Artist Investigation Paper
Our current studio focus is on value–how light/how dark something is. We’re studying light as a visual force that activates objects and defines space. In this paper, you will investigate 3 artists and explore their use of value. While they may work in a range of media (not just watercolor) they share an appreciation for the power of value in visual art.
Please note that several of these artists are figure painters and their work may depict nude models. If this is an issue in any way, let me know.
Three Artists: Start with the suggested links, then explore beyond.
1) Wendy Artin—watercolor
To start: check out her website and the Canadian Bravo Arts and Minds documentaryWendy Artin (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
2) David Bjurstrom—graphite drawings
Check out his website & Oregon ArtBeat video—2nd segment (begins 8 minutes in)
https://www.pbs.org/video/oregon-art-beat-season-6-episode-19/ (Links to an external site.)
3) Plus one more . . . choose from list
Caravaggio Andrew Wyeth (watercolor)
Rembrandt Edward Hopper (watercolor)
Georges de la Tour Artemisia Gentileschi
Museum websites and art history texts discuss these famous painters.
Research the artists, look at their work, note how they describe (or art historians and critics describe) their artmaking process.
For each artist, select an artwork that demonstrates their use of value. In your discussion, refer to the image and support your ideas with specific examples.
Attach images of the artwork examples at the end of the paper (in addition to your written discussion). There will be three artwork examples, one per artist.
See formatting guidelines (below) for information on how to lay out the paper, how to label artwork examples, and how to cite sources.
Questions to Consider
How is the artist relevant to our studio focus on value and the action of light?
How do they handle their darks and lights (what’s noticeable or striking)?
How does this affect the artwork (add descriptive or expressive impact)?
Choices! Respond to any of these questions or make up your own:
How did this artist change or expand your understanding of value?
What does it make you want to try in your own work?
What’s important to the artist? What are they in love with/obsessed with/curious about?
What’s a quote that struck you as interesting and why?
How do they make their art? What materials and methods?
An artist hopes to bring some kind of meaning to the work–something for the viewer to experience and make their own meaning out of. What does the artwork bring up for you?
What do you like or dislike about the work and why?
The paper will consist of a heading, a body of discussion, one to two pages of artwork examples, and source citations.
HEADING is to be single-spaced and take up no more than 4 lines of the page.
BODY, or written discussion, is to be 3 full pages to 4 pages. The written text is to be double-spaced with 1” margins.
IN ADDITION to the 3 full to 4 written pages, attach one or two pages with an example of each artist’s artwork. Refer to the images to support your ideas. Label image with artist, title, year, materials (watercolor on paper, for example) and the source (the museum or artist’s website, for example). You may not be given all of this info, include as much as you can.
Painting examples must be large enough to show detail. Images must be one-third of a page or bigger.
If you summarize, use quotes or state facts, cite the source as follows: Author, Date, Book/Journal Title or Name of Site. (Oregon Art Beat 2005, Season 6, Episode 19, for example). You can also use a link: Author, Date, Title, Retrieved from: cite URL.
Canvas Assignment Deadline Info
Artist Investigation Papers must be submitted on Canvas to be accepted. Email attachments will not be graded.
Online assignments are due by 11:59 pm on the deadline date provided.
The assignment will stay open for a short period past the deadline. During this time, late assignments may be submitted. The late penalty will be up to 25% of the total possible.
Once the assignment is closed, submissions will not be accepted.
Good to Know
Conversational tone is fine, in fact, preferable, to a formal academic (impersonal) report. This is a response paper, offer personal ideas /opinions and back them up with examples.
Respect intellectual/creative property: give credit to the artist or author. Cite your source.
Avoid ”filler” biographical info. If interesting, give it a brief mention. Avoid lingering on where they went to high school or lists of exhibitions and awards.
Focus on the questions and examine the artwork. That’ll fill your pages, easy.