Painting

Courses

  • Fall 2015

    COLOR STUDIO

    This studio-based course will provide the foundation necessary to understand basic color theory and practice in painting, art, and design. An historical and cultural perspective will be introduced to inform ongoing color studies executed in the studio. Students will acquire the vocabulary to articulate color phenomena and the means to exploit the expressive potential of color in their work. Color studies will be principally created with gouache, and a variety of other materials and means will also be explored. Lectures, demonstrations, and museum visits will supplement studio work. A short research paper is required.
    Elective; Open to all majors

    DRAWING I

    An introductory level course for Painting majors. Students will develop drawing skills and insights and consider basic visual language issues. Syllabus is coordinated with Painting I.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    DRAWING II

    A continued examination and development of drawing skills. This course is coordinated with Painting II.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    FUNDAMENTALS: PAINTING METHODS AND MATERIALS

    This course will provide the foundation for the creation of an archival painting practice for both traditional and contemporary painting methods. Topics covered will include tools, preparation process for both canvas and wood panels, sizes and grounds, drying oils, varnishes and resins, pigments, solvents, painting procedures, and the care of finished paintings. A historical overview of traditional methods and materials including egg tempra and oil paint will be covered, in addition to modern alkyd resins and acrylics. RISD's Environmental Health & Safety practices that pertain to painting practice and painting studio safety will be an integral part of this course. A short research paper is required to supplement studio work.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE DRAWING

    This course presents the graduate student with a series of problems intended to develop drawing as a tool for inquiry into a terrain outside the well-known beaten paths of his/her past studio practice. Expanding the role for drawing in studio experimentation is a goal. Work will be done outside class. There are critiques each week. Graduate major requirement
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE PAINT STUDIO CRITIQUE I

    This period is designed for the students to evaluate and analyze the directions he/she established as an undergraduate. Criticisms of the student's work will be aimed at identifying strengths and weaknesses and help the students clarify fundamental objectives. Group and individual critiques will occur by resident faculty and visiting artists and critics during the semester. Successful completion of this course is a prerequisite for continuance in the program.
    Graduate major requirement
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE PAINT STUDIO CRITIQUE III

    This period is designed as an advanced critique course which involves visits by resident faculty, visiting artists and critics, with special reference to current issues and concerns in contemporary art.
    Graduate major requirement
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    PAINTERLY PRINTS

    This course offers a more painterly approach to the intaglio process. The students will produce applications of intaglio, such as collographs, large color monotypes and collage. Growth of imagery and technique will be encouraged through medium. A portfolio of prints will be produced.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only

    PAINTING I

    An introduction to the basic language of the painting discipline. Emphasis on the plastic and formal considerations necessary for work that willbecome an increasingly personal statement.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    PAINTING II

    The purpose of this course is to continue development based on Painting I. Individual expression will be encouraged through a series of larger works which require greater time and organizational skill. Experimentation in different painting media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor and mixed media will be encouraged. Group and individual critiques are required. Outside work will be assigned.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    PAINTING III

    The primary goal of this course will be to shift the responsibility of direction, problem-solving and problem- development from the Faculty Instructor to the student. But this will be accomplished with a great deal of faculty involvement and support. The class will begin with group assignments which will become increasingly independent. Group and individual critiques will continue as an integral part of the curriculum, with an emphasis on contemporary art and criticism.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    PAINTING WORKSHOP

    This is an intensive program designed to test the student's ability to design, organize, and complete a project of his or her choosing.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES IN PAINTING

    This course would address many practical issues to do with becoming a professional artist after graduation. Some of these issues are: the commercial gallery, the not-for-profit gallery, museums, graduate programs, auction houses, grants, documentation of work, archival storage of work and restoration of artwork. Professionals from the gallery, museum and other fields will be invited to the class to share their expertise with the student. Artists will be invited to talk about their professional experiences. It is a seminar class addressed particularly to the senior painting student.
    Major elective; Painting majors only
    Non-majors by permission of instructor

