Week 9

"Living in a fish bowl" - Pink Floyd

Today was our second class working on our current project. In the demonstration I talked a while about my purpose in doing this project. I want you to think of it as a thought experiment. Every semester I get at least one student who asks how to decide what to paint or how to develop ideas into visual images. This project is an attempt to help you with that. As I explained it also experimentation on my part, trying to find ways to teach a way of thinking and problem solving that tends to be very unsystematic and intuitive.

So last week I asked you to use ink to write your chosen phrase onto a full sheet of print-making paper. I wanted you to think of ways you could render the phrase to visually communicate something of what that phrase means to you. For most of us our first inclination is to illustrate what the phrase says. If the phrase is about a fish bowl we want to somehow render a picture of a fishbowl. My intention was to encourage you to not rely on literal illustration. I wanted you to use just the visual quality of the words on the paper to communicate something about the phrase. 

Today I asked you to rip up the paper and make a smaller collage from some of the pieces. The idea here is to obscure all the words of the phrase so we can no longer read the text but try to retain the visual qualities of the text that communicate something about how we feel about the phrase. I wanted you to rely completely on abstract visual information (nothing recognizable as textual language or literal image) to communicate your phrase. 

As the final step in this "thought experiment" I was going to have you come up with a way to incorporate the image of the unrelated object I had you bring in for the project. The idea being that this would again get you thinking about ways to represent how you felt about your chosen phrase using visual information with the added challenge of incorporating an unrelated image. One definition of creativity is the ability to see relationships between seemingly disparate things. 

If you wold like to, continue working on the next step at home and bring in what you work on next class. We will put them up on the board at the beginning of class and take a look but we won't dedicate anymore class time to working on this project. 

Next week we will start a new project. I would like to continue talking about some of the ideas I introduced with this project but we will return to a more conventional subject matter and medium. Come with a new surface to paint on and your usual paint supplies. We are going to be painting a portrait so I would like you to also bring an image of someone you would like to paint and also a few other images, objects or text that you might want to incorporate in the portrait somehow.