Friday, March 29, 2013

Blog #10

I just thought that today I would take a minute and reflect on something that was said in class. We did not spend a great deal of time on this point but it definitely made me think. During the student presentations one of the guys asked if we thought there was some way that an individual can "judge" their life and have some idea where they are headed (or if they are a "good" or "bad" person so to speak). I, as I always do, took this question and pondered it and tied it into my faith and continued to think on it even after class had concluded.

I most certainly think that an individual can know "where they stand" before they get to the end of their life and have to look back on everything that they have done. Some may not agree with me, but to me it is clear that this question is only answered through Jesus Christ and His free gift of salvation for those who accept Him. If someone believes in Jesus, as I believe, then they are guaranteed an amazing, astonishingly unimaginable eternity forever in the presence of God Himself. However, if someone does not come to God, then sadly their eternity will be spent elsewhere. This breaks the heart of God but it is still reality. So, in my opinion there is only two sides to this question and neither side actually depends on the kind of things that a person has done in their life. Christians still make mistakes. God never asked us not to be human, but He did ask us to follow Him and do our best to keep what He says is right in our hearts. The bottom line here is this; there is definitely a way for someone to judge where they are headed after they die without having to wait and examine themselves on their deathbed. I, personally, think that that would be a terrifying place to be because if you are not sure where you stand on your deathbed, that may not be such a good thing.

This was not intended to be a rant, just my thoughts on whether or not someone can know where they are headed while they are still in the prime of life. Everyone is going to go somewhere.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I just wanted to post some pictures I took on a trip I went on last summer to Gatlinburg. My boyfriend and I went on a bike trail and saw some amazing views.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Blog #9: Landscapes in Video Games part 3

Gears of War will be the second game I talk about.

The Aesthetic approach to this game is very unique.  This game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which humanity is struggling to survive.  The landscape echo’s the games setting.  The architecture built by man sinks into the landscape and becomes run over by nature.  In the picture above an abandoned cabin falls apart and becomes one with the scenery that surrounds it.

This game brings an interesting question to the table, what would the land we currently occupy look like if they were abandoned?  Throughout the game players encounter cities, towns, and other man-made structures that have molded together and become one with the landscape.

The environment is this game has a very interested approach to aesthetics.  Without a virtual world is would be very difficult to display our cities becoming one with nature.  The virtual world offers us an opportunity to explore environmental landscapes that would not be feasible in the real world. 

Here are a few more images that really highlight the nature of this aesthetic approach.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Blog #9: Reflections on Today's Bugbee Discussion

I found today's discussion of the Bugbee readings to be quite thought provoking and worth more attention than was given in class. First of all, my thoughts may not be perfect or exactly what Bugbee meant or was trying to communicate, but my following thoughts are where the overall discussion led. me.

The first thought I had that I have continued to ponder since class came in the portion of the discussion where the two presenting students shared how they came to select their current major and what their career directions were. Something from their past affected where they found meaning and where they are planning to head in life. Well the same thing happened to me. When I first went to college in the fall of 2011, I was a history major at Georgetown College intending on getting through with a relatively easy degree (no offense to history majors, just saying that science degrees are probably more difficult to acquire) and then going to seminary. However, after half of the semester had passed I found myself not happy with the path that I had chosen so I decided to change. I chose biology as my new major and medical school as my intended destination for a few reasons. The first was my father, who has a degree in biology and is currently a physician. I look up to him so becoming a physician also would be a wonderful way to prove that. Also, I have always been science minded. Even when I was in elementary school I was captain of the science club. So this new course was perfect for me, and it was affected by things that came back to me from my past.

Also I enjoyed the part of the discussion where we talked about "believing in order to understand". While I am not entirely sure of what Bugbee was saying here, this did spurn some thought as well. This is because this is how I function in the world. I believe to understand the world around me. This is due to my faith in God and His Son, Jesus. I base everything in my world view off of my faith in God and my beliefs. I look at the world through "faith glasses" if you will. My faith is the most important thing in my life and I would be nothing without God and my faith in Him. So this discussion of Bugbee led me here and I love pondering this part of my life.

