by Jamie Winter
In my four years of attending West Virginia University, I have never been to the Art Museum. It was something that never interested me mainly because I was never really taught about artists, artwork, and the elements that go into creating a piece of art. If it weren’t for ARHS 101, I probably would not have visited the Art Museum, but since I am more familiar with analyzing and evaluating artwork from what we learned in class, I enjoyed our first visit. It was neat to see all of the different styles of art like paintings and sculptures. It’s amazing what these artists can create.
As I walked through the exhibit, one picture especially caught my eye. “Winter Twilight Landscape” by William H. Partridge was my favorite out of all the pieces I saw. The contrasting colors with the darkness of the trees and the bright orange and yellow background captured me, and essentially made me imagine the place and time that this picture was representing: at dusk, in the forest, when the sun was setting.
“Winter Twilight Landscape” is an oil painting, which tells me that the paint is set right on the canvas contrary to a fresco painting, where the colors are actually dried into the plaster that they are painted on. The painting is naturalistic and representational in that it is a depiction of reality. The picture has a clear foreground, middle ground, and background. The foreground is the one tree that looks like it is white that is closest to the viewer. The middle ground is behind that, and that would be the darker scattered trees. The background is the farthest part of the painting from the viewer, and that would be the orange, yellow sky. Lastly, I would argue the painting has atmospheric perspective. If you look in the distant of painting, the objects tend to lose detail. This is the artist’s way of showing that this painting is supposed to represent a wide range and distance.
Viewing art is way different in the classroom on a projector screen than it is in the Art Museum with real paintings and sculptures in front of you. The projector screen doesn’t allow you to see the miniscule detail, and quite frankly the projector screen doesn’t give a piece of art justice. I would much rather see a piece of art at a museum or in person because you can really get the full effect.
Jamie Winter, a native of Pittsburgh, is currently studying Strategic Communications in WVU’s Reed College of Media. This semester, she is a student in Art History 101, taught by Dr. Bernie Schultz