where she viewed work that she was never allowed to see before. Ever since then (2002), she has been painting. Now she has a new studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
She has a very unique style of painting. Every painting she makes has a significant meaning behind it that not a lot of people would understand without reading about it. I like her work because it really makes you think and try to understand what she is portraying. For example, she has a group of five paintings that all go together called the “Coded, Five Current Shades.” Together they represent the killing of citizens and soldiers in Iraq. The themes of anxiety, fear, and despair mixed with beauty, hope, and self-determination reflect life’s journey and impermanence.
Without art, we would not be where we are today. Art helps us to understand and comprehend many things as well as show what is on our mind. It can be whatever you want it to be and I think it is very important to the learning perspective of life.
Art allows others to express what they are feeling in a personal way. It helps others come up with things that are original and in their own way. I agree with Ken Robinson where he says, “the fear of being wrong limits our creativity”. In the classroom, some students (as well as myself) have a question that could be very important to ask, but are too afraid to ask if they could be wrong. I know I would be embarrassed if I asked a question that everyone laughed at. Art helps this by interpreting just one question into multiple, different answers.
Ken Robinson also has said, “many brilliant people think they are not.” I find this so interesting. It makes me think that so many people think they are not smart because of how different their ideas are from others. Art definitely helps this because there is no “wrong” answer and it allows people to present what they think about something, which can enrich someone else at the same time with wonderful ideas.
“Kids don’t know as much so they think more”, is another excellent viewpoint of Ken Robinson. When we were younger, we didn’t know a lot about the world and we didn’t care what anyone else thought about us or our thoughts. We had the most creativity we will ever have because we thought of the craziest ideas that could never happen. Now that we are older and we know what is realistic and what’s not, we don’t even take the time to think those thoughts. It is truly amazing to think about. Our environment ruins this for us, which is why we need art in our life to keep part of ourselves.