Art School: Semester 2, Week 6

Welcome, my son. Welcome to the machine!

No, not really. Welcome to the weekly summary of Jeff’s adventures in art school. This time, week six of his second semester, in which, well… read on.

Art History

We continued the previous lecture on art and religion as well. I think the most interesting thing (for me) to come out of that section was actually the Rothko Chapel. I had no idea such a thing existed. Proof that the universe is not only weirder than we know, it’s weirder than we can know. (That’s a paraphrase of a line by Werner Heisenberg, by the way).


I had five sketches of images to consider, and she liked the two I thought she would discard immediately. Interesting. But even more interesting was a later conversation that opened up some new possibilities for me. I may create something non-representational with this print. We’ll see.

Oh, and there was another interesting thing. We were actually given two plates. The first is made of Lexan, which is a bit harder than Plexiglas. It also doesn’t cut as well, and the edges are a bit wavy in places. We try to clean them up — and I did OK at it — but she then gave everyone who wanted one a Plexiglas plate too. So most of us have two plates to work with this time around.

This coming week is reading week — also called Spring break — so we have a full week to get an image in the plate because we need to proof them on the first Tuesday when we get back.


Wood for the sculpture project

Last time I think I wasn’t yet sure what the subject of the sculpture would be, but it’s decided now. I am creating a giant bacteriophage. The alternative was to recreate my metal sculpture in wood. Alas I did enough research on steam bending to realize that I simply couldn’t do that project well enough in the time I have available. Too bad, but this will be cool regardless.

I’ll try to document it along the way.


Also, the work we turned in was to evoke a narrative or question. I figured that out early, and once I had a style, I created this:

Drawing of 5 Hands, a la Egon Schiele

For those who don’t know — which will be most of you — those are saying H-A-N-D-S in American Sign Language. Yes, there is a specific sign for hands, but it involves a lot of motion, and was much more difficult to capture in a still drawing.

There is a lot of work in that simple drawing, let me tell you. A couple of hours of research on artists, then another hour on the ASL, then a practice drawing to figure out the style, and then another one and a half hours creating the actual thing. And I still screwed it up a couple of times and had to erase and go back. Definitely not a fast, loose style for me. And I am not someone who draws for fun. This is work.

The medium is: 2H pencil for layout; willow stick charcoal for the hand outlines; chalk pastel for the color; and regular charcoal for the shadows.

In class we worked on drawing draped fabric, and we have a homework assignment to do more of that. But the week we get back we’re going on a field trip to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC. We’ll get another assignment there, and both it and the fabric assignment will be due the week after that. I will get the drapery drawing done this week, though. I do not want to fall behind with the wood sculpture project bearing down on me.


We also had some discussion about artists that use sound and projects that feature sound. There are interesting things here, though I am not at all sure I understand even a fraction of this part of the art world yet. Lots to learn.


  • Did Elon Musk and SpaceX create art when he put his Tesla Roadster into space? I was asked this question based on the article below by Jim and Ducky. I am honestly not sure of the answer yet. I sent it off to a couple of my instructors at Langara to see what they have to say. If they answer, perhaps I will share those insights next week.
  • Art is a cycle. Sometimes you’re good at it. Sometimes you stink. Here’s an explanation for that, also shared with me by Ducky:
  • A good, short, and even funny read about the idiocy of James Dahmore’s memo about women at Google. Posted to G+ by a female friend of mine.
  • The usual index of art school posts and other things here on Medium, because Medium’s display isn’t chronological, as far as I can tell.

Dog Pictures

We do have some new lights for the dogs when we walk them at night. They’ve got light up collars and dangly light things we add to those. And I wear a light up safety vest and a couple of light up arm bands. Someday I need a hat with light up deely bobbers (aka antenna) to complete the ensemble. Maybe I can get Anne to take a picture of me in that, along with a dog or two. That would be fun.


Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store