This is where I ended up from today's discussion. Whether I'm completely wrong on interpretation or not, I throroughly enjoyed it!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Big Pinnacle

 Over the break, I had an opportunity to take a trip to Greensboro, North Carolina on a school visit.  If you've never made the drive to those coastal, Southern states from here, a good majority of the trip winds through mountains.  Here are a few photos I took on the trip.

The top picture is a view from what I believe is Interstate 74 ( Yes, there's another I-74, not the one that goes from Cincinnati to Indianapolis.) but the second one is particularly interesting to me.  It is a picture of "The Big Pinnacle" within Pilot Mountain Park just off of U.S. Route 52.  (This one I'm sure of - I was driving this section of the trip.)  I did a bit of research on Pilot Mountain and found out that it got its name from being used as a guide or landmark for early hunters / Native Americans.  It was named by the Saura tribe, the earliest known inhabitants of the region.  Any trails that lead near the rock are quite lengthy and steep and not at all suitable for a couple of unprepared passers-by in a time crunch to attempt.  The actual pinnacle is closed in attempt at preservation but there do exist a few trails that offer quite a view of the pinnacle and of surrounding areas as I was told.  The rock itself is quite breathtaking even from this simply achieved view from the road.  I recommend keeping your eyes peeled (Well, it's hard to miss) for "The Big Pinnacle" if you ever find yourself on US-52.  It's aesthetic worth is surely enough to preserve.

Kestrel's Eye: Another Perspective

While Kestrel's Eye certainly was not a film that I would normally find myself watching, I can be easily amused, especially by vivid, some may argue beautiful images, like the ones that appear in Kestrel's Eye.  In terms of aesthetics, I found myself able to pull a variety of positive aesthetics from the film, but more frequently than that, I found myself experiencing a certain degree of wonder at the oddity of human customs and actions as viewed from a Kestrel.  In taking this outside perspective, we were able to view events including a wedding, a funeral, and a parade.  The most odd, in my opinion was the parade.  How self-absorbing of us to march ourselves around showing off colors, uniforms, flags, anything of the sort that lets people know that they're not as good because they're not in a parade!  There were even times I thought I could see the Kestrels rolling their infamous eyes too.  If nothing else, the film gave me an outsider's perspective, something that is difficult to achieve, but done masterfully by the makers of Kestrel's Eye.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I didn't realize when I posted this that my pictures weren't very clear. Hopefully these are better:

Robert Duncanson. View of Cincinnati, Ohio from Covington, Kentucky

Vincent VanGogh. Undergrowth with Two Figures

Blog #8

Although I didn't get to do anything terribly exciting on Spring break, I too have been to the Cincinnati Art Museum recently (twice in the last month for my Cincinnati art class.) There are in fact some captivating landscape paintings there. The class only focused on the Cincinnati Wing, so most of what I saw was done by Cincinnati painters such as Robert Duncanson, James Beard, Edward Hurley or other Cincinnati artists.

Here are a few of the paintings I found interesting, in terms of landscapes (I actually took these pictures at the museum):

The above is the picture, below are the Curator's Notes that were on the wall next to it. Not a whole lot in terms of an "aesthetically pleasing" landscape in the traditional sense, but I think it's interesting how it romanticizes the growth of industry.

This next one I just found all-around aesthetically pleasing, but then again it's VanGogh... (Obviously not in the Cincinnati Wing...)

Again, the Curator's Notes are at the bottom.

This one is one I saw at the museum but did not take a picture of:

Robert Duncanson. Blue Hole, Little Miami

I find this one to be more "intimate" as it's viewed from kinda the ground level instead of taking a higher vantage point. It puts you actually "in" the picture, so to speak, which is nice.

The VanGogh is still my favorite. But then again, who doesn't like VanGogh?

Epic Waterfall Art (Blog 8)

So... over the break I did not go outside and take a look at beautiful nature because I am a Winter wimp :p  However, I did find myself at the Cincinnati Art Museum and took a look at some Landscape paintings.  I saw one that featured an epic waterfall (the painter was Jervis Mcentee) but I did not have my camera with me, and now can't find it on the internet :(  Instead, I typed in "Epic Waterfall painting" and found this image which blew my mind:

It is Abstract, but I argue that we can appreciate Nature through Art, which I personally interpret this artist is implying! :)

Blog #8: Landscapes in Video Games Part 2

The first video game I will look at is Halo.

