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Maggie McCombs

Arte 302 – Olivia Gude Approaches & Lesson Ideas 2/2

I think the one “principle of possibility” I continually return to when starting
any curriculum is the process of playing, quite unconsciously or
unintentionally for that matter. At the start of both my ST & TA lessons in
Saturday School, as well as my day-of-the-week school curricula I started the
students thinking about and working with the concepts of ink-blots, working
in watercolors to create many layers. For one lesson it was to loosen them up
to working in enamels in order to begin to feel comfortable not having
complete control over the outcome. While for the other two lesson versions I
added in a component of intuitive drawing over them to work towards a
curriculum theme/issue looking at perceptions and influences, and the other
working on activism theme and investigating personal biases. I find play to
be indispensible in my approach to making curricula since I found that was
the underlying component to many of my own favorite artworks. I also like to
do it to get them thinking and exposed to more abstraction in art since so
many are caught up in realism and depicting it realistically. I like to show
them images from several areas or disciplines of knowledge as opposed to a
large variety of artists. I use Pollock to stress the idea of layering but use the
Rorschach ink blots from the field of psychoanalysis as well as everyday
phenomena related to the pareidolia affect we find in clouds, floor tiles,
trees, potato chips and cornflakes, etc.

At the end of this document is a quick and dirty handout, as I like to call it,
that I made for the Art 140 college students to quickly reference and further
research on their own to understand the approaches they can take in
thinking about the approach and conceptual devices for their studio projects.
These were pulled from Gude’s 7 Postmodern Principles.

This handout came in handy particularly when we got to the landscape

project that Charity, Justine, and I created to replace the traditional
watercolor landscape project proposed by Robin. The assignment was call
“Stick It: In order to better understand our physical and social environment
we will design and photograph our own sticker graffiti art. These stickers
may promote a political agenda, comment on a policy or issue, or comprise
an avant-garde art campaign. This form of street art allows graffiti tags to
instantly be placed anywhere accessible, with a much lower risk of
apprehension and less damage to the target surface than is possible with
other types of street art.” We gave the students a powerpoint starting with
the definitions and historical cultural examples, like the Lascaux caves and
explaining the purpose for it at that time, then moving into contemporary
forms and the varied social, cultural, and political aims/reasons. We show
them artists like Banks, Shepard Fairy, Miss Van and Clou, other images by
unknown/anonymous artists, and end with Dulk Lundgren’s take on Eddie
Addams’ “Weed Killer” to show directly how appropriation can be used to
intensify and translate a socio-political message that those unfamiliar with
the original image and its context could understand more readily.

Similarly the handout that same handout worked extremely well for the last
Art 140 project that us TAs came up with to replace the proffered project in
order to make the concept of researching and studying past artists more
Maggie McCombs
Arte 302 – Olivia Gude Approaches & Lesson Ideas 2/2
accessible and relatable for the students taking the course who are not art
majors. The students have to research a 20th century artist and write a
research paper analyzing one of their artworks utilizing elements and
principles vocabulary. Initially the project was to have them copy an image in
the style of their artist. Working with the constraint of the final project having
to relate to this 20th century artist research, we decided to alter the project
so students would pick a 21st event or issue that they believe would be
remembered in the next century. We have them locate iconic images from
that even or relating to that issue to “remix & remaster” in the “style” of
their artist. “Style” is relative and fairly open to interpretation for each
student, it could mean that they use the same media, address similar
concepts, literally attempt to copy the style, etc. We show them a
powerpoint that is accessible at the following link
I think we could add to it and make it better and use more culturally diverse
artists. We have some but I think we need a few more and just some more
examples in general.

Gude, O. (2004). Postmodern principles: In search of a 21st century art education. Art Education, 57(1), 6-14.

- to reuse or recycle images that already exist in order to create a new image.

- when images and objects from various realms and sensibilities come together as intentional
clashes or random happenings.

- often times it is the positioning of a familiar image in relationship to pictures, symbols, or text
with which it is not usually associated to generate meaning in the artwork.

- multiple layers of varying transparency to create imagery that evokes the complexity of the
unconscious mind.

Interconnection of Text & Image

- the interplay between these two elements to generate rich and ironic associations exploring
the disjuncture between verbal and visual signifiers as a source of meaning and pleasure,
instead of demanding a literal match of these modes.

- refers to the incorporation of various media into artworks, as well as describes the cultural
blending evident in many works.

- while associated with issues of knowledge and pleasure, it is also a form of power and of
controlling perceptions of what is “real” and “natural”. Who is being looked at, who is doing the

Maggie McCombs
Arte 302 – Olivia Gude Approaches & Lesson Ideas 2/2
- U.S. urban street slang for proclaiming one’s identity and affiliations. It describes the strategy
of locating one’s artistic voice within one’s own personal history and culture of origin.