Jackson Pollock

‘At a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act. … What was to go on canvas was not a picture but an event’

-Harold Rosenberg

Art and History are like fraternal twins They both tell the stories of those who came before, the difference is the way they tell those stories. Art is the quiet and emotional younger twin who has animosity towards the older twin for his ability to tell stories so well. History is jealous as well, because art has the uncanny ability to show her emotions and give them meaning so others understand the emotions as well. This inseparable pair needs one another to tell the complete story. American history is taught throughout the nation as a mandatory credit for high school1 and even before high school elementary students learn about this nation’s history they can. Art on the other hand has had less success with reaching the minds of the youth, art is not a mandatory requirement for schools. This creates a very one sided look at the way we view our own history. Art is the feelings and the emotion behind the times while history is just the times. Without the feelings you get events in a timeline not the full picture. Art and history have a symbiotic relationship; one could not survive without the other, thus creating a necessity for both to be taught together to have the full impact of the times before.  

The art portrayed in different time periods and the new movements in the art world reflect what is happening in the real world around the artists. There are many different time periods where the art from the era create and set the mood for what was happening in the historic time. The easiest ones to identify as relating directly to the history of the times is portraits; they directly relate the important people of the historic time to the art that was created during that time. The styles of art also directly relate to the times and how people perceived the world in that epoch. These styles can vary from Portraiture to Abstract Expressionism to Cubism.

The movement in art and the world events were parallel like no other was in the Depression era in the US. The Great Depression was a time when the US went through a massive recession and the unemployment rate was at its highest2. Resulting in the hardest time for Americans until recently3. Hard times call for harder emotional pitfalls. Many people in the living through the Great Depression in America were depressed themselves. “The largest increase in the US suicide rate occurred during the Great Depression surging from 18 in 100,000 up to 22 in 100,000”4 The US was as emotional as a hormonal pregnant woman, leading to a great era for the artists in the world.

Jackson Pollock was an American artist who has a great legacy in the Depression era because of his inventive ways of taking on experimental art forms. Jackson Pollock Played a pivotal role in taking the events going on around him and putting the feelings of those events to canvas. He used art to show the emotions he felt during the depression era. He wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries of art. He wasn’t afraid to push boundaries in general either. His legacy still lives on today.

Pollock was born in 1912 to Stella and LeRoy Pollock. He was the youngest of 5 boys making for a pretty interesting life, presumably. He grew up in Arizona and California, during school in he had trouble with academics and got into trouble often; he was expelled from his high school in California. He grew into an alcoholic in his adult life and that became the important factor in his death at 44. He was a quite emotional man and let his emotions take their toll on his personal life. He followed his brother to new York where he really found his calling as an artist. Pollock is easily the most well known American artist today, giving what he left behind more power. When he was in New York Thomas Hart Benton5  was one of the mentors he took much of his inspiration from. Benton mentored him through a lot of Pollock’s early career creating some similarities between their work.

This is one of Pollock’s early works called “Going West” He took great inspiration from the American Regionalism that Benton essentially created and used often. “et Going West is characterized by a dark, almost mystical quality similar to another American visionary painter Pollock admired, Albert Pinkham Ryder”

Thomas Hart Benton “Achelous and Hercules”

Benton was a well known muralist for his works like  “America Today” and “Persephone.”6 He was the leader in a sense for the New York group of artists at the time. Pollock studied with Benton at the Art Students League of New York, an institution founded for artists by artists, “The Art Students League was founded in 1875 by a group of artists - almost all of whom were students at the National Academy of Design in New York City and many of whom were women.” The leaders wanted a very different environment for art rather than the Academy’s ways. Because it was post Civil War, artists were looking for something different than the usual European influenced techniques. The Art Students League of New York gave a new option to the artist in America. The institution was and is a success, based off the success of the artist coming out of the institution artists like: Georgia O'Keeffe, Barnett Newman, Norman Rockwell, Roy Lichtenstein, and Mark Rothko and many others, either attended or instructed at the institution7.

Benton was one of main contributors to Pollock’s inventive ways, showing him some of the experimental painting techniques. He was apart of a group called Works progress Administration (WPA). The group was the starter of the Federal art Project which was under Holger Cahill. In a years time by 1936 the project helped employ about 6000 artists and over half of those artist lived in New York8. Benton was also apart of the leftist political group making him what we would call today and extreme liberal9. His political stances were very similar to Pollocks other mentors in the field.

