Math Art for Kids

By John O'Connor / April 24, 2018

For this post I thought I’d talk about a drawing I’m currently working on and discuss how it has evolved over time. My son is 8 years old and one part of his math homework is completing word problems. These are math problems where the main information is presented in narrative form. A fairly simple…

On the Works of Chris Arabadjis

By John O'Connor / April 17, 2018

The Butterfly Effect was named in the 1960’s by Edward Lorenz. He used to describe how a very simple system could yield immensely greater effects in varyingly unpredictable ways. Lorenz described the details of a tornado: its form, its velocity, path, etc., as being influenced by exceedingly minor disturbances in the weather. As the story…

Chris Taylor: Trying to Draw Billabongs

By John O'Connor / April 3, 2018

Chris and I are both from Westfield, Massachusetts so I know something of what he saw as he grew up. We lived near Northampton, in the midst of the western Massachusetts alternative music scene, and both loved the music of Dinosaur Jr., Steve Westfield, Pangloss, Sebadoh, and others. This music was being made in the…

How-To Make Art From Spam Emails

By John O'Connor / March 28, 2018

Like everyone, I get a ton of spam emails. And I often respond. I’m interested in how these emails, particularly those that attempt to elicit a visceral response, utilize language that appeals to our basic human impulses – they’re like technological fish food attempting to hook us into an emotional response based on our most…

The Work of Raha Raissnia

By John O'Connor / March 23, 2018

I first met Raha when we were in graduate school at Pratt Institute and have followed her work ever since. She works across and within many mediums (film, collage, painting, etc.), each informing the other and crossing into the other, yet her work in drawing has always been central to her practice. Raha’s drawings fuse…

Drawing in the Dark

By John O'Connor / March 7, 2018

Part 1. For this drawing, take 3 large pieces of paper, turn off the lights, and make drawings in your room, at night, in the dark.  Begin by toning your paper with a middle grey by rubbing an even amount of charcoal all over your paper; push it into the surface. Use your eraser to…

Drawing on the Edge

By John O'Connor / February 21, 2018

One of my most vivid memories of drawing is from when I was five years old. I was on the cusp of kindergarten, and my mother took me to my future classroom to meet my teacher before school started. My teacher, Mrs. Eagen, gave me some paper and colored pencils. She asked me to draw…

Dawn Clements’ Drawings

By John O'Connor / February 12, 2018

I’ve shown Dawn Clements’ work to students for years, and upon first sight someone will invariably ask me why she leaves so much paper “blank”. This is a perfectly reasonable question when one is used to looking at drawing in the usual ways, but Dawn Clements’ drawings are anything but usual. Seeing one of her…