Assignment 6: Final Painting Assignment (Thematic and Contemporary Painting)

 Assignment Summary: 

Complete 1 or 2 paintings that are a minimum 20 x16 inches with 3 small studies that emphasize concepts demonstrating the language of painting. This final assignment should represent a culmination of formal and conceptual ideas (layers of meaning) based from this Painting course and should be developed in relation to your own innovative and personal expression. 


Formal Objectives:

The work should demonstrate a variety of formal concerns in the picture plane such as the use of colour, shapes, figure-ground relationships, scale shifts, composition and mark making (gesture) using paint of choice. Once again, editing processes will also be very important. You have the option of developing a bit of collaged materials into the painting provided the above objectives and the points below are followed. 

Thematic Objectives:
This assignment will place emphasis on emerging artists to personally develop painting (as noun and verb) and to thoroughly investigate painting materials in relation to contemporary ideas. Generally speaking contemporary ideas should have layers of meaning.


Options for thematic content could include having your your painting allude to a cultural critique addressing an issue or a combination of issues such as: economic class, power, gender, sexuality, or race.  General issues such as Capitalism, Colonialism and/or Climate Change could become part of more personalized themes when considering the conceptual layering in the work. These are just options,  there could be other ideas/issues for thematic content that could be used that are not listed here. 




Synthesis of Formal with Conceptual:

The work should have an overall synthesis of formal and conceptual (thematic) ideas. How does the visual language support the thematic layers in the work?

Expand innovative and personal concept building through various preliminary painting processes, and consider formal elements of line, shape, figure-ground relationships, edges, space, colour, and composition as part of the layers of meaning in the work.


Like in the thematic self-portrait assignment some options could include using autobiography, dream, confession, fantasy, or other means personal thematic content in a new way, or to evoke the variety of selves in our imagination. Once again like in the thematic self-portrait explores the possibilities available to the contemporary artist and their own persona.

Having materials available for small preliminary works will be required and aid in the success of your final painting assignment. Prepare yourself with a large variety of potential images/icons and materials to work with, and mentally prepare for reworking, re-editing, taking risks, researching, applying criticism and generally experimenting with conviction. 

Periodically students should have consultations with instructor through out the process of the project to ensure that enough work is done and the objective of the final assignment is met. As well there should be an in class dialogue with class peers regarding work.
(As usual positive in class participation is expected).

Options to Consider for Final Assignment:
Some of the assignments listed below (Options 1-6) relate to painting materials that are more traditional. Some assignments will emphasize formal aesthetics more than others. While other assignments may appear to encompass a greater emphasis towards concept and or expanding definitions/ideas of what a painting can be in terms of contemporary art. Any choice is acceptable as long as you consider the objective (as listed above) in relation to what you choose.

The following assignments are suggestions meant to serve as a guide. This list is not inclusive. For your final project you may wish to work on one assignment or combination of various assignment options listed below (Options 1-6). Or you could choose an option not listed, but just discuss assignment proposal with instructor.

Options 1-6 (6 Options for Final Assignment):

1) Make a painting or a series of paintings with something 3D.
Work may also include the use of non-traditional surface(s)/materials for applications of painting materials. For example: metal, wood, fabric, resin, glass, and collaged newspapers and stretcher frames that are constructed in an unusual shape. Combining some other materials such as acrylic paint, watercolour, wax, silicon, plaster, or powders may be explored. (Remember to think of art materials and health hazard issues with some materials). 


Work can also periodically include the interaction of the original colour of a selected material with other coloured surface(s)/materials or the occasional coloured object may be placed on a coloured surface. 20% of time should be spent on 3D component and 80% should be spent on the application of painting.

2) Emphasizing painting, develop a work in relation to one or more technologies: film, video, digital imaging (computers), cyber space, sound, photography, slides, photocopying, and printmaking.

3) Painting that is process based, time-based, kinetic, or performance based.

4) Expand definition of painting in relation to experimental and innovative contemporary art practices.

5) You may have part of your painting allude to a cultural critique addressing an issue or a combination of issues such as: economic class, power, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity. 

6) Through a painting process with a (socially distanced) model develop innovative and personal concepts in relation to pictorial space, and consider formal decisions in relation to the layers of meaning in work.


Evaluation Criteria  of Assignment

Formal Content and Experimental Formal Content 60%

Thematic Content (Contemporary Ideas) 30%

Connecting Formal and Thematic Content 10%

Student Work Examples of Thematic Paintings and Drawings:

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