Category Archives: Fall 2017

Week 3: Frame by Frame


For the past 2 weeks, we have been focused on re-acquatinting ourselves with familiar/unfamiliar surroundings. The field guides gave insights to memories, stories and some of the hidden objects that populate our domestic spaces. Last week’s color theory projects asked you to notice the specific detail of color on surface and how color interacts to animate your space and how artists employ color to explore emotion, narrative, illusion. This week you will be asked to move your attention away from static objects to focus on the people in your environment.

The main project this week asks you to use the body as inspiration for the creation of an animated drawing. This drawing will be achieved through the frame by frame documentation of marks as you layer and erase them.

Before you begin the main project here is an exercise to help you loosen up as you begin to think about movement and how to record it. 

Exercise: Gestural movement drawings

Do 10, 2-minute drawings. These can be done on plain copy paper, your sketchbook or whatever you have handy. Best done with pencil, pen, marker; especially one that can vary in width (like a brush tip or bullet tip). 

Begin by choosing a subject this can be a member of your family, a passerby or neighbor you see from the window or even your pet. Pick a point on your subject’s continuously moving body and follow it. You are not making a representation of the body but of its movement. Try to keep a central vertical axis for the body near the center of your paper. Changes in speed and other nuances can be interpreted through your sense of touch with the drawing.

This is a good project for including your housemates to participate in. You can observe them while doing chores such as cooking or doing yard work. If you live in a city perhaps your window is a good portal into the everyday movements of commuters and passersby. We have included links to 3 videos of tap dancers and figure skaters if you need some inspiration for bodies in continuous movement.

Figure Skaters

Fred Astaire, Swing time

Some examples of gestural drawings:

In these examples of gesture drawing, notice how each artist has not focused on the outlines of the body. Instead, they try to capture a sense of movement through the body. Gesture allows for TONS of expressive qualities through your own sense of movement and tactility!

Artists top to bottom: Susan Rothenberg, Patricia Hannaway, Eugene Delacroix

Main Project: Draw, Draw, Erase, Draw, Draw

Use the body as inspiration for the creation of an animated drawing. This drawing will be achieved through the frame by frame documentation of marks as you layer and erase them. To prepare please watch the videos below of artists William Kentridge and Matt Bollinger. 

William Kentridge at SF MoMA

William Kentridge, Art 21

Matt Bollinger

Notice how each “scene” is one drawing done on one sheet of paper. We’re not asking you to do more than one “scene” (but you are encouraged to be as ambitious as you wish!). The movement that occurs in each is done by erasing and re-drawing, or with Bollinger’s paintings, smearing, and re-painting. Kentridge uses willow charcoal, which erases relatively easily. 

While we are setting this up as a drawing project, we’re open to approaches to this utilizing collage, photo-montage, etc. You are welcome to do this digitally if you prefer, but please keep in mind this is not meant to be multiple-frame or stop-motion animation. It should be one “drawing” or “painting” that changes, and a photo is taken with each change you make. 

Expectation: approx. 30+ photos. If done as one drawing that is then modified, the first stage of the drawing might take an hour; each change after that might take 5-20 minutes

**Make particular effort to frame each photo the same and with the same lighting. If you have a camera tripod this will help you to take photos with the same framing and focus each time. A free slideshow APP (such as SlideshowMaker) or stop motion APP ( such as Stop Motion Studio) in your phone will be a convenient way to assemble the images as a sequence; they will need to be shared/exported as a video file. You can also choose to use movie editing software if you’re familiar and have access. Consider making a sequence that will LOOP when played. 

Frame Tip_stop motion

Here is an example of student work:


Here are extra reference if you are interested in a broader context of animation, the body, and images:

Oliver Herring

Radio Lab: photography and truth


Fuse week – COLOR time!

This week we are looking at (and looking for) color! Much needed on these gray spring days…

Assignment 1: Color Wheel Scavenger Hunt:

  • Using the Color Wheel as your guide, find examples of the 12 colors (primary, secondary, tertiary) in your current environment/domestic space. This could be objects, food items, plants, clothing, etc. Be creative!
  • Document using your phone and upload to the blog. Find at least 3 examples of each color (36 images total) – you should be able to organize these as a grid in WordPress.


(Red, Red-Orange, Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue, Blue-Violet, Violet, Red-Violet)

Assignment 2: Colors Organized Neatly

  1. Monochrome

  • choose 1 hue (color) from the color wheel. Find examples of that color in your environment – household objects, plants, images, clothes, food items, toys, etc.
  • Arrange these into an interesting composition inspired from Things Organized Neatly (check out the blog or their Instagram)

also the artist Portia Munson makes some amazing color installations!

  • Photograph (with your phone or camera) and upload to the blog*


  1. Full spectrum

  • Do another arranged object installation (in the style of Things Organized Neatly) with examples of all 12 colors from the spectrum
  • Photograph and upload to the blog*

*Remember documentation is key! Choose an appropriate background, consider lighting, arrangement, cropping, etc!!!


COLOR RESEARCH! You have each been assigned a color and artist. Find yours HERE

Assignment 3: Color Research

  • Research the history and any interesting facts about your assigned color. Each of these colors have interesting histories/origins/applications
  • Find 3-5 examples of your color (this can be from your own environment and/or the internet.
  • Upload to your blog


Assignment 4: Artist Research

  • You have also been assigned an artist who uses color in interesting ways.
  • Research a bit about your assigned artist. Write a brief paragraph about how the artist uses color in their work. What colors are they using? How do the colors contribute to the mood of their works? Are the colors specific to a culture/environment? How is the artist sourcing their color? Is it paint, light, fabric, natural, synthetic? What are your thoughts on their work/color palette?
  • Include 3-5 examples of the artists work along with your writing on the blog.


