Introduction to Creative Exploration on the Web
Harvard Extension School


Laura Vitanza

Project Details


Laura Vitanza


Feb 2017


The Bauhaus (Spring 2017)

Student Comments

This work is inspired by work from Johannes Molzahn, Homunculus, 1920 Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Association Fund, BR49.304.2

I was inspired by the work of Johannes Molzahn. I looked at many of his images online. I am drawn to his work because of his use of vibrant colors and raw energy that appears to move through the painting.

I chose this image because it abstractly resembles a woman dancing. She seems to be in a state of pure joy. Secondly, I chose this image because of the concrete shapes that Molzhan uses. I was able to pick out defining shapes and attempt to recreate them.

Triangles were the first shapes that jumped out to me. It appears to me that the structure of her body is created by by a figure 8, which in turn could be two triangles pointing at one another. I added quad shapes to build on top of that. I used arcs to resemble the space where her head is. I used transparency to represent her head’s shading and hair.

I began with all of the primitive shapes. I then added the for loop and stretched the ellipses across the canvas to mirror the energy that shoots across Molzhan’s painting.

It was a lot of fun pulling the colors from Molzhan’s work. I placed the image into Photoshop, pulled the coordinates, and utilized Photoshop’s grid.

I chose the map function because I feel that the ever changing colors paint a close picture to Molzhan’s style. I played with transparency and the mouse drawing feature to add to the whimsical nature. The beginShape feature added a natural addition to Molzhan’s abstract style. There is a highlight of white in the original painting, and I used the beginShape imagery to accent and resemble the white highlights.

I ran into a challenge when it came to the event. The challenge for me was that I added too many fills. I did not realize that this was why. I was able to make the event work by itself. I was also able to make the event work in my canvas with the shapes. However, once my canvas neared completion, I could not get the event to do anything more than blink. It would not stay a different color while the mouse was pressed. I became quite frustrated over it and spent a few days picking away at it. I finally reached out to the discussion board with my concern. Professor Hebert pointed out that the fills were causing my issue. By his direction, I was able to understand that the fills were bleeding into other shapes because I did not have them directed at single shapes as the loops were being drawn. Professor Hebert also pointed out that if I defined a variable for the rectangle, it would specify the color change and easily isolate my shape.

I really enjoyed this assignment, and I feel that I learned a lot. The assignment helped me push myself, and I feel that I have an understanding of how the order of the setup and draw functions work in p5. I am excited to become more comfortable working with the coordinates so that I can draw what I envision