Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Review on Data Visualization- Edward Tufte

Humans are visual by nature, and by translating numbers into pictures or better visual images helps to aid those to better understanding what someone is trying to convey. An example of this is Google Maps. While most maps are very plain and two colors, Google helps these maps come to life through 3-Dimentional images. This creates a better understanding of the area and something people can closer relate to.

Tufte goes on to talk about the importance of connecting data and the visual aspect by saying, "All communication between the readers of an image and the makers of an image must now take place on a two-dimensional surface" (12). Tufte explains that the idea of the maker of an image has to make sense through their image for the reader. The image and the idea have to correlate together or else it won't make sense. Most of the idea not only has to do with the image but also the colors one chooses to use to correlate with it.

"Years and years of daily mapping led to this superb visualization, sunspot distribution in latitude, recorded for long time periods" (22). Not only does data visualization help unexperienced people in a field to understand a subject better, but it also helps those very familiar with something to become even more acquainted with it.

Visualizing data is very helpful to our everyday lives because it is a lot quicker and easier to just simply look at something and understand the statistics rather than read a long data sheet about it.

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Review on Ways of Seeing- John Berger

One of the most promote topics to me, in this article, is the idea that a photographer or painter picked a specific view out of the thousands of possibilities. Often, I think about how my view can differ from someone else due to my life experiences. However, I don't necessarily think about why someone might take a picture at a certain angle as opposed to another.

Similarly, the way I interpret a photo or a painting may be completely different from the way someone else may interpret it. For example, looking at a sculpture, everyone who views it may see it from a different angle depending on where they are standing or their height, but it is still the same sculpture which can be see many different ways. Everyone looks at the world differently so why shouldn't there be thousands of different possibilities for a single photograph?

Berger mentions Regents and Regentesses by Fran Hals. Berger compares the fact that although this is someones perception of an event, we accept the painting as it is. We have to look back on what the time was like and think about the painting in those terms. It is not only about the perception of the viewer, but the perception of the creator of the paining and what they had envisioned.

The invention of the camera, and photography drastically changed the way people viewed paintings. Paintings were seen as very unique, almost 'one in a million,' but with the invention of the camera and the printing press, they were a dime a dozen. Pictures were not as unique as they once were. There was now to be many different ways to think about a single picture. Although paintings weren't as unique as they were once perceived as, they could now be seen by a greater multitude of people, who all have their own different perceptions to bring to each painting or picture.

Art is all about perspective.  As Berger states, "Perception makes the single eye the centre of the visible world." What you perceive is your reality, no matter how far it could be from the true intentions of an artist. Thus, creating the vast variety of ideas for the purpose of a piece of art.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Baltimore Museum of Art- 1/26/17

On Thursday, January 26th we took a field trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art! I saw a plethora of art dating from as early as the 1800s to as recent as 2013. I was pleasantly surprised by how well art from different centuries could work together all in the same space.

One of the first pieces to catch my eye was Washerwoman by Pierre- Auguste Renoir.

This painting intrigued me because of the multitude of colors which did not overshadow one another. There were very obvious strokes which seemed to blend together the further from the painting you got. The strokes are very obvious and mostly head in a vertical direction, but the more detailed, the more curves there are in the strokes. I can see the movement in this picture through the effortless brushstrokes.

The next painting that I noticed was Peonies by Odilon Redon. It's a very simple piece with a lot of detail. The piece feature three flowers delicately placed in a vase. The contrast between the flowers, vase, and background is noticeable, but the colors still blend together nicely. The background is not one flat color but you can tell that there is a shadow at the bottom by the darker brown. I not only enjoy the simplicity of this painting but the multitude of colors that went into creating depth in this image. The background is not one flat color but a multitude of browns, greens, blues, and yellows which creates a type of depth which cannot be created using just one color. Overall, this was one of my favorite pieces of art at the museum.

My favorite piece was A Pair of Boots by Vincent Van Gogh.


This painting was done in the late 1800s. When I saw it I was immediately intrigued by the immense talent Van Gogh had. Although this piece is not as great or well known as the Mona Lisa, it is still executed very well. What draws me to this painting is the use of dark and light. The sole of the shoe is a light brown while the rest of the shoe is a dark brown, similarly, the background is a dark navy. This painting almost brings you to another world because you begin to question who's shoes they are, or where were they going in those shoes. To me this painting is much more than a pair of boots because it's like a snap shot of an untold story.

I really enjoyed the different types of pieces that the Baltimore Museum of Art had to offer. Although they were a multitude of different mediums of techniques, they all flowed together in one museum because they are all deemed as art. Even though each piece has a different feeling and meaning, I feel like all of the pieces went together well.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Julio Fine Arts Gallery- 1/20/17

On Friday, January 20th I visited Loyola's art gallery. I was astounded by all of the talent right here at Loyola! 

One of the first pieces that caught my eye was a piece that looked like a solar system that was not only on the wall,  but spewed onto the floor as well. Each planet was delicately picked from different patterns and pictures. All together, it looked like a colorful solar system, but taking a closer look, you can tell how vastly different each picture is. There are two different ideas/feelings one can get from this piece depending on how close one examines each piece.

The next piece of art that I found fascinating was a series of different photos with colorful string coming from each piece. This piece is called "Thread for Thought" by Elena Damon, and I think that name fits perfectly with what was executed. My favorite part of the piece is that the photos are in black and white but the string is all different colors. Just like regular students we see everyday, they could look at ease, while having so many things going through their minds, like the colorful string beaming from their eyes. I would have never though to look at a photo like that and I am glad I could gain a new perspective from this piece.

Overall, I am very impressed with the art I saw at the gallery on Friday. Seeing the way other students around me perceive the world, or even just Loyola, gives me a whole new perspective on how to interpret others.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Review on Viability- Italo Calvino

Viability by Italo Calvino takes a look into what imagination is. Calvino starts out by discussing Dante's reasoning for imagination. He then goes on to explain the two different ways people can use their imagination: starting with an image and creating words for it and recognizing a word and what image goes with it.

As Calvino goes on, he begins to question whether these images are from things we've seen before, or are completely imagined. I think that the images that come to mind are mostly things we have seen or experienced before. I do believe that some people can just create a new image in their mind on the spot, but I don't think many people are able to do so.

I think that imagination is a powerful tool because it is the way people envision life. For example, when someone says the word 'cat' to two different people, they could have two different images in their head. These images are shaped by people's everyday experiences.

Imagination has a lot to do with how we see art. The way someone sees art is a lot like his or her own imagination, everyone sees something different.