Skip to main content

On a student's work in the Journal+Sketchbook class

Patty and I taught the ninth Journal+Sketchbook class of the semester last Thursday. The assignment from the last class was to produce two self-portraits, one in words and one in images. Most students brought in drawings for the visual self-portrait, but a student called Jessica Humphrey brought a sculpture, shown above (cell phone picture - not very hi-def). Considering that this is primarily a writing class, with the sketchbook being used as an aid to see story and scene more fully; and considering that this student doesn't have much prior art training, and was very unconfident in her visual art skills at the start of the semester, this was a big deal. Jessica has been producing more complex drawings in the past few weeks, indicating that her confidence was growing, but when she gave us the box containing this three-dimensional piece, I was just completely bowled over by how good it was. It's a plastic carton, cut in half and covered with coloured clay. The dreadlocks are pieces of wire with colored clay coiled painstakingly around them. More bits of wire extend outward from the head, decorated at the end with bits of seashell and aluminium foil shapes. The top of the head is a circle of artificial turf. The whole thing is topped off by a little figurine of an angel sitting cross-legged.

We're feeling immensely proud that we had a part in unlocking this kind of creativity in someone.

 Subscribe to Praeterita in a reader


Popular posts from this blog

Brancusi in Plastic

Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:

Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.

Restoring my Printing Press

I've just finished restoring and assembling my large etching press -- a six week process involving lots of rust removal, scrubbing with steel wool, and repainting. Here is a photo of the same kind of press from the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative:

And here is a short YouTube video of me testing the press, making sure the motor still works after nearly seven years of lying in storage:

I Talk On Video

Here is a short video of me in my studio, talking about me, my art, and my influences.