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Friday, October 14, 2011

An Ensemble of My Paintings @ NextSpace San Jose

On view until the end of 2011.

NextSpace Coworking + Innovation San Jose
97 S. 2nd St, Suite 100
San Jose, CA 95113

Open Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 5:30pm.

Phone (408) 351 1575

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Session 4 with the 5th Graders - Doodling 2

Session 4 - Doodling. Approximately one and a half hours.
Starting with one element. Adding from there by proximity and expanding the drawing.
Tool: a black fine line marker and a fine point Sharpie.

For this second session of doodling we talked about using "representational" elements and about the fact that representational doodles are often either a collection of elements or constitute a story.

To inspire the students, and because doodling is often associated with another activity (listening to music, the radio, giving a phone call), I proposed to them to listen to Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address.

Steve Jobs' death a few days earlier was the occasion for the teacher to talk with the students about his impact and his legacy.

The commencement speech at Stanford is a powerful speech, maybe not very cheerful but right to the point: "Love what you do - Follow your Heart", through three short stories. Steve Jobs talks about connecting the dots and the circumstances of his birth, then what happened when he was fired by Apple and finally when he was diagnosed with cancer and his close encounter with death. He finished his speech with these famous words: "Stay Hungry, stay foolish".

I thought it could be a wonderful inspiration for the students. But the doodle did not have to include elements of the speech.

They started doodling as the speech started and then we talked about it. When the speech was finished, the students continued doodling listening to the speech a second time.

Along the way, their doodling included more and more "visual" elements from the speech.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Session 3 with the 5th Graders - Doodling


Session 3 - Doodling. Approximately one and a half hours.
Starting with one element (preferably somewhere in the center area of the page).
Adding from there by proximity and expanding the drawing.
: a black fine line marker.

At the beginning of the session, I showed the students a short Power Point presentation with a series of examples of abstract doodling. I want them to feel at ease with the idea of doodling without having to "represent" anything and to try to let go and draw whatever idea comes to their hand. For those who wanted to do otherwise, they could - of course. 

In some cases, the doodles were abstract at the beginning and became representational somewhere along the way: like the ones with the women and their long decorated dresses.

I encouraged the students to do only one doodle during the session, to see where they could go, by adding more and more elements. But if they wanted, they could get another sheet of paper and start another doodle.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Session 2 with the 5th Graders: Lines

Session 2 - Lines - Three short exercises. Approximately one hour.

1. Zig Zag lines
Building patterns, Varying the thickness of the lines, varying the space between the lines.
Tool: pencil 4B.

2. Using only a repetition of triangles (could have been any other shape)
As many or as few triangles as the student wishes.
Any combination, superposition.
Using empty and blackened triangle.
Varying the thickness of the lines.
Tool: sharpie fine point/marker.

3. Curved lines
Starting with a few lines going from an edge to another.
Varying the thickness of the lines.
Tool: sharpie fine point/marker.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Art Notebook / First Session with the 5th Graders

This year I proposed to the two classes I volunteer in (5th grade and 3rd grade) to work on a year-long art project: an art notebook. The idea is to keep everything together and to build a catalog of visual ideas and to work on an art-object
I'd like the students to enjoy the journey and feel comfortable with what we are doing. I presented the project to the parents, with some examples of collages, drawings, doodling, layering, stencils, lettering. I am not looking for a specific result. It is a discovery process. We are trying things. 

I like to browse through the art section at our public library and I came upon a couple of inspirational books about art journals. In The Journal Junkies Workshop by Eric Scott and David Modler, I found an amazing quote: The Journey is the Destination. That's exactly what I'd like the children in the classes this year to experiment: the excitement of the journey itself.

I am very happy and thankful to work with two enthusiastic teachers who love art and who support this adventure!

The parents participated for the material. The Canson Field book is 9x12", 90Lb, hardcover, bound with wide rings and coasts approximately $15 (on sale at my favorites online store, Dick Blick and ASW). I asked $20 per student, which should cover our need in nice pencils, pens and markers, brushes and paint.

We are still waiting for the art pads for the 5th graders. They were back ordered because of the large quantity we needed. Right now the 5th graders work on sheets of paper that they will glue in the art pads as soon as they get them.

First Session - Petroglyphs
I take some time for a short Power Point presentation about the petroglyphs in the Southwest (history, location, description). That same week the teacher talked about the Pueblo civilization. I'd like to sometimes link what we do in art class with subjects the students are learning about. I gathered some images on the internet and some I've taken myself.

One of the slides

"Newspaper Rock" (detail), Utah

We talk about shapes, composition. 
I show photos of some of the engraved walls found in the Four Corners area. 
Then I give them a few sheets printed with black shapes of petroglyphs and some compositions (photos of some of the walls).

I ask the students to take their time and to chose as many - or as few - shapes they want to and to start with a large one and then to organize the space around it.
They work directly with graphite pencils (no erasers), which are super smooth, glide on the paper and make wonderful dark silver greys/blacks.

