OPEN, SEMINAR—FALL AND SPRING
Technical exploration, perception, development of ideas, intuition, invention, representation, and communication are the core of this class. We will begin the course in an observational mode, introducing practical information about the fundamentals of painting: color, shape, tone, edge, composition, perspective, and surface. We will paint still lifes and transcribe a masterwork. We will look at the work of both old masters as well as contemporary painters. We will also take a trip to a museum to look at paintings in the flesh. The course will include demonstrations of materials and techniques, art historical presentations, films and videos, reading materials, homework assignments, group and individual critiques. In the second half of the course, we will complete a series of projects exploring design principles as applied to nonobjective (abstract) artworks. Using paint, with preparatory collages and drawings, we will engage with strategies for utilizing nonobjective imagery toward self-directed content. Each week will bring a new problem, with lessons culminating in independent paintings. Projects will emphasize brainstorming multiple answers to visual problems over selecting the first solution that comes to mind. The last part of the class will be devoted to a personal project. The students will establish their theme of interest, which they will present during our conference meetings. Then, students will carry out research and preparatory work and develop a series of paintings. Drawings in this class will often be produced in tandem with paintings in order to solve painting problems and illuminate visual ideas. Revisions are a natural and mandatory part of this class. The majority of our time will be spent in a studio/work mode. The studio is a lab where ideas are worked out and meaning is made. It is important that you are curious, that you allow yourself to travel to unexpected places, and that you do not merely rely on skills and experiences that are part of you already but, rather, challenge you to openness and progress. The process will be part critical thinking, part intuition, and, in large part, physical labor. Working rigorously during class and on homework assignments is required. The goal of this class is to establish the roots of a healthy and generative personal studio practice. You will also strengthen your knowledge of art history and take into consideration the wider cultural, historical, and social contexts within which art is being made today.