Spring 2007
Fully Enrolled

ARTS 631
Strictly Abstract Drawing


01/22/2007 - 05/05/2007
Wednesday 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Art Workshop 105

We will explore various notions of non-representational --or abstract-- imagery through the inventive use of both traditional and non-traditional drawing media. Through abstraction, one can experience a withdrawal from worldly objects, the mind becomes disengaged, and subject matter can be approached purely through theoretical, conceptual, or intuitive considerations.

We begin by dividing the classroom with string, to create a "lines in space" project; students will make abstract drawings of the experience. Next, we will work on depth, direction, and composition by making charcoal drawings with straight edges. We will create "eraser drawings" on white paper that has been blacked-out with charcoal, to expose light and develop movement, depth, and emotional quality, and we will draw pairs to illustrate contrasts of thick/thin, much/little, rest/motion, high/low, light/dark, horizontal/vertical, etc. Using gravity-fed wet media (wet drips), we will consider how manufactured things can be "released" by time and conditions, such as ice cubes made of colored water, smoke marks, rust, oil slicks, and grease. Using stencil drawing, we will draw and trace over and over, to explore repetition, movement, and density. In homage to Pollack, we will practice "action drawing" by using gravity and airborne media. Finally, using "mystery objects" hidden in paper bags, we will draw by feel on a large scale.

Successful abstract art involves a variety of techniques and tools; our explorations will include line, value, composition, the representation of contrasts, repetition, the representation -- in an abstract way -- of ideas, the use of gravity, found objects or devices to make marks -- such as twigs, sponges, squeegees, combs, toothbrushes, stencils, straight edges, French curves, and snap-lines. We will discuss abstract drawing techniques of artists such as LeWitt, Lombardi, Anastazi, Serra, Pollack, Frankenthaler, Kline, Newman, Marden, Smithson, and Goldsworthy.

Requirements include drawings outside of class in response to the theme of each session, and a final portfolio of the best drawing from each assignment.

Students will purchase their own materials on which they should expect to spend $60 - 120. A syllabus and materials list will be posted.

Additional fee: $15

A syllabus for this course is available at:

Peter Waite (B.F.A. Hartford Art School; M.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago) is visiting assistant professor of art. He has been a Guggenheim fellow and has taught at Wesleyan University and at the University of Connecticut, Fairfield University, and Bennington College. His work is represented by the Edward Thorp Gallery in New York City. He has had 15 solo exhibitions, including the Edward Thorp Gallery (2005, 2002, 2001, 1996, 1994), the Winston/Wachter Gallery (Seattle, 2006), and the Olin Gallery of Roanoke College (Salem, VA, 2005). View his paintings on his Web site at www.peterwaite.com.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Studio

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

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