In the background there is a ring like structure that is cutting through the sky.  That is actually an artificially crated ring in space that natural structures are crafted on, thus the name Halo.  This is a very interesting way to think of environmental Aesthetics, having an artificially created world that creates natural environments.  This also brings up an important question, can an artificially created environments still be considered natural environments?

Even today people are creating artificially constructed natural environments.  Many companies are replanting trees after they cut them down for lumber.  Once these trees grow back the forest that was cut down will reemerge, so is it still a forest or a man-made environment? or can a man-made environment be considered a natural environment?

In the Halo series, the Halo rings were created by an extinct ancient race of aliens.  These rings were made to prevent an infectious life form from destroying all living things.  I do not think that it was an accident that the Halo rings are full of naturally constructed environments.  The environment reflects its purpose as a cradle for living things.  The preservation of nature and living things also sounds a lot like an environmentalist.  Though Halo is a shooter, the moral lessons within the game are not about shooting and killing.  The fact is it is about the defense of all living and natural things.  The environments in the game reflect and support this, and if one is against shooters, you can at least take solace in the fact that in this one the main character is technically a badass environmentalist.

And now a leave you with a selection of landscapes from the Halo series that help enforce these Ideas

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kestrel's Eye (Blog 8)

I'll be honest- this is not the type of movie I would like to watch in everyday life. Like many of the other bloggers, I would have probably been able to appreciate the film more if it had some type of narration. For me, it was just hard to concentrate. However, in the context of this class, I found it useful and interesting. This film really helped me to relate to Carlson's idea that we can have a better aesthetic appreciation of something if we scientifically understand it.

On another note, I don't know a lot about birds so I looked up the American cousin of the European kestrel. I found that it is a sparrow hawk, which is a small falcon. It is the only kestrel found in the Americas and it is the most common falcon in North America. This is all according to Wikipedia, so correct me if I am wrong. Anyway, here are some images of the sparrow hawk:

Blog #8: Thoughts on Kestrel's Eye

After watching this film I find myself wanting more out of it, in a traditional sense. That is, I found myself enjoying what I was physically watching but I also craved the narration and presented background/scientific information that is genreally presented in a nature documentary (which, as far as I am concerned, this movie should indeed be classified as). This fact leads me back to Carlson and how I have, at least thus far, been inclined to agree, more or less, with his stance that a proper aesthetic appreciation needs scientific knowledge to be a part of it. Had I the knowledge about kestrels that I desired during the viewing of the film, I definitely think I would have enjoyed it more, but would that simple differnce mean that I had a proper aesthetic experience? I am not sure of this answer. I do not think that enjoyment is a factor that determines an appropriate aesthetic experience nor do I think that I am entirely certain how to have one. So for now, I suppose, this question shall have to remain unanswered for me. But it does provide some very interesting food for thought.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blog #7: Things that make you go, "Hmm..."

I recently came across this quote and it really resonated with me, just thought I'd share it with you guys.

"When we destroy something created by man, we call it vandalism. When we destroy something created by nature, we call it progress."
                                                                -Ed Begley Jr.

Sadly, I think there's a lot of truth in this assertion. Why is human achievement regarded so highly over that of all other things? A spider, although I hate them, works just as hard to spin its intricate web as humans do to do other things. Why then is it alright to carelessly destroy the spider's environment, but when someone commits arson or some other crime, that's all of a sudden unacceptable? Although I certainly don't condone arson, it's definitely something to think about. Vandalism vs. progress.

Some thoughts on Kestrel's Eye

If we could put a camera on their heads so could see from their perspective that would make it more interesting I think. We'd be able to see where they were looking and how fast they change the angle or view. Also would be able to see what flying looks like.

It would also be really interesting if we could interpret their calls and chirping so that we know what they were saying. That would make it more interesting for sure. 

Lastly, I think commentary on some aspects would be helpful. As Carlson believes, we mush have knowledge to appreciate. So understanding what the birds were doing at some points would be helpful. Like with the runt baby and when they were all in side of the building. Also at some points, were they hovering or flying?

