Posts Tagged 'sketching'

Sketching a Collection

To celebrate the opening of the DMA’s newly renovated Arts of Africa Galleries, we put together something fun.

This video, featuring thirty sketches, highlights the creativity and talent of our visitors and showcases their unique perspectives and imagination.

These drawings were originally hung on a temporary wall on Level 3 in the Museum until late August. We’re lucky to have such talented visitors, and we are pleased to be able to show off some of their work on Uncrated.

 

Gregory Castillo is the Multimedia Producer at the DMA.

African Art Sketching Party

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Just before the Arts of Africa gallery closed for reinstallation in May, the DMA invited the public to a Late Night African Art Sketching Party. Over 100 sketches of visitors’ favorite African artworks were gathered during the party. It was an opportunity to tap into the creativity and perspectives of DMA visitors. Sketching is a fun way to slow down, look closely, and discover something new about an artwork.

Visitors’ drawings are on view on a temporary wall on Level 3 in the Museum. Come for a visit before August 30 to see this installation of sketches and experience the DMA’s African art collection as seen through the eyes of another.

Nicole Stutzman Forbes is the Chair of Learning Initiatives and Dallas Museum of Art League Director of Education at the DMA.

Late Night Sketching Party

This call goes out to all of you who like to put a pencil to paper and draw! We invite you to join us during Late Night this Friday night, May 15, from 7:00 – 10:00 pm for an African Art Sketching Party. Artist Ellen Soderquist will host, guiding you in the process of sketching your favorite African artworks in the DMA’s collection. All ages and skills levels are welcome, and all materials will be provided.

If you leave your sketch with us (pretty please!), it will be included in a public exhibition this summer. That’s right, your work will be on view in the DMA! Visitors’ sketches of African art will be displayed during July and August on temporary construction walls built near the DMA’s African Gallery, which will close to the public in June for a reinstallation project. While the real artworks will not be on view for a few months, we look forward to sharing your sketches with the public this summer. Seeing things through the eyes of another can often enrich our own view of the world.

See you Friday at the Sketching Party!

Nicole Stutzman Forbes
Director of Education

Artful Blooming

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Visitors to Bouquets: French Still-Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse have the opportunity to walk in the shoes of the exhibition’s artists. In the central gallery, they can draw their own still life from a real bouquet inspired by paintings in the exhibition and arranged by the DMA League’s Floral Committee. Check out some examples of these visitor-created masterpieces!

 

Andrea Vargas Severin is the Interpretation Manager at the DMA.

Your Inner Edward Hopper

Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process show us in exciting detail the creative process of painter Edward Hopper. We see him working out the shapes and angles of spaces and subjects that interested him—subjects and spaces that would become the focal points of his famous paintings. When you visit the exhibition, look for little differences in his drawings and paintings, as Hopper often tweaked the composition’s point-of-view, added or eliminated figures, and used creative license to make visual departures from reality.

As you meander through his preparatory sketches and drawings, consider testing out your own creative process. Pick up a pencil and a clipboard at the exhibition’s entrance and sketch what you see: it could be an interesting corner, a Museum visitor in a fabulous hat, or a tree in Klyde Warren Park. Then, on the back of the page, channel your inner Edward Hopper and combine your observations into a composition that incorporates some of your imagination. As Edward Hopper once said, “no amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.”

Check out the artistic process of other DMA visitors!

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Andrea Severin Goins is the interpretation specialist at the DMA

Teaching for Creativity: Inspiration from a Still Life

Recently, my colleague Amanda Batson and I spent some time in the DMA galleries and in the studio with a group of high school visual art students from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.  This group visits the DMA often as part of a class that Charlotte Chambliss, BTW faculty, and I co-teach every other day during fourth period.  Often, I have heard this group of students remark on still life exercises and observational drawing in less than enthusiastic ways.  So, Amanda and I planned their museum visit with the following goals in mind:

  • Stir up an engaging conversation around a 17th-century Dutch still life painting, encouraging students to go beyond a descriptive and literal interpretation
  • Sketch an original still life inspired by metaphor and personification

The visit began with a trip into the galleries.  For about fifteen minutes (which could have gone longer), we viewed and discussed Still Life with Landscape using a conversational approach created by educator Dr. Terry Barrett.  First, we considered the following: “I see _____________.”  We went around the group once with each of the twenty participants stating something they saw, while being sure not to repeat something previously mentioned.  The majority of responses were purely descriptive and inventorial.  Because this painting is so rich with things to see, we went around the group again without any difficulty in seeing something new together.

