Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fun Objects, Amazing Students

Back to another session of Observational Drawing at Otis College of Art and Design. I find myself saying it every new session: "These are my best students, EVER."  And I'm saying it again!

Besides the floating pear (it's not finished) this is a rather AMAZING drawing to be coming out of a beginning drawing student. Give it a cast shadow and that pear will settle right down.

And this . . .
She even missed a day of class and still got right down to work to produce this drawing (above). Confidence, willingness, committment . . . look what we get!

And a close up of this one . . . just makes me smile. Besides being a nice use of the charcoal, doesn't it look like that pig is so enjoying a scratch under the chin?

We are so lucky to have use of this room at Otis College. Such a treat to spend my Saturdays in a room filled with fun objects and fantastic students.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How to Clean a Bone

If you happen to find a bone . . . first - OFFER IT TO ME.

But let's pretend you want to keep your bone. It probably needs a bit of cleaning. Most people think they should boil or bleach it. STOP. Both of those methods are bad for your bone. Here's all you need to do:

1. Remove as much remaining animal matter as possible.

This little bone is pretty clean, but still needs a bit of work.

2. Place the bone in water; leave it in a warm spot.

Beware of two things:  a.) It can get smelly, so you don't want it on top of your refrigerator. b.) It can get smelly, so if you leave it outside some other animal may decide it's a tasty treat.

3. Replace with fresh water often. Keep changing the water until it stays clear.

Beware of one thing: sometimes teeth fall out during this process so be careful when you dump that water. Teeth are the best part and you don't want to lose them.
This is my student's super cool dog skull. It's just about ready.

4. When the water stays clear, it's time to submerge it in hydrogen peroxide. (Bleach will make your bone brittle.) Leave it in the hydrogen peroxide until it's the desired whiteness.

5. Now it should be clean and white, and ready for anything. Even some gold leaf.

"Corpus Delicti, Cat Skull"

Friday, June 8, 2012

That's a Chair

books saved from a library purge

I recently finished reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. It was my third attempt over several years. I love her writing, but at the same time, finishing any book by this writer is a struggle for me. Her sentences tend to flow around me and I get caught up in the sound of it, falling in love with the rhythm and the words. By the end of a sentence, I'm often left in a daze, with no idea what's going on.

But I knew exactly what was going on when Lily Briscoe, an artist in the story, says this:

"One wanted. . . to be on a level with ordinary experience, to feel simply that's a chair, that's a table, and yet at the same time, it's a miracle, it's an ecstasy."

Yes. I understood that. That's it. That's what I want my students to feel. But I think that I won't assign To the Lighthouse for their summer reading.

Otis Summer of Art classes begin Monday, July 9.