Fall 2022 BFA Electives, Topics in 2D: Return of the Real – Shoshana Dentz

Sascha Braunig Chameleon 2011 (detail) Oil on linen 24 x 20 inches

This observational-based painting and drawing course engages the facts, fictions and impossibilities inherent in visual perception when focused intensely on a portion of the phenomenal world. Working directly and extremely close-up from “life” students will produce thoughtful and responsive works, cultivating technical skill, conceptual ingenuity and material experimentation. While reality will be the primary source, experiences with abstraction will be embedded and encouraged: the more specific you make something the more it becomes something else. Realism is not necessarily the goal, rather the record of a hyper-attentive and specific investigation as a means for insight and for learning painting: how your touch is caught and held, how your thinking and intentions become forms connecting to the eyes and minds of others. Discussions will present artists such as Ellen Altfest, Sascha Braunig, Jennifer Packer and Josephine Halvorson. Fundamental techniques for drawing and for basic ground preparation, oil and acrylic painting mediums and direct as well as indirect processes will be taught. We will learn abstract principles that organize composition, depict spatial illusion and describe form while developing a shared language for critiques. After a series of guided prompts students will self-direct their own projects, choosing and creating their own observed subjects as armatures to foster spaces for their own own individual ambitions and perceptions.