Running By History

In the summer I used to go running at Kennesaw National Battlefield park. I love all the trails they have. It wasn’t until we had the discussion of whether or not we should continue to have signs posted that I decided I had to go to the trail.

I’ve been running there (sometimes regularly, sometimes not so regularly) for the last five years and I’ve never once stopped to read the signs littered all over the place. Once I did stop at the foot of the monument to wait for the owner of a lost dog I found but even then I didn’t bother to read anything.

Where you park your car is where Sherman’s command post was (well a 1/4 of a mile to the left).

That was my first discovery of the day. The man who burned down Atlanta had actually walked around the area where I was.

Exactly why I love running here

Then you reach this creepy part in the woods and cross a creepy bridge.

It turns out that the monument I’m constantly running by is the Illinois monument and it’s dedicated to the Union soldiers that died here. A total of 480 Union soldiers were killed and wounded at this site. It still hasn’t really hit me that my favorite place to go running is where so many men died. I went onto the park’s website and learned that the park started from the little land that the state of Illinois bought to build this monument. Which I think is really interesting because a park so famous in Georgia was actually started byanother state.

Union Earthworks

Behind the monument is where the Confederates were. I think the fighting lasted almost a week. It’s really surprising how close they were to each other.

Now the monument, which is pretty amazing.

This is a tunnel that the Union soldiers were making before they had to retreat. I think it said that their goal was to blow up the Confederate soldiers. I’m not sure why they thought this was a good idea. Confederates were a few feet away. I’m pretty sure they knew what the Union soldiers were trying to do.

Right here is the Dead Angle. So many soldiers died between here and the sign that indicated the Union earthworks.

I decided to walk through the trail I take because one of my markers are these two cannons that are just randomly there. I always wondered why they were there and there’s no sign telling you why they are there.

random cannons

I really felt that there was some sort of bias at the park. All over the place they had signs warning people to keep off the Confederate earthworks. The only Union earthwork I saw was the one from the picture I posted and there is no sign telling people to keep off.  Earthworks are basically piles of dirt to protect against enemy fire. They also used them to obscure their cannons.


I got really excited when I saw the living relics sign because if I had seen this before taking this class I would have had no idea what it was talking about. Apparently there was a tree in front of the sign that’s no longer there. The tree had a lot of bullets from the war and there’s supposed to be bullet  ridden trees all over the place. The way you tell if they were hit by bullets is that the top of the tree is deformed. All the trees looked pretty normal to me but I did find a tree that looked deformed at the Kolb house.

It is the only surviving structure from the Civil War in this area. The sign says that it was heavily altered after the Civil War but it’s still really cool that it exists. Apparently people live there or it belongs to the government. I’m not sure but there private residence signs around the area.

This is the deformed tree. There’s no sign saying it’s special or anything but it’s the only tree I saw with a deformed looking top.

At the foot of one of the Kolb’s Farm signs I saw this little Confederate flag. I think this was the most surprising thing for me. People actually go and visit these places. When I was at the monument at least a dozen people came and took pictures . I really wanted to ask what brought them here. What does the monument mean to them?


I’ve always told my mom that I can never imagine myself living somewhere that isn’t within a 30 mile radius of Atlanta. That was until I went to Chicago. I’ve been to Chicago once a year since I was a freshman and every time I go there’s always something new that I discover. I always end up going to the aquarium and then walk on over to the Field. This time I made the trek up to Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and I’m so glad that I did.

While I was there they were having an exhibition on Jim Nutt. I didn’t see any of his stuff though. A lot of the artwork was really stunning and a lot was out there type of work. I could have spent the entire day there but my cousin was my companion for the day and she said museums weren’t really her scene. I really liked Dan Flavin’s stuff because it reminded me of an artist I blogged about before. This is my favorite piece and the one that most reminded me of Bill Fitz Gibbons.

