Category Archives: Tate Badges


Impressionism art was the first time there was a big movement from traditional art. Impressionist art is a style in which the artist captures the image of an object as someone would see it if they just caught a glimpse of it. They paint the pictures with a lot of color and most of their pictures are outdoor scenes. Their pictures are very bright and vibrant. The artists like to capture their images without detail but with bold colours using loose brush strokes, they done this purposefully to give an ‘impression’. Impressionist artists painted people like their neighbours and bar keeps and liked to paint their scenes in different lighting. There was many factors that influenced impressionist art, one being that paint now was produced in tubes so artists could take paint with them anywhere. They were very concerned with being modern and contemporary.

The birth of photography influenced impressionism as they were against it.  Impressionism believed the world was bursting full of colour which they tried to portray in their paintings; at that time photography was in black and white. They wanted to show the modern world.

Realism: where an artist creates a representation of the subject matter and bringing it to the public eye.

Illusionism: something that is photorealistic and convincingly real however they are not.

In class we discussed the difference between men and women in this art movement. It was interesting that women were not allowed into art academies because of live drawing/painting lessons that used nude models. Women had to stay at home and look after the home and children, they were thought to be instinctive mothers so they should stay home for their children. Many paintings created by women in this era were from the home or of their children. Some wealthy enough would hire women to look after their children so they could go and paint.




Creative Tasks

Task One:  State why you feel your photos are about Modernity and why you think an Impressionist if he or she were here today would use your topic.

impressionism picturesI think an impressionist would use the topic of my pictures if they were here today as they show modernity which is what the Impressionists wanted to paint. The picture of the ABC Cinema demolition shows destruction of the past and now becoming modern. The shard also shows modernity as it is the largest newly built skyscraper. I could link my third picture to Gustave Caillebotte – Paris Street, Rainy Day as he painted a street in Paris and I believe an impressionist would paint the town centre as it does show modernity.


After looking at the two pictures side by side I found it quite interesting how coincidently my picture also features a lamppost which divides the image up, however not like it does in Caillebotte’s painting where the lamppost makes a golden section.

Task Two: find compliment colours from anywhere (real life, magazines, blogs)


Task Three: Look at shadows and describe what colours are actually in them. Try to take photos but these may not show the colours as well as you would hope.








Somerset House

On Monday 6th October we visited Somerset House in London to look at the galleries of art and illustration. We were set four tasks during our trip and to write them up in our blogs.

The first task was to find at least two works that you personally like or find interesting. The first piece that I personally found interesting and intriguing was by Édouard Manet called  ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère’ (1881/1882)


At first I couldn’t comprehend the perspective of the painting. I thought that the woman in the picture was looking in a mirror at herself; however on closer inspection I could see that she was looking out from the bar and her reflection is on the right of the painting. We then discussed how the viewer is forced to see the painting through the man’s view in which we can see his reflection too, I thought this was really interesting as I hadn’t seen a painting as early as this use a reflection to reveal the background and other people. We had a discussion about impressionism and how it was the biggest break in the art movement, and discussed how the artists would criticise society including homelessness and prostitution which was a big problem in 19-century France. This altered my interpretation of the man in the picture, it could be said that he was a client for the woman as she could be involved in prostitution which wouldn’t be unlikely, so this is what I think the meaning of this painting by Manet is.

The next piece I found interesting was in the National Open Art Exhibition by Danny Lyon and it was called ‘Stanley’. I found this interesting as it was a painting of a Stanley knife however it was very interesting.  This made me relate to one of our activities where we have to make something mundane and make it interesting.


The second task was to look at pieces that would inspire and inform me on my current project ‘Time’.

The first piece that I took an interest too and thought could inspire me was a piece by Vaughn Horsman called ‘Personal Space’. The circular design style gave me an idea of a radial calendar for my current project. The different rings and squares in this piece informed me of a 365 day calendar divided into weeks and months. However I would have to tweak the design as this looks very complex and challenging from a distance, and a calendar should be simple and inviting.

EXODUS-VII-Tin-Shack-City-Cape-Flats-South-Africa-2011 copy

The second piece that informed and inspired me was called ‘Tin Shack City’ by Marcus Lyon because of the rows and columns that our made by the shacks. This informed me of a traditional calendar layout which I could use in my project.

Task 3 was to find pieces of art that I personally disliked or found boring.

