Ross School - Senior Project 2006-07
Mentor: Annemarie Costello
Consultant: Tony Parish
Domains: Science and Visual Arts
Title: The Body
My Senior Project was an exploration of the human body, which includes a number of paintings, as well as a scientific poster that describes the different muscle groups. Five of the art pieces were done with oil, and the sixth one was sketched with a pencil. The poster is an introduction to weight training for a beginner. It includes detailed descriptions of different exercises, for the major upper body muscle groups. Together with the descriptions there is a brief work out regimen that explains what exercises to perform, and how much time should be dedicated for rest in between each workout. The poster also includes a brief history on the study of human anatomy.
The images below are photographs of my art pieces. Five of them were created with oil paint, and the last one was done with a pencil.
In addition to the artwork I created a poster, which is an introduction to weight lifting and getting into better shape. On the poster there is a brief Introduction to studies of anatomy and the muscular system. Following the introduction there is a short work out regimen which includes exercise descriptions and pictures of how to correctly perform them.
For my senior project I combined my interest in art and my passion for weight training together. I started working out back in ninth grade when I enrolled into a weight training class that was taught by Tony Parish. Tony was also my outside community member/advisor for the project. He taught me the fundamentals of weight training which I still use today, and much of which I used to make my fitness poster. Art was also something that I was always I very interested in, however I never pursued it outside of class. I figured that senior project provided me with a wonderful opportunity to finally explore my abilities in art while also being able to do something that I truly loved.
To begin my senior project I first had to come up with an idea. During the end of my junior year, Peter Nesi, Branson Wright, and I thought that we were going to make a clothing line and use that as our project. Even though it sounded very interesting and we were all very excited, the project fell apart and never got started. At the beginning of my senior year, when most of my fellow colleagues had already began working on their projects, I had no clue about what mine was going to be. Luckily my teachers sat me down and helped me organize my interests. That’s when I realized that if I was to do a project it was going to incorporate art and weight training. Finally I had an idea now all that was left was coming up with an actual project with a final product.
Originally I planned to make a clay sculpture, a fitness poster, and a series of paintings. However as the work process progressed I realized that I had very little skill with sculpture, and decided to eliminate that part of the project. A big inspiration for this project was Leonardo Da Vinci. I really like his sketches of the human body and the human anatomy, becoming familiar with them got me really interested in art. Before I started to paint, I wanted to make a couple of paintings that imitated the classical style, and in addition to that several pieces that were more abstract and that were more personal. . When I started working on my art pieces, it was very difficult for me to learn how to transfer images and ideas from my head onto a canvas. It took a lot of trial and error for me to finally achieve what I wanted.
During the time that I spent working on art, I also began to compose my poster. It turned out to be a lot more work then I anticipated. At first I figured that I would be able to finish it within a week or so, but it wasn’t that easy. After I finished the first layout, I made the poster to be 56” by 56”, but after I contacted the printer he explained to me that these dimensions were wrong and that one side of the poster had to be reduced to 36”. I had to change the fonts and the picture size of everything that was on it. As tedious as it was I finally finished it, but I realized that the font I made now was too small. Then I had to enlarge it again, but try to make it not too large. After several reshaping in size I was finally done. I sent it to the printer for a mockup. My mentor and I reviewed the mockup, and realized that the pictures weren’t exactly the same size, and that some of the font was a little bit different. The last obstacle to overcome was the formatting difference between a MAC and a PC. The printer was forced to print the poster 3 times to finally get it right since, my MAC had a different document format and he had to change it. After it was finally done, I was very happy and excited with the finished product.
During the process of my senior project I faced some minor and some major challenges along the way. One of the challenges was to learn how to use a new computer and its new software. I am still very rusty with it and very often I feel like one of my parents attempting to use a computer and not knowing what to do. Another challenge was learning how to make an idea become a reality. As I mentioned before taking something out of your head and placing it on canvas was something that did not come easy to me, and it is something that I am still learning. And finally there was a big complication with my time management skills. I think that at times I was simply lazy and just gave up. When I think back, it was my fault and if I would have focused harder I would have been able to finish on time, and avoid all of the negative consequences that my procrastination brought me.
I am very happy that I chose to do a project which enabled me to gain skills in art as well as a better understanding of the human anatomy. I learned different techniques of working with oil paint and pencil. By gaining skills in different art techniques, I was able to learn how to bring my ideas to life. However in addition to that, I also learned that some things just wouldn’t come out right. Some of the art never came out to look the way I imagined it. Even though I tried fixing it several times, it still didn’t have the look that I tried going for. Senior project also taught me that organization and finishing things on time is something that I needed to learn and really pay attention to. I believe it was a good lesson to learn before heading off to college, where there will be no one to bother me in order for me to finish my work.
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Community Member (Details)
Name: Tony Parish
My community member used to be my ninth grade weight training teacher here at The Ross School.