Pollock used a method of painting unlike any of his predecessors but he was introduced to one of the techniques he used regularly by the muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. In 1936 Siqueiros introduced him to the art of using liquid paint, Siqueiros used this technique in his thrilling murals. These techniques were purely experimental (often where true art is really found), his apprentices and him had an inside joke about his form of painting called “Duco” paints which was a pun referring to his political stance and his use of that in his art. He believed that Politics and art were to go hand in hand, just as art and history are to never be separated. He used his stance liberally in his art. He Diego Rivera and Javier Guerrero, started El Machete, a paper that came out weekly that soon became the front piece for Mexico’s Communist Party. The Mexican artists were as big of an influence on Pollock’s artwork as benton was.

Diego Rivera also mentored Pollock, Rivera was most known for his murals as well and was married to Frida Kahlo another exceptional artist of the time.10 Though the Mexican artist do not have a direct connection to the American history part they had a huge influence on Pollock. Pollock took inspiration from them and created his own style of painting a style that brought out the emotion in the paintings. He used techniques he learned from all of his mentors to create a painting. Action painting is the typ of painting you can only do if you have enough passion and emotion. It is the raw and unaltered way to put your feelings on canvas11.

Action painting falls under the category of Abstract Expressionism. Abstract Expressionism is the result of the legacy of surrealism. Surrealism is best known by the artist Pablo Picasso or another Salvador Dali. Abstract Expressionism is basically your emoitions on paper or canvas. Pure, raw emotions12.

Works Cited

The !930s. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://xroads.virginia.edu/~am482_04/am_scene/bentonbio.html>.

The Art History. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <http://www.theartstory.org/artist-pollock-jackson.htm>. This site also helps with the decoding of Jackson Pollock’s works but this site helps relate it back to his life.

The Art Story. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.theartstory.org/movement-abstract-expressionism.htm>.

The Art Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015. <http://www.theartstory.org/artist-pollock-jackson.htm>. This sight explains the artwork of Jackson Pollock and how he used different techniques to convey different emotions

The Art Students League. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.theartstudentsleague.org/About/History.aspx>.

David Alfaro Siqueiros Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.biography.com/people/david-alfaro-siqueiros-9485144#the-politicized-artist>.

Decoding Jackson Pollock. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/decoding-jackson-pollock-142492290/?no-ist>. This site helps delve deeper into the artwork of Pollock and it helps with the history relating to the artwork.

Diego Rivera Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.biography.com/people/diego-rivera-9459446>.

Fineberg, Jonathan. Strategies of Being. 2nd ed. Englewood cliffs: Prentice Hall, 2000. Print. Vol. 2 of Art Since 1940.

The Great Depression. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.history.com/topics/great-depression>.

The Great Depression in Washington State. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://depts.washington.edu/depress/culture_arts.shtml>.

High School Graduation Requirements. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/curriculum/home/graduationrequirements.pdf>.

Jackson Pollock. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.jackson-pollock.org/>.

MoMA. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.moma.org/collection/details.php?theme_id=10088>.

Thomas Hart Benton Bio. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. <http://www.biography.com/people/thomas-hart-benton-9208158>. The information on Thomas hart Benton that gives a basic over view of his life and the famous works that he is known for.

Thomas Hart Benton Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.biography.com/people/thomas-hart-benton-9208158#synopsis>.

Washington Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. <http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/more-americans-committing-suicide-than-during-the-great-depression.html>. This sight draws parallels between the Great Depression and the Great Recession. It mainly focuses in the suicide rates in both eras creating interesting parallels for what the people are feeling and how history repeats itself.

Washington’s Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/more-americans-committing-suicide-than-during-the-great-depression.html>.

Salad With Chicken

Salad with Chicken (10 mins max)

1. lettuce
2. Chicken breast

3. shredded cheese

4. grill or frying pan
5. non-stick cooking spray
6. seasonings: salt,pepper,garlic powder,chicken seasoning & paprika
7. sliced tomatoes  
8. Bowl

1. Wash all ingredients off
2. Season your chicken breast
3. Cut your chicken into strips
4. Spray grill or pan with your non-stick spray after that turn your pan or grill on.
5. When the grill or pan is hot place the chicken on the grill or pan and let it cook on each side (until golden brown)
6. While chicken is cooking , grab a bowl
7.  Chop your lettuce and tomatoes, place it in the bowl
8.  After your chicken is fully cooked place it on a plate to cool
9. Place the chicken in bowl along with the lettuce & tomatoes
10. Sprinkle cheese on top of your salad.
11. Add dressing if you like.

