Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bernard Williams


I encountered Bernard Williams through the internet so I have not seen these in person (and he hasn't encountered me). He is part of a show at Rupert Ravens Fine Arts in Newark that features 24 Solo Projects. For more of his work go to Ethan Cohen Fine Arts from where I picked the image shown. I respond to his work for obvious reasons (if you know my work) but in efforts to go deeper can find little press about him as of yet. I'm guessing he uses cut out cardboard, ply and so forth, and clearly, given the title, is willing to tackle the big themes which he does from an approach that shows the influence of Basquiat amongst many others.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Art Magic—Second Session

DAY 2 (10.8.09-Jefferson)

Portraits Without Worry
Progressive drawing techniques

I like to do drawing games. I think of them as a way of loosening up a bit like playing scales on the piano or stretching before exercise. 

This is a game in two parts:

PART 1
When you think of drawing portraits you probably imagine yourselves holding a pad of paper, a crayon or pencil, and sitting with the person you are going to draw facing you. You then begin to draw-or do you? Are you stuck already? Do you begin with the nose, or the eyes or the shape of the head? Do you add shading or fill in, do every hair on their head? It does not really matter but for arguments sake we will only use lines. While you are drawing I want you to look very carefully at the person you are drawing. What makes this a little different though, is this:  Do NOT look at your drawing as you draw.  and don’t lift your crayon from the paper!


  1. Look carefully at your subject, in this case your subject is the person you are drawing.
  2. Do NOT look at the paper you are drawing on while you are drawing. This is hard to do. I’ll be impressed if you can do this.
  3. Do NOT lift your crayon from the paper. This may be even harder to do.



Remember this is a drawing game, and should be fun.
There is a difference between silly and fun. The more serious you are about trying to do a good drawing the funnier the end results. Hopefully you will be surprised and delighted by what you did.

PART 2

Now we will do this again but this time you will use your other hand, ...or your feet!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Art Magic—First Lesson

Art Magic

I’ve called my program of lessons Art Magic

This is not because I am going to pull a painting out of a top hat, or have you painting pictures of people being sawn in half or doing card tricks. I’ve called it Art Magic because it is my hope that you will leave each hour with me surprised and pleased by something you made. 

Often we inhibit ourselves with preconceptions or with tried and tested approaches that can channel one all too soon into an approach to Art making that may well be enjoyable but can preclude the discovery of other approaches. How often have you been asked: What is your favorite color? My answer is often I like them all. How often has someone asked: Do you prefer to draw or paint? I like to do both. That said I do have a special fondness for drawing for the simple reason that it is, for me, where ideas begin. The definition of drawing can be very broad and we will explore different ways of drawing throughout this program. 

I enjoy taking away choices or/and limiting choices of materials and approaches and then slowly adding them back again like ingredients to a cake. Sometimes you find that too many ingredients make the cake TOO sweet. If you sit down with a hundred colors in front of you might find that you cannot decide which color to use. If, on the other hand, someone gives you a crayon and a piece of paper, and instructions on how to begin you are then free to simply see where your imagination takes you. Because of those limitations you’ll see how the imagination rises up in indignation and finds a way to fight back. This will not be because of what I have done but because of what you do in response to my suggestions. 

Lesson plan:

DAY 1 (10.7.09)

Symmetrees
Progressive drawing techniques

I’ve called this, today’s drawing game, Symmetrees for a reason. Symmetry is a word that describes a form of patterning that usually incorporates repeat patterns up down or left right. Single images can be created in this process but one side of the image will often mirror the other side of the image. This can be a very exacting way of making images or one can apply the process loosely to create something a little more organic and surprising. How one approaches this is personal but the approach I prefer is more organic and loose. I do not want any of you to get too uptight or worried about how you do this. The project is supposed to be fun and you will leave today’s class with something that surprises you.



Every piece of paper in this bag is unique. As I come around each of you should take one piece. There are no tricks here and no piece of paper is better or worse as far as I am concerned.

In this bag are a pile of crayons. I want you to each reach in and take one. I’d like to go very fast. I don’t want to see you thinking too hard—not today. If we have time at the end we will do another quick drawing game.

This, the first class, lasted all of half an hour. There was a conflict of interest. The sun was shining outside and it was a warm, fall afternoon, and the kids wanted to go outside. Before that though we had fun. Some responded seriously, listening and applying my instructions with due diligence. Some embroidered on my suggestions and some, given the slightest encouragement, went nuts and essentially destroyed their drawings in the process.


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Doing Lines

Asemic writing