All images below reflect the careful and creative work of students in Professor Emily Stokes’ art classes at Northwestern College. Additional examples of student work, plus faculty work, gallery openings, and other aspects of departmental life may be found at the social media pages maintained by the Northwestern College art department faculty.
This 16-week course lays a foundation in the fundamental and perceptual skills of drawing. Students explore such concepts as: gesture, continuous line, organizational line, composition, positive and negative space, planar analysis, value, contrast, chiaroscuro, line variation, perspective, and texture. They also pursue multi-media projects that encourage them to combine styles and materials toward work that is uniquely their own.
In this course, students explore the print techniques of: etching, aquatint, drypoint, aluminum plate lithography, screen-print, relief, and monotype. Given the limitations of time in a 16-week course, the processes covered vary from semester to semester. Using a modest budget, Professor Stokes added screen-printing to the line-up of techniques in 2018.
Etching + Aquatint
In this course, students use oils and acrylics to create both illusory and abstract compositions. Students begin their semesters with observational painting in order to understand the impact of composition, light, texture, value, and color on the act of painting. They also do so to gain facility with materials. Then students take on challenges as varied as creating Cubist- or Surrealist-style paintings to “re-mastering” Old Master paintings or broaching topical issues – or even painting a skull from the local butcher shop.
INTRODUCTION TO STUDIO
In this course designed for non-majors, students explore drawing, printmaking, painting, digital imaging, and sculpture. Projects help to expand students’ creative capacities and build observational acuity. In past classes, students have crafted abstract modular sculptures from paper, used Photoshop to build autobiographical or social just-themed digital collages, made Andy Goldsworthy-style earthworks, constructed selfie-style paintings, carved linocuts, and narrated their lives through comics. Students have also learned relevant vocabulary in color theory and design, and reflected on readings from leading cultural critics, such as art historians James Elkins and Daniel Siedell. The art department faculty determined that 33% of the students taking the department’s major-specific courses – printmaking, photo, ceramics, drawing, painting, graphic design, and sculpture – have been alums of this course.