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ART 3PD3 NewDirectnsInPaint/Drawing

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Judy Major-Girardin


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 430

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 27287


Office Hours: Wednesday 12:30 – 1:30 in TSH 430 or Tuesday 5:30 – 6:30 (by appointment with advance email required).

Course Objectives:

This course explores new directions that expand definitions of painting and drawing incorporating digital technologies, installations, urban interventions, sculptural approaches and alternative materials.


  • Exploration/development of artistic concepts through painting and drawing
  • Expand technical skills and consideration of how painting and drawing are defined today
  • Experiment with various formats and media considering environmentally responsible approaches


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:


This class has a studio fee of $50 that will provide you with the following:

Pine framing and birch ply board for building rigid support for Project #1

Gesso (white) for Project #1 or #4

Gesso (black, grey and transparent) for collaborative project #5

Canvas for Independent Project #4

Tarpaper for Collaborative Project #5


You will need to provide other materials for drawing/painting as needed according to what you already have and the direction you plan to take with the projects



Teaching Assistants


Visiting Artists

Life Models

Program Administrators

Student Support Offices

Physical Studio and exhibition space (including utilities)

Specialized equipment (woodshop, presses, kilns, foundry, welding, computers/printers, etc.)

Shared hand tools, brushes, palettes, felting needles for in class work

Studio furniture and props

Access to campus resources (Library, McMaster Museum of Art, Anatomy Lab)



Method of Assessment:



Project #1 Mapping it Out (20%)

Students will visit the Map collection at Mills Library and utilize the on-line map collection to familiarize themselves with a variety of approaches to representation of the landscape through mapping. Artists associated with this project will be introduced in class but students are encouraged to conduct their own independent research related to their particular interests.

Each student will produce an integrated painting/drawing that responds to the area of Hamilton and utilized maps to inform compositional structure, colour, use of abstract symbols, etc.  Mixed media approaches such as photographic transfers, relief or 3D additions and use of alternative materials may be incorporated into this work. We will use a rigid panel to accommodate the greatest variety of approaches.


Project #2 Cut Outs (20%)

Students will create a work using a black ink brush drawing on large-scale paper. The negative space will then be cut away to create a bold linear image. The image may be representational or abstract. Care must be taken in compositional planning to ensure that all sections are connected to preserve structural integrity of the work. A heavy weight paper or durable frosted Mylar is recommended for this project. The drawing may also be produced over an existing large-scale printed image or found image such as commercial poster (provided that the paper is suitable in weight and can take wet media). A rectangular format does not need to remain visible if you prefer a more organic shape. All cutouts will be compiled into one installation at the end of the project.


Project #3 Drawing and Painting on Alternative Support (20%)

Considering the many examples of alternative supports found historically as well as contemporary options available, students will select a support that has not previously been used by them and produce a work compatible with the chosen support’s surface, shape and conceptual associations. Some surfaces may need to be prepared to receive media so please consult with your instructor before beginning work on this project.


Project #4 Independent Work (20%)

Based on individual research, students will produce a work that responds to their personal definition and direction in drawing or painting. This work should be site specific. Although it does not have to be installed in the site, you will need to photograph your intended site and insert a photo of your piece digitally into location.


Project #5 Collaborative Work (10%)

Working in groups of 5 individuals, students will develop a collaborative 3D painting/drawing using tarpaper. This inexpensive versatile surface can be selectively primed with black, grey or white gesso. It can be painted with acrylics (over gesso) and can be directly drawn on with grease pencil, oil pastel or paint markers. The sturdy surface can hold collaged elements and be easily cut and shaped as sculptural components. Each group will receive the same length of material but there are no restrictions on how the piece will be developed. Strive to integrate the unique contributions of each individual in the group, as part of the challenge of this project is to question your assumptions about what materials and imagery are compatible. This work may be a relief wall piece or a freestanding floor piece.


Participation & Course Engagement (10%)

This course involves learning through hands-on engagement and group exchange. Your contributions count. Assessment in this category is based on attendance in class participation in trips (Mills Map Collection) and engagement in workshops. Attendance at all classes is mandatory. Arriving late or unprepared will impact your grade in this category. Two late arrivals or early departures will count as one missed class.





Midterm Grade: Project #1(Mapping it Out) 20% + Project #2 (Cut-Out) 20% due Feb 14, 2016 with midterm grade returned by March 7, 2017.


2nd Assessment: Midterm grade of 40% + Project #3 (Alternative Support) 20% + Project #4 (Independent) 20% + Project #5 (Collaborative) 10% + Participation/Engagement 10% =100%




The following scale of percent equivalences is used for calculating final grades:

A+  = 90-100; A = 85-89; A- = 80-84; B+ = 77-79; B = 73-76; B- = 70-72; C+ = 67-69; C = 63-66; C- = 60-62; D+ = 57-59; D = 53-56; D- = 50-52; F = 0-49


Achievement Levels



A+ = 90–100; A = 85–89; A- = 80–84

Work assessed at the A level consistently exceeds expectations and exhibits the following:

Conceptual rigour

Deep critical engagement

Complex, ambitious and prolific production

Meets deadlines with time for reflection before presentation

Advanced technical proficiency and risk taking

Comprehensively researched responses linked to focused goals, personal interests and artistic vision

Independent and self-directed approaches

Highly professional presentations

Engagement with all aspects of the course (requires promptness and stellar attendance)



