Category Archives: Art 1

Art 1 – Ellsworth Kelly – due 10/2


Look at the following article and site on Ellsworth Kelly, and the interview with him in the video.

In your page of SKETCHBOOK NOTES:
1. Comment on at least one piece of advice from Kelly that’s useful for you as an artist.

2. Comment on how Kelly’s seemingly simple works actually reflect his sensitivity to form, and how they are connected to emotion or expression.

For your sketchbook DRAWING HOMEWORK, do an hour of simplified contour drawings or watercolors of various individual objects (as we did in class with plants).  You may use a few pages for this, or work in smaller frames on the page (so you can think about composition as Kelly does).


Art 1 – Mark Tobey and Calligraphic Linework – due 9/26



In the video, observe the modernist paintings of Mark Tobey (1890-1976). Look at the quality and character of Tobey’s calligraphy-style linework. Notice how he arranges the lines for spatial and emotional effect.

In the link below, study the four Tobey paintings. Read the “Biography” and “Philosophy of Art” sections on Tobey.
After completing the above, respond in your sketchbook:
Tobey said, “On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds.”
1. Was Tobey simply copying textures of pavement and tree bark in his paintings or was he doing something else? Describe.
2. What are some of the symbolic possibilities of Tobey’s calligraphic white line patterns?
In lieu of your weekly sketchbook drawing, spend at least one hour working on unfinished sketchbook work and drawing projects. Check PowerSchool for your assignments with no grade points yet entered.
For your interest:

Art 1 – Saul Steinberg – due 9/18


In addition to the stop action video shown in class, here is another video about Saul Steinberg.  If you need more time reading the text, just pause and restart.

Look at the following website from the Saul Steinberg Foundation.  Pay special attention to the Overview and Selected Exhibitions. Notice how his works shift from 2D to 3D and how he uses his imagination to enliven everyday reality.

Saul Steinberg Foundation

WEEKLY SKETCHBOOK NOTES – On one page of your sketchbook, respond to the following with notes (and optional illustrative sketches):

1. What is the most interesting aspect of Steinberg’s life, in your opinion? How do you think this aspect contributed to the development of his work?

2. Does his work remind you of any other artists you have seen? Describe.

3. What is your favorite drawing by him and why do you like it?

WEEKLY SKETCHBOOK DRAWING – For your sketchbook homework, draw a Steinberg-influenced view of part of a room in your house, including people represented by different types of linework. Use pencil or fine point pen. Color is optional. Spend at least 45 minutes on this drawing.

Saul Steinberg, Untitled, 1962-64. Ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper.

Art 1 – Edward Gorey – due 9/11


1. Listen to the curator of “Elegant Enigmas” talk about Edward Gorey.

2. Gorey’s work was used in an introduction to Mystery, a PBS series. Observe his visual story-telling techniques and line work.

3. On one page in your sketchbook, comment on two interesting things about Gorey and how you think those things influenced his art. Also note your favorite visual frame (drawing and composition) in the Mystery animation. Why do you find it interesting?   Optional: Include drawings with your comments to help illustrate your ideas.

4. On the next sketchbook page, do a one-hour drawing inspired by Gorey’s work.  Have fun with it! Observe Gorey’s line work for your own ideas (such as crosshatching, parallel hatching, stippling, and use of pattern). Keep track of the time intervals on the back.

ART 1 – From Line to Form to Expressive Dance – due 9/5


Watch this animation and see line come to life.  Notice how basic shapes turn into figures, and figures turn into abstract forms that mirror the dancers’ emotions.

In your sketchbook, draw two or more simple figures with this technique. You may choose to reference images in the animation as you draw. Lightly pencil your initial sketch with any of the methods practiced in class (single continuous line, spirals, or blocking in shapes). As you draw, use fluid lines and basic shapes. Then, add some shading and details to help the flat shapes become forms. Observe how the animator used lines to transform the dancers into liquid and then back again. In your drawing, you might also choose to include an element of “transformation” (into water, fire, stardust, etc.).

For your sketchbook homework this week, spend at least 45 minutes on this drawing. For your paragraph of sketchbook notes, describe what you think is being told in the animated story. What particular image or sequence in the animation do you find most visually effective? Due Tues. Sept. 5th.

In the link at bottom of the page, the artist describes his process and collaboration with dancers.

The Making of Thought of You

Art 1 – Wolf Kahn Landscapes – Due 5/19


Wolf Kahn, Receding Towpath II, 1986

Read the article and watch the two videos within the site linked below. Note especially, in the second video, the path of Wolf Kahn’s career and his comments about painting.

Wolf Kahn studio visit

In your sketchbook comments, include the following:

1. What do you find as the most interesting art historical fact in the interviews?

2. What insights about drawing/painting your own landscapes do you gain from listening to, looking at, and reading about Kahn’s personal history and his paintings?

For your sketchbook drawing, do a 30-minute hand-drawn landscape (or series of landscapes), observed from real life, inspired by Kahn’s work. Try to convey the facts, essence, and spirit of the place. Color is optional.

If you complete your sketch this weekend (May 13/14)), this can be the plan for your landscape in chalk pastel.  (You may want a back-up photo for when you draw, although most of your pastel painting will come from the preparatory drawing.) Otherwise, you can select your source image from the landscape photographs in class.


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