Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Met Velázquez Is Vindicated - Brilliant Use of Tech to Demonstrate Restoration!

---------------------------------From NY TIMES online 12/120/10

Below is a story from the NY TIMES / ARTS sections 12/20/10. It's an interesting story about the restoration of a great old master painting. However, it is accompanied by 2 REMARKABLE interactive media items embedded in the online version of the paper: they are photographic simulations of the restoration, allowing the viewer to manipulate the image to see the progress of the restoration process from 'before' to 'after' - There is also an embedded podcast player of a very worthwhile (short) interview with the people behind the restoration.:
1) Main story @
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/12/18/arts/20101218-velazquez.html , and
2) follow the links at the top of the story for more... # 4 leads to another interactive simulation of the restauration

The Restoration of a Velázquez
After technical studies and a yearlong restoration, curators and conservators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art now believe that a full-length portrait of Philip IV that has been in the Met's collection since 1914 is by Velázquez and not his workshop. The attribution reverses a finding made in 1973 when museum officials downgraded this portrait, along with 299 other old master paintings, saying they were either by the artist's workshop or a follower... for the full story, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/12/18/arts/20101218-velazquez.html

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

iPhone / iPad for Visual Art? Ask David Hockney

From: http://www.ipadshouse.com/ipad-%E2%80%93-the-new-digital-canvas/

I'd be interested in how the iPhone or iPad could be used to make worthwhile art no matter who weighed in on the challenge. That David Hockney, one of the world's most established artists, (and one who has made such good sense in his work by exploring traditional representation as well as pushing its boundaries) has made an important splash with it is especially thought provoking and inspiring.

Here's a short
NPR Interview with Mr. Hockney about his current Paris exhibit of a body of work done exclusively on these devices. Also, here's one of many worthwhile articles recently written about the exhibit and Hockney's "iART" titled Digital Art Evangelist David Hockney's iPad Flowers Bloom in Paris.
As iPhones and iPads continue to be eyed by schools as viable supports for learning, Hockney's lead looms as having more and more importance for educators who want to include art in the student expereince. It behooves those of us who are adept at making Visual Art, teaching it, and using technology in this context to familiarize ourselves with it and support our colleagues as they consider it, too.

Friday, November 26, 2010

James McMullin Drawing Series

.....................................New York Time - October 2010

A Gazillion years ago, I studied illustration at the School for Visual Art (SVA) in Manhattan. I was fortunate to have James McMullan, one of the world's foremost illustrators, as one of my instructors. Mr. McMullan was a good teacher and provided inspiration by dint of his excellence as an artist.

I just came across this good series he did for the NY Times on how to draw. There are a gazillion (there's that number again) books and video series on how to draw, and they all include the same concepts more or less. However, it is great to see a talented artist and teacher put his own personal spin, his own thumbprint on what otherwise could be cliched. Here are the links to the first 11 of the 12 installments of this series (below).

I add this to the blog because it reminds me of the way I used to teach the very same concepts to middle school students (a gazillion years ago:) when I taught in New York City public schools like The East Harlem Performing Arts School. I was not willing to skirt the very thorny issue of teaching kids to draw "for real." Although anyone can learn to draw, the process requires so much time and patience, so much tolerance and self discipline in handling the frustration, that teaching young students the classical approach to drawing is simply not done! That, and perhaps, that many public school art teachers are not all that masterful in their drawing abilities, themselves :) I chose to walk this perilous minefield for a good few years before I moved on to become the city's Director of Intructional Technology (it's a long story :)...

I distilled the best of my drawing lessons and adapted them to take advantage of the power of technology so that literally, any kid could learn to draw and draw without pain. A few of these appear in the book
Visual Arts Units / All Levels published by ISTE (international Society for Technology in Education).

McMullan links:
1)Getting Back to the Phantom Skill
2) The Frisbee of Art
3) Hatching the Pot
4) The Beagle Vanishes
5) Mother Nature Decoded
6) The Shadow Knows
7) The Three Amigos
8) Plumbing the Head
9) Drawing Funny
10) The Chain of Energy
11) Strategies to Get You There