B+ = 77–79; B = 73–76; B- = 70–72

Work assessed at the B level consistently meets expectations and exhibits the following:

Good grasp of concepts

Evidence of developing critical skills

Meets deadlines

Technically sound, demonstrating sensitivity to materials and their connection to ideas

Evolving research skills and good understanding of personal goals and interests

Some independence, self-motivation and risk-taking evident

Satisfactory presentation

Engaged with most aspects of the course



C+ = 67–69; C = 63–66; C- = 60–62

Work assessed at the C level fails to meet some expectations and exhibits some or all the following:

Inconsistent grasp of concepts

Little evidence of critical skills

Work is regularly late or presented in an undeveloped state

Struggling with technical skills, and conservative approach to exploration and risk

Requires regular assistance to understand assignments

Unsatisfactory presentation (unprepared, late)

Minimal engagement with course (poor attendance, few contributions evident)



D+ = 57–59; D = 53–56; D- = 50–52

Work assessed at the D level consistently falls short of expectations and exhibits some or all of the following:

Significant struggle with concepts and objectives

No evidence of critical skills

Missed deadlines

Simplistic technical approach with little sensitivity to materials

Arbitrary or no research evidence

Unacceptable presentation (inappropriate or wastes the time of the group)

Unsatisfactory engagement with course



F = 0–49

Work assessed at the F level fails to meet enough of the course requirements to obtain credit. Studio Art is a hands-on learning experience. Students who miss more than 3 classes or 25% of the course risk a failing grade due to the impact of this percentage on their ability to demonstrate abilities during in-class activities.



Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:




Arriving on time and making efficient use of class time is crucial for your success in this course. Late assignments will automatically result in a letter drop in grade (A becomes B). Late assignments will be graded but not discussed outside of critique session deadlines. Assignments that are not received within 1 week of the due date will no longer be accepted and no projects may be submitted beyond the last day of classes.


The success of studio courses is dependent on the active engagement of all participants. Learning is accelerated in a hands-on environment where work and ideas can be discussed as they evolve, and challenges and successes can be shared. Important health and safety information and safe operating procedures are communicated during class time. You must receive this information to work independently in the studio, and you may not operate any equipment or use any process that you have not received safety training for.


Class discussions and critiques empower individuals to take risks in their art practice and learn from each other. It is of utmost importance that all students participate fully by attending all classes and remaining welcoming and open to all points of view. The atmosphere of the studio should be characterized by courtesy and mutual respect. Participating in group critiques is an important part of providing constructive feedback for your peers. Active questioning and differences of opinion, respectfully expressed in a spirit of collaboration and mutual exchange, contribute to a positive and supportive group dynamic. It is your responsibility to contribute positively in this shared space and come to class prepared, on time and ready to contribute to the activities of the day. 

Support Services

The University provides a variety of support services to help students manage their many demands. Reference librarians can provide invaluable research assistance. The Student Accessibility Services Centre (SAS) provides assistance with personal as well as academic matters. MUSC B107 and



Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Individual research for assignments as approproate to needs.

Other Course Information:

Office Hours


Office hours are intended to provide additional assistance and you are welcome to visit often to discuss course projects or seek assistance on difficulties you may be experiencing. It is always better to deal with an issue while there is still time remaining in the term to seek solutions. Office hours are not a replacement class for those opting to miss class time without valid excuse. Office hours will not provide feedback sessions if you miss a critique deadline. It is important that you learn to manage your time. Of course, extenuating circumstances can sometimes occur and requests for accommodation should be discussed with the instructor a.s.a.p.



10        Introduction PowerPoint

            Visit to Mills Map Collection

            Wood for panel construction handed out

HW     Research for Project #1 and support preparation

            (See Mike for supervised use of chop saw and nail gun outside of class hours)


17        In-class support building assistance if needed (chop saw and nail gun available)

            In progress discussion with Judy (bring research and preliminary visuals)

HW     Work on Project #1    


24        Class work period for Project #1 (Mapping it Out)

HW     Gather materials for Project #2 (paper /Mylar & ink for cut-out)


31        Class Work Period for Project #2 (Cut-outs)

HW     Photograph selected site for Independent Project #4 and begin research



7          Boyle Family film

            Assistance with support building for Project #4 if needed

HW     Complete Project #1 and #2 for critique


14        Critique of Project #1 (Mapping it Out) 20% & #2 (Cut-outs) 20%

HW     Gather all materials and begin work on Alternative Support Project #3


21        Reading Week

            Rest, eat well and recharge while you reflect on next projects.


28        Midterm grade based on Project #1 Mapping it Out (20%), Project #2 Cut-out

            Work period for Projects #3 and #4              

HW     Work on Project #3 (Alternative Support) or #4 (Independent Project)



7          Class work period for Project #3 or #4

HW     Work on Project #3 or #4


14        Preliminary progress discussion of Project #3 and #4

            Groups for Collaborative Project selected, materials distributed and direction discussed

HW     Complete Project #3 and #4 and bring to critique a photo of #3 in virtual location 


21        Critique of Independent Project #4 (20%) & Alternative Support Project #3 (20%).



HW     Work on Collaborative Project #5


28        Hamilton Exhibition of selections from Project #1 hung in President’s Corridor

            Collaborative work Period for Project #5

HW     Complete Collaborative Project #5



4          Showcase for Project # 5 in Fitzhenry Atrium (10%)