Skip to main content

Journal and Sketchbook Class, Final Projects

Marlo Koch, handmade marionettes
Yesterday was the final day of the Journal and Sketchbook class for the spring semester, taught by me and Patty in the Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing department. Last week and this week, the students presented their final projects: reading aloud 4 pages from their final written movement, and showing and talking about a visual project that speaks to the writing in some way. The students in this class ranged from people early in their college careers, to about-to-be-graduates; people from different majors within the college; and people with widely different skill levels in terms of art and also writing.

Patty and I agree that the writing was very strong, and that the quality of all the visual pieces was equally high, and invariably took us by surprise in a positive way. There was lots of 2D work, comprising a variety of media, multiple panels, using text and image. There was a painting on a scroll. There was a canvas that had bits of mirror stuck to the surface. There were a number of three dimensional objects, too - probably the most we've seen for final presentations. Amy Crumbaugh's clay doll inside a cardboard coffin was amazing; Victoria Ross' dream-catcher metal hoop was great; and Marlo Koch made a set of marionettes, which she then used in a film that she made on her Iphone and projected in class. That pretty much brought the house down in class, and made the semester really end with a bang.

Full details of the students' names, and their pieces, are contained in the following slideshow:


If you want to try this combination of writing and drawing, too, you can join us at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, for a weekend workshop in June.


Comments

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.

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…

Retour a Paris

I'm back in Paris, teaching for the fourth consecutive year. During my most recent free weekend, I visited the Rodin Museum for the first time in more then twenty years. My visit coincided with the best weather so far -- bright and sunny and mild. The view of the Invalides from the gardens of the former Hotel Biron is spectacular:

 This summed up the experience of the museum, actually: the building being as deserving of admiration as the work displayed inside it. The rooms on the ground floor were full of these mouth watering combinations of belle epoque decoration and Rodin's writhing, muscular statuary:

Typically for me, the documentary material also caught my eye. Here is on the of the photos of Rodin using rooms in the hotel as a temporary studio, where he would entertain admirers, hangers on, and potential new clients (Rodin is seated at front-left):

The gardens surrounding the museum consist of sandy pathways leading through orderly bushes and topiary, interspersed with…