Friday, January 25

A Student Once Again

I mentioned in my Year in Review post that I'm back at school.  I need 15 credits to reinstate my teaching certificate.  Last quarter I took 5 credits, this quarter I'm taking 5 and spring I'll take my last 5 credits.  What I didn't mention is that I've been taking art classes.  In addition to reinstating my certificate I'm working toward a teaching endorsement in visual art. The endorsement requires 35 art credits.

Last quarter I took an Art Appreciation class.  We spent 3 days in the lecture hall looking at slides and going through (quickly) the history of art.  The other 2 days of the week we were in the art room where we experimented with different art media - drawing, painting, linoleum block printing. I thought the hands on aspect of this class was a great compliment to the lectures.  When we were learning about linear perspective and seeing how the masters did it, in the lab we were trying it out for ourselves.  Thought I'd share a few projects from that class.  I didn't save all of them . . .some were just too hideous.

In this assignment we had to complete 2/3rds of a black and white photo.  I used a photo I took of a stack of rocks.  I drew a grid on the photo and my paper to help me.  
still life
This project required us to set up a 3 piece still life. I chose the most simple shapes I could find.
A color wheel of course.  This was my first time using acrylic paints.  I didn't realize I could use water with them.  Therefore this turned out looking thick and uneven.  

Linoleum block print.  I did the head of this exquisite corpse.  The surrealists developed the idea of the exquisite corpse, folding a piece of paper in thirds and completing either the head, torso, or legs before handing it off to another artist.   Carving a block really makes you think about positive and negative space since what you carve is white (no ink) and what you leave is black.  Not to mention you print the mirror image of your carving. 
Georgia O'Keeffe copy 

 For this assignment we had to find a painting we wanted to copy, one that wasn't too complex (aka don't choose The Last Supper.) I choose this landscape by Georgia O'Keeffe. The lesson in this exercise was about color mixing. Again, I drew a grid on my copy of the painting and on the paint board, increasing the squares by 1/2 inch.  The tricky part of this was the brush strokes.  No matter how much water I used I couldn't get rid of them.  This was my second time using acrylic paints.  This time I used lots of water to try and get the luminosity of the original.  I also painted in layers attempting to achieve some color complexity.  I really enjoyed this assignment.  Below my painting is the original.

This quarter I'm taking a beginning drawing class.  Drawing is one of those things that brings up emotions for nearly everyone - either you think you can draw, you can't, you're a horrible drawer, you wish you could draw, you're a great drawer.  Whatever.  I stink at drawing but I'm not worried about it.  I just give each assignment an honest attempt, maybe I'll even get better.  The truth is I don't want to be an artist, I don't actually love to *do* art I love to look at it, learn about it, talk about it and teach kids about it. 

Here are 2 projects we've had in class:

gesture drawing
 We started the class with gesture drawing. Gesture drawing is quick and scribbley. It is concerned with capturing the form and volume of something. I like gesture drawing. I'm much more comfortable making lots of approximations instead of one confident line. We practiced drawing people and shoes.

This assignment was about composition.  Each student had to draw one random object from 3 different perspectives.  Then we went around the room and traced other peoples' drawings that we liked.  At home we had to assemble these drawings into a picture.   I started out with the idea of creating an ink blot type of shape (you know how much I like ink blots) then when I was nearly finished I realized it looked like an insect.  How cool!

We've been spending the past 2 weeks on contour drawing - one line, no shading.  We are only allowed to use weight of line (dark to light) to show depth.  Our current assignment is to create a still life with mechanical objects and draw it (twice!) taking into account composition, weight of line and proportion (which is really hard!!.)  So, that is what I'm off to do . . .

Have a great weekend! 


christie said...

i am so entertained by your art projects, Wish
I were with you. i didn't really know about water
and acryliccs either.

Scottish Lakes said...

So interesting! I love what you are into. Have fun!

Chris said...

This is so interesting! I am sure you love it. Nice drawing. Looks like fun.

suddenly sahm said...

Dana said...

I envy you, I really do.
I wish I could be doing exactly this.

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