Thursday, March 27, 2014

The floating city

For this project, we were supposed to make a piece inspired by the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian artist who painted stuff like this:

And built stuff like this:
the Hundertwasserhaus
I decided I wanted to paint a man in a boat with some buildings behind him.  Then I figured, what better setting than Venice? So I found some reference pictures of Venice.
I especially liked the colors of the buildings and the water on the upper left and the composition on the lower left.
I did a super basic sketch to give me an idea of what I wanted to do.  I thought underplanning would be better than overplanning... I have a tendency to overplan but lately I have been overcompensating for that... it might have been a bad idea, in retrospect, to plan so little.
Oh well!
a sketch... with secret code! kidding.  just mixing oranges
So I started by painting the whole thing blue, then painting some big orange boxes for buildings and adding some colors to the sky and water.
say... is that cheese??
Hundertwasser considered straight lines to be of the devil, but I had a hard time controlling myself and it got all perspective-y on me.

It ended up not looking as much like a Hundertwasser as I intended because my try-to-make-it-look-ok instincts kicked in and I had a really hard time letting it be imperfect with crooked lines and everything.  I decided to line the buildings in black, which is something I would normally never do but I think overall it enhanced the piece.
You & Me in the Floating City
Ta da!
Hundertwassery or not, I am happy with this one.  I am glad I chose to paint something besides cute fluffy animals...  I've been feeling lately like that's all I'm really capable of.
you&me in the floating city
Artist behaviors:
1.  Artists Create Original Art - For this project I drew inspiration from Hundertwasser's pieces and the lovely city of Venice, Italy.  I combined the colors and images of Venice with Hundertwasser's style to create a unique composition.  Elements of my personal style show through, especially in the little people :)
2.  Artists Take Risks  - This whole piece kind of felt like a big risk to me.  I suppose I could've made it feel less risky with a little more planning... I made myself make some choices that I normally would never make because I was attempting to embrace Hundertwasser's style, like the black lines and dark, crooked windows on the buildings.  I'm typically a careful painter, so I was very nervous throwing dark paint on my fabulous orange blocks of cheese buildings but I somehow got over myself and went for it.  I'm glad I did.
3.  Artists Have a Global Awareness of Artmaking - The reason I made most of the choices I did with this piece is because I was trying to draw inspiration from Hundertwasser.  I'm not certain exactly how successful I was in emulating his style, but it definitely influenced my choices and pushed me to take some risks.  I think it was good for me to get out of my (fluffy animals) box -- as a wise friend once told me, there is no growth in a comfort zone, and there is no comfort in a growth zone.

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