Play to Make

Fall 2021


Reflecting on the year

This is the first time I have taken an art class since middle school. When I signed up for the class I wasn’t sure what to expect from the class and just tried to approach it with an open mind. After taking the class I was very glad I took it. Although it doesn’t apply as much to my major as other classes would have taking Play to Make taught me about expression and design and gave me an in-person class to enjoy compared to my other more traditional classes. Overall I enjoyed the in-person interactions and the positive and inclusive environment from this class and learned a lot about different elements of design.



Art every day

Art doesn’t have to be something that was created with the intention of being art. Some of the best examples of this are art in nature. While it is unlikely that inanimate objects or systems decided to express themselves the forms created can be described as art.

The patterns and lighting observed in these clouds allow anyone able to observe them to experience something equivalent to experiencing art such as a painting.
The same logic that makes clouds art also applies to sunsets because people can experience sunsets like art although the sun and orbit of the earth aren’t intending to express anything.
Birds singing is are and it is a form of expression. The birds are expressing themselves to other birds and although most people wouldn’t consider conversations as art most people consider songs art.


What is Art?

Art can be many things to many different people. Art can be visually representing an idea or experience, it can be music or movies. Fundamentally art is an expression and how it is expressed can be anything.

Both of these paintings express art on a canvas although what and how the expression occurs varies greatly. On one hand, the Mona Lisa is a very realistic portrait of a woman while the other one Jason Pollocks Free Form expresses art in an abstract allowing for the viewer to experience the art in different ways.
Jaws express itself through film giving a very different experience from paintings of music,
The orchestra expresses art is the form of music that allows for the art to be experienced in a completely different way from the Mona Lisa or Free Flow.


Interesting colors

Vanta black or Vertically aligned nanotube array black is the darkest material ever created. Vanta black is made of carbon nanotubes that capture almost all light that hits it preventing our eye from seeing any light that could bounce off of it. It is so dark that the human eye is unable to identify the depth of whatever is covered in Vanta black.


Both of these pictures are of the same thing just from different angles.  The Vanta black is what prevents you from seeing anything when facing the front of the picture.


Ancient Clay

Clay has been used for thousands of years by humans and the overall methods haven’t changed much. Archaeological digs indicate that clay has been used by humans as early as 30,000 years ago. Clay was commonly used to make figurines and bowls or other such containers. Until recent times most of the technological change in clay manufacturing came from the firing process. Ancient clay was first tired using open fires preventing temperatures from getting too hot, once covered fires were used clay was able to be fired at much higher and consistent levels improving the quality.


Animation basics

Making motion out of still images is a challenge overcome by film and animation. The basic way to show motion is with the use of several images with small changes in between. Creating the individual images is hard but there are some tricks to make it look believable. The most important trick is to keep a reference for the viewer that doesn’t change much or at all. Another important trick is to have action that flows through from one image to the next in order to create believable motion.

The video of the horse galloping uses both tricks to make a convincing video. The head and tail stay in relatively the same spot while the motion of the feet flows from frame to frame.



3D modeling basics

3D modeling is the usage of computer software to represent an object in three dimensions. Different softwares can be used to create the objects but they all have the same fundamental idea. 3d models are made with the interaction of a simple handful of peices. In some sftware models are made with sketches made from mostly straignt lines and rectangles that interact with eachother through extrusions. Other software uses basic shapes that can be modified to create more complex images.

In this example a water bottle is made by using and modifying cylinders.



Project idea

For my project, I want to do something that incorporates lens flare. Lens flare is caused by the light reflecting off the lenses inside of a viewing optic like a camera or an eye. I would like to try and get a kind of lens flare that is most commonly attributed to the twinkle of stars.

The twinkle that this star has isn’t actually what the star looks like but rather an example of lens flare.


Perspective in drawing

A drawing is two dimensional and trying to make it seem three dimensional is one of the hard parts of drawings. M.C. Escher is one of my favorite artists for his master of perspective. Escher is able to give his drawings realistic depth and is even able to give his depth an impossible perspective.

The perspective of this drawing makes it appear to have a never ending stair case despite it being physically impossible in the real world.
In this drawing Escher is able t represent perspective in a non traditional way by distorting the image.


Interesting Public Art

The Elia sculpture is a black spherical sculpture in Denmark. The art has three main parts, a black spherical dome that har a diameter of 200 feet on top of the dome there are 4 pillars on top. The most unique part of the art in its burst of flame that it will randomly fire 26 feet into the air about once every two to three weeks. The flame makes this 3.5 million dollar artwork unique.

Image of Elia
This is the only video or picture of the flame I have found. Despite the art being almost 20 years old.