Advanced Visual Design

This blog is a process blog for Advanced Visual Design class at the University of Oregon. The project I am working on consists mostly of creating watercolor paintings of cabins in Colorado, and writing up their histories.
OH HOT DAMN, THIS IS A YAM.
Sometimes I crack myself up.
Ok a lot.
I crack myself up a LOT.

OH HOT DAMN, THIS IS A YAM.

Sometimes I crack myself up.

Ok a lot.

I crack myself up a LOT.

(Source: marisnewdarts)

Final Cabin Paintings!

Animas Forks, Colorado

Animas Forks is located on a system of roads known as the Alpine Loop. It was originally called Three Forks of the Animas because of the three rivers that meet nearby. It was later simplified to Animas Forks by the U.S. Postal Service. The loop is a 65-mile system of unpaved roads which connects the small mountain towns of Lake City, Ouray, and Silverton. Animas Forks, at an elevation of 11,200 feet is more than two miles above sea level and caused the town to suffer from the severe winters that come with living at that elevation. The town’s first log cabin was built in 1873 when prospectors built log cabins near their claims. By 1876 the town had become a bustling mining community. At that time the town contained 30 cabins, a hotel, a general store, a saloon, and a post office. Every fall the residents of Animas Forks migrated en masse to the warmer town of Silverton. In 1884 a 23 day blizzard inundated the town with 25 feet of snow, the residents had to dig tunnels to get from building to building. In 1891, as mining declined, the town emptied. A brief resurgence occured in 1904 with the construction of the Gold Prince Mill. A rail line ran through the area and also restimulated interest in mining in the community but the railroad never reached its expectations. The Gold Prince Mill closed in 1910 and in 1917 most of the mill’s major parts were removed for a new facility in Eureka. The mill’s dismantling signaled the beginning of the end for Animas Forks and the town was a ghost town by the 1920s.

Animas Forks’ most famous resident was Tom Walsh. Walsh was the father of Evelyn Walsh McLean and was the one who gave her The Hope Diamond as a birthday gift. The house Walsh lived in was built by William Duncan and is famous for its facade with a large bay window that oversees the rest of the town.

Finally a finalized Project Statement!

 The intention of this project is to invoke nostalgia for the stereotypical Colorado. I want to make it clear that it is more of a personal project rather than an argumentative project or one that is trying to make people aware of something or convince them of something. This project is about my perceptions of Colorado and what is being lost as more and more people move to the state and create more and more suburban areas. People came to Colorado to live spaciously. Colorado was ruled by the miners who came for the ore buried in the mountains. Ranchers and farmers came for the wide open spaces in which to raise their livestock and grow their crops. Cowboys roamed looking for cattle to herd. Outlaws like Butch Cassidy and Doc Holliday ruled the lawless land. It was truly the stereotypical western world that is represented in the films of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

The Homestead Act of 1862 and the gold and silver rushed acted as catalysts for a mass migration to the American West. Colorado became a place for people to start their lives in the untamed mountains and plains of Colorado’s Front Range. The Homestead Act granted, without cost, ownership of a 160 acre plot of farmland to any person who applied. The area of the United States that was affected by this act was any undeveloped land west of the Mississippi River. The qualifications for a homestead were these: the applicant had to be 21 years or older, live on the land for five years, and show evidence of having made improvements. If these requirements were met, the owner of the homestead was granted a deed to the land. If the homesteader failed, the land was taken back by the federal government. Anyone who had never taken up arms against the U.S. Government (specifically people who was not currently fighting for the Conferderates in the Civil War) could file a claim for a federal land grant.

The intention of my project is to illustrate the differences between what is commonly seen in Colorado today, and what was in Colorado when it was being settled by homesteaders.

The suburban sprawl problem has been increasing in the United States. Urban areas are sprawling into the prairie with subdivisions where every house looks exactly the same. Ranchers and farmers on Colorado’s Front Range are having an increasingly difficult time holding onto their farms and ranches. The prices of cattle are decreasing, and ranchers who don’t have second jobs don’t make enough money to keep their ranches in business. Their land is being bought out by developers attempting to expand the suburbs with subdivisions of cookie cutter houses. This concept is represented through the use of repetitive patterns of similar houses on the outside of the packaging with the hidden beauty of the paintings within. The watercolor paintings represent my idea of a Utopian Colorado. What Colorado still might be if not for the increase in population and a need for constant modernization that our society focuses on.

One of the final prints of a painting in its packaging.

Historical photos of Animas Forks, Colorado.

Revised Project Statement

I still have some work to do on my project statement, but here is what I have so far.  I want to make it clear that it is more of a personal project rather than an argumentative project or one that is trying to make people aware of something or convince them of something.  This project is about my perceptions of Colorado and what is being lost as more and more people move to the state and create more and more suburban areas.

The intention of this project is to invoke nostalgia for the stereotypical Colorado. People came to Colorado to live spaciously. Colorado was ruled by the miners who came for the ore buried in the mountains. Ranchers and farmers came for the wide open spaces in which to raise their livestock and grow their crops.

The Homestead Act of 1862 and the gold and silver rushed acted as catalysts for a mass migration to the American West. Colorado became a place for people to start their lives in the untamed mountains and plains of Colorado’s Front Range. The Homestead Act granted without cost ownership of a 160 acre plot of farmland to any person who applied. The area of the United States that was affected by this act was any undeveloped land west of the Mississippi River. The qualifications for a homestead were these: the applicant had to be 21 years or older, live on the land for five years, and show evidence of having made improvements. If these requirements were met, the owner of the homestead was granted a deed to the land. If the homesteader failed, the land was taken back by the federal government. Anyone who had never taken up arms against the U.S. Government (specifically people who was not currently fighting for the Conferderates in the Civil War) could file a claim for a federal land grant.

The intention of my project is to illustrate the differences between what is commonly seen in Colorado today, and what was in Colorado when it was being settled.

The suburban sprawl problem has been increasing in the United States over the past 60 years. The intention of this project is to focus on the suburban sprawl problem in Colorado. The urban areas are sprawling into the prairie with subdivisions where every house looks exactly the same. Ranchers and farmers on Colorado’s Front Range are having an increasingly difficult time holding onto their farms and ranches. The prices of cattle are decreasing, and ranchers who don’t have second jobs don’t make enough money to keep their ranches in business. Their land is being bought out by developers attempting to expand the suburbs with subdivisions of cookie cutter houses.

I decided not to type up the information on each cabin. The strictness of the typeface didn’t go well with the roughness and personality of the cabins.  I decided to write out all of the descriptions on tracing paper, and then layer them over the paintings, so the paintings can still be seen through the paper as the viewer is reading the descriptions.

An old photo of the Virginia Dale Stage House

An old photo of the Virginia Dale Stage House