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7 pages/≈1925 words
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Harvard
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Visual & Performing Arts
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English (U.S.)
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Art Critique On Home In The River Bottoms By Greg Olsen (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

Art critique: the essay criticizes two paintings: home in the river bottoms by Greg Olsen and melting snow by Brittany Scott.

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Content:
Art Critique
Home in the River bottoms
Name
College
Title: Home in the River bottoms
Artist: Greg Olsen
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: N/A
Date:
The Home in the river bottoms is an artwork that is influenced directly by nature. Greg Olsen predominately utilizes organic shapes in this artwork. The southern landscape bares irregular forms depicted by bumps on the ground. There is little vegetation that leaves some portions of bare ground. A fairly uniform depression that represents a young river also appears in this region.
At the center is a building perhaps a countryside house surrounded by flowers and trees growing close to each other only exposing the middle section of the house. The trees at the left diminish in size giving a feeling of increased distance between them and the viewer. These faraway trees are seen beyond a wide field of open ground with low vegetation cover and appear lighter green, a feature that distinct them from the foreground thick shaded trees. The pale green used on the faraway trees indicate a drier ground as compared to the trees near the river bed that seem greener indicating a well-watered area. These trees also lack detail in comparison to the house and the trees.
In the background is a clear sky with light clouds. Olsen uses pale yellow tones to unite the sky and the trees evoking a dry hazy atmosphere. The subtle changes in color, value and detail provide a real sense of being present in a home by the river bottoms. The dominant subject of Olsen’s work is the house with a brown roof. The house is highly detailed with each window separate from the other. The faraway trees and the clouds lack such adornment because the trees cannot be differentiated from one another and also the clouds edges are not clear.
The color scheme used by Olsen is analogous. There is also a variation on the color wheel in between hues adjacent to one another for example blue-green between the trees and the sky. However, the objects in the background of Olsen’s piece lack color intensity. The trees at the center allude to be growing over the roof of the house to which they provide shade. The river channel widens at the bottom and appears to be towards the viewer as it flows from left to the bottom. In this way, Olsen creates an illusion of motion in the artwork. In home in the river bottoms balance in unity and variety is maintained.
The figures in Olsen’s work; trees, the river and the sky belong to each other. These natural components together form a harmonious whole while at the same time embodying nature. Variety in this piece is displayed by the various vegetation species; shady trees, shrubs, low-lying vegetation and flowers.
There is also asymmetrical balance in Olsen’s piece of artwork. The right and left side are not the same; there is more activity on the right where the house surrounded by trees and flowers is. The big size of the trees is attention getting and this helps balance the open field covered with low vegetation growth and some faraway trees on the left. Immediately after the trees, the primary focus shifts to the house in the center which is the focal point of this piece. The house is the most distinct figure and has more details, black windows, white walls and a brown roof. The sky and the clouds are the lesser focus area of interest as they lack intense color and detail while the use of low vegetation cover creates repetition of visual elements which provide a flow.
Greg Olsen was born in 1958 in Idaho Falls, Idaho and is considered one of the most prolific artists of the late 20th and the early 21st century. His portfolio is quite diverse including landscape, childhood, Western and Americana. Many large corporations such as Pentagon and National Collegiate Association have his work. Olsen grew up in Iona, a farming community near Idaho. His interest in art was discovered when he was in 4th grade and by the time he reached junior high school, he began to take art seriously.
Landscapes from the home in the river bottoms reflect the perfect beauty of the mind’s eye and his imagination depicts the best and the brightest of childhood memories. In this piece of art, Olsen illustrates an uncultivated landscape surrounding the home and the river, a clear indication of his childhood memories in Idaho Falls. In Olsen’s work is a modern homestead surrounded by trees. The house has unique wall white paint and a brown roof, an acknowledgement of modern architecture. The homestead in this artwork helps to convince those who are skeptical of visiting rural areas that it is not desolate as there is tamed beauty as indicated by the decorative flowers around the house. The environmental reality along rivers is inviting and the soils are fertile and well drained as revealed by the uniform vegetation cover and the healthy trees; definitely very productive when it comes to farming. However, the single house, absence of people and open field in this piece, show how most rural areas are sparsely populated and uncultivated.
Greg Olsen’s work has considerable value; it epitomizes the real natural landscape one would discover around a home in the river bottoms. His work is worth to be defined and considered as it depicts the distinct features of a homestead along a river. Olsen, unlike his counterparts, has the ability to capture the landscape and atmosphere around the river and communicate the definite essence of river line vegetation to nearby dwellers. By viewing this piece, I am convinced that am enjoying cool breeze along the river while looking at a modern beautiful home across the river. Being raised at a home close to a river, I personally admire and value this piece of amazing artwork because it illustrates the beautiful home surrounded by shady trees while at the same time triggering my childhood memories. Olsen’s masterpiece exudes the relaxing feeling one would experience by visiting a place in a river bottom.
The home in the river bottom has value globally and was recently presented to the UVU Woodbury Art Museum. Through his work, Olsen succeeds in capturing a mind-blowing landscape that reminds of the comfortable regions many people shun with the excuse of poor development. He envisions the unpolluted and ideal rural locations often associated with childhood. Greg Olsen can be acclaimed for uncovering the extraordinary beauty of nature that the earth offers especially on the idle and less visited places. He was regarded for his talent and expertise in creating pieces that would bring the feeling of life just by looking at them.
References
Olsen, G n.d, The Home in the River bottoms, image, UVU Woodbury Art Museum.
Art Critique
Melting Snow
Name
College
869315186690
Title: Melting Snow
Artist: Brittany Scott
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Dimension: 24 * 36
Date:
Melting Snow is one of Brittany Scott’s artwork that is directly influenced by nature. This piece majorly utilizes organic shapes as indicated by the curving shapes as seen in the snow, trees and mountain. The Foreground is entirely covered with snow with two trees, one on the left and the other in the right; most of their leaves also covered with snow. The snow cover in this region appears thick because it swallows the trees trunks only exposing the uppers sections. Beyond the thick snow cover are five trees which are seemingly more exposed indicating a shallower snow cover in that portion.
At the center is a brown roofed house with some melting snow on it. Although the tree at the left is bigger than the one at the center, it is less detailed as compared to the later. By gazing at the tree at the center, you can identify the tree trunk and the branches flutter in the melting snow. This tree and the house are more detailed and they perhaps form the dominant subject or the figures of composition of this piece of art. In the background is a collection of closely grown trees forming a kind of a forest that stretches from a depression and up leading to the mountain slopes faraway. Snow cover thickens from the forest towards the mountain reaching a peak at ...
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