Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jenny Goldsmith's Winter Term Project

For my winter term project I completed five acrylic paintings and focused on teaching myself to paint without a brush. The tools I used to create my paintings ranged from my own hands to a tennis racket to Crayola crayons. My tools came from drawers and boxes in my house and from sales racks at Goodwill. I practiced different techniques with all my objects on acrylic paper and used 6x6x1.5in stretched canvases for my final paintings.

While painting, I tried to stay aware of how I thought of different ways to use the objects and how I learned to get the techniques I wanted. Some of my ideas came from past experience. In high school I took a painting class where we learned to use crayons with watercolors for a wax resist technique. It took some trial and error though before I finally had the right mixture of paint and water so it was watery enough for the wax to repel but still rich enough in color when it hit the blank areas of canvas. It seems I was using trial and error to learn more than anything else but I did learn a couple things by accident. When I started playing around with the tennis racket, I kept trying to put paint onto the strings and then press them onto the paper to create a grid-like pattern, but the paint would dry to quickly and it wouldn’t spread evenly on the strings. When I set the racket down to wipe off the paint, I ended up smearing the paint across the tennis racket and leaving little squares on my paper. In my painting of the pink and purple flower I modified my discovered technique and set the racket on the canvas then sponge painted over the strings to leave textured squares when the racket was lifted off of the canvas.

My favorite painting of the five is “Freak Out” because I based the painting on a photo that I took at the county fair in my hometown and I felt like a little-kid again while working with the crayons. I plan to continue using the techniques I discovered during this project in my future artworks and will also keep exploring new ways of putting paint on canvas.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kristine Kuchta's Winter Term Project

For my Winter Term project, I taught myself how to use 3 statistical packages that are free on the internet. The first was R Commander, a powerful addition to the popular package R. This was my favorite overall, because I was able to easily create boxplots, histograms, and scatterplots of data. Gretl and PSPP are very easy to use, but have less visual outputs. I would suggest PSPP for beginners. To wrap up my month of study, I collected data on the price of single family homes in the Oberlin area. I used a linear regression model to find that one can predict the price of a home in Oberlin from the number of bathrooms and the size of the estate. I really enjoyed my Winter Term because I was able to do something I was interested in!

~Kristine #6