Skip to main content

Journal & Sketchbook Class, 2012

Here are images of the wonderful students from the Journal and Sketchbook Class, taught by Patty and me jointly in the spring semesters at Columbia College Chicago. There are fourteen students, and they give their final presentations over the lat two weeks of the class. Seven of them presented last Thursday, the rest will go next Thursday. It's a writing class, mainly, with the sketchbook, drawing, and visual art activities intended as a different way of "seeing in the mind", as a way for the students to develop their writing in a different way to their normal process, but with an equally strong emphasis on fully written movements.

If I can get permission, I may post some of their writing. For now, what the pictures show are the visual pieces, and I hope you'll agree with me that one needs make very little allowance for the fact that they are produced by fiction writing students to appreciate their qualities of visual expressiveness. It's nice to glance over at Patty as the students are talking about their work and see a smile on her face. We know that we have a class of exceptionally talented, creative students in the class this year, who all seem to have gained something from this exploration of writing and drawing. I hope they feel that, too.


Popular posts from this blog

How to etch a linoleum block

Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.

A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…

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.

Artist-Writer-Artist: Gerard Woodward

I am extremely pleased that poet and author Gerard Woodward agreed to be interviewed for this series. Gerard and my wife, Patty, were colleagues for a short while at the end of 2008, when Patty taught for one semester at Bath Spa University, where Gerard is a faculty member in the Creative Writing program. Gerard spent the spring semester of 2011 in Chicago on a reciprocal visit. Gerard has published poetry, short-stories, and novels. "Householder", his 1991 collection of poetry, won the Somerset Maugham Award in the UK, and his novel "I'll Go to bed at Noon" was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Of his most recent novel, "Nourishment", The Daily Telegraph reviewer wrote: "It is a novel to be savoured, and Woodward is a novelist to be treasured." It turns out that in addition to his success as a writer, Gerard started his adult life in art college, and still draws and paints when he can. So here, from a writer's point of view…