Abraham Hendricksz van Beyeren, Still Life with Landscape, c. 1620-1690, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation, 1987.3

Second, we considered: “I see ______________ and it makes me think _______________.”  Each student in turn responded to these prompts, and this is where a conversation about the artwork began to unfold.  Our experience began to get a little more lively.  Students responded with observations that focused on the relationship between objects on the table and in the room.  Several crafted imaginative stories about a raucous party occurring in this scene and evidence of a quick departure among revelers. Ideas contentious to the storytelling threads emerged as well – something along these lines, “maybe this painter was really just painting a still life to show us how good he could paint this stuff.”  The looking and talking portion of the visit served as a great warm-up connection to an artwork, after which we traveled to the studio for a sketching exercise.

Two random objects were placed at each table seat, so that each student had his or her own still life. The pairs included items such as a glass jar and a washer, a piece of wood and a clothespin, a shell and a sponge, and so on.  We invited students to take a seat and add one item from their person to the compilation of objects.  They added cell phones, a wallet, glasses (not needed for seeing), hair barrettes, and a variety of pocket treasures.  For a short bit, we reflected upon and summarized together our experience looking at the Dutch still life painting.

Next step was to sketch the three objects in front of them using pencil, colored pencil, or pen. Additionally, Amanda passed to each student a prompt that added a twist to their composition.  This portion of the activity was borrowed from a previous C3 Artistic Encounter program with Magdalena Grohman and Thomas Feulmer. Prompts invited students to arrange and think about the objects in human-like ways:

  • These three objects are siblings.
  • Two of these objects are conspiring against the other.
  • Two of these objects are in a new relationship and one of them is introducing the other to the third object for the first time.

After 20-25 minutes of sketching, we concluded with an opportunity for each student to share his or her sketch and thoughts about the how they applied the metaphorical prompts to the  still life objects.  The elaboration of compositions and their associated stories ranged far and wide, and often resulted in humor.

What ways have you made still-life assignments and observational drawing come to life?  Share your ideas with us and readers!

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Teaching for Creativity: Chairs, Frank Gehry, and Combinatorial Thinking

Time to nurture your creativity!  Try this fun activity involving associative and combinatorial thinking by yourself or with a friend.

Step 1: Draw a chair. (any chair that comes to your mind)
Step 2: Interview this chair that you have drawn.  What questions would you ask this chair?
Step 3: Imagine this chair that you’ve drawn has a GIANT ego.  Look a second time at the interview questions you wrote.  Which of the questions best fit an egotistical chair?
Step 4: Place the word “chair” in the middle of a piece of paper.   Build a chain of associations, starting with chair.  For instance: chair – leg – foot – walk – path – journey.  Get it?  Each word in the chain is an association with the word before it.  Try to make one, two, or three more chains of association.  Let your mind open up and flow with ideas!
Step 5: Circle the last word in each of your chains.  For instance, I would circle the word “journey” in my chain above.
Step 6: Test your combinatorial thinking abilities.  Take one of the circled words (example: journey) and combine it with chair.  The goal is to make something new through the combination of two words/ideas.  In this example, we are combining JOURNEY + CHAIR to create something new, and maybe even improved.  What new associations, ideas, and creations can emerge from mixing together two seemingly different ideas?
Step 7: Draw the new object or idea that you created from the two words.  Write an advertising slogan or jingle for this new product.

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Last night, I got my creativity on by participating in the DMA’s Thursday evening C3 Artistic Encounters program with creativity expert Dr. Magdalena Grohman and architect Peter Goldstein.  After Magda led us through the thinking and drawing exercise presented above, Peter shared with us some provocative connections to the work of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry through a PowerPoint of Gehry’s ideas, drawings, chair designs, and architectural structures.  Encouraging us to think about “collisions of spaces,” “forms crashing together,” and “the space between” when viewing Gehry’s work, Peter also highlighted an example of combinatorial thinking in Gehry’s work.  Bentwood chairs created by Gehry are an exploration of forms inspired by bushel baskets.  Gehry even took it a step further, adding notions of hockey and the flow of players’ movements on the ice to the combination of ideas reflected in these chairs.  CHAIR + BUSHEL BASKET + HOCKEY = “HAT TRICK” SIDE CHAIR

"Hat Trick" side chair, Frank Gehry (American, born 1929), designed 1992, manufactured by Knoll International, wood and bentwood, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of the Knoll Group

A viewing of Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs was next on the agenda.  This installation of chair clusters, created by Peter’s architecture students at Skyline High School in Dallas ISD, invited a long look for collisions of spaces and forms.  Just as he asked his students to think about the space between, Peter asked us to explore spatial intersections through sketching exercises emphasizing loose, flowing lines.

Throughout September, join us for more spatial explorations of art and architecture on Thursday evenings with  C3 Artistic Encounters.  Peter Goldstein will be back on September 15, and his Skyline High School colleague Tom Cox will be the visiting artist on September 8 and 22.  These programs, which are FREE with paid admission, occur on Thursdays from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  And guess what?  Educators receive FREE general admission to the DMA on Thursday evenings when they show their school ID at the visitor services desk.  What are you waiting for?  It’s time to get your creativity on!

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

 


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