    SENIOR HONORS INTERDISCIPLINARY CRITIQUE

    This is a course in which first-semester seniors who have already demonstrated unusual commitment, ambition and initiative within their majors will pursue and discuss independent work in a setting that reflects, as closely as possible, the interdisciplinary conversation that actually takes place around advanced art practice today. The course is intended to allow those working within medium-specific vocabularies to test how their work will make meaning in an art world in which a variety of disciplinary histories and conventions coexist, clash, and inform one another, as well as to provide an opportunity for students whose work bridges two or more disciplines (or involves performance/new genres/post-studio approaches) to learn from one another and from faculty capable of addressing all of these sorts of practices. This is a demanding critique course with additional seminar components (readings, screenings, discussions, slide presentations, etc.), and as such students can expect a workload equivalent to a core studio requirement within their major.
    Acceptance into the course will be based on a GPA of 3.25 or greater as well as the recommendation of faculty and department heads from the student's major and on review of previous work. Candidates will be identified in discussions between the instructor and department heads during the preceding spring semester. Successful completion of ARTH-H490/PAINT-4507 (Contemporary Art & its Discourses) or equivalent coursework is a prerequisite, ensuring students have a shared understanding of the art historical context for interdisciplinary. The maximum enrollment is limited to seminar-size (c. 15 students) in order to provide sufficient attention to each student's work in group and individual critiques while still allowing for seminar-style discussions Instructor permission required.

    THREE CRITICS

    "Three Critics" will offer graduate students the opportunity to get inside the art critic's head and learn how writers think about the visual. Students will be exposed to a wide range of viewpoints and discourse on contemporary art issues as defined by the interests of three different, practicing critics. Each critic will become part of the RISD community for approximately one month, conducting 3 sessions on campus and one in New York or Boston. On-campus meetings will consist of lectures, reading and writing assignments, group critiques and one-on-one studio visits. Off-campus trips will include visits to museums, galleries and artist studios. Small groups of students will be expected to lead several classes. Outside coursework and full participation in class discussion required for successful completion.
    Graduate major requirement
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration
    Requirement for second-year graduate Painting graduate students. Five additional seats available for Fine Arts graduate students. For admission, students submit a one-page writing sample to the Graduate Painting Coordinator.

    Wintersession 2016

    BETWEEN WORLDS: WATERCOLOR AND HYBRID STRATEGIES OF IMAGE-MAKING

    This course explores the medium of watercolor as a hybrid tool for art making by emphasizing its position between drawing and painting, prep work and finished work, and between art and illustration. Thematically, the class focuses on developing strategies that use, misuse, and subvert the idea of working observationally.
    Because of its versatility and descriptive potential, watercolor is used widely in scientific and design illustration as well as in the art world. In this class medical and botanical illustration, plein-air landscape traditions, architectural diagrams, sci-fi book illustration, and traditional Chinese painting are all fair game. By allowing these broad applications to inform our strategies in this class, we seek to work within a zone of hybridity that can incorporate any or all of these historical uses. Using drawing, painting, and collage strategies, projects that encourage experimental uses of the medium are accompanied by in-class demonstrations and exercises, visits to the RISD museum department of works on paper, and slide presentations on contemporary and historical uses of the medium.
    Demonstrations include how to stretch paper; how to use a variety of traditional techniques including applying washes, layering strategies, drybrush, puddling and wet into wet; masking, scoring and scratching; use of different papers and mediums. In-class exercises start with observational painting focusing on light and shadow, a collage-based assignment that focuses on light, texture, and the materiality of paper. Demonstrations are given on color mixing and layering.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $120.00

    CONCEPTS OF FIGURATION: PROCESSING IDENTITY AND NARRATIVE

    How can the figure be effectively deployed in art when images of the body are often treated with skepticism? In this course, we consider ways in which the figure can be used as a symbol to explore identity and narrative. Through these lenses, students gain a strong understanding of how the figure addresses a wide range of formal concerns (i.e., composition, color, materials) and conceptual issues (i.e., race, gender, sexuality). This enables students to effectively develop the expressive potential of figuration in their work. The course emphasizes both historical and contemporary approaches to representing the figure and will be explored through in-class projects, studio studies/experiments and homework assignments.
    This class is open to the use of traditional and non-traditional studio methods including observational and imagined representations, or other conceptual ideas relevant to the overall success of the work. Throughout the course, students produce studies, writings, and four ambitious projects pertaining to the content of the class. Classes consist of slide lectures, studio time/visits, model sessions, critique, and group discussions of assigned readings.

