Art 2 – Audubon – Science Illustration – Due 1/31

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TAKE NOTES ON THE MOVIE TO HAND IN FOR CREDIT AND POST A COMMENT ON THE BLOG ADDRESSING:

1) THE 3 MOST INTERESTING ASPECTS OF HIS LIFE AND/OR ART CAREER

2) THE 3 MOST INTERESTING ASPECTS OF HIS ARTISTRY

3) THE MOST INTERESTING WORK OF HIS (SHARE A LINK) AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU LIKE IT IN TERMS OF SUBJECT, STYLE DETAILS, AND CONTENT.

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7 responses »

  1. Three interesting things about Audubon:
    1. He killed all the birds he drew, a lot of his money came from hunting animals and selling their skins actually. He was also a taxidermist.
    2. He was the first person to tie bands around birds’ legs and discovered they return to the same nests every year. It’s interesting to me that an artist, not a biologist, figured that out.
    3. And apparently he was an illegal immigrant at first. He was born in Haiti and came here with a fake passport to avoid the draft. I think that’s interesting because that’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of him.
    Three interesting things about his art:
    1. I like the poses he has the birds in, with the odd neck-angles and how they always have their wings displayed whether or not they need to. He seems to like putting them in dramatic poses.
    2. The composition reminds me of how advertisements or catalogues arrange their pictures, like the birds are advertising their own fabulousness. That would explain the model poses.
    3. The birds are in theatric situations, they’re fighting off enemies, heroically gazing into the distance like a poster for an action movie. Even the one of a hawk returning to her nest of chicks looks like a crash landing, with the hawk’s splayed legs, wild eyes and all the babies fleeing.
    My favorite:
    http://www.restoredprints.com/AUD050.htm
    I love this. The personalities and attitudes of the animals are so apparent. The snake just pops up and goes “SURPRISE!” the bird leans away “Where did you from?!” and the others are just looking at the situation saying “Hey, you okay man? What’s going on?” Giving birds and snakes facial expressions shows a lot of skill.

  2. 1) a. He is from France, but he was only interested in American birds. b. He travelled very frequently. c. He was very devoted to being an artist even when it was difficult.
    2) a. His art is strongly influenced by neoclassicism (which is usually associated with architecture). b. He was only interested in painting birds. c. He hired other people to help paint/draw parts he wasn’t good at.
    3)http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/John-James-Audubon-001.jpg I like how he did the water. It reminds me of Japanese woodblock prints. Also, I like how he showed a specific moment of action, right before the swan eats the moth. The line of the neck is very strange, but interesting.

  3. 1. He was the first person that found out that the birds return to there original nests every year after winter. It’s pretty crazy that he found that out and not a biologist
    2. He was born in France but was interested in only american birds. not only american birds but almost everything american
    3. Although he is a painter he bases his work off of statues carvings and other forms of architecture. This is very interesting because birds and other things found in nature are so different from things that are man made like architecture.
    This is my favorite piece of artwork from him. http://www.restoredprints.com/AUD042H.jpg I love this because it really shows his patriotism and love for America. You can’t get more patriotic than the bald eagle and I love the fact that it also shows the eagle pulling a dead catfish from a lake. This really shows symbols of power and honor and the american way.

  4. Interesting things about Audubon:
    a. Traveled quite a lot
    b. Taught drawing classes briefly Ms. Deeds School for the women of Cincinnati
    c. Identified 25 new species

    Interesting aspects of artistry:
    a. Method of wiring dead birds
    b. Worked with watercolor, colored chalk or pastel to add softness to feathers, and gouache
    c. Portrayed birds in motion

    Work: http://www.blog.designsquish.com/images/uploads/audubon-illustration-falcon.gif

    I really like these white Gyrfalcons. The positions of the birds seems rather exaggerated, which I enjoy. Also, I like the sharp contrast between the white and black plumage.

  5. 1) The 3 most interesting aspects of his life and/or art career
    I was captivated while watching the episode of “Arts America” that discussed John James Audubon, primarily because I didn’t know very much about the artist’s life or work prior to viewing this film. I found it interesting that he came to America by himself at the age of 18 from France. I also found it interesting that scientists sometimes criticized him for not being as realistic as he could be when painting birds. Finally, I found it very interesting that he chose to focus entirely on birds in the first place, and chose to paint them in a very naturalistic style.
    2) The 3 most interesting aspects of his artistry
    In terms of his artistry, I found it interesting that Audubon was able to combine practical work (such as at the museum and as a taxidermist) with his talent for drawing. I also found it interesting that he was still able to focus on drawing birds while spending time with his family, teaching art—this demonstrates his commitment to his craft. I also found it interesting that Audubon did not confine himself to simply drawing birds that were local to his area, or that he saw through his taxidermy work, but instead actively traveled around the United States seeking out new kinds of birds.
    3) The most interesting work of his (share a link) and explain why you like it in terms of subject, style details, and content.
    After looking at many of Audubon’s drawings, I would have to say that I like his picture of a family of Blue Jays the most (http://www.restoredprints.com/AUD028.htm). I enjoy this picture because it shows a family grouping instead of just one bird, and allows me to see the differences between individual birds. I especially like that it shows one bird interacting with a just hatched baby bird, and also shows the blue jays with their wings closed, half open, and fully opened. The realism in this picture really draws me in, as does the artists use of vibrant colors that seem even more true than those you would encounter in nature.

  6. 1) The 3 most interesting aspects of his life and/or art career
    I was captivated while watching the episode of “Arts America” that discussed John James Audubon, primarily because I didn’t know very much about the artist’s life or work prior to viewing this film. I found it interesting that he came to America by himself at the age of 18 from France. I also found it interesting that scientists sometimes criticized him for not being as realistic as he could be when painting birds. Finally, I found it very interesting that he chose to focus entirely on birds in the first place, and chose to paint them in a very naturalistic style.
    2) The 3 most interesting aspects of his artistry
    In terms of his artistry, I found it interesting that Audubon was able to combine practical work (such as at the museum and as a taxidermist) with his talent for drawing. I also found it interesting that he was still able to focus on drawing birds while spending time with his family, teaching art—this demonstrates his commitment to his craft. I also found it interesting that Audubon did not confine himself to simply drawing birds that were local to his area, or that he saw through his taxidermy work, but instead actively traveled around the United States seeking out new kinds of birds.
    3) The most interesting work of his (share a link) and explain why you like it in terms of subject, style details, and content.
    After looking at many of Audubon’s drawings, I would have to say that I like his picture of a family of Blue Jays the most (http://www.restoredprints.com/AUD028.htm). I enjoy this picture because it shows a family grouping instead of just one bird, and allows me to see the differences between individual birds. I especially like that it shows one bird interacting with a just hatched baby bird, and also shows the blue jays with their wings closed, half open, and fully opened. The realism in this picture really draws me in, as does the artists use of vibrant colors that seem even truer than those you would encounter in nature.

    • Your comments point out a lot of good points. It is interesting, isn’t it, that he chose birds and what a contribution he made to science and culture by his artistry! You give us something to consider about the intensity of the colors. Maybe they seem more intense because they are isolated in the context of a painting but maybe they are a bit exaggerated. It’s a good topic for discussion.

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