It was great meeting everyone last week! And awesome getting to hang with a few of you at the Seal Beach Pier on Saturday.
Is it already time to say goodbye?
Activity: Landscapes with a Corpse
Really nice work on Plaster Casting last week. This week we’re on to Self Portraits. With a twist. This week is actually sort of traditional photography. Take a picture. A portrait. A selfie. Later in the semester we’ll do a big group Instagram project. There might be some “great” photos taken as part of that, but the social aspects of the photography there start to become more important than the individual pix.
This week: traditional portraits. With the twist that you’re imagining your own demise. For some of you this will be one of the best projects of the semester. A chance to do something different and think outside the box. For others it will be creepy and something you don’t want to think about. Some people say that art is often “controversial” because artists are trying to shock people. I think that often it is not shock for shock sake, but that artists often ask us to think about things we’d rather not think about. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, and artists have the audacity to ask us not to be ignorant.
Life is unpredictable. There’s always that big truck or exotic disease that could end it all tomorrow. But the good news is that for most of you, there are many decades of pretty healthy living ahead. Hopefully it’s not too intense to imagine your earthly departure.
- Full Details: Landscapes with a Corpse Activity Page
A few weeks ago in the Summer class Layla Hadidi make a really cool Landscapes self-portrait by dumping a couple of pillows at her place and then laying in all the feathers!
EC: Mr. Nobody
Thanks to Erika Perez, we have our 1st Extra Credit! You can watch the Erika-swears-its-cool film Mr. Nobody and then discuss it for EC points (up to 20!) If you want to play, get your popcorn out & head over to the Mr. Nobody page. Thanks Erika!
EC: Sketching @Women’s Volleyball
Hey, why don’t you bring your sketchbooks to class on Wednesday! We can spend a few minutes talking about drawing (why it’s so hard, and why it’s easier than you think) and introduce the Gesture Sketch. Then you can optionally head over to a Long Beach State Women’s Volleyball match at the Pyramid (free w your student ID) where you can:
- Have fun
- Eat nachos w radioactive cheese sauce
- Score EC points for doing some Gesture Sketches of the volleyball action
Optional Women’s Volleyball meetup @Pyramid, Saturday 3 Sept, Long Beach vs Washington State, 7pm.
- Go to game
- Do a bunch of gesture sketches
- scan some of them and blog it
- up to 20 points EC
ID Cards Start This Week
Don’t forget that starting this week and for the rest of the semester, you owe me an “ID Card” on Wednesdays. Or a drawing of your ID card actually. Or a drawing of anything you like as long as it has your name clearly printed on it. Please be sure to use a 4″x6″ index card! Not a different size. Not scraps of paper. If you forget your card, I’m sure a classmate will lend you one. Yes, it’s fine to draw your card during class time if you like.
Each week we have a Question of the Week that you should ask during your Classmate Conversation. The Question OTW is not the whole Classmate Conversation! It’s just one question that should be part of the conversation. Who writes the Question OTW? You do! Visit the Question OTW Page to make your suggestions!
Here’s a sweet pix of 1p Art Star Demi Kong! Even though it’s a nice picture, it’s also a chance for us to talk about how you can take even better pictures.
The situation on Demi’s driveway is called Backlight. It just means that a bright light source, like the sun, is behind her. Sometimes the sun in your face isn’t the best because you squint and don’t look so great. But backlighting is tough because as you see, the camera wants to consider all that light and Demi comes out kind of dark and we don’t get to fully appreciate her awesome smile! 🙁 Some cameras will let you “exposure lock” on Demi and not all the sunlight around her.
The simplest way to use camera flash is to turn it on when it’s dark. Like at night. Or indoors. It turns out the simplest way is often the lamest way. Flash is often coolest when you use it in sort of opposite-from-obvious (OFO) ways. OFO #1 is Daylight Flash. Turn your flash on when there’s lots of light. If Demi had turned her flash on, then it would “Daylight Fill” to help balance the sun’s backlight, and her awesome smile would be even awesomer in this photo.
OFO #2 is “Slow Sync”. If it’s dark and you turn your flash on, that’s good. Sort of. The problem is that flash in a dark room or outside at night tends to be harsh and flat. If we imagine taking this pix of Demi not at noon, but at midnight, a flash would let us see her, but she’d be blasted with light and the background would be totally dark. Sort of the opposite of the pix we have now and not all that much better. The answer is “Slow Sync”. With this camera setting the flash goes off to give us nice light on Demi, but it also uses a long time exposure so the faint background light can build up enough to show us the setting. If you imagine that Demi was standing in a street at night and there were a few neon signs on, and maybe the street was wet, then the neon and its reflection on the asphalt would all soak in with slow sync and it’d start to be a pretty awesome photo.