    CRITICAL RESPONSES THROUGH COLLAGE AND DRAWING

    ''From its roots in European Dadaism in the early years of the twentieth century, collage is a medium as diverse as it is politically charged." - Harriet Baker
    This introductory course explores a wide spectrum of cross-disciplinary techniques and approaches in collage. The objective is to foster and develop students' awareness in using medium-specific techniques that offer criticism on current and historical events. In considering techniques in still-life studies and developing conceptual strategies in building "composite realities," students develop their own approaches through the use of collage techniques.
    The course aids students in approaching secondary and tertiary strategies, such as painting or sculpture, with greater clarity. Techniques learned in this class act as a vehicle to help bridge the gap between ideas and what is expressed in their work so the viewer can fully understand the creative and conceptual intentions. We look to historical and contemporary artists who - using strategies in collage and assemblage - have commented on social and political tensions throughout the twentieth century and the present day. We investigate way in which humor and pictorial narrative are used as cultural critique. The class culminates in the creation of an ambitious, large-scale piece that clearly addresses the critical narratives and ideas that students have been developing throughout the course of the class.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $60.00

    MONSTER

    This course will investigate cultural traditions of the "monster", broadly defined as an entity of horrific other-ness. Monsters can be microscopic or gigantic, savage or pathetic, infectious or predacious. Monsters of all sorts, real and imagined, continue to invade our lives. Their narrative depiction has developed culturally as a metaphorical exploration of our deepest fears. tDuring the class our interest will be in a three dimensional communication and transcription of monster related imagery. While working with a variety of sculptural materials we will stimulate imagination through films, slides, books and articles. We will distill these influences into our own themes, grandiose, frightening and seductive. Our goal will be to forge connections between themes of fear from the distant, and those of our present lives.

    ON THE MATTER OF COLOR

    This approach to color in painting emphasizes the transposing of elements from the material world to the picture plane using what is referred to as "the color spot theory." Students will be introduced to this specific approach to painting by first examining its roots in the 16th and 17th centuries, continuing on through the early 20th century with Robert Henri and the famed American artist and teacher Charles Hawthorne who first coined the term "color spot theory." This theory would then be refined by one of Hawthorne's students Henri Hensche, who would continue to teach this process of painting through the 1980's.
    During the semester students will be introduced to other contemporary artists who continue to utilize this approach in their art practices today. Students begin working primarily with palette knives and oil on panel to demonstrate a clearer and more direct understanding of color relativity as applied to the making of multiple color studies from life. It is through this intense focus on color interaction that students will not only gain a deeper understanding of the orchestration of color relationships, but they will also receive the tools and skills necessary to further their own painting practices.Over the course of the semester students will work from direct observation in the studio focusing on color relationships and developing paintings through stages. Individual assistance, critiques, demonstrations and visual models will be given on a regular basis.

    PAINTING FOCUS:GO FIGURE

    In this course, students will investigate various approaches to representing the figure in contemporary art. Such things as the historical, psychological and narrative implications of using a human form in a work of art will be emphasized. There will be an exploration of studio-based strategies that will include working from observation and using mediated imagery such as film stills and photography. Students will start with in-class assignments working from a model in an interior that will culminate in a large-scale project that investigates the broader interpretation of figuration. Students will be challenged in technical, formal and conceptual approaches to creating a figurative work of art. While technical instruction will be focused primarily on painting, drawings and collage, students will be encouraged to also work in the media of their choice. In-class assignments will be supplemented with PowerPoint presentations as well as film and video screenings, reading materials, and critiques.

    PAINTING FROM OBSERVATION

    This course is a comprehensive introduction to painting. It will be designed to develop confidence and experience with paint and painting. We will examine historical and contemporary trends and paint from life models and photo sources. Fundamental techniques for basic ground preparation, oil painting mediums and direct as well as indirect processes will be taught. Representational painting will be the primary focus but experiences in abstract painting will also be encouraged. We will learn abstract principles that organize composition, depict spatial illusion and describe form while developing a shared language for critiques. No prior painting experience is required.

    PAINTING: OFF THE WALL

    This course focuses on exploring the limits of painting to facilitate experimentation and invention by creating work that blurs the line between painting and sculpture. While there is a rich history of work that pushes these boundaries, countless expressive possibilities remain that could make use of this multi-disciplinary approach to painting. Integrating two-dimensional and three-dimensional decision-making helps students reconsider their own relationship to composition, surface, and mark-making within their own practice. This studio course also delves into the expressive potential alternative materials provide. Students use a wide range of materials more frequently associated with sculpture or the hardware store to build structures and armatures that enable their paintings to emerge from the wall and into three-dimensional space.
    Through slideshows, videos, readings, a museum visit, and demonstrations, the course opens a historical and contemporary dialogue centered around how and why paintings have ventured off the wall and into space, while projects help students envision and create new ways of using these possibilities in their paintings. There is a strong emphasis on producing work through experimentation and serious play. The work made during this class should not be seen as finished products, but as a series of experiments undertaken to broaden each student's relationship to painting.

