Abstract Expressionist paintings by Drawing/Painting II

Drawing/Painting II students spent a couple weeks learning about Abstract Expressionism and the works by MAS artist, Joe Bussell. As a result of their research they were to create three (3) large scale paintings using non-traditional tools such as a putty knife. Below is a snapshot of their work. In addition, students had the opportunity to Skype with the artist.


A Reflection by Allison N

I just sort of went for it. When I started the first painting, I had no clear idea in mind, I just sort of started putting paint on the paper and it went from there. The only thing I had planned was the colors, each of the paintings have a color scheme, they aren’t just random colors thrown on the page, they all have something in common. The first painting was different shades of a lavender-purple sort of color and the last two were three pastel colors, pink, blue, and yellow. I think my paintings in particular are unique because of the colors I;ve chose, I think it gives off a more ‘playful’ and ‘lightness’ sort of feel.

I actually really enjoyed using the palette knife, it was surprisingly satisfying, the way the paint glided. I think it created a nice blend when you used multiple colors, and sometimes layered the colors with just a single stroke.

I think I created a overall feel pretty well. Each painting, to me anyway, gives off a certain feeling, for example, the first one I did gives off a feeling of motion, two things responding together as I’d put it. I think I used the color element of this project to my advantage, I wanted to used colors that would go well with each other, that I knew wouldn’t give an ugly color if I mixed them together enough. I used geometric shapes for my third painting, which was a technique that was suggested.

I knew right away that I wanted one of the paintings to look as if two different ‘forces’ were responding to each other in some way, so the first painting I did was planned. The second painting was sort of on a whim, I put a line going through the entire thing and kind of went from there. The third painting was also sort of spontaneous, though I wanted it to have clean, straight lines, which I did achieve.

I only used one, and that was a pencil. I didn’t use it a big way, I mainly used both ends to make large circles and well as smaller circles and then I made small groupings of them scattered in particular places that I’d picked. Since the painting I had used this tool for was so geometric and clean, I wanted to use to circles and dots to create contrast between the two opposite shapes.

GALLERY

Midwest artist, Jessica Anderson, visits Sheboygan North High art students

On March 14, MAS artist, Jessica Anderson, spent the day at Sheboygan North High School connecting with students through her project, Meditation Walking, as the basis for her meditation drawings that she facilitated with Drawing/Painting II, AP Studio Art, and Senior Art 2 students. Jessica is one of our Year 2 MAS artists. 

Jessica’s artist statement states:

Part research, part design, part invention – my work navigates the boundary between mind and body through a re-contextualized lens of science, medicine, and biologic phenomena. Reminiscent of laboratory investigations, my invented scenarios answer questions with questions and provoke participatory explorations of the individual self.  

Taking the position as neither a skeptic nor a promoter, my research examines the role of holistic healing practices in contemporary culture. I am interested in individual relationships within these mechanisms of health and provide viewers with opportunities to test their own boundaries of belief. Reframing practices such as a detoxifying footbath, a chi activation machine, and phenomenological exercises, my re-contextualization of existing treatments heightens the tension of purpose, and provides viewers with neutral environments of investigation. 

Merging factual information with reinvented application allows me to expand the dialogue of cognitive occurrences. For instance, EMDR therapy asks patients to lean their head to the left to access thoughts and to lean their head to the right to access feelings and emotions. Redirecting this information, I then ask: Is there a discernible difference between these two cerebral directions when drawing a line? 

It is a question that can only be answered through experience, observation, and communally applied analytics. 

In my work, invitations for experience occur through demonstrative videos, interactive objects/devices, evocative statements of research, and performative exercises. Together, each of these installation elements create a multi-dimensional environment of investigative viewing, biologic questioning, and experiential answering. By repositioning scientifically grounded phenomena into the context of a gallery, information begins to transcend ratiocination and calls upon a physical conversation between mind, body, and personal experience. 

Katie, drawing/painting II student, writes, “the meditation drawing experience was very different from what I was expecting going into it. My mind works in a very mechanical fashion so I thought that I would not be able to relax and have my hand wander for a period of time. I found myself having completely letting go. Tracking time was impossible. When just sitting and doing nothing, 10 minutes felt like an eternity. Time was called when I thought we were only half way through. After completing the session, I felt more relaxed, more confident in my decisions, and more sensitive to my surroundings. I would gladly doing this again and recommend it to anyone. 

Abrille, drawing/painting II student, writes, “I felt that with this meditation drawing it was weird. At First, it was different because I never done it before. I learned that basically letting your mind take over your hand. You do not exactly create something recognizable. I thought this idea was cool because I never thought you could meditate through art. I was pretty excited with trying something new. In the end Id did get comfortable with doing this. By the time we were finished I was really relaxed, but when I opened my eyes to see what I drew it was unexpected.

Brittany, drawing/painting II student, writes, “Jessica did an amazing job! It was a great experience. I would do it all of the time. I felt refreshed. My mind was at peace. 

Mikayla, AP Studio Art student, writes, my experience during the meditation drawing was calming. I wasn’t thinking about what I was drawing, but more what I was feeling. This process taught me that to create art, I do not need to always necessarily think it through, but express how I’m feeling. I also learned that meditation drawing is the releasing of one’s mind. The thoughts and expressions in our minds flow directly into our hand and create an image on paper. When introduced to this process I was very interested. It seemed very stress free and enjoyable. After it was all done, the meditation drawing session made me feel very relaxed. I was also quite surprised by how my drawing looked. It pretty much was a bunch of scribbles, but nonetheless very enjoyable. 

Running Time: 14:17 with a 6:21 introduction by Jessica. 

Gallery