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…

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…

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…

Discovering The Process in Every Direction

By Johannes VanDerBeek / March 3, 2018

It’s funny to think about how artists utilize experimentation in comparison to scientists or doctors. In the world of science and medicine, an experiment is aimed toward a specific problem, such as curing a disease or creating a new technology. They establish a hypothesis and then implement a series of tests to get closer and…

Studio Practices: Notice What You Notice

By Catherine Haggarty / February 24, 2018

In 2011, I sat in awe at a painting lecture by the great Catherine Murphy as she proudly bellowed “What’s the story and how you ‘gonna tell it?’” Catherine Murphy, a legendary representational painter who stands steadfast in her commitment to painting and observing daily life, is a bold and exemplary example of an artist who…

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…