Art 1 – Morandi – due 10/31


1. Listen to former Met curator, Thomas Hoving, introduce the Morandi show:

2. Read the review in the NY Times which gives background about the artist, his context, and ideas about the significance of his work.


3. Watch the video of a collection of Morandi’s works:

4. Now, in your sketchbook comments, explain which things you think were most important in making Morandi the artist that he was (consider biography, history, work habits, beliefs) and which things are most important to you as an artist making your own still life.

For your sketchbook work, spend 45 minutes drawing various objects from home using full tonal shading and (almost) no contours.  Work from a light gestural structural sketch and then add continuous tone.

For your own interest, you may want to watch the timelapse still life drawings below.


Here is a quick description of analyzing form and looking for formal elements in a still life composition:

Watch this drawing take shape from analytic phase to shading of values:

How to Draw Still Life



Art 3 – Wildlife Illustration – due 11/3


Read about the importance of predators and take notes on the various eco chains mentioned:

Predators in crisis

Take notes on the interconnectedness of nature in the Yellowstone ecosystem:

Look at the following website and observe images (under “Wildlife”) of Big Cats, Elephants, Great Apes, Large Mammals, and Rhinos. Pay careful attention to the importance of composition and detail.

Look at the website of Alison Nicholls and her stylized artwork:

For inspiration, here is a breathtaking video on whales and a link to Andrea Rich, a local, nationally known, wildlife artist.

Take notes on wildlife conservation issues important to you and do some research, gather images, consider different styles, and draw some thumbnail composition ideas to prepare for your small painting.








Art 2 – Science Illustration – Birds – Due 11/3


1. Take notes when you watch the following video and think carefully about what James Prosek says about seeing nature:

Note also what Jane Kim says about her art, painting birds:

2. Read about the exhibition “Maria Sibylla Merian and Daughters: Women of Art and Science.” Watch the slideshow and read or listen to all of the commentary for each and take notes.

Maria Sibylla Merian and Daughters: Women in Art and Science

3. Watch the following two technical videos:


4. And last but not least, here is a site with beautiful drawings from the Farallon Islands by a professional illustrator, Sophie Webb. Maybe you know some of her books!

Sophie Webb

Photo journal inspiration #7


Here is the story behind the iconic photo of Che Guevara by Alberto Korda

Behind Korda’s iconic photo

Here is a behind the scenes account of Burri’s experience in making photos of Che Guevarra

 Story behind Burri’s photo

The International Center for Photography has some interesting photos in shows commemorating Cuba, Che, and the Revolution.

ICP: Cuba in Revolution

Notice how some of the portraits of him are translated into other media for commercial purposes:

ICP: Che, revolution, and commerce


AP 2D design – food for thought #2


Know your why:

There are some embedded stereotypes in this video that need to be addressed in our discussion. Nevertheless, the musical illustration is one which can help to clarify your own artistic process.

As you begin work on your Concentration – your Sustained Investigation – bring your “why” into focus and the “what” will follow.

Photo journal inspiration #6


Consider especially: “It was not enough that photographers be ‘mere witnesses’…..” What does he advocate? What do you think?

Look up Frank’s The Americans as a “masterpiece for its stark realism and empathetic vision.”

What does he say about editing photo books? Do you agree? Consider your process of making books…..

Look up Koudelka’s Gypsies for inspiration.

How did he get his start in publishing?

Look up some of the other photographers he worked with: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Robert Capa, Inge Morath Brassai, William Klein.

Read the last 2 paragraphs and consider how it relates to your work in photography.



OPEN STUDIOS – Art 1,2,3, AP, Photo classes, and Ceramics – Oct. 7-8, Oct. 14-15, Oct. 21-22 – Due by Mon. Oct. 23


Over the next 3 weekends, Santa Cruz County artists will open their studios to visitors to show their art and art making processes.

Attend a total of 3 artist studios. (AP, Photo, and Ceramics students must attend at least 3 that are specific and relevant to their current work.)

For each visit, write down the artist’s name, take notes, and be ready to share in class:

1. your impressions of each studio and artwork. Include a small drawing of something that interests you in the studio (the art, materials, work space, etc.).

2. the artist’s techniques and processes (this information is posted in the studio; if you don’t see it, ask about their technique).

3. the inspiration for your own art work (either by a desire to emulate the artist or for a manner to differentiate your work from the artist).

For extra credit, Sept 30-Oct. 22 attend the Preview Show at the Santa Cruz Art League at 526 Broadway ( or attend the R. Blitzer Gallery Preview Show 2801 Mission from Oct 6-22 ( Make sure you check the hours before you go.  For the credit, share the artist and title for what you would award as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the whole show and explain why.

Students may attend the studios together but must have independent notes.  You may become interested in visiting particular artists by hearing others’ comments.

Do all three on one weekend or one each weekend, but don’t leave until the last day! You can share your visits each Monday over the next few weeks, or on the final Monday (October 23rd). Plan it out.

There are Guide Booklets in art rooms 216 and 222 with maps if you want to plan your weekend trips.  North County is the first weekend,  South County the second, and some artists are open for the third All County weekend.