Mom and I recently took an art workshop together at the Harvard Art Museums. It was part of their Materials Lab series in which they examine a single material. This one focused on carbon.
We entered the classroom and there was a large table filled with different kinds of paper, inspiration images, and a variety of carbon-based art tools:
The instructor gathered us together for a brief lecture. Some highlights:
- Carbon is the 15th most common element on Earth and the 4th most common in our universe.
- Carbon can be found in a wide variety of drawing materials, including:
- conte crayon
- charcoal stick
- compressed charcoal
- black chalk
- William Kentridge is an artist who uses carbon based material (charcoal) to create animation. Watch this video about his process, it's fantastic:
After the lecture, we headed into the galleries to take a guided peek at some carbon-based art up close and personal:
This Andy Warhol doesn't use any carbon, but I thought it was fantastic. Same with the Frank Stella piece slightly higher up.
This Jasper Johns sketch was exciting to me because I've seen the 3-D assemblage that is related this sketch. It's at MoMA in New York. Take a peek.
After the galleries, we headed up to the Art Study Center. Let's pause for a moment to talk about how cool the Art Study Center is:
You can request any of the artwork that the Harvard Art Museums owns that is not currently on display. Anybody can make a request. The artwork will be brought to the Art Study Center where you can examine it up close and even take photos of it! Totally amazing resource, right?
We stopped at the sinks outside the Art Study Center to wash our hands and then headed in to take a look at some fabulous examples of carbon being used in art.
After being inspired by some master artists, we headed back to the classroom to try it out for ourselves!
We even worked on creating a communal charcoal animation in the William Kentridge style:
Are you surprised to know that my contribution was the eye?! The instructor promised to post the video online, but I don't think she's gotten around to it. It was a lot of fun to work on the piece. I think I'd like to try creating some fun animations by myself using this method!
Here's what my Mom drew during the workshop:
And here's what I did:
Hope you enjoyed this peek into the workshop! I always enjoy being a student.
Thanks for stopping by!