My mom is really big on eating healthy foods before we have desert. She always said “ No ice cream until you eat those greens” I made this meal because  it’s a great food to eat when you're not trying to spend a lot of money and also want something quick to eat. If you're not a fan of eating greens (broccoli, string beans,spinach etc) then this meal is something that you will enjoy because it has some of your favorite foods. This meal contains chicken to enrich the meal. Most healthy choices are nasty and this is why people don’t chose to eat them. Since this meals contains chicken .. grilled chicken it is healthy and tasty. There is not a lot of grease of the chicken because all the grease comes off when you grill it. There is not a lot of fatty foods in this meal, which is also a good things because it does not contain a lot of calories. This meal is not expensive it only cost me about $10. Usually with healthy foods you pay a lot of money but with this meal its not a lot of money and it doesn’t take a lot of time to cook. This is definitely a good choice if you wanna eat both healthy and tasty.

I personally enjoyed this project. I liked the idea of us teaching the class about eating healthier and also teaching them different foods they can make to choose healthier options. I know that we as teens don’t always eat healthy. The reasons being because of the cost and also because healthier options are not really good versus non healthy options. I liked that this project was designed for us to create healthy foods at a reasonable price. This was good because this is helping  with the problems of unhealthy options within the teen community. It was good to see what everyone made and how it tasted. Normally healthy options are not really good and it amazed me how everyone managed to create something healthy and tasty ! Also healthy foods are normally expensive so it’s cool to get options that are cheap and that we can afford. Great project.

Q2 Collins Food Project

Zucchini Lasagna Recipe: 
  • 3 zucchinis sliced long
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce
  • 1 pound of ground turkey or beef (optional)
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 12oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 16oz various shredded cheeses
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg



  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Sauté onions until golden over medium heat. 
  3. Then brown ground beef or turkey in the sautéed onions. 
  4. Then add the sauce and tomatoes and let that simmer. 
  5. Mix the ricotta, the beaten egg, nutmeg, 4oz mozzarella and parmesan cheese together.
  6. Grab dish for lasagna.
  7. Place the sauce at the bottom for first layer
  8. Begin layering the zucchini layer (salting slices to draw out moisture if wanted), then ricotta mixture layer, sauce again, then the shredded cheese. 
  9. Repeat this process until you have completed 3-4 full layers. 
  10. Place basil on top.
  11. Cover the dish with foil and bake for half an hour then let rest for 15 minutes and serve!

This meal is a healthy choice. There are a lot of vegetables and natural fiber and nutritional values in these ingredients. The tomatoes and tomato sauce were canned. Hunts and Barilla products are processed but most families don't have the option to make or buy fresh tomatoes to make the sauce. These products have a lot of sodium in them. The diced tomatoes don't have many calories and there isn't any cholesterol so this balances out with the nutritional value of the dairy products, they also have a lot of Vitamin C.
These ingredients weren't very expensive so this meal is a wonderful idea for a family that doesn't have much. The lasagna also has a lot of leftovers since there are so many servings, so this quick meal goes a long way.
We substituted lasagna noodles for sliced zucchini which made this dish much healthier. This cut down the level of carbs in the dish. 
The mozzarella cheese and ricotta cheese are both dairy products obviously. They have saturated fats which are not great for cholesterol levels when eaten in excess, but the presence in this lasagne aren't so extreme. Cheeses have a lot of calories also, and the average person is only supposed to consume around 2,000 calories in an entire day. Ricotta cheese also has a lot of protein which contributes to energy levels, and it doesn't have many carbohydrates. Dairy products have calcium which is an important part of keeping healthy bones.
We went to Whole foods to buy our ground turkey. It was organic meat so it wasn't packed with artificial enhancers. Using ground turkey was a better option than if we had used ground beef because turkey has less fat and calories, also not everybody likes to eat red meat, so this was a healthier option.
This dish is really tasty, and healthy.

Food Rule Slide:

For my food rule, I chose to focus on how even though diets are supposed to help you lose weight, the best diet is no diet. The best way to live is to eat healthy and things will happen naturally. Diets are very unhealthy for the body even though it makes people lose weight.
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Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 5.50.49 AM

The Life and Legacy of President John F. Kennedy

My National History Day project was centered around the life and legacy of our 35th President. On my website linked here, you will be able to learn not only about John Kennedy before, during, and after his Presidency, but also about each of his family members as well. There is also a word search and crossword puzzle to do at the end to test your newfound knowledge! Enjoy.

