Art Essay

I love black and white Chinese ink landscape painting. I started learning in 6th grade, bringing in years of sketching, drawing, acrylic painting, and digital design. But because it is dark ink on feathery thin rice paper, the water and ink liquid bleeding through the material, you can’t redo anything. Not like with drawing and acrylic. There’s no CTRL Z. So you make every mark count.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in this 2nd experiment, I want to explore encapsulating my theme, people-watching in different settings, through visuals. While there isn’t necessarily an existing convention for this genre, I’ll give this a shot.

The art essay will incorporate both a visual and a written description.
Because this genre incorporates multiple mediums, I’ll set the standard to a visual paired with a short, mini-essay I’ll call it, about what I observe in this setting, and what I believe that says about the general stereotypes present. For instance, I want to focus on different areas of U-M: Business, Art, Engineering, Pre-Med, and the like. I have varied levels of knowledge of being personally a part of these environments. Taking what I’ve observed about the types of personalities there, and as well as the stereotypes often swimming around in conversation and embodied in the cultures, I want to reflect that in the visual (a photo, a sketch drawing, collage).

The art essay will have a disclaimer of viewpoints:
I plan to state in what lenses I’m speaking from, i.e. as a business major myself, or an artist in LHSP. Or simply an observer with many friends in Engineering, to state what level of credibility I hope to reflect. Together, I hope it’ll be a compilation of both art and writing that works succinctly in capturing the audience of both people interested in the visual and written word.

The art essay involves two modes to view.
Because it breaks up the trend of just one form, an art essay provides variety in the modes reflected, filling the halves that each of the forms lacks, and the other possesses. Art has the picture, the details set in the details of the 2-D screen. Yet there are no words, no voiced explanation from the creator itself. On the other hand, writing has the words, and the words are the only vehicle that readers can utilize to create some picture in their head. By pairing them, I hope to capture both sides, a fuller image of what I see in the people around me, and what that says about how we socialize in cultural norms, stereotypes, and trends within the scope of personal observation.

Disclaimer: I don’t mean that I’m an expert by any means.

2 thoughts to “Art Essay”

  1. Hi Katherine! This is a very unique idea, and I am excited to see how you will encapsulate your original piece through visuals. I liked how you described the 2-D art form as “filling the halves that each of the forms lacks, and the other possesses”. That was an extremely eloquent way to phrase what you will be doing. With these experiment, I think it will be interesting to see how exactly you will evoke emotions from the spectator as now the interpretations will shift to viewer focused.

  2. Katherine,

    This is such a great post! I love the genre. It is very new to me, but I think that you did a great job of making sure that the reader understood the genre very well. Job well done. I think that this is a great genre to portray the purpose of your experiments and I would love to see you carry this one out fully!!

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