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Making Art from Itches

By John O'Connor

I was really close to my grandfather on my mother’s side and spent much of my youth with him and my grandmother, as my mother worked the late shift at the local hospital and they watched me and my brother every night. We also had dinner with them every weekend…

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Win the Lottery by Making a Drawing

By John O'Connor

As a follow up to my previous post, I thought it would be interesting to discuss a few more drawings that deal with the lottery, in more detail – how I thought through them in terms of process, and how I translated the ideas I have about the lottery into…

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Math Art for Kids

By John O'Connor

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…

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How-To Make Art From Spam Emails

By John O'Connor

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…

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Drawing in the Dark

By John O'Connor

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…

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Discovering The Process in Every Direction

By Johannes VanDerBeek

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…

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Studio Practices: Notice What You Notice

By Catherine Haggarty

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…

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Dawn Clements’ Drawings

By John O'Connor

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…

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