The idea is to really look at shapes - and those shapes are very special.
I'd like them to "see" the space of the page and organize it as they wish with different elements.
And to take their time, which is not an easy thing to do for the students.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I bought my first Mac a few years after I graduated from my art school in Paris, when Photoshop and Illustrator - and at the time QuarkXPress - bloomed, with the amazing possibility to work on beautifully designed fonts which looked slick at any size, color charts that were accurate, vector files with endless possibilities of transformation. The Mac was THE computer for graphic designers. And it looked beautiful! I immediately loved the interface and the way everything was thought to create professional contemporary design. At the time there was simply no equivalent whatsoever.


The ongoing show in Chicago started Monday, September 26, 2011 and runs until Sunday, October 23rd: four weeks of art interspersed among advertising (location: East Bound Interstate 90 just after the highway crosses over Oakton Street).
Here are some photos of the billboards with my images. They were recently posted by the Billboard Art Project on Facebook. More photos can be seen here. And more will be posted soon, as the BAP is documenting the event through the weeks.

I am very much enjoying continuing the "Mileage To" series and seeing the photos taken in a new town and offering a different context and a different perspective each time. 

For Chicago I sent to the BAP a series of 31 signs with mileage from Chicago to towns situated in North African and Middle Eastern countries: Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Bahrain, Syria, Tunisia, Palestine, Israel,Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon. The same towns I've made road signs with for the Savannah and the Duluth Billboard Art Project. Each time I recalculate the distances online, it makes each sign specific for each location.


For the show in Chicago I sent a series of 36 new faux signs, playing with the two colors of the warning signs: bright yellow for the background and black for the abstract shapes.

All photos: The Billboard Art Project 

Artists participating in the The Billboard Art Project Chicago Show:
Aaron Raymer – New York, NY, Al Wildey – Mt. Pleasant, MI, Alexandra Lee – Chicago, IL, Amanda Greive – Edinburg, IL, Amy Pleasant – Shoreline, WA, Andrea Lantz – Richmond, VA, Andres L. Hernandez – Chicago, IL, Barbara Lantz – Richmond, VA, Begi – Tel Aviv, Israel, Brenda Kofford – Wheatland, WY, Brian Nogues – Miami, FL, Brittany Ransom – Chicago, IL, Carrie Brady – Georgetown, CT, Channel TWo – Oak Park, IL, Chau Dang – Seattle, WA, CJ Hungerman – Geneva, IL, Claire Accardo – Richmond, VA, Claudia Lynch – New Orleans, LA, Coalfather Industries – Carlinville, IL, Connie J. Frisch-Cherniak – Staten Island, NY, Connie Wolfe – Chicago, IL, David DuFault – Chicago, IL, Deborah Maris Lader – Chicago, IL, Doug Siefken – Chicago, IL, Ellen Mueller – Pueblo, CO, Faern – San Francisco, CA, Flavio Galván – Plantation, FL, Francine LeClercq – New York, NY, Gary Duehr – Somerville, MA, Ginny Gaura – North Aurora, IL, Ginny Huo – Brooklyn, NY, Ginny Lloyd – Jupiter, FL, Gregory Kaplowitz – San Francisco, CA, Happy Accidents – St. Paul, MN, Harriete Estel Berman – San Mateo, CA, Heather Dewey-Hagborg – Brooklyn, NY, Heysook Cho – Orem, UT, Hue Park –Brooklyn, NY, Industry of the Ordinary – Chicago, IL, Ione Citrin – Los Angeles, CA, Jeff Mendenhall – Lombard, Il, Jen Mitsuko – Portland, OR, Joelle McTigue – Los Angeles, CA, John Cizmar – Chicago, IL, Jonathan Levy – Brooklyn, NY, Joseph Church – Rockford, IL, June Bisantz – Willimantic, CT, Karrie Ross – Los Angeles, CA, Kelsey Bosch – Minneapolis, MN, Kendra Larson – Portland, OR, Kiyomi – Riverside, CA, Kyle Humphrey – Toronto, ON, Canada, Laura F. Gibellini – New York, NY, Lee Aulson – Peabody, MA, Leo Kogan – Amsterdam, Netherlands, Les Mayers – Santa Monica, CA, Lisa Graham – Arlington, TX, Lori Lipsman – San Diego, CA, Luisa Pulido – Miami, FL, Lynn Cazabon – Baltimore, MD, Mairin Hartt – Chicago, IL, Marcellous Lovelace – Chicago, IL, Maria Creyts – Kansas City, MO, Michael Burton – Chicago, IL, Michael Vickers – Toronto, ON, Canada, Michele Guieu – Sunnyvale, CA, Nicholas Economos – Shaker Heights, OH, Oliver Pauk – Toronto, ON, Canada, Rebecca Aguilar – Chicago, IL, Rob Carter – Brooklyn, NY, Sally Sachs – Chicago, IL, Samantha Hookway – Columbus, OH, Sarah Rehmer – Indian Head Park, IL, Seeking Kali – United States, Belgium, Canada, Shane Anderson – Apple Valley, MN, Sharon Lee Hart – Lexington, KY, Simone Bailey – San Francisco, CA, Susan Tonkin Riegel – Granite Bay, CA, TAKEBACKCHICAGO – Chicago, IL, Terry Ward – VA & Brooklyn, NY, Travis Janssen – Carbondale, IL, Warwick Eede – Boston, Lincs, England. 

The next Billboard Art Project is in Reading, PA, October 22.