Crystalle's Penne Pepperonata


Penne Pepperonata (Pasta with Bell Peppers)


  • 8 oz penne pasta

  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche

  • ⅓ cup tomato puree

  • 1 yellow bell pepper

  • 2 red bell peppers

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • teaspoon garlic

  • teaspoon parsley

Bring pot of water to boil. Cook penne for 8 minutes. Drizzle olive oil onto pan warmed up to medium heat. Dice bell peppers. Sautee until they sweat and are softer. Mix creme fraiche and tomato puree then mix with bell peppers. Place pasta in pan and fold all ingredients together. Sprinkle diced garlic and parsley leaves and fold seasonings in.


Whole Wheat pasta has 200 Calories, 10 mg Sodium, and 7g Protein. This means it a healthy way to provide a good amount of your daily calorie intake and will leave you filled because it has a substantial amount of protein. Parsley is rich in Potassium, Vitamin A and C. It is a plant that can be grown locally, eliminating the need for preservatives for transportation. If I would have used preserved (dried) versions of these crops the environmental ramifications had been severe since they can and are grown most anywhere. However, corporations would have profited off of this choice. Small businesses profited off me purchasing from private farmers at a farmer’s market. The bell peppers used were store bought. I am unsure of where they were grown but I do know they were not labeled. As learned in class though, non-organic still have substantially less pesticides than what is considered danger for humans. Tomato puree contains 7% of the recommended amount of dietary fiber. This is important for colon health. My olive oil and tomato puree were transported from California with olives and tomatoes that were most likely commercially grown. The process to make these products would have been extensive and time consuming. This is where ease of making processed pre made products comes into play. Creme fraiche was 17% of the daily recommended amount of fat.  The ratio of processed to whole food in this meal is about half and half. This meal costed a little over $6 and can comfortably feed 3 people.

Unit Reflection:

Although I can make healthy changes to my life and the lives of those close to me, this unit showed me that in America we are exposed to unhealthy, imitation foods and it is made our duty to go out of way to save of our lives. I found interesting in the “Organic Food” warm up that even though some non-organic food items have more pesticide residue on them than organic food, it still has way less than what is deemed a dangerous level, which I did not know before. Therefore, there is little risk that a person will suffer due to these chemicals. On the other hand, I learned in the “Western Diet” warm up that our diet of red meat, sweets, and white bread are what give so many Americans horrible conditions and lead them to any early grave. It is the basis of what I eat and made me reassess my eating habits. The three largest causes of death in America are all health related- heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Although it leads to so many untimely demises, unhealthy food consumption is swept under the rug because there is more profit in cheap synthetic foods. Not to mention our culture of fast food and always being on the go assists in theses unhealthy eating habits. This unit showed me to slow down and put more value on what I eat.

My food rule is to use whole grain pasta because it has more health benefits than other types of pasta.
Food Rule
Food Rule


Instructions on how to make a banana strawberry smoothie


1 cup of fresh strawberries

2 ripe bananas

3/4th cups of milk

1/2 cups of ice


Wash strawberries, and cut them.

Cut bananas

Place strawberries and bananas into blender

Add ice and milk

Mix ingredients on low until well blended


This drink can be altered into any type of smoothie you want. You can change the recipe to be whatever you want it to be. You can turn this sweet drink into a healthy drink that might not be so sweet but is very healthy. This strawberry banana smoothie is good for you, and is very healthy.

By using healthy ingredients, and nothing thats processed it makes the drink better. If you substitute regular milk and use soy milk it makes the drink healthier.


My role is to eat good food, and to try a lot of food. I think that by trying a lot of food I can come up with a diet for other that lets you eat what you want, but still not gain as much weight as you would if you weren't on the diet. I think I can help find a way for people to eat things that taste great that are good for you. I think one of the biggest problems with our food system is that there are too many fast food restaurants, and there isn't a quick way to get cheap, good for you, and fast food. There is no way for you to get that, so it is hard for people to eat healthy on the go. I started to cut down on fast food, and pack my own snacks. If I eat healthier I will stay healthy. So instead of eating 2 donuts, a brisk, and a bag of chips, I can eat 2 bananas, a orange juice, and trail mix.

White wet rice with fried fish!!!!

first you cook the rice for 30min:

- when the pot of white rice is ready

-let it sit for few hours so the rice get cold and than

-put cold water once the rice is cold

Fried your fish:

  • get any kind of fish
  • session it with salt and paper
  • and fried them on a pot with oil until it get really crispy
And its all ready to eat!!!!.
My family always try to keep our food simple and whatever is on the table we will eat it,my family is not really picky with our food. As I as growing up in Bangladesh I saw my family eating it at list once a week and this dish is really simple and quick to make. It will take no more than 1 hour to cook it and you don't have to be a cook for it any one can cook this food and this food is healthy because you are cooking the rice with water witch have nothing extra adding to it and the few things you add when frying the fish witch is salt, paper and oil witch give the fish a good crispy tractors.

