Monday, November 21, 2011

Oh the Humanities!

So this year I am taking a humanities class and so far it has gone a lot better than I originally expected. The class only required 2 midterms, final, take home assignments, and 2 papers. Doesn't sound too horrible and surprisingly it hasn't been, that is until I got slammed with studying for midterms for other classes and the due date for my first paper snuck up on me. The nice thing about the two papers, is that my teacher said we could hand in whichever one we wanted first as long as we completed both papers. I thought this was a good thing, until I had the most difficult time trying to decide which one I was going to do. After what seemed like hours of contemplating, I finally decided to do my creative works paper and just  get it over with so that I wouldn't have to deal with it later in the semester. So the only option that was listed that even seemed doable for me, was to miraculously find a vase that was shaped similar to ancient Greek style vase and paint it in some style of ancient Greek pottery. So of course I start hunting for my vase Saturday morning when my paper/project was due the next coming Thursday. I knew that finding a pot might take some time and some serious hunting at DI or Savers, not to mention how long it would take me to actually paint it once I found it.  Miraculously after walking into DI I found my vase within two minutes of being in the store. I couldn't believe no one else hadn't already found it and used it for their project (seeing as how my teacher gave our whole class the hint of looking at DI and savers). Let me just say I was thrilled I had found this vase, but I was even more sad because this vase was already painted in the style and era that I was planning on painting it for. Clearly someone had used this vase for the same project a semester or two before.
I was so sad that I had to paint over what was already on it and as badly as this may sound it did cross my mind just to keep most of it and change only a few details here and there, but of course that wouldn't be very honest so as hard as it was for me, I went to Michael's bought some terracotta colored acrylic paint and began repainting my vase. Yes, pictured to the left is the lovely vase I had to paint over and yes I took a picture of it because I felt it was very worthy of being remembered (I mean it's rather detailed if you ask me).  It took quite a few coats of paint to cover all of the figures in black, especially all of the little llamaish looking figures. At first I thought that this vase would take, at the longest, only a few hours to paint over it and paint all of my figures onto it... OH BOY WAS I WRONG!! So after the first 6 hours painting my vase, I came out with I thought was decent, considering my lack of artistic abilities (especially when it comes to painting)... this is finished product...

I know this may not look like I spent 5 or 6 hours painting this vase, but I seriously did and you best believe it was all freehand! Let me tell ya, this was the most artistic I have ever been required to be in my life and it was very difficult trying to make my vase look like it belonged somewhat to the Geometric Era of ancient Greek pottery.  After I sat back and looked at my vase, I knew that it was still very plain, but I was seriously ready to just be done with it and write my paper. Well here was my mistake, I probably should have written my paper and painted my vase in response to the research that was required for my paper. I ended up including a few artistic characteristics that weren't exactly related to this period of pottery. Over the next few days I spent hours looking for sources to write my paper I realized that after my paper was written I was going to have to change a few of the shapes on my vase and add more detail.  So after what was a total of probably 12 or more hours just strictly dedicated to painting this vase this was the finished product!
I know you're probably saying "that seriously took you another 5 or 6 hours to make the changes you made?" and to that I answer "YOU BEST BELIEVE IT!" Believe me I wasn't expecting it to take that long either, but it seriously did, painting freehand with a small brush is very difficult and can get rather tedious when you are repeating the same figure over and over again. I knew that my vase before I made the changes to it was too plain and probably wouldn't impress my teacher as much as if I added more color and intricate patterns than I had originally.  I can honestly say that I spend more time painting that vase than I did the writing actual paper and doing the research for it.  In the end my diligence in pottery painting paid off when I got my paper back and my teacher gave me positive remarks regarding my vase.  I may not be an artist but this is definitely the best work I have every put forth in my artistic endeavors.

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