A photo by Abbie Trayler-Smith called ‘SHANNON POST OP’ is one piece that I personally didn’t like as it wasn’t pleasing to look at nor made a lot of sense or meaning to it. We discussed it in a group and a few different interpretations come out from the discussion. One was that it doesn’t show meaning as the viewer has to guess for themselves from the girls expression and the title ‘post op’ which would suggest this is her before she has some kind of operation. It is clear that the model is overweight/obese so we discussed that she may be trying to show obesity in a different light. The more we discussed it the more I became interested in it as it challenged me to think about the underlying context of the photograph.




Romantics were not only painters, but poets, philosophers and composers. They wanted to bring back emotions to everyday life. They liked personal interpretation, superstitions and respected nature and solitude as they believed man could not overcome nature; they were inspired by its wildness and uncontrollability.

The Romantic period happened around the same time as the French Revolution and a lot of political upheaval – they liked regular people and disliked people who worked things out logically, for example they thought science was too dangerous and risky. They valued emotion and imagination instead of facts and logic and they celebrated individuality.

Nightmare Painting


I can relate this painting to Romanticism as it immediately calls on my emotion of fear and it is quite a scary painting. It is supernatural which relates back to how the Romantic’s were. It cannot be supported with evidence and isn’t like a classical painting, this is because the romantics didn’t like logic and celebrated imagination.

Sublime paintings are usually large scale dramatic pieces of art that the Romantic’s favoured. Large scale art made them feel small and reminded them that there is a superior being than them.

Picturesque paintings are delicate and make you want to be there.

Caspar David Friedrich

I studied some of Friedrich’s work and picked out which ones I found the most interesting. The painting I liked the most was ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog. I found it the most interesting as the man in the painting has his back to the viewer which I had not seen before in a painting before. I couldn’t at first make my mind up on wether the painting was picturesque or sublime. The rocks that pierce out of the mist is quite dramatic which made me thought it was sublime, however the man in the painting is looking out over the rocks and mist and stands tall, and I would like to go there and have that experience (not being able to see the man’s face is also something I found interesting as the viewer cannot see his emotions).

I have seen similar imagery like this in a video game advert in which the character looks out to the city with his back to the viewer so we cannot see his emotion.


 Postcard Task

In class we had a task to write a postcard home describing how we feel, imagining that we are in one of Friedrich’s paintings. I chose to imagine I was in the ‘Sea of Ice’:

It’s really cold here. I’m scared. I just want to be home. The ice around me is breaking up and soon there won’t be any for me to stand on. The ice is snapping and splintering around me. The wind is ripping through my clothes like daggers, I don’t think I have much time left to write, I need to get out of here.


Mondays Lesson

Intentional Fallacy: a designer cannot guarentee that the message or intentions that they are trying to get across will be interpreted the way they want them to be

You Cannot Not Communicate: In class we looked at a magazine page of ‘Ray Gun‘ in which David Carson once disliked a article about Bryan Ferry so much he set the whole typeface in Zapf Dingbats.

Screenshot 2014-09-25 13.11.12

Although the information isn’t understandable it is very attractive and striking. Because of the unorthodox style of Carson and the Zapf Dingbats typeface it’s different to other magazines articles and makes the reader stare and enquire at it. All of this reinforces the title of “You Cannot Not Communicate” and David Carson’s quote which says “Don’t mistake legibility to communicate” is also true that you don’t have to be obviously clear to communicate.

In this lesson I learned that design doesn’t have to explicit for communication to happen. Carson’s style is one that I certainly will never forget throughout my designs.

Denotation and Connotation: denotation is immediately what you see from an image or illustration, it is the basic, obvious level of seeing artwork. Connotation is your personal thoughts, feelings or associations you have with a piece of artwork. In class we looked at several images to pick out the obvious things in the image, and then we discussed our own person thoughts and feelings.

Affective Fallacy: emotions that happen inside your mind which are not explicitly in the artwork. We looked at several adverts and images and discussed which ones made us feel the most emotion for. To me the image (below) of singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor holding a dead fox in an advert for PETA against using animal fur. I instantaneously felt guilty as soon as I looked at this as it shows the devastating left overs of the fox and the position of the phrase “Here’s the rest of your fur coat” makes my eyes lead to the dead fox which I thought was very interesting in a design sense.





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