Congratulations on receiving an Art History Honorable Mention/ Spring 2023 and best wishes ongoing to:
Fatima Flores, a Junior at the University of Texas, El Paso, majoring in Art History with a minor in Studio Drawing.
“I always carried a great love for art growing up. I taught myself how to draw and use a variety of mediums through video tutorials and books. I originally started my college education with a studio art major in drawing, but after a few classes, I found myself drawn to Art History and teaching. So far I have loved every aspect of it, the beauty, history, and achievements of humanity, especially the culture and philosophy of the ancient art of the Baroque period.
I am currently finishing my undergraduate degree, and I wish to go on to grad school and pursue my master’s, and later my doctorate in Art History. I aspire to become a professor and help students appreciate art, history, and culture. Right now I am polishing my teaching skills by working as a tutor for Art Appreciation at the University of Texas at El Paso. In these tutoring sessions, I meet with students either individually or as a group, and we work to develop studying techniques, note taking strategies, and engage in active learning to help understand their course as well as apply these to their future classes. These sessions help students boost their grades and help them transition from a high school learning experience to a University learning experience.
I have also been accepted in the Roma Aeterna study abroad program, which will allow me to study art and its history directly from the source. This will not only help me supplement my undergrad core curriculum, but I know it will help me grow in the knowledge of the Baroque period to which I aim to dedicate my life.”
Honorable Mention Scholarship Essay / Fatima Flores
Compare and contrast the 2 paintings shown below:
Both Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s “Night Lights” and Frederic Whitaker’s “California Tower, Night” immerse the viewer into two different depictions of nightlife. Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s “Night Lights” is framed at the top and bottom with plant life, serving as a foreground for the composition. The bottom section presents a cluster of leafy shrubs with some desert vegetation, showing the wild and natural beauty of nature. The top section cuts off a tree, three branches peering out from outside of the canvas. In Frederic Whitaker’s “California Tower, Night”, the vegetation is ordered and neat, with grass, shrubs, and a variety of trees all following an order that serves as décor for the California Tower. As one moves further up in “Night Lights”, a vibrant cityscape illuminated by a sea of lights meets the viewer’s eye. The islands toward the center-right are surrounded by water, and several scattered spots of lights that encircle the islands throughout the composition give an indication of ships in the water nearby. Washes of black watercolor give off a wet atmospheric feel, helping space recede. A city is encompassed into one landscape portrait in “Night Lights”, and one can almost hear the bumbling and bustle of the city at night in this composition.
Frederick Whitaker’s “California Tower, Night” differs from “Night Lights” as it offers an intimate and quiet detail of this night scene. The lower right side of the composition in “California Tower, Night” shows four figures of people, giving life to this otherwise still scene, contrasting “Night Lights” which are devoid of human figures. Furthermore, the presence of people in “California Tower, Night” adds to the monumentality of the California tower. The tower is lit dramatically, the lower half of the tower holds little décor, while the upper portion has elements of Spanish Colonial Baroque columns and multicolored tile elements for the dome. The presence of Spanish Colonial Baroque is present in the façade for the tunnel in the lower left, as well as the two domes, each with the vivid elaborate tile décor. “Night Lights” lacks this detail of architecture in the work, the city lights serve as an abstraction of the city buildings. Light plays a big role in both “Night Lights”, and “California Tower, Night”.
The different splashes of multicolored and vibrant arrays of lights, substitute buildings, bridges, and homes in the bustling and wide-awake city. Light is used differently in “California Tower, Night”. The light here serves as a dramatic factor, adding drama to the composition. The light adds emphasis to the architecture. The three lampposts toward the lower center and lower right illuminate four figures, showing that the tower is not alone at night. Three lights at the lower left corridor help add depth to the tunnel adding interest to the area. Light separates a single palm tree from the shadows as seen in the center area of the composition as well.
Perspective works differently in both compositions. In “Night Lights”, the placement of the vegetation helps angle the viewer’s eye as if seeing from an overhead perspective. Quite the opposite in “California Tower, Night”, one accompanies the other human figures in the lower right composition as one peer up and feels small in comparison to the monumentality of the tower. Depth is emphasized in “Night Lights”, as it has a foreground, middle, and background as seen with the foliage, the nearby islands, and the mountain regions in the farther section. “California Tower, Night” limits the viewer, as the emphasis is on the architecture, especially of the tower and lower right central dome. Even the dimly lit tunnel in the lower right section of the composition provides no different view at the end of it. Thus, the overlap becomes the main system for perspective in “California Tower”. Both “Night Lights” and “California Tower, Night” immerse the viewer into the composition with their different uses of perspective.
The color palette differs in both compositions as well. The “Night Lights” palette provides an overall cool atmospheric feel due to the swashes of color. Blues, yellows, reds, and whites add vibrancy to the city. The fluid blend of colors adds freshness to the feel of the landscape. The inky black water lightly reflects the lights as seen in the upper center area as well as the left side of the composition. Multicolored and flashy, “Night Lights” has a cool, lively, and vibrant sensation. “California Tower, Night” in comparison, holds more earthy mid-tones. Greens are provided by the vegetation, and blue and yellow tile work in the domes of the architecture, as well as three of the figures below, who wear the primary colors, add color to the composition.
Both “Night Lights” and “California Tower, Night” masterfully play with the dark washes to play with light and shadow. The fluid strokes and different variations of value in “Night Lights” help make the difference between the dark water area in the bottom section of the composition and the night sky with soft and elongated clouds in the upper portion. In “California Tower, Night”, the dark swatches of ink-like darkness provided by silhouettes of trees and night sky contrast with the lighter and softer indication of clouds in the sky portion of the composition. While both images present great mastery of the watercolor medium, “Night Light” is much looser in its brushwork, and “California Tower, Night” is precise as depicted in the architecture.
Both Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s “Night Lights” and Frederic Whitaker’s “California Tower, Night”, masterfully work with the watercolor medium, each controlling the bleeding of color with great technique and precision. Both artworks depict life at night, though “Night Light” displays a sleepless and bustling city at night from a high point, and “California Tower, Night” places the viewer in an intimate and quiet setting, joining the four other figures in admiring the monumental California tower. The masterful skill and technique truly immerse the viewer in these different night scenes, with wonderful and awe-inspiring feelings emitted from both.
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