Making Meaning: Observation, Research and Process

“Embracing a regimen for making and securing ideas so that they exist beyond the firing of the thought may well be the factor that distinguishes between creative types and critical makers.” -Leslie Hirst, “Groundwork”, The Art of Critical Making.

This semester we are going to explores research methods in the visual arts as well as methods for collecting information, cataloguing and sorting ideas.

For this first assignment you will create a painting inspired by an object in the science building.

  1. We will visit the O’keefe Gallery in GMS as a class, exploring the objects the science disciplines have placed on exhibition.  You will need to bring tools for capturing information and ideas, most likely a camera and sketchbook.  Spend time in the galleries looking carefully at the objects that catch your eye, photograph and sketch those objects and explore, through writing or sketching, why are you drawn to a particular object.  How can you depict, distort, alter, transform, translate or otherwise use the object to make meaning in a painting?
  2. Visit the object you’ve chosen again outside of class.  Use this as an opportunity to glean new information and inspiration from the object.
  3. Ideate.  Decide what form your painting will take.  Sketch your composition ideas.  Bring photos, sketches and other documentation to class on January 26.  Be prepared to workshop your idea in critique.
  4. Make your painting surface. Craft is important.  Pay attention to detail.  Don’t choose a surface simply because it is convenient.  Use the surface that best serves the work. The surface you choose to work on contributes to the meaning you are making.
  5. Paint!
  6. Reflect on what is and isn’t working in the painting.  Talk to other students about the piece.  Participate in formal and informal working critique.
  7. This piece is due at the beginning of class on February 9.  Also due is a blog post reflecting on your process.  Include process images as well as an image of the final piece.

Watch:

https://art21.org/playlist/starting-from-sketches/

https://art21.org/watch/extended-play/josiah-mcelheny-paintings-short/

Check out:

Campo del Cielo

Fossil Necklace