"I just wanted to find out where the boundaries were.
I've found out there aren't any.
I wanted to be stopped but no one will stop me."
-Damien Hirst

Monday, April 4, 2011

Time Tells a Story

A NARRATIVE tells a story.

Stories unfold in TIME, or tell of events or experiences that happen in TIME.

LIGHT illuminates, obscures, veils, infuses memories and dreams, or creates drama.

Create a narrative through a sequence of no less than 10 drawings. Time and depictions should be an intimate part of the development of this work. Use light in some form as a player in your narrative, whether it’s color, atmosphere, mood, drama, symbolism, etc.

To help solve this problem, generate ideas through both written methods, (lists, short-stories, stream of consciousness, brainstorming diagrams, etc.) and visual methods, (sketches, story boards, comic pages, animation, etc.). You may choose to readdress a subject that you have already encountered earlier this semester.

Your strategy in this assignment should take into account all 3 of the above elements and integrate them effectively in your drawings. Your choices of surface, media, scale, format and presentation should support you solution. Be clear about how you interpret and plan to use each.

The quantity of 10 drawings is meant to enhance the investigation of time and not to create an excessive workload.

You might consider the following:

Will there be any factors that will be more important than others in trying to depict a cohesive narrative? (i.e. will representation take precedence over expression?)

Be aware of materials and how well they communicate with each other, don’t let you narrative get ‘muddy’.

Be sure to consult the syllabus to see if there are any requirements that you still need to fulfill.

nar-ra-tive [nar-uh-tiv] –noun

A story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.


The system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.

light [lahyt] –noun

1. Something that makes things visible or affords illumination.

2. The aspect in which a thing appears or is regarded.

Time to Interact . . . with the Abstract.

there are many working definitions of ‘abstraction’; in the dictionary, it is listed as “state of being lost in thought”, but as it is applied to visual art, the definition can fall almost anywhere in the wide range between direct representation and non-objective imagery. But, at the root, ‘abstraction’, as a process, searches for an underlying structure; an essence, a unity, a reality beyond surface appearance. it uses distortion, simplification, unification, geometrical and formal means to reach its goal…

Here is a list of artists with works on display in the Cincinnati Art Museum; Picasso, Roberto Matta, Joan Miro, Matisse, Georges Braque, Oskar Kokoshka, Jean Arp, Philip Guston, Jim Dine. After exploring each artist, choose one to examine further.

Pick three paintings by that artist, and analyze them in terms of:

-Subject matter

-Formal language

-Intent of the artist

-Means of abstraction

Finally, choose one of the following themes or concepts to investigate in a series of three abstraction-based drawings:

Empathy Transformation Identity

Chaos Sound Public vs. Private

Refer to the four elements from above, as well as what you learned from your analyses in the CAM, to aid you in solving this problem. At the critique, be prepared to discuss not only your work, but also the role that your research from the Cincinnati Art Museum played.

*Avoid depending on objects as the primary elements in your solution.

*The final three drawings should read as a cohesive series, or a set of related explorations.

This exercise encourages you to move away from a purely observational diet, and to explore abstraction as an option or means of problem-solving in drawing.

You might consider the following:

What are some other words used to describe the 3 themes or concepts you have chosen?

Aside from whom you observed in the CAM, is there another artist whose abstractions impress you? Perplex you? How could you incorporate that into your three drawings?

As an artist yourself, what else could you possibly get from working this way? Is this a comfortable or uncomfortable experience for you?

Twenty-five States of Being . . .

in this exercise, the class created 25 state-of-being self-portraits. They looked beyond the surface; felt, and reacted spontaneously. using gesture and instinct, they looked inside themselves in order to explore.

We all live in and out of a string of emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical states. Our day-to-day expressions, or lack thereof, emphasize these states. We wear our lives on our faces. We share and discuss our state of mind and being with our friends and significant others, and all together, the help to shape who we are. These ‘states’ are our self-portraits, and a good artist can pull them out of the surface skin that others see.

To complete the 25 drawings, you will need to work at a relatively quick pace. You will need to be able to suspend judgment and critique, and allow yourself some freedom to work instinctively and expressively.

Experiment with materials and surfaces so that you feel that you are building a broader drawing vocabulary. Collect a variety of materials and media, drawing surfaces and other miscellaneous ‘stuff’. You may want to bring in significant objects or images to serve as source material. Stretch your limits and be experimental.

You might consider the following:

What constitutes a drawing? A self-portrait?

What can be used to create a drawing? What about surfaces, and shapes?

Try varying scale and the amount of time you spend from piece to piece. Perhaps one takes one hour and the other take 1 day.

Consider the issues/course goals you identified in your Personal Assessment as you strategize your approach.

Don’t forget about the list of required drawing media and approaches in the syllabus, review it and try to incorporate some into this activity.

Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Brainstorm.