    PRIMARY SOURCES ILLUMINATING THE OCEAN DEEP AT THE NEW BEDFORD WHALING MUSEUM

    "For there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men." - Herman Melville, Moby Dick
    Located just 35 minutes east of RISD, the New Bedford Whaling Museum offers a fascinating and often disturbing perspective on the emergence of modernity along side the systematic hunting and harvesting of whales to the brink of extinction. Through several visits to the museum this course asks students to reflect upon and interpret a wide range of interrelated subjects including folk art, nautical culture, colonial politics, marine biology and museum display. With additional access to museum archives students address these topics through research-based projects that employ drawing, painting, and installation with particular attention to contextualizing within differing modes of museum display.
    The New Bedford Whaling museum boasts a rich collection of unique and unusual artifacts that together issue a cautionary tale by asking visitors to contemplate the tenuous line between pursuit of profit and the destruction of that which we hold most sacred.

    TIME-LAG LINE

    Our objective in this class is to re-consider the practice of life drawing. What insight might we have into subjects that are not in front of our eyes, where the space in time, from sight to hand is hours, weeks, maybe years? In essence, we seek to discover not only what can be "drawn" from our memory, but what can be drawn into representation. By expanding our methods of observation and considering alternative studio practices, we learn to "collage" a wide range of materials and approaches, from drawing with charcoal to "drawing" with video and writing. We attempt to make images that conflate multiple points in time and points of view, pitting disparate drawing strategies against each other. The films of Chris Marker and Mathew Barney strategically guide us, as will the "scripted" worlds of video games and design. We examine the temporal drawing methods of Antonio Lopez Garcia and Vija Celmins as well as the conceptually and materially considered practices of Ed Ruscha, Jutta Koether, Paul Sietsema, among others.
    According to poet Cees Nooteboom, a cartographer changes "sea to paper, waves into words" performs the "exacting task of shrinking." Is our task as artists no different? What is lost or gained in the translation from reality to paper? When we draw, there is a time-lag between experience and representation.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $30.00

    Spring 2016

    CASE STUDIES:CONTEMPORARY ART

    This intensive course is designed to immerse students in select, salient debates impacting the direction and parameters of contemporary painting. The goal is not only to introduce and familiarize, but also to collectively and actively generate possibilities for and within the medium. Six overlapping nodes, or case studies, each accompanied by readings and a list of relevant artists, guide our investigation: Endings and Beginnings, Monochromania, Photoshop Killed the Photographer Killed the Painter, Market Mechanisms (and Academic Exercises), Regional Painting, and Narrative. When possible, current exhibitions will be discussed. The course will be seminar style sessions interspersed with critique and discussion of the work of enrolled students.
    Major elective, Painting seniors only

    COLOR STUDIO

    This studio-based course will provide the foundation necessary to understand basic color theory and practice in painting, art, and design. An historical and cultural perspective will be introduced to inform ongoing color studies executed in the studio. Students will acquire the vocabulary to articulate color phenomena and the means to exploit the expressive potential of color in their work. Color studies will be principally created with gouache, and a variety of other materials and means will also be explored. Lectures, demonstrations, and museum visits will supplement studio work. A short research paper is required.
    Elective; Open to all majors

    CONTEMPORARY ART & ITS CRITICS

    This seminar will examine a series of canonical readings of contemporary art, focusing primarily on key writings published in the journal October and the magazine Artforum since 1975. We will engage in detail with such overarching critical concepts as postmodernism, neo-avant-garde, site-specificity, and relational aesthetics. We will also examine readings that draw on concepts such as the fetish, the abject, the informe, the gaze, primitivism, and postcolonialism. Finally, we will attend to issues of writerly style and method, seeking to understand the wide variety of tools that critics and art historians employ to understand, historicize, and enrich our understanding of works of contemporary art.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    DIGITAL TOOLS FOR ARTISTS

