Art 107 108 Home / Syllabus / Assignments 107 / Assignments 108 / Schedule / Media


Studio Paintings

Observe and explore the aesthetics of everyday objects found in the studio
Instructions Search the studio (or bring from home) three objects suitable for painting. Choose the objects for their aesthetic values, including, but not limited to appearance, style, metaphorical/philosophical meaning, artistic integrity, beauty or ability to communicate a message. Work from staged photographs of your objects.
Goal To practice a rapid, observational mode of painting.
Presentation Present your paintings along with the photographs you took of them.
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 8” x 10” canvas board
Duration One week
Criteria You will be graded on your ability to capture the look and feel of an object while working quickly. Points for simplicity of style and directness of technique.
Inspiration Explore contemporary thinking on the aesthetics of everyday life.

Contemporary Aesthetics Journal


This is an exercise in texture and material interrelation. A material’s texture can be altered by its context. Something soft can be made to look hard, or a shiny texture might be made to appear dull by contrast with the textures of other things. 
Instructions To do this exercise you will combine no more than two or three found materials in a tableaux. Thrown away items, trash, organic objects and other detritus are ideal for this assignment.
Goal To generate a shift in perspective through extreme juxtaposition.
Presentation Your matière should be contained in a shallow shoe box top, or similar surface.
Photograph your matière and make a painting based on the photograph.
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Variable
Duration Three weeks
Criteria You will be graded on the resourcefulness of your matière and your ability to draw strong contrast between two or more different textures/objects/forms.
Resources Read the article below to familiarize yourself with Josef Albers and his use of matières in the classroom at Bauhaus and Black Mountain College. There you will also see some examples.

Constructed Painting

This is an experiment in pushing painting beyond the flatness of the canvas and into the realm of the sculptural, the spatial and the three dimensional. Your painting can be augmented using a number of different strategies and materials. The extension into space need not be dramatic but it must register with the viewer on a clear level.  
Instructions To do this exercise you will:

  • Search out alternative materials that can be added onto the canvas to extends into space.

  • Focus on a color palette that suits the materials and whatever subject matter you may bring to the project. For example, in the early days of cubism Picasso and Braque consciously restricted their use of color to a limited palette in order to focus on formal challenges of geometry.

  • Incorporate language into your piece. You may incorporate printed matter or apply the language elements by hand.

Goal To redefine for yourself what a painting can be beyond the conventional definition of a flat two-dimensional surface.
Medium Mixed media
Dimensions Variable
Duration Four weeks
Criteria:You will be graded on the resourcefulness of your constructed painting and your ability to draw together a diverse set of materials into a coherent unity.

Final Project

For the final project you will develop aesthetic, formal and thematic ideas of your own choosing.
Goal To synthesize ideas discovered during the course of the semester and integrate them into a personal sensibility
Medium Oil on canvas + variable
Dimensions Variable
Duration Eight weeks
Criteria: You will be evaluated on your resourcefulness, creativity and ability to integrate the totality of your skills and ideas.