Year Two: Week One
September 1-5, 2008
Welcome Back to my Second Wind Blog!
What I did this past summer
I spent my summer teaching – two sections of my online course at OISE/UT in the intersession May and June and the summer session, July and August. The course, Holistic Approaches to Information Technology - http://astralsite.com/1799 was created by me back in 2002 and this was 8th and 9th time I have delivered this course. It is particularly intensive being 12 weeks work condensed into a 6-week format. A total of 43 hard working graduate students successfully completed these online classes.
A highlight of the summer was working with one of my Art Centre classmates to create a website to feature her wonderful stained glass and folk art creations.
Have a look! http://astralsite.com/chateau-suisse
I watched (and recommend) these videos from the Toronto Public Library:
The Post Impressionists – Gauguin
The Post Impressionists – Munch
Matisse and Picasso
On a program called Listen Up, I saw a feature on the "Power of the Arts" story about a Mural Project that has changed the face of Philadelphia - to find out more about the 2,750 murals that are making a difference - go here - http://www.listenuptv.com/programs/071104murals.shtml
Next week I begin teaching Foundations of Curriculum - http://astralsite.com/1000 at OISE/UT online and so far have 26 students registered for this course. Here is my fall schedule. As a student, I have signed up for two evening classes at the Art Centre – Advanced Printmaking and Collage and Assemblage in addition to the five classes in the day program.
Week one of semester one of year two - four days of classes
Monday: Labour Day
Tuesday: Ceramics Class
The new schedule has Ceramics on Monday mornings each week and since this week began with Labour Day – the class met on a Tuesday, our first day back at school, the beginning of year two. My favourite teacher is our homeroom teacher and ceramics teacher – her upbeat attitude and sunny style are a great way to start any week.There are twenty-two in our group now and this seems a massive class compared to last year. There are five of us from last year’s group and happily these are a favourite four to be with. The rest of the class is a mix from the other two groups and I’m making an effort to learn their names. I’m especially glad to get to know the two women from Tai Wan and I hope to learn not only from their good examples creatively but have a chance to gather a few more things to say in Mandarin. The time was taken up with various formalities to do with being back in school and we were dismissed early.
Wednesday: Printmaking Class
The printmaking teacher had an outline ready for us as well as handouts on techniques for various types of printmaking – most of us already had these from last year’s classes. Our first assignment is to bring in a proposal for the three projects we’ll be doing and we have some choice about what we’ll do. I have a plan and hope to get approval to carry it out. Here is my plan:
Proposal: Printmaking Year 2 Projects
The projects I plan for this semester have themes related to natural elements.
Project ONE – Block Printing: A series with fountains based on photographs I’ve taken that feature water flowing from stone mouths.
Project TWO – Intaglio: a triptych made up of three etchings using mixed media. The zinc plates are each 6” by 6” and feature arrangements of sea shells from (1) a simple trio (2) a precisely placed arrangement of seven shells (3) a collection of shells in a random tumbled array as they might wash up on a beach.
Project THREE - Collography: A series featuring the five elements known in Asian cultures which reflect rhythms of nature, and attributes of changing energy states:
wood describes the beginning of the natural cycle, draws on water and forms the fuel for fire the peak of the natural cycle, burns wood and creates earth the pauses in the natural cycle, comes from fire's ashes and yields mineral ores for metal the waning of the natural cycle is drawn from earth and produces water the low point in the natural cycle, that comes from metal and feeds wood.
The outline for sculpting class looks quite challenging. I’ll be amazed if we get through it all. In fact we are told that last year only one student did complete everything. We hit the floor running to choose a sculptor from a list of sculptors and a culture from another list – we’ll take elements from a head created by the sculptor and one found within the chosen culture to shape a “fusion” head. A presentation board will be expected along with a small model then the larger head by the end of semester one.
We started our sculpting activities with building a nose – our model is the nose of David by Michelangelo and we are learning the method of building from inside out using pebble piece of clay to form the shape. We will also be building heads of classmates and we all paired off. We are to sketch our partner in preparation for the work ahead which will involve a number of stages.
Here’s a youtube video I found for inspiration:
The orientation in this class included carefully going over the handout giving all of the information we need about the year-long course. There were questions and answers about equipment, the facilities, safety and supplies and the way of working using a notebook (lab book) to catalog all that we do. We’ll be assigned a photographer to research. We were each given a piece of photographic paper sensitive to light to demonstrate how images are made. Next week we’ll be starting our class activities using a pin-hole camera.
Here are a few of my favourite photographers – surely one or two will be on the list of those we are researching.
Henri Cartier-Bresson - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Cartier-Bresson
Annie Leibowitz - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Leibovitz
Alfred Steiglitz - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Stieglitz
Ansel Adams - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansel_Adams
Wallace Nutting - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_Nutting
There are a few too many of us for the number of computers in the lab – not sure how this will be dealt with. Because of a few absences, this was not critical today. A screen was set up in one corner of the room on which was projected, images form a laptop computer. The rest of us were working from iMacs using OS 10.3.9 and CS2. The order of the day was orientation to the machine and how to create a folder. A brief look was given to Photoshop.
Students could search using Safari - http://www.apple.com/safari/ (which also works well on a Windows machine) and Google to find an image and bring it into the folder they had created. Most of the students had some familiarity with a Windows operating system, only a few with the Mac. Very few have knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Illustrator – programs we will be using for our assignments.
Bonus: We did not get the same classes as the other 2nd year group but the good news is that the art history teacher (who is fantastic) is going to let our class tape his lectures!!!
Here’s my fall schedule - http://astralsite.com/Schedule-Fall2008.html