ARTS 631
Strictly Abstract Drawing

Peter Waite

Course Schedule
Week 1

• Introduction           
• Materials List           
• Group Project: Lines in Space—dividing room with string.           
(refer to Duchamp’s contribution to a Dada exhibition; Robert Irwin)           

Homework: respond with an abstract drawing of the experience, get materials

Week 2

• Discuss homework           
• Snap Line Demonstration
• Project: Ruler Drawings—straight edges and charcoal, expand upon homework with a series of line drawings. Consider the following: depth, direction, composition.

Homework: Make lines in nature, record with camera, bring in photos/digital printouts as documentation. Refer to Smithson, Serra, Goldsworthy, Hansel and Gretel (breadcrumbs), earth art, crop/field patterns, the winter game (fox and geese), how paths occur, Autobaun, stairways being worn down, etc.

Week 3

• Discuss homework
• Project: Eraser Drawings—prepare total “black out “ of white paper with charcoal. Use erasers to rub out, expose light. Consider movement , depth, emotional quality.

Homework: Illustrate, in an abstract way, the following Melville reference: “The whiteness of the whole frightened me.” Use same technique and process as in class eraser drawings.

Week 4

• Discuss homework
• Project: Contrasts Series—pairs which illustrate (abstractly) contrasts: thick/thin, much/little, rest/motion, high/low, light/dark, horizontal/vertical, etc.

Homework: Using theme of contrasts (or opposites), create a series, expand upon this notion.

Week 5

• Discuss homework
• Project: Gravity Drawings—gravity-fed wet media. Refer to Pat Steir, R. Long. Apply wet media to top of surface and let it drip down. Apply also by throwing at upright surface. Coax with spray bottle, air, brush, etc. Rotate surface, working on all sides.

Homework: Anti-gravity drawings. Experiment (key word) with bowls or containers with various mixes of pigments. Eg., watercolor, acrylic, food coloring, inks, bleach, etc. Strips of paper, (experiment with different types of paper) strips of raw canvas, or other material. Drawings created by soaking up from bottom. Consider various man-made things which can be “released” by time and conditions. Eg., ice cubes made of colored water, smoke marks, rust, oil slicks, grease   marks. Refer to J. Beuys, David Ireland.

Document with camera, bring both in.

Week 6

• Discuss homework (photo documentation, time lapsed series in stages perhaps, and final product of anti-gravity experiments).
• Project: Stencil Drawings—use a simple circle, create a drawing by tracing over and over. Consider repetition, movement, density, mathematical/biological forms, etc.           

Homework: Expand upon class work with form or stencil of own choosing.

Week 7

• Discuss homework
• Project: Action Drawings—airborne media meeting surface. Refer to Pollack. Use toothbrush, hands, brushes, etc. Explore putting surface on the floor and on the wall or easel, which will also incorporate gravity.           

Homework: Try this from even greater heights. Consider large scale.

Week 8

• Discuss homework
• Project: Connections—using words/language. Refer to Mark Lombardi, Christopher Wool, Ed Ruscha, Richard Prince. Some ideas: family trees, historical events, graphs, time tables, calendars, charts, formulas, recipes, diagrams.

Homework: An alphabet which is not a cliche.

Week 9

• Discuss homework
• Project: Paper Bag Drawings—various “mystery” objects are placed in paper bags. Draw by feel only, large scale.

Homework: Write down the description of an object. Pass to someone else. Draw.