These days you don’t have to have a dSLR, Mirrorless Camera, or Point-and-shoot to get Slow Sync. Even a lot of phones have the setting now. Or if you do have a fancy camera, you can also try zooming while the long exposure is going. That way, in our theoretical photo of Demi, the flash would give us a sharp image of her, and the zooming would make street lights and other points of lights streaks around her. Kind of like the effect in Star Wars when they make the jump to light speed.
Oh, PS: that previous pix of Daniel was kind of backlit too, wasn’t it?
The CSULB Art Store made 80 Art Kits for us and they sold out of those by the end of last week. I advised those of you who couldn’t get one on Friday to buy the Plaster Casting materials at Home Depot, Lowes, or your Independent Hardware Retailer. This week the Art Store will have 20 more Art Kits, this time “minus plaster”. That is, with everything but the plaster materials you’ve already used. I haven’t heard the new price yet, but I think it will be around $52 for the minus plaster kits. They have everything else on the materials list
Roster Names, Discussion Names & University Names!
When I tried to grade your Art Talk Discussion for Week 1 I ran into a big Name Train Wreck! Some of you commented with names like:
- Glenn Zucman
Since I have nearly 300 of your discussion comments to read and score every Monday, really, only the last of the above name formats works. The others are impossible. And the example, “Steve Zucman” – how am I supposed to link that to “Glenn Zucman” in my gradebook.
I need to ask you to author your discussion comments with your name in the form “Glenn Zucman” and that the name you use should be the same as the name in my gradebook, which is your “university name.” The good news is that if the name you prefer isn’t the one on your birth certificate, the university will let you change that.
For Week 1 I just went ahead and gave everyone the full 16 points. Starting week 2 you should use your name in the form “Glenn Zucman” which should match your university name, to get discussion points.
Most of the Wk 1 Classmate Conversations were a little skimpy. Try to go a bit more in depth.
TFW BAE Ruins Art Project
excerpt from Lydia Chang’s art activity post
“Plaster project. Seems easy enough,” was my initial thought. HA! It was a struggle from the moment I woke up and went over to get ready at his place. We were an hour and a half late and we had no idea what we were supposed to do. (At least parking wasn’t that difficult to find.)
The initial digging was fine, it was coming along decently (minus having to ask a couple of questions & peeking at classmates’ molds & processes) and I had completed two molds. I was mixing the plaster when I looked over to see the boyfriend (let’s call him Brian) pouring sand into one of my molds. I start freaking out and ask, “WhAT are you doing?
To which he replies, “I’m pouring sand in so that you can form your mold.”
I.. I was speechless. I look at my finally smooth plaster, at the ruined mold, back to my plaster, and sigh. At least I still had another mold, right?
Next week, Wk 3, we’ll have our 1st Artist Conversations. Be sure to use the Sample Artist Conversation in the Syllabus. Check your spelling. Check your grammar. Write in complete sentences. College level writing. Try to consider the work and think about it. You don’t have to “love” the CSULB Student Art you write about, but you should analyze it intelligently and write about it in ways that the artists can feel good about reading. Again, by “feel good” I don’t mean that you call them a genius. I mean that you spell their name correctly and write about their work and ideas with a university-level of analysis.
In Class This Week
- Roster Names, Discussion Names & University Names
- Landscapes with a Corpse
- EC: Bipolaroid
- EC: Mr. Nobody
- EC: Volleyball Sketching
- Jane & Janis
- BeachArts.ca redesign
- Your sites – setting up, choices, delete “1st post”, LIFO-Blog, Portfolio, “Site Title”
- Next Week – writing about artists
- Looking at Art: Richard Sera, etc
- Classmates: Featured Image, Web link, skimpy 🙁
- Question OTW
- Post Names
- ID Cards on Wednesdays
Art Talk Discussion
Last week we met the Art History Timeline and we’ll be back on it next week. But this week I wanted to step off the timeline and have you do some research on a living artist. Here’s a brief intro to Joseph DeLappe and his work. Give it a look, then hop online and do some research. Then come back to the comment section below and discuss his work with your classmates. I think you’ll find a lot to talk about!