    This is a hands-on, project-based introduction to computers and digital multimedia for artists. The course is designed to be an ongoing discussion on art, design and personal work informed by digital images, sound, video, animation, interactive multimedia, and the Internet.
    Major elective; Painting majors only

    DRAWING II

    A continued examination and development of drawing skills. This course is coordinated with Painting II.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    EXPERIMENTS IN DRAWING

    This course examines the definition of drawing in the twentieth century. The student, while working from the basis of their own thematic and formal agenda, is directed to explore contemporary approaches to drawing. Through assignments and weekly group critiques, they will seek to broaden the conceptual basis for their work.
    Majors take this class or Paint 4521 or Paint 4597
    Major elective, Painting majors only

    GRADUATE PAINT STUDIO CRITIQUE II

    This period is designed for the student to evaluate and analyze and pursue the directions he/she established in Grad Paint Studio Critique I. Group and individual critiques will occur by resident faculty and visiting artists and critics during the semester.
    Major graduate requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE PAINTING STUDIO THESIS

    This period is designed for development and presentation of a body of work supported by a written thesis in consultation with resident faculty, visiting artists and critics during the semester. A final exhibition of work will be evaluated by a jury of Painting Faculty Members.
    Graduate major requirement
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    MEANING IN THE MEDIUM OF PAINTING

    This first-year graduate seminar approaches painting as a technical skill, a historical practice and an intellectual project. Weekly sessions begin with group discussions of key readings about recent painting. Readings are organized in three sections. The first looks backward, to the problem of medium that preoccupied modernist painting and, residually, contemporary practices until the 1980s. The second section looks at two phenomena, the academy and the art market, and their effect on how painting is produced, disseminated, discussed and received. The third, the most speculative, looks laterally at a range of contemporary practices from the 1990s to the present.
    Permission of instructor required
    Graduate elective

    PAINTERLY PRINTS

    This course offers a more painterly approach to the intaglio process. The students will produce applications of intaglio, such as collographs, large color monotypes and collage. Growth of imagery and technique will be encouraged through medium. A portfolio of prints will be produced.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only

    PAINTING DEGREE PROJECT

    This is a comprehensive course designed to test the student's ability to create, complete, and document a Degree Project of his or her choosing. The Degree Project should be a distinct, carefully conceived, exhibition-ready body of work which reflects the issues and objectives of your art. The Senior Degree Project is distinct from your Woods-Gerry Gallery exhibition, although its work can overlap with that exhibition.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    PAINTING FOCUS: MATERIAL EXPLORATIONS

    Working with a wide array of materials, different approaches to physicality and surface, and inventive methods of deploying color other than by brush, this "painting" course will make works that occupy the space of the wall familiar to painting -- but not its most traditional conventions. With a deep engagement in process and informed by readings and targeted artists and art historical movements, students will explore materiality and visual culture. Shopping for "art supplies" will take place as much at Home Depot as at Utrecht. Employing the recycled and trash, the found and gathered, and the manufactured and the natural, the art made will be critiqued for both presence and meaning. From duct tape to cotton balls soaked in acrylic paint -- one finds context, from varying thicknesses of rope dipped in polymer mediums to woven plastic shopping bags -- one finds structure, and from paint squirted from plastic ketchup bottles to fake fur -- one finds attitude.
    Course open to all majors

    PAINTING FROM OBSERVATION

    This course is a comprehensive introduction to painting. It will be designed to develop confidence and experience with paint and painting. We will examine historical and contemporary trends and paint from life models and photo sources. Fundamental techniques for basic ground preparation, oil painting mediums and direct as well as indirect processes will be taught. Representational painting will be the primary focus but experiences in abstract painting will also be encouraged. We will learn abstract principles that organize composition, depict spatial illusion and describe form while developing a shared language for critiques. No prior painting experience is required.

    PAINTING II

    The purpose of this course is to continue development based on Painting I. Individual expression will be encouraged through a series of larger works which require greater time and organizational skill. Experimentation in different painting media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor and mixed media will be encouraged. Group and individual critiques are required. Outside work will be assigned.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration

    PAINTING IV

    This will be a continuation of directions established in Painting III. Student work will be evaluated through group and individual critiques. Visiting Artist lectures will be important to the issues of contemporary art emphasized at this level. The department will schedule an individual review with a Faculty Committee for each student during this course.
    Major requirement; Painting majors only
    Registration by Painting department, course not available via web registration