Project 1: Communicative Shapes — — — Forbes + Murray

As I got off the bus at Forbes and Murray intersection, the first thing that jumped out into my eyes where the mix of a variety of architects standing still on the four corners. One corner contains an old ancient style chapel, which stood out to me the most because the building is very different to all the others at this intersection and there is also a lot of green grass and trees compare to the other three corners. Closely examining the chapel, I also noticed the rustiness of the building. In addition to the building itself, the sharp black fence surrounding this chapel are also all rusty. Observing this architect gave me an ancient feeling, as if I were living in ancient Europe.

The chapel located on the corner of the intersection of Forbes and Murray

One of the corners across from the chapel is the Carnegie library of Pittsburgh. The structure of this building is clearly a more modern design since it contains large pieces of clear glass windows and also many non-ninety-degree sharp folding edges. Closely observing this library, the geometric that it contains really popped out to me and gives me a feeling that it is a newly built building. I also noticed how this architect is built using a mix of materials, with mainly concrete on the bottom, glass is the middle, and wood like material on the top. I really felt a sense of modernism just by looking at the outside of the library and comparing it with the chapel directly across from it.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh across for the chapel

The other corner of the intersection across the chapel contains a structure that has a curve at one of the corners but straight edges and turns at the others. It is a shop that contains an automatic door at the front and is mostly made of red brick walls with an exception of a large piece of glass window on the top front. The last corner across from this and the library also gives a similar feeling with this corner of the street. With them one being a market and the other being an ice cream shop, I realize how this is a developed entertainment area even though it is not located in downtown Pittsburgh.

Red brick wall with many cars parked on the street

Comparing the four corners of this intersection, it feels like the level of care exerted to the chapel is a lot less than the other three due to the rustiness of it. However, the green trees and grass seem well taken care of, which shows that at least to some extend there is care exerted to the chapel as well. There seems to be all kinds of people in this area, and a lot of people walked past me as I was observing the intersection. The cross-walks connecting all four corners and three trashcans within my field of view further supports that this is a busy district that many people come and go. I look forward to visit the area again and continue adding on to my observations.

— — — — — — — — — — August 30&31th, 2016 — — — — — — — — — — —

Revisiting this area for the 3rd time over the labor day three-day weekend, I noticed even more details that I had previously overlooked in this area. For example, the building of the Carnegie library of Pittsburgh looks very modern and new on the outside, but paying very close attention helped me realized that the level of care exerted to it is actually not that much. The cement has flaws in them, and the tiles that are use to create the pedestrian walkway also has many dents and bits and pieces falling off. This gave me a completely new view to this area since I used to think that this area is very highly developed and looked after. I feel like this is a great contrast to the outer image that the architects create when people are looking at it from a little distance away.

Brick wall with rust and dents
Floor tile of the sidewalk with a very big notch

Going very close up to the buildings provided me a new view of this area. In addition to the tiles, pillars, and walls of the Carnegie library of Pittsburgh, I noticed how there are a lot of smoked cigarettes thrown on the sidewalks. I can tell that this intersection of Forbes and Murray is a busy area with many people walking pass me and the “remains” that they leave behind. From paying very close attention to the area, I feel that people should really care more about their environment and especially in this area where there are literally a trashcan on almost every corner of the intersection.

— — — — — — — — — — — September 3rd, 2016 — — — — — — — — — — —

After cutting white paper to portray this intersection for two times and listening to the comments and different people’s point of view during critiques, I felt that my paper cutting piece did mostly describes the area in general. I chose to cut out the corner of the Carnegie library of Pittsburgh since I wanted to portray the modern architecture alone with the trees behind it to show the mix of human modernization and the existence of nature along with it. I hope by including the trees, it will help others to get a sense of the feeling of chapel corner across from the library and the I can capture the mood of this entire intersection through including these components.

7 by 7 inches white on white paper cutting

However, I realized that through my paper portrayal of the intersection, I didn’t successfully capture the rustiness of the walls and streets of the area. Even though I believe that these little details are important and are part of what makes this interest ion even more unique, I couldn’t really think of ways to include this element in my artwork. If I included these tiny cuts and holes on my paper, I feel that it will make the entire paper look very messy and hard for the views to recognize what each components are suppose to be. Therefore, I decided to keep my white on white paper cutting fairly clean in order to let my viewers clearly focus on the important shapes that I really hope they can get out of this artwork.

— — — — — — — — — — — September 8th, 2016 — — — — — — — — — — —

During this past weekend, I went back to the intersection, stood there, and took my time to observe the surroundings again. However, different from the past, thought going through my mind are not only things that I have noticed, but also ideas of how I should portray this area using paper. After doing the white on white paper cutting for two times, I felt quite comfortable with the field of view I chose to capture. But now that I need to incorporate different tonal values, I hope that I can use this to capture even more of the mood of the intersection. I ended up cutting out the trees in the back with the darkest paper given and used mostly lighter color paper on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to make the pillars and the structure of the building to stand out. I feel like I still need to continue experiment with the use of values to really capture the mood of the intersection after creating this paper cutting with tonal value papers.

7 by 7 inches tonal value paper cutting

— — — — — — — — — — — September 11th, 2016 — — — — — — — — — — —

After the tonal value paper cutting, we were then suppose to do another one that includes switching and replacing one tonal value with a color of our choice. At first, I tried with replacing a value with red, but I feel like the outcome did not portray the vibe that I feel from the intersection of Forbes and Murray.

The intersection with red paper included

After carefully thinking back to what I have previously observed while at the intersection, I thought of replacing the red paper to a grayish blue instead since it resembles more with the rustiness feeling that I got. After redoing this color one, I believe the new outcome did communicate more of what the intersection’s vibe and mood is. Even though the area is a developed area with many shops, restaurants, and people traveling through, there seem to still be a sense of ancientness mixed with the modernized area, and I hoped to capture this through my choice of colors. Overall, looking at my final three paper cutting works as a set, I believe that they do communicate what I feel about the intersection of Forbes and Murray.

Final set

— — — — — — — — — — — September 19th, 2016 — — — — — — — — — — —

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