Compare and Contrast Essay

Submitted By Ernbear83
Words: 1541
Pages: 7

Erin Slonim
Survey of Art 100-03
Paper #2 Compare & Contrast

The pieces of art I chose to compare and contrast both have a subject matter of trees. The first one is titled, “Out of the Woods” by Karen Lohrke Kaiser. This is an oil and charcoal piece done on paper with dimensions of 32’x 40’ and abstract in appearance. This was created sometime in 2014 and is currently located in the Corner Gallery in Boswell Hall. The second piece is titled, “Transition” by Peggy Ann Thompson. This is an oil on canvas piece with dimensions of 24’x 36’ and is also abstract in appearance. It was created on September 12, 2014 during an Art walk in Coeur d’Alene and is currently located at the Painters Chair Gallery. When I look at Kaiser’s piece, I see a representation of a forest with barren trees in the season of winter. It appears to be a cloudy day towards the evening time with a fog hovering and floating throughout the trees and resting on the ground. There are only a few patches of light where it seems as though the sun may be trying to peek through the fog. The ground appears to be completely bare with only small patches of grass or piles around the bottom of the trees.
A monochromatic color scheme is used to portray the mood of the piece, which to me seems to be a bit of eeriness and calmness combined, as well as show the dreariness of the day. There are hints of purple throughout the piece mixed with the colors of grey to reveal the time of day and the last of the sunlight reflecting off of the fog and fading into the evening. Since there is little color used, it forces the viewer to feel more of the texture of the air which to me feels damp and cool and also a bit muggy. The color of the fog contrasted with the boldness of the trees creates unity in the artwork. The piece is asymmetrical in balance, as all four corners are not identical. However, the way that the trees are distributed and how the fog surrounds the entire piece being in every corner, bring an overall balance to it. The lightness of the fog contrasted with the depth and boldness of the tress bring a sense of balance as well.
The artist used charcoal to draw the barren trees which give them a dramatic look. The trees towards the front of the piece are drawn with a thicker vertical line and become thinner as you look into the woods to achieve a sense of depth. They become lighter in appearance as they continue back, which adds perspective. The variations of line thickness in the trees support the illusion of distance between them. The artist also used small patches of white throughout the piece to portray areas of light that may be peeking through the fog.
The second piece, “Transition” is a beautiful representation of the season of fall here in the inland Northwest. When I look at it I see a dirt path in a wooded area surrounded by vibrant birch or red maple trees with their leaves bright in transition, with leaves falling from the trees onto the ground and beginning to cover the pathway. As you look beyond the trees and further down the pathway, it appears to be a hill or mountain side covered with rich green pine trees off in the distance.
The artist uses a palette knife to create an almost a 3-dimmensional affect on the surface. It creates an edge on the leaves that make them pop out and appear to almost come off of the canvas. A very vibrant color scheme was used to paint the leaves colors of yellow, red and orange, while the hillside in the distance was painted with deep colors of green and hints of blue. Just above the trees there is a small patch of white portraying the color of the sky above. The colors of the trees in the distance make the warm hues of the trees in the foreground pop. The varying of the bright and dark contrast in the trees gives a feeling of depth and dimension.
The technique of the palette knife gives a rough texture to the piece. It appears to be very thick. When I look at it, I can hear the rustling sound of the leaves blowing in