 If you need some good listening while you arrange colors, we recommend:

 Radiolab episode “COLOR”





How to work without a studio

Many of you have expressed deep sadness over having to leave the studio spaces in Alfred and the real difficulties of finding time and space to make artwork. These are very real and limiting factors especially when you need facilities such as kilns, glass furnaces, a big table and floor space to create. BUT sometimes the most beautiful works of art come out of adversity. The following video is a piece put together by the Ohio State Dance department, it is comprised of 42 choreographers who are taking the idea of the Exquisite Corps to create movement that morphs and flows from one artist to another.


Week 1: Location, Location, Location


Heather Benning, The Doll House, 2013

Welcome to Week 1 of your new on-line Foundations class! Each week you will be presented with videos, a reading, and instructions for written reflection and projects. Your homework is due each week at 11:59 pm on Sunday. Please post all of your homework to your individual WordPress blogs. * if you are unable to post to your blog please contact Angie. Kat has also put together a quick guide for documentation Documentation Tips that will be helpful as you are photographing your work.

For this first week you will be considering and exploring your new physical location. Many of you have traveled away from Alfred to stay with immediate family, relatives or friends. There are also a number of you who have chosen to stay in Alfred for the short term as you weigh options for what to do next. Regardless, we are all in very different circumstances than when we began spring break more than 2 weeks ago.


1. Read this excerpt from author John Berger’s ” And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos.” John Berger Reading

2. Watch the following 4 videos of Artists who either work from home or whose artwork deals with the theme of domesticity. After watching the videos choose one to Write a  reflection — “How do you connect to this artist, what correlations do you draw between their perspective on “studio” and your own at this moment?”

Louise Despont Louise Despont

Lucas Blalock Lucas Blalock

Latoya Ruby Frazier Latoya Ruby Frazier

Laleh Khorramian Laleh Khorramian

Bryan Zanisnik Bryan Zanisnik

3. Make a Field Guide to your Environment:

Now that we are no longer in our traditional studio spaces, we must begin to look to our personal spaces as a site for art-making and idea-gathering. For this assignment we want you to make a brief Field Guide.

While a traditional field guide deals with the natural environment – think about what makes your field guide singular to you. Start exploring your new environment/“ecosystem”. This could mean your yard, your bedroom, your closet, your pockets. What do these objects in your environment say about you? How does a collection of objects add up to a narrative or portrait of your space?

A Field Guide of:

Your houseplants?

All the buttons on your shirts?

The stuff collected from jacket pockets?

Your refrigerator?

Your parent’s medicine cabinet?

All the dust bunnies under your bed?

Be inventive. Avoid cliches!  Choose objects that are specific to YOU and your environment!


  • Choose at least 12 items from your environment for your personal field guide. 
  • Using drawing as your medium- document these objects- these can be drawn in whichever style you want and with any drawing tool/ medium
  • Write a brief description of each object – what is it and how does it fit into your “ecosystem”
  • Photograph/Scan and upload images and text to your individual blog.
  • ** if you have time or want to expand the project to make it more interesting you could consider making a map for your field guide.

Some info/inspiration:

The traditional and epic Audubon and Peterson Field guides:

Artist Mark Dion’s Field Guide to the HighLine

Artist Kate Bingaman-Burt’s Daily Purchase Drawings


Lastly — remember that each week’s activities are meant to help you access your Art Brain. Each week’s activities can be done in any order and it is up to you to decide how much time to devote to the work. You’ve all passed the class and will be receiving an A grade for B block just by participating. 

Foundations, Onward!


Hello Foundations Class!

Thank you for your patience this week as Kat, Dale and I work with the rest of your Foundations Faculty to re-frame your art classes and move them online.

Firstly – I hope that you are all either in transit or at the places that you plan to be for the rest of the spring semester. There has been a great deal of uncertainty and upheaval over the past 2 weeks and it is the intention of your faculty to maintain a positive connection with you and to bring some art into your daily lives as we all come to terms with the Corona crisis.

Secondly – do not worry about your grades. Everyone will pass Foundations. In fact, each of you will get an A for B Block if you put in a good faith effort to follow along with the new online course.

Thirdly – We are a community of Artists and what that means is that we are resourceful, optimistic and creative people who will find grace in this moment and help those around us by continuing to be keen observers and problem solvers.

Lastly – Kat, Dale and I have decided that instead of continuing with the regular Foundations structure of LAB classes that everyone will be asked to do the same projects so that we are all on the same page and so that the overall structure of Foundations is simplified for our new digital format. From today forward we will be using this blog as our main form of communication with you. ** Please make sure to “follow”  this blog so that you receive a notice every time there is an update (there is a “follow” button in the bottom right hand of the blog page). Every Monday at noon we will post a new set of projects, inspiration, readings, and videos. Every Sunday at midnight is the deadline to post documentation of your work. You will be using the WordPress blogs you made in the fall semester Studio: Research class to share your homework with faculty and classmates.

The online Foundations class will require only basic materials that can be easily found in your homes such as pencils, copy paper, tape, and scissors.

Your faculty are also sensitive to the fact that many of you will not have a private space to make your work and that you may only have a small amount of time each day or week to devote to art-making.

In the meantime:

Please take a moment to respond to this survey which will help us to understand what your capacities are relative to technology, space, time, etc… Foundations Survey

Here are some videos of inspiring Artists who work from home or deal with the theme of domesticity in their work. I will be in touch on Monday morning via email with a link to the first blog post with your Week 1 projects.

Louise Despont

Lucas Blalock

Latoya Ruby Frazier

Laleh Khorramian