Visual Language

I've been really excited to do this post. This class was easily my favourite class of the semester - as well as the most challenging.
Simon Hughes was the professor and was super entertaining AND educational. When I found out that he did the artwork for The Weakerthan's recent album I liked him even more.

Our first assignment was inspired by Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp is best know for this "ready made art". He basically will buy something (like a shovel or a toilet), put it in a gallery, and say "I did that, that's my art." So, our assignment was as simple as that. Go out and buy a ready made piece of art. I bought a red vintage lantern.

We then had to recreate our "ready made" at least twice larger, and out of only one material.
I made my 4ft tall lantern out of duct tape! My hand ached making this...
We then had to partner up with another student and recreate their "ready made" out of our own "ready made" (using ONLY the ready made and ONE fastener). This was my new friend Marc's "ready made" that I had to recreate out of my lantern. Side note: Marc is kind of amazing, and used to do the hair for Cirque du Soleil.
I managed to get a lot closer to the original than expected to, thanks to the construction workers outside the School of Art. It's pretty fantastic that I'm able to ask construction workers to steam roll a lantern...and it's part of my class. They were so kind about it too!
By now we were finally done with our "ready mades" and moved onto something different.
Part 1 of the assignment was:
Using only one sheet of Mayfair Pegasus paper (23x35" or so) from the bookstore, and any cutting devices you have on hand, create an object that fulfills these requirements:

1. Can stand freely on its own.
2. Uses no material other than itself
3. Uses the entire sheet of paper
4. Is not a paper airplane, previously-invented origami figure, or one of those fortune-telling things we all made in elementary school.
5. Is non-representational (abstract), i.e. is not a model of an already existing object, such as a building (it can be inspired by something real, however).

Part 2:
Complimentary colour study. On a 7x15" piece of watercolour paper, do the exercise on pages 474-476 of the Klee reading (pp. 8-10 of the PDF). Use any pair of colours that are DIRECTLY opposite each other on the colour wheel.

And finaaaally we combined the two pieces:
a. On a 15x22" piece of watercolour paper, do a drawing of some aspect of your 3-D paper project from today's class(The picture before this one). You may want to leave a border around the image that will remain untouched). Identify 6 different areas (or groups of areas) which will be painted in 6 different shades based on the study you just did.
b. Wet your paper and cover your whole drawing with a semi-transparent wash of ONE of the colours. Let dry thoroughly.
c. Paint a transparent wash of the opposing colour over your whole drawing EXCEPT the areas that you've identified as the lightest areas. Let dry.
d. Return to your first colour and cover the whole drawing except the lightest and second-lightest areas. Let dry.
e. Repeat until you've done six alternating washes of the two colours (three each).
At this point Simon decided to challenge our water color skills and came up with this crazy assignment!
Here's the assignment:
Disappearing - Paint any image (or abstract composition) of your choice, using a minimum of 4 different colours that all have the same value and intensity. This means that although they may be chromatically different, they appear to be equally dark when you squint to look at them. Therefore, your painting should all turn into the same grey tone (except for any areas you leave white) when it is photographed in black in white. You'll probably want to practice a bit on a separate piece of paper first.

I honestly got a lot closer than most students...It was really hard!
And if that wasn't hard enough, he assigned this:
Appearing - Paint any image (or abstract composition) of your choice. Like the first one, your colours should blend into the same grey when photographed in black and white. However, there should be certain areas of colour that DON'T disappear, and actually form an image or pattern that WAS NOT clearly visible in the full-colour picture. You can achieve this by using different values within the colours you choose.
And really, no art class is complete without having to do a colour wheel...