Author Archives: mygbkartclasses

Art 1 – Still Life Painting – Due 3/26


Read the description of Frida Kahlo’s painting and note the composition, color system, and symbolism:

Kahlo’s Still Life: Pitahayas

Watch the following conversation with artist Angus Wilson about still life painting:

For your sketchbook notes, comment on the following:

1.  Two points about still life painting that you find of interest.

2.  Two techniques from Wilson’s work that you will try in your still life painting.

The next studio painting will be based on your realism drawing from the fall semester. You will use a viewfinder to crop elements to create a new composition. You may choose to incorporate images of fruit that you sketched this past week.

For sketchbook, spend 30 minutes drawing from still life objects that you select and set up at home.

Split Complement Color Schemes

Examples of split complement color systems for this painting project.


Photo journal inspiration #21


National Geographic acknowledges its history of racist coverage

National Geographic’s steps on its message with a cover photo

National Geographic examines its racist past

Stephanie Syjuco, cargo cult series

Stephanie Syjuco, interview

Optional but of interest:

crimes of fashion

artists reclaiming what fashion stole


Photo journal inspiration #20


Take notes in your journal about his various projects, intentions, and photographic choices.

Notice his discussions about philosophic concerns and photography, ideas about subject, objectification (or exploitation), and his moral and theoretical concerns.  Is he a documentary photographer or fine art photographer or historical photographer? What are the clarifications and are there differences?

Art 2 – Creativity – due 4/16


In your sketchbook, write down the main ideas from each of these links.

Check out what LL Cool J has to say about creativity and the importance of art education.  (2-3 min clip)

LL Cool J on Creativity

Listen to Kiefer’s short talk about being an artist. (1 min)

Anselm Kiefer talks about being an artist

Listen to Tuttle’s reasons for art. (1 min)

Richard Tuttle – reasons for art

Listen to what Will Rogan says about finding meaning in the world around him. (1 min)

Will Rogan talks about the meaning of things

Now, visit the following link and note the creativity and variety in expanding portraits.  Write down and sketch ideas you want to try in your self-portrait series.

At the same site, notice the creativity in sketchbooks and take notes about inventive ideas you want to try.

Wander around the site for more inspiration – there are a lot of images and resources here!


Art 1 – Surreal Perspective – due 3/12



Flying Houses by Laurent Chehere

With your next creative sketchbook drawing in mind (to create your own surreal, dreamlike world through perspective) look at the 4 following links. In your sketchbook notes, comment on what image interests you at each link. Make some observations about the technical aspects of making a surreal scene and the emotional effect. (Note, the modern architecture at the last site is not surreal but some of the buildings are so unusual, they inspire the imagination. Comment on the technical feats and the resultant emotional effect.)

Flying Houses by Laurent Chehere

Surreal Architecture

Victor Enrich architectural images

Modern Architecture

In your sketchbook drawing, show a building exterior in perspective with surrealist components to create an emotional, imaginative, or fantastical effect.

Some standards for a surrealist effect: change of scale, context, altering of physical characteristics.

Finish your drawing with full shading in black and white and some color, for expressive effect. Your work should reflect at least one full hour of drawing time. You will be given some lead time for this drawing in class.

For your interest, here’s a link to Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” and the Surrealist movement:


Art 1,2,3 Display at the SC Civic 2/25


Seventy Kirby high school students created artwork for the February 25th family concert, “The Orchestra Rocks!” For design inspiration, students listened to and explored Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” and the lyrical, dreamlike paintings of Marc Chagall. Surrealist artistic devices – symbolism, juxtaposition, exaggeration, and humor – were considered for expressive effect. Media choices included graphite, color pencil, chalk pastel, watercolor, scratchboard, and linoleum block prints. Several Kirby students also performed in the concert as members of the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony, Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band, and Santa Cruz Ballet Theater.

Art 1 – Formal Elements and Non-Objective Designs – due 3/5


The Formal Elements: Art Elements (left) and Design Principles (right)


As you watch this sequence (from Disney’s acclaimed 1940 film “Fantasia”), observe the formal elements used to create non-objective designs. Notice the choice of shapes in relation to the music as well as the movement and rhythm created by repetition and gradation (in terms of both color and shape). Think about space and form, emphasis and contrast, balance and unity.

Sketchbook notes: Comment on the areas in the film that you find most pleasing/interesting. Do your best to analyze why you find certain aspects to be visually interesting and how the formal elements and principles are “working.” Answer some of the following questions in your notes. What kinds of colors are used? Do you recognize any color systems like analogous or complementary? How is movement created? How is balance achieved (is it symmetrical or asymmetrical)? Where do you see examples of emphasis or contrast?  Consider any other questions you feel are significant.

Sketchbook homework: Look at the non-objective “chance” images that you cut out for homework last week. Choose two that are visually interesting to you. Consider the significance of balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, and unity in making your choices. Then spend at least 40 minutes drawing and shading these two chance compositions in your sketchbook.