San Antonio: Painting with a Twist

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During my visit back to San Antonio, my hometown, I explored the McNay. Though I have lived in San Antonio for several years, it was my first time visiting the museum, and I am grateful that I did. On both sides of my family, we have mild artistic abilities (mainly artsy doodles and attending Painting with a Twist,) but it has never been something that my family members or myself have expressed interest in studying or appreciating in a museum.

However, this assignment has pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I don’t regret it at all. To see art online is beautiful, but to see art in person is intriguing. To be able to see the texture of an impressionist piece or the small colorful dots of pointillism that turn into a larger picture is something that viewing online cannot offer you. My visit to the McNay is one to remember, and the artwork that follows the style of Cubism drew my attention the most.

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The first piece of art that caught my attention was called Rising Moon created by Raymond Jonson. Jonson created artwork that modeled landscapes that somewhat echoed abstract patterns found on Pueblo pottery (McNay.) In this artwork, Jonson uses cool colors such as blue and violet, which reflects the scenery of the landscape. Using such colors allows me to conclude that it is dusk, and the sun is setting. The use of these colors offers a calming and serene feeling. Jonson also utilizes warm colors, such as a light shade of pink.

This color is used to contrast the other colors found in the piece to emphasize the sunset and that there is still some light among the landscape. Throughout the art, various lines are used; curved lines, horizontal lines, and defined lines. The use of these lines highlights the different aspects illustrated in the artwork; the multiple curved lines conveys a mountainous land, the horizontal lines above the sun represent the clouds, and the defined lines reveal buildings off in the distance.

The second piece of art that caught my eye was called Milking Time by William Zorach. In this artwork, Zorach utilizes a reasonably dull subject, milking cows, and creates a supernatural emphasis (Glasstire, Texas Visual Art.) The focal point of the artwork is the sun. Immediately, my eyes are drawn to the top of the canvas where the sun is found, and then my focus follows down the shape of the light shown from it, a triangle, the symbol of the cult of labor (Glasstire, Texas Visual Art) down to the people at the ground.

The stick figures on the ground seem to be dancing in the light of their sun. The artwork exhibits both Linear and Aerial Illusion; the focal point and shape of the triangle following it offers a linear illusion, and the trees fading out into the distance offers an aerial/atmospheric illusion.

The final piece of artwork that I observed was called Barn Decorations by Charles Sheeler. In this piece of art, Sheeler uses a variety (variation) of shades, shapes, and colors to expose the abnormal geometric shape of the barn. The composition of this art is very complex and busy, with the juxtaposition of conflicting shapes and colors. At first glance, I did not recognize this piece as a barn due to its complexity. Though there is shading found in this piece, it does not offer a 3-dimensionality; the artwork appears to be very flat, and uninteresting.

Though I don’t find myself exploring art museums very often, I enjoyed my time at the McNay greatly. The art found in the museum expressed many different styles, cultures, and mediums. The cubism art that stuck out to me in the museum allowed me to gain a greater understanding of visual art, and how all the individual components- such as color, shading, dimensionality, focal point, etc.- of art create a beautiful and complex piece of artwork.

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San Antonio: Painting with a Twist. (2021, Sep 29). Retrieved from

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