Blog 8

Eaton agrees with Carlson on many things that still aren't totally convincing to me. Such as the nature-as-object model. Though the view point of seeing a rock as just a sculpture in our home or whatever can be a tad different than if we were to see it where it originally came from, I don't think that necessarily takes away from a reasonable appreciation to it. I have a thing for flowers. I always find myself hypnotized by the vibrant colors and the variations in size and types and everything that makes one flower different from the next, but I could not tell you the names of ANY flower, where certain ones may have come from or originated from, more-less any real facts about them. I don't feel like that causes me to appreciate them any less than the next person who knows all about them? Some people care to know all about everything, others like me don't at all. Part of the reason why I believe I don't care to do the research on the different flowers I collect could be that I don't plant them or try to keep them alive, but I press them. So that I can keep the colors forever.

Now, if I were to try to plant a flower garden or something it may be a good idea if I were to do at least a little reading on invasive species so I don't plant those too close and kill off everything else. But aside from that, if we just want to visually appreciate something I really don't believe it makes too great of a difference on your knowledge of the object. (Depending on the person of course.) Everyone is different.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Walking (Blog 3)

"What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?"
I really like this point he brings up when discussing his ventures through the woods. How can you really enjoy your walk through nature if you're more concentrated on work, friends, future plans, etc. A nature walk should be more calm and relaxing. Enjoying the soft green grass, the sun shining through the tall trees making pieces of the ground glow. Sure, a nice walk to help you think and mentally straighten things out is always nice. But a true walk through nature should be an experience in itself.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Blog 6

In this blog I would like to briefly discuss a few of the main points of chapter 10  in the text:

In this chapter the author takes a look at Yuriko Saito’s rendition of Appreciating Nature on Its Own terms.  It takes a deeper look into an appropriate appreciation of works of art. Saito argues that an appropriate appreciation of art will pave the way for an appropriate appreciation of nature. In regards to art, Saito say notes that: “we must have relevant sensory experience of the object: the visual design of a painting and the tonal and rhythmic arrangement of music” (pg. 151). Furthermore, Saito feels as though individuals should put an object in context with its own cultural/historical context. These are essential in avoiding a “mistaken” or “incorrect” evaluation of a piece.  Saito then argues that an appropriate appreciation of nature embodies a moral capacity for respecting and recognizing nature (pg. 163). It is also noted that it requires “sensitive ears” in order to understand the story that nature wants to tell. Saito closes by mentioning that it is not his intention to reject other types of appreciation of nature.

Catching Up (Blog 1)

Okay, so I joined the class kind of late. Almost 2 weeks late if I'm not mistaken... Geez. So what I've read from everyones first blogs it sounds like we're just supposed to say a little about ourselves and make a comment about what we thought of the class so far.
I love painting and drawing and I absolutely love to travel. I've been all over the country and few parts of Mexico (because that is where my family is from).
The first few classes for me were a bit mind boggling. Mainly because my book hadn't come in yet but also because I had never been in such a deep-thinking class before. I was slightly intimidated but I've been doing my absolute best to catch back up while trying not to fall any farther behind and still keep up with my out of class priorities. At this point, I actually really like this class. I feel like I'm using a part of my brain that hasn't ever been used before. lol. It's given me more perspectives than I even knew were out there about the different ways people think are the "right" ways to perceive art and nature. It's so odd.

Blog 5

As much as I liked the doodles in the video we watched (on Feb 13th),  I'd have to say that I did not agree with much of what he was saying. I mean, I can understand why he believes aesthetic appreciation is genetic and something that is passed down but I find it hard to see genetics playing a role to why certain things catch my eye in comparison to others. I believe the aesthetic appreciation for both art and nature is different for everybody. Whether or not we're talking about people from my own family or my peers who's ancestors have shared the same country as mine, the way a landscape or someone's artwork is perceived will in fact be different in some way for all of us. If aesthetic appreciation were genetic, wouldn't it make sense to believe your favorite color was genetic as well? Your favorite color(s) is no more genetic than your aesthetic appreciation is because even though there may be some root in our aesthetic appreciation we've all had different experiences, viewpoints, attractions, feelings, and a lot of those things play a part in what we find beautiful or horrifying.