I chose this dish because it is really close to me and also my culture because I’m from Bangladesh and as everybody know Bangladesh is not a wealthy country and it got it freedom in 1971 from Pakistan and during the war that only thing that people could affort to eat was white wet rice with fried fish. And I think This is the most healthy food I can think of and its really helpful over the summer season because it get really hot and the wet rice will keep you cold inside.

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Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 12.07.48 PM

Japanese American Immigrants

The Japanese Americans have been through so much to get to where they are today, because of their toiling, their hard work, they were able to propel immigrants up the social ladder. The Japanese left behind the legacy of their children and all immigrants who choose to enter this country today. 


National History Day Essay: Micah Henry

This is my National History Day project for American History Class in 11th grade. I worked rather hard on this project the first and second quarter and this is the second part of my project. I was determined to finish this project and I did. I am proud of my work and I hope you will enjoy my essay!

Albert Einstein

This historic scientist is a household name, but few know exactly why. How did he contribute to scientific advancement? Did his research really start the nuclear age? How did he become famous? My essay looks into these questions and more, talking about everything from Einstein's philosophy to relativity. Read the full essay here:


Quarter 2 Art By Lukas Aznar

Artist Statement

During this quarter, I definitely felt more comfortable with my artwork. I really enjoyed doing some of the artwork that was required of me this quarter. One of my favorite pieces of art work was the assignment where we were told to edit a photo and show the before and after. I enjoyed this because it gave us a chance to do a different kind of art which I enjoyed. When I was doing my college, I wanted to pinpoint something that I saw a lot in modern magazines. And while flipping through some pages I realized that most of the ads pinpointed one demographic; Americans. This was perfect for me because not only do I love the United States of America, but i felt like it would make for a cool collage. I cut out all of the things That I saw that seemed like it was being pointed towards that demographic, and I came out with this collage.

While drawing the fabric, I just really wanted to get the shading right. I think I did a really good job with that. As far as the editing of the photo, I think I had the most fun, I got to edit a photo of Kanye West and make his image seem much more dark yet stand out. I was really happy with how i toned down all of the background and pinpointed him as the main attraction. I then highlighted all of the bright colors and brought all of the attention to that. My final piece of art was a portrait of a poem. And the poem was about happiness, so I envisioned a town full of happy people. I think that it came out looking exactly how I wanted it to. At the end of the quarter I am very happy with all of my final products and I am excited to learn more and more about Art and how to make the best product that I can

Q2 Art Portfolio

Hello, My name is Mingxue Zheng and the following slide show will contain the three artwork and one photograph that I've created in the second quarter of my senior art class. Our class is divided up into three groups, passing, middle, and FAS (future art student). As a "middle" I need to complete...

1.) Art Collage (8x11") 
2.) Fabric Drawing (8x11")  
3.) Edited Photo 
4.) Illustrating a piece of writing from Children's books. 

The first artwork that I was so hyped up about is the collage. I never did a collage that needs to convey a deeper meaning before. It took me 2-3 days to formulate ideas for the collage. 

My collage should be simple and visually appealing. There should be a sharp contrast as well. So, I did a "Hot & Cold" collage with a grandma crossing between the cold and hot terrane of the collage. On the cold terrane there is a lot of black and white landscapes. To add a pop of color, I added a series of blue butterflies so it will not be overly dull. On the hot terrane, there are a lot of orange to red color schemes; making a more vibrant atmosphere. 

The most challenging art piece was to create a fabric drawing. It took me a lot time to figure out where to shade. After a bunch of diligent tries, I finally have the drawing. However, it still doesn't look like a fabric. 

The third task is to edit a photo. I chose to edit a photo of Chinatown's signature landmark because I lived there. I am very proud of that picture as a Chinese immigrant. Since, I like everything to be sharp and colorful. I chose to saturate the photograph. 

For the fourth task, I chose to illustrate a piece of writing from Where the Wild Things Are. I chose to change the protagonist to a female because females should be portrayed as audacious and adventurous rather than obedient all the time. I also change the monster to a European horror influenced Chinese mythological creature. 

I really have a lot to improve. But, trying new things are always good. To me, art is a medium that helps me to imagine. Someday, the sometimes obscure imaginations within my brain could be drag into the world of reality.