EXAMPLE: Field Trip Assignment
Bill Schenck’s Gone with the Gunsmoke
I decided to visit the Tucson Museum of Art on Friday, the fourth of March. The work of art that I chose to evaluate was Bill Schenck’s Gone with the Gunsmoke. Bill Schenck was raised in Columbus, Ohio, but spent summers in Wyoming. These summers produced a fascination with the West in Schenck, and out of this fascination he created works such as Gone with the Gunsmoke. Gone with the Gunsmoke is a serigraph print that Schenck created in 1996, and the one on display at the Tucson Museum of Art is 34” X 28” and is 44/78.
The focal point or emphasis of Gone with the Gunsmoke is a beautiful woman dressed in western attire. Schenck uses contrasting light and dark shadows to give the woman the illusion of three dimensionality or perspective, creating depth in the flat picture plane. The solid blue-grey background color appears flat in this composition. This somewhat shallow use of (the illusion of) space allows her to pop out of the background, as she is pulled towards a viewer and thus becomes the focal point. As the background rises towards the horizon, there is a row of clouds that separate the landscape from the sky, which creates the middle-ground in this composition. This horizontal line adds to the flatness of the background as it mimics or echoes other lines for example in the landscape elements and in the contour of the shape of the woman, etc. and directs our eyes back to the woman. These lines thus create an eccentric rhythm throughout the painting. The clouds billow towards the center, and surround the woman’s upper half before they rise above her beyond the top of the piece. The sky surrounding the clouds becomes a deeper tint of hue (color) blue as it rises higher in the sky, which helps to give them some dimension, and to frame the woman and draw your eye back towards her. While the background is mostly flat and without linear perspective, the clouds are given some...