The Newest in Petimenti

As an artist struggles to develop a drawing which he or she wants to be “right”, a record is left of the drawing’s visual history: it’s changes, adjustments, corrections, layers, reassessments, addtions, subtractions¾it’s overall evolution. In a broader sense, pentimento is the name for this record, or history, which is found in its archeaological layers. More precisely, pentimento refers to the emergences of certain strokes or images from previous LAYERS, WHICH were subsequently altered in a layer of paint.

In this assignment with the figure, your task is to move away from direct representation as a starting point and toward an alternate response to the figure and its surroundings or context¾structural, emotional, psychological, narrative, conceptual, formal. You must build a drawing that will reveal its own history, in the sense that a series of marks and layers will be responsive with one another, as opposed to completely canceling each other out. Undoubtedly, working this way will track the evolution of your ideas, thought process, and decisions.

Work both additively and subtractively on a large format piece of paper or board, approximately 30-35 in. x 45-50 in. Use color if you like, and use any combination of media that will work to support your intent or objective in the drawing. You may consider gessoing your drawing surface first.

Allow yourself to be physical, vigorous and tough with the surface when the drawing requires it, and gentle, attentive and meticulous when necessary as well. Be flexible and responsive as the drawing progresses…Listen to it, make decisions according to what it’s saying to you. Allow this work to remain open and organic for as long as possible. Let the process be a visually evident and celebrated part of the drawing.

pen-ti-men-to [pen-tuh-men-toh]

–noun, plural –ti,

(1) The presence or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over.

(2) An underlying image in a painting, as an earlier painting, part of a painting, or original draft, that shows through, usually when the top layer of paint has become transparent with age.


From Italian- pentirsi- "to repent"

In art, the reappearance in an oil painting of original elements of drawing or painting that the artist tried to obliterate by over-painting. If the covering pigment becomes transparent, as may happen over the years, the ghostly remains of earlier marks may show through. Pentimenti most commonly occur due to slight re-positioning by the artist of the outlines of figures or of their clothing. Many signs of such "repentances," or pentimenti, are found among the thinly painted Dutch panels of the 17th century.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


please don't forget, our crit has been moved from monday the 29th to wednesday the 31st.
also, if you're interested in coming to the ballet, the date is April 6th, and we will be meeting in S664 at 9am.

in the meantime, feel free to read this interesting interview on artist, 'Banksy', by Shepard Fairey:


Monday, March 8, 2010


the studio-research project is an attempt to shift drawing from being viewed primarily as an end product to being seen as a tool for research, investigation, and problem-solving.  so as everyone has their topic questions they've been researching, remember that the drawings created as a result of the research process do NOT have to answer the question, they simply have to be generated from/because of it.

let the drawings guide you just as much as the factual information you find.  perhaps one image you create takes you down another path, different from your original question or topic....

as we reconvene after spring break, and critique the work, some of the things that we will be looking for are:
  • were a range of research techniques utilized? (i.e. Internet sources, field sketches, related book sources, observations, previous knowledge, etc.)
  • does the work read as a related 'series' of drawings? (did the research culminate into a cohesive body or not)
  • is the original topic question evident in the work? (will viewers be able to decipher the original problem, or at least an idea related to it, or does the work seem somewhat more ambiguous?)
  • are the final drawings appropriate given the context of the research?
  • were surfaces and media considered in relation to the research? (for example, if one's topic was "what factors caused the current economic and financial crisis?", it may be appropriate to create drawings or sketches on accounting paper, or to create bubble drawings on receipt tape or dollar bills)
so as you continue through this process, ask yourself these questions, and perhaps make adjustments in the work derived from your answers.  in the end, this assignment is meant to introduce you to another strategy that can aid the artistic process...

strategy-a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.


feel free to check out the link above to research-based artist Ken Gonzales-Day.  
from his website:

"The images on this page are part of a series entitled, Searching for California's Hang Trees, or just Hang Trees for short. They were taken over a six-year period. The series extended across other distances as well, and in photographing these sites, Gonzales-Day traveled to nearly every county in the state of California. All of the images were taken with an old wooden Deardorff 8 x 10 camera. 

Searching for California's Hang Trees derived from Gonzales-Day's own research into the history of lynching in California. He explains, "I began this project by trying to assemble the most complete record of lynching in California that I could, and I was particularly interested in discovering how nineteenth century conceptions of difference (race, creed, color, national origin, and even gender) might have obscured the fact that, when taken collectively, Native Americans, African Americans, Chinese immigrants, and Latinos, fell victim to the mob's anger more often than persons of Anglo or European descent." 

Using historical records, he spent many long hours and multiple expeditions wandering in the California landscape looking for clues to the little know history. As overwhelming as the undertaking was, he summarized his motivation when he stated that, "I set out to look for, to witness, as many of the sites as I could - even knowing that many could never be found."

Hang Trees - Ken Gonzales-Day

Sunday, March 7, 2010


the long awaited results of our experimentation with pentimento:

julio labra

fahrudin omerovic

donald brown

kathryn dimartino

tyler hilton

sydney wise

graham vogel

lydia collins

scott bunge

kayla sorenson

steven adkins (extreme close-up)

david canny

jessica burkhart

nathanael green