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Getting Lost in a Painting

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  1. Getting Lost in a Painting Getting Lost in a Painting Dr. Kathy Unrath University of Missouri

  2. Why talk about art? • Deep Noticing • Understanding Context • Interpreting Meaning • Building a Repertoire of Ideas • Capturing a glimpse into Artistic Thinking

  3. FACT: The average museum visitor spends 30 SECONDS looking at a work of art.

  4. Eisner (2003) states, "If there is any lesson that the arts teach, it is the importance of paying close attention to what is at hand, of slowing down perception so that efficiency is put on the back burner and the quest for experience is made dominant. …The arts are about savoring.”

  5. Looking at Art Feldman Model: • Describing, • Analyzing, • Interpreting, • Making Judgments about works of art. • The idea is to get the student to analyze and talk about the sensory, formal, technical and expressive properties of a particular work of art.

  6. Aesthetic Scanning (Broudy)Elementary School Model • Sensory (descriptive) Properties: • The art elements of line, shape, texture, and color. large and small size, deep and shallow space, dark and light • 1. What colors do you see? 2. Are there any lines? 3. Can you see a round shape? 4. Is there a dark color? 5. What is the biggest shape? 6. How deep is the perspective? • Formal (analysis) Properties: The way the art work is organized. Unity, repetition, balance, contrast, dominance, rhythm, variety, • 1. Are there repeated shapes? 2. Are there opposite things? 3. Is one thing more important? 4. Can something be changed? 5. Is this color needed over here? 6. Are there light/dark things? • Expressive (interpretation) Properties: The mood, feeling or philosophical concepts of the work • 1. Is this a sad/happy work? 2. Why did the artist make it? 3. What is the artist telling us? 4. Would you like to have this? 5. Does it make you feel good/bad? • Technical (judgment) Properties: Howthe work was created. The medium used (watercolor, oil paint, acrylic, bronze, wood, etc.). The tools used (brush, pencil, crayon, ink, pen, printing press, camera.). The method used to make the work (drawing, photography, painting, sculpting, printing.) • 1. How did the artist make this? 2. How did the artist make this part look so rough? 3. What kind of tool did the artist use? 4. Do you think the artist used crayon to make this? 5. What is the difference between a pencil drawing and this work? 6. Do you think the artist drew a picture before making the painting?

  7. Visual Literacy (Sandell, 2008) • “In developing visually literate citizens, today’s art teachers are responsible for engaging learners with art, in its myriad forms, ideas, and purposes, as a qualitative language that, like poetry, explores how, in contrast to what something is, through meaningfully making and responding to images. • Through the informative process of critical response, art learners perceive, interpret, and finally judge ideas connected to visual imagery and structures, past and present. • Through the transformative process of creative expression, art learners generate artistic ideas that can be elaborated, refined, and finally shaped into meaningful visual images and structures.”

  8. Form+Theme+Context(Sandell, 2008) • Despite how highly visual our world is, for many, art remains a mystery—people do not know how to dissect its meaning and “own” it purposefully in their lives. • As Daniel Pink (2005) pointed out, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures” (p. 50).

  9. Decoding and Encoding Visual Art • Form Theme Context Palette explored! •

  10. CAPACITIES FOR IMAGINATIVE LEARNING • Noticing: deeply-identifying and articulating detail • Embodying: experiencing a work through our senses • Questioning: Why? What if? • Identifying patterns: finding relationships • Making connections: linking patterns to prior knowledge • Exhibiting Empathy: understand experiences of others • Creating Meaning: interpretation and synthesis • Taking Action: action that expresses your learning • Reflecting and Assessing: identify challenges & begin anew Close engagement with an art object, poem, or theorem unleashes a student’s ability to think and express new possibilities. (Maxine Greene)

  11. Gulfstream GulfstreamLabel Information: • Artist: Winslow Homer (American, Boston, • 1836–1910 • Title: The Gulf Stream • Date: 1899 • Medium: Oil on canvas • Dimensions: 28 1/8 x 49 1/8 in. (71.4 x 124.8 cm) • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

  12. Description • The Gulf Stream" was based upon studies made during Homer's two winter trips to the Bahamas in 1884–85 and 1898–99. • First exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 1900, the picture was subsequently reworked and "improved" by the artist. Early photographs show changes to the sea and to the back of the ship, making the composition more dramatic and vivid. The painting was shown in this state at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh in 1900–01, and then at M. Knoedler and Co. in New York, where the artist placed on the picture the record-asking price of $4,000. • There were problems selling the work because of either its high price or its unpleasant subject matter. Homer may have reworked the painting again in the face of this criticism in order to add the rigger on the horizon that signals hope and rescue from the perils of the sea. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

  13. Kathy’s Model • Scan holistically for first impression • Provide evidence for thinking (found in the image) • Investigate artistic choices • Deliver contextual information as discussion enlarges the scope of reasoning • Probe for Noticing, Embodying, Questioning, Identifying patterns, Making connections, Exhibiting Empathy, and Creating Meaning

  14. You now have several viewing strategies in your teacher toolbox that develops deep noticing: Traditional Museum Docent led tour Feldman and Broudy Models - Describe, Analyze, Interpret, Judge Barrett Model – Denotation and Connotation Sandell Model – Form Theme Context Palette Greene Model – Capacities for Imaginative Learning Visual Thinking Strategies Model What’s going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can we find? Unrath Model

  15. Jake Barton speaks about the museum of the future and the importance of the personal narrative in perception and response.