Monthly Archives: April 2017

Art 1 – Underwater Environmental Artist – due 5/5


Jason deCaires Taylor. Vicissitudes. 2009  Cancun, Mexico

Go to the following website: JasondeCairesTaylor

Navigate through the website and look thoroughly at the home page, gallery, film, bio, and environment pages.

For your sketchbook notes, reflect upon: what you find most interesting about Taylor’s work, thoughts or ideas it inspires, and any questions that you would ask if you met him.

Our next painting theme centers on appreciation of the ocean and sea life. For your full hour of weekly sketchbook drawing, sketch ideas relating to Taylor’s work, thumbnails to plan the composition of your painting, and/or the following:

Consider entering the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest with a submission of your visual art, poetry, prose, or film. This year’s theme is “Ocean Pollution: Challenges and Solutions.” Contest entries due June 19, 2017.

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest


Art 1 – High School Show at the Art League – due 5/19


Visit the Santa Cruz Art League (526 Broadway, between Ocean and Seabright) to see the 62nd Annual High School Show. Show opens Friday, April 28, 2017. You will see paintings, drawings, mixed media, sculpture, and jewelry created by local high school students.

Hours of Operation
Tuesday-Saturday: 12pm to 5pm
Sunday: 12pm to 4pm
First Fridays of the month: 12pm to 9pm
Monday: closed

Santa Cruz Art League
526 Broadway
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 426-5787

During your visit, choose a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Best of Show in any medium. List and explain the reasons for 3 criteria that you use to judge the work. Take a photo of each of the four pieces that you select. Or, sketch a thumbnail of each work.

In your sketchbook or on separate paper, write your list of criteria used for judging (it must be more than “I liked it” ) and a justification of your choices using that criteria.

Here is the link for details of the show: Santa Cruz Art League. (Reception is Saturday, May 6, 3 – 5pm.)

You may find ideas for your criteria from an art show juror’s point of view:

For your interest (no written response required), watch this award-winning film short titled “Art Appreciation” and consider the ideas presented.

What makes something art?

What is art?

What is good art?

What makes meaning in art?

Who makes the meaning, the artist or the viewer?


Art 2,3,4, AP, Photo – Santa Cruz High School Art show VISIT April 28-May 21



List and explain the reasons for  3 criteria that you will use to judge the work when you go to the Santa Cruz County High School Art Show.  You will be picking a 1st, 2nd, 3rd Best of Show, any medium. (except PHOTO students choose only photos, Ceramics students choose only ceramics.) Take a picture of each of your choices for each place winner, with you standing next to it. (or drawing a thumbnail of it if you don’t have a camera.)

Instead of posting on the blog, you will hand in, in your sketchbook or on separate paper, your WRITTEN LIST OF CRITERIA, IN PARAGRAPH FORM that you used for judging (it must be more than “I liked it” ) and a justification of your choices using that criteria.

Here is the link for times and location Santa Cruz Art League – reception is May 6, Saturday 3-5 – show opens April 28.

You may get ideas for your criteria from an Art Show Juror’s point of view:

Art 2 – Romare Bearden – 5/1


Watch this clip on Bearden in the studio, taking note of his concepts and process:

Trains, Snakes, and Guitars

Watch this video on Bearden’s Jazz works and pay special note to the rare clip of him in his studio:

Watch the clip on Bearden from Robert Hughes “Empire of Signs” (after Rauschenberg, around 2:15 until 6:00):

Take thoughtful notes on ideas concerning:

a: the development of Bearden’s art,

b: the uniqueness of his style in the 60’s and 70’s,

c: his manner of linking personal themes from African American culture with art historical precedents or broader humanistic themes, and

d: anything else you may want to add to the discussion about Bearden and his techniques.

Art 3 – Poster art



Read the following links about Shepherd Fairey’s intentions and his work.  Take notes in your sketchbook.


Read the biography of David Lance Goines and look at the poster collection, focusing on at least 3 in each of the groups, the choosing a favorite and noting why with a thumbnail of the design.

Research the following poster artists:

Bjorn Aronson

Paul Hartley

Greg Maletik   (be sure to look at the submarine poster and colors)


sequence from drawing to poster by Jimmy Lo

Choose your topic (advertising for real or imaginary place/event or social cause or entertainment)

Brainstorm ideas. Work on thumbnails and then full scale, value simplification.

Come up with several color palettes.  Keep words to a minimum.  You may want to use digital throughout or in part.

Art 1 – Working in Series – due 4/21


Look at the evolution of Mondrian’s work and how he changes over a period of time.  What do you think was important to him as an artist?  Why didn’t he keep painting trees in the same way?

1. Look at the three links below and read both articles fully. In your sketchbook notes, explain what a “series” is and discuss three points about the advantages and purpose of working in a series.

Advantages to working in a series

Jane Davies ideas about art series

Hyun Mi Yoo Good Luck series

2. For your hour sketchbook, do a drawing based on one of your previous drawings. Make significant changes in this drawing to reveal more of your personal interests as a young artist.

Or, do 2 drawings that demonstrate an evolution of your artistic ideas (either in a major way, as in Mondrian’s work, or in a less drastic way, as in Jane Davies’  “Teeny Tiny Art” series).

Photo 1 – Photo Quality, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martine Franck, Elliot Erwitt


Take notes on each link. Be sure to summarize quotes from the photogapher and as you look at their work, describe their style (subject, framing, lighting, unusual approaches, and/or meaning/ideas presented.) These notes and responses are due by the end of the week – before you shoot your 2 rolls for the book assignment.

You must also submit your book topic before you start shooting your rolls.  You may want to shoot/develop, 1 at a time, to be sure you are on the right path for your book.

We have briefly looked at Cartier-Bresson’s work in looking at important photographers and iconic photos (remember the puddle jump, the “decisive moment”?).  We will now look more closely at some discussion about his work.  Read the following article about a past retrospective in Paris and the insights into his work. (If the link takes you to google first, then follow it from there.)

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Read through several of the posts at the next blog (return to view more over the course of the next 2 weeks for more insights as you shoot your book rolls).  Pay attention to comments about the myth of the decisive moment, the use of contact sheets, his name during the war as a cover for Jewish photographers, Magnum photography, etc.  Feel free to go to other sites for biographical overviews of him if you want. You may also want to look more at the history of Magnum, a photo agency founded by Cartier-Bresson and other photographers in Paris in 1947 so they could have a greater voice in the use and promotion of their photos.  According to Cartier-Bresson: “Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson Iconic Photos

Martine Franck an important Magnum photographer and also was Cartier-Bresson’s second wife.  Unlike Cartier-Bresson, she often made significant alterations in the darkroom on photos. The following is a discussion of her personality and work, despite often being in Cartier-Bresson’s shadow.

Martine Franck

View her full portfolio at the Magnum site, paying careful attention to the compositions and deep blacks in some of her work, moving the photos to greater abstraction and impact.

Martine Franck’s Magnum portfolio

Look at Elliot Erwitt’s work; make notes on his advice in the quotation in the first link and his “handbook” in the second link.  Look at more of his work or at any other magnum photographers (see top menu bar from home page) for inspiration for your book.


Due at the end of next week, read the following and take notes.

In thinking about the upcoming art show, come up with your own list 3-5 elements that are the most important for your work as a photographer, after you read the following 2 lists. Strive for those 3-5 elements in your own work.

12 elements of award winning photos

6 elements of award winning photos