Friday, January 30, 2009

Putting LIne to Work
Before computers, before photography, before magic markers even, images were reproduced in woodcut, engraving or etching. From the 15th sixteenth to the 17th century visual information was encoded into lines, shapes or dots. This was the vocabulary of reproduced images.
In your sketchbooks you often have a felt tip marker or a sharpie to work with. How do you make shades of grey with a tool like this? You can achieve a broad range of grey tones by overlapping layers of line with different angles and spacings. It's called crosshatching.
Using just a felt tip pen or sharpie, draw for an hour from a subject that presents you with a broad range of value. Drapery forms or arrangements of planes will have a variety of continuously changing value. Shadows cast on walls and floors, cloud forms, and the classic rumpled paper bag will give you good material to work with. The aim is to avoid depending too much on contour to identify the forms. Emphasize the value ON the form and inside the forms, work from the interior toward the edges.
Draw for on hour and try to extract at least five levels of value from the tools you choose.
Work inside some kind of framing device as well. Draw rectangles or squares in your sketchbook and draw inside them. Get used to working with the edges this way.
Check out these links for more information on this technique.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Spontaneous Expedition

Artists Notebookers!
For Thursday's class we will be going on an expedition. We will be going to the gallery to meet the visiting artists Saskia Janssen and Jonas Ohlsson who are creating a studio project in our gallery. They will talk about how they use drawing to plan and visualize their projects. They will show the drawing that they are currently using to develop the installation project in the gallery. Over the next two weeks you will be invited to participate and collaborate in the installation. We will meet first in 203 and then go on our Expedition. See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Course Description

The Artist’s Notebook DR311

SYLLABUS, Spring, 2009

Ethan Berry, Instructor
3 Credits, T/Th 3:30-6:10
Office Hours: Mon, Wed 8: 30-11:00 and by appointment

Course Description:
Throughout history, the artist’s research has played an important role in the artist’s development of visual imagery, from the sketchbooks of daVinci, Turner, Picasso and Kahlo to the folders of Phillip Guston. This course examines the methods and materials artists employ to work through visual issues to reach meaningful and coherent aesthetic resolutions: students apply these strategies to their own creative work through in-class and assigned studio projects.
Course Objectives:
Course objectives are to introduce students to the sketchbooks and their equivalents of historic and contemporary artists so those students may study their methods of idea development and adapt some of these procedures for their own use.
Students sketch observing and absorbing visual information, draw from memory, develop studies for a final work, address abstract and conceptual studies in both visual and written language.
By exploring fundamental ideas in a work of art, examining sustained variables on one idea and using the visual language to explore concepts on a small scale without the responsibility of producing a finished work of art, students are given the opportunity to take greater risks and liberties and produce more in-depth investigations.
Class Format:

Visiting artists presenting and discussing their sketchbook methods
Slide lectures supported by books and other visual aids
Students presenting and discussing their sketchbook methods
In-class studio work on and off campus
Individual and group critiques on assigned work
Assigned reading
Field trip(s) when an appropriate opportunity occurs
Final Projects
Criteria for Credit:
Attendance for all classes, lectures, slide presentations and critiques; excused
absences only; assigned work missed, must be made up.
Participation in class
Quality of work
One major project resulting from sketchbook explorations. This may be done in conjunction with another class. All sketches and final project must be presented together in-class, during the fourteenth week of the course.
Four, or more completed sketchbooks showing significant effort. One of these should be a “source-box”. In addition, a brief digital sketchbook should be presented in some form for classroom viewing.
Sketchbooks required for credit:
Traditional sketchbook – containing a visual language concerned with training the eye and the hand; observing and absorbing visual information; drawing from memory; developing studies for a final work – to be used for most of your in-class sketches and should be with you when we visit different locations and generally at all times. (Observational studies)
Conceptual Sketchbook/Notebook – addressing ideas in both visual and written language beyond what is concrete and observed, possibly for exploring radical ideas pushed to the limit or, putting to formal use what were observational studies – to include a lot of writing so that ideas are clarified verbally and visually. (Abstract and conceptual studies)
Final Project – a major work that emerges from the explorations in a sketchbook or, sketchbooks from this course or, might develop through the conceptual sketchbook evolving through writing as well as visual studies – This project may become finalized in conjunction with another course. Both studies and finished work must be presented together to the class before the end of the term. (Final project)
“Source” Box – to collect materials that have some meaning or stimulate some artistic interest. This may include objects, notes, doodles, newspaper articles, postcards, photographs, sketches, measurements, marks, notes, scraps of drawings or paintings, or colors, collage materials, found objects, non-perishable, non-toxic garbage from the street, etc. This may be a collection of eclectic objects and notations for future reference or, it may be a collection specific to one idea. (sketchbox)
Electronic Sketchbook – a brief exploration of the digital approach to a sketchbook to be investigated outside of class. (Digital sketchbook/notebook)
Course Outline:
Week One:
Discussion of syllabus
Discussion of content of the course
Introductory slide lecture concerning various approaches to keeping sketchbooks, artist’s notebooks and journals using examples from books of historic and contemporary artists.
Concentration: Repeating an image/concept in a variety of ways and considering the entire space, in the process.
Week two and three:
Concentration: Developing one ideaColor
Week four and five:
Concentration: Sustained variables on an idea as opposed to radical change
Week six and seven:
Concentration; Many uses of the photographed image
Week eight and nine:
Concentration: Continue all of the above
Final Project are discussed and presented in-process
Week ten and eleven:
Concentration: Conceptual or abstract development of ideas.
Electronic sketchbook
Continue all of the above
Week twelve and thirteen:
Concentration: Concentrate on an aspect of Artist’s Notebook most important to you
Final projects are presented in progress and discussed in groups
Week thirteen and fourteen and fifteen:
Presentation and critique of final projects
Week Fifteen:
In-class individual student reviews; these are mandatory for credit

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Links to artists notebook sites.

Watch this space for links.

Deiter Roth in His Studio

Artists Notebook Blog

Welcome to  the Artists Notebook Blog. This site will contain the readings, images, links and references that are part of the Artists Notebook course for the spring semester of 2009.