I thought about authors a lot while walking around the museum. Over the course of my life, albeit short life, I’ve had various literature courses and in every single class something always has to have a deeper meaning. The light is green because it means money, because it means greed,  because of something else. The light is never green just because it wants to be green. A lot of the work there was very minimalist and I kept thinking what was the artist’s purpose in doing what they did. Does all artwork have to have some deep, philosophical, meaning? I think it does, I think all artwork is created with an idea in mind.

Other than all the thinking I did that day, I really loved the museum. I got to see Jeff Koons (his work, not the artist). I can’t remember if he’s the one that Nell doesn’t like. I also remembered seeing a piece by Barbara Kruger that I particularly liked.

What I realized by the end of the day:

  1. I’m not a modern art type of girl. I’m irrevocably and unconditionally in love with all Baroque artwork since I did a project on that style in the 7th grade.
  2. Barbara Kruger is awesome.
  3. I wish I could bring back the Bean and put it in the quad.

Final Critique

There was a part during the final critique that made me think we were in some kind of therapy group. Nell asked us to go around the room and say something that we didn’t like about ourselves (on the drawing). The final critique was just like any other of the critiques that we’ve had only that this one was on a Friday. It was really cool seeing all of our faces on the wall looking back at us. We started off with general comments about how the project was and what we liked and didn’t like. What made it difficult, what could make it better. The majority of the class, myself included, agreed that this project requires more in class time as well as more group discussion. The discussion would really help in getting to know your classmates as well as getting an opinion other than Nell’s.

This project was really time consuming and really tested my patience throughout. There were times when I saw that I would spend hours on it and when I stepped back all I had was a little more nose or a little more cheek. I really had to stop myself from just drawing without looking and creating something that I know I wouldn’t have been satisfied in the end.

If you’re working at night in Dana, you’ll learn that there are parts of the room that don’t get much light after it’s dark outside. I went to work on my portrait some more on Thursday. I would have gone a few days earlier but I was struck down by some cold. I went home last weekend and while I was there my mom had a really bad cold and she warned me not to be too close to her. I didn’t listen and Tuesday and Wednesday I was in bed until I managed to drag myself out on Thursday. By now I had most of my face on my piece of paper. I worked on the chin part to make it look not so weird. What I had on the paper before I worked on the chin made my head look like it was a bobble head. It’s all about really looking at where the light hits and where there’s shadow and if you look at that you’ll draw something that you’re really happy with. I wasn’t planning on having any hair because the whole time I had my hair up while working on my portrait but when I went on Thursday I had my hair down. I also added some more neck and the shirt that I was wearing. For the hair I was really afraid that it would end up looking really fake and it would throw off my entire drawing. By the time I had added in a lot of the black-black parts of hair it was dark outside. I wasn’t able to really see where I was drawing because there was no light where I was at. I was right on the outskirts of where the classroom light stopped. I took that as a sign and left it there. I would return on Friday to double check everything but I was almost done with my face and that made me so happy.

On Friday morning, I was so ready to go take my account test but then I freaked out and decided not to take it. I went over to Dana and finished my self-portrait. It was really nice to see that it wasn’t a complete mess after working on it in the dark. I added some highlights to my hair to make it look more realistic. I was upset that I couldn’t work on the shirt anymore because I was wearing a different shirt on Friday. I added my pupils and the eye highlights and I was done! I was almost waiting for some confetti and music to start playing. I headed upstairs and tacked my drawing on the board.

Eyes, Eyes, Eyes

On Monday, I headed over to Dana right after I got out of work to work some more on my portrait. I didn’t really do much. It’s surprising how fast an hour goes by and you realize you haven’t added anything to your drawing.

By the end of class I had gotten a lot done. Nell came by and pointed out a few things that I should keep my eye on. Haha, get it? Keep an eye on my eye? Anyways, Nell said to make sure I’m not creating my eyes out of my head and making them look Egyptian. She also asked me to work on my chin some more. I totally agreed with her about the whole neck thing but I didn’t want to work on it anymore because I didn’t know how. She also said to measure the size of my irises relative to the whites of my eyes. In class I ended up erasing under the bottom lid eyelids to give that line some more curves. She actually had me check all the lines on my eyes and make sure I wasn’t drawing a smooth line where there was no smooth line. I added some more forehead and I didn’t look like Frankenstein anymore. Now I thought I looked like Frida Kahlo.


By the time I left Dana on Sunday I thought that what I had on my paper resembled Frankenstein. It was the shape of my head that I thought looked liked Frankenstein. I went home this weekend because of Sparc which means no Thursday classes and I don’t have Friday classes which means I get a super long weekend! I drove back early Sunday and told myself that I would spend all of the day working on my portrait. I was there probably for four or five hours. After spending forever on the lower part of my face I couldn’t avoid starting on my eyes. It was so hard for me to start because I was so scared of ruining the entire thing with a weird set of eyes. I ended up erasing the eyes several times until I was satisfied with bottom highlights. Remembering where you sit and where you measure from is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Part of the reason why I always erased something after I stepped back from my drawing was because there was always something off about my face. It took me a while before I realized that it was my constant mismeasuring that was throwing off my portrait and it took me a longer time before I measured from the same spot. So, eventually I started on the eyes even though I really wished I could just leave black holes there.

What I learned this time was that it’s really hard to make all of the parts of your face look three dimensional. The nose and lips are fine but when you get to the cheek and forehead area it’s hard to make those parts look 3D. Always remember where you’re measuring from and you’ll save yourself the heartache of erasing entire portions of your face. I’ve become very attached to my nose. I love my nose so much that I’m afraid of doing anything else to it, I’ll seriously burst out crying if I have to erase any part of nose. Another part that I didn’t even want to start on was my eyebrows. I didn’t know how I was going to get eyebrows on my face. How am I going to be able to represent the highlights on my eyebrows? How was I going to be able to show the hairs on my drawing? I opted for leaving them as black areas on my face and I would return to them later.

I didn’t get to go to the actual show which was a bummer but I did go and look around at all the art work which was really nice experience with no one there. The first time that i went I thought that I had my camera in my bag but I didn’t and I didn’t want to take any with my phone because I thought the pictures wouldn’t be nice so I decided to come another day and take pictures of all the pieces that I really liked and then my camera died. I had no choice but to go back and take pictures with my phone and I wasn’t too happy about that BUT I ended up getting a new camera for my birthday and took pictures of some pieces this Monday when I went to pick up my self-portrait.

  I’ll start with this piece because it’s the first thing that you see when you walk into Dana. I liked this piece a lot because it’s something that I do a lot. Not these types of paintings but the swirls. In class when I should be taking notes I doodle on the margins and I never doodle anything super cool just swirls and the swirls here just called to me. I love the overlapping that’s going on and the size of the piece is awesome, since I tend to create things on a smaller scale.

The wall that had all of our antonym drawings/photographs was great. The wall had so much going on but it wasn’t overbearing. I loved the cleanliness of the setup. I spent a lot of time just looking at all the pieces and it was neat noticing things that you hadn’t before in different pieces.

I think that Jordan is awesome. I don’t know her but I know who she is and I love all of her artwork. I remember the first time that we went upstairs, her paintings were the first things that I saw. I just love her use of color in her paintings. I liked seeing this self-portrait because it uses value and not color. The thing is that even though there is no color in her self-portrait it is still her not just literally. The red wall creates a lot of contrast. I thought about not including the wall in the picture but I had to.

    The thing I like about Jordan’s paintings is that I love looking at them. I can seriously spend hours just looking at her paintings. They make me want to know who these people are.

When I walked into our chair section I was surprised by the wall on the right. I don’t know who the student is that created these pieces but they’re pretty awesome.

This piece made me think about the horses that are coming out of the wall, the one that Nell showed us during our tiny animal talk. It’s a great piece to write about because it makes me go all philosophical with it and what the unraveling can mean. I love everything about it because it’s such a contrasting piece with the other four that are on the wall but it still goes with the rest.