Monday, May 28, 2012

Studio Visit: Stephen Lepp, Architect

Stephen Lepp is a special kind of artist, he is an architect. He designs buildings, schools, libraries, hotels, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, vacation homes. 

Mr. Lepp listens carefully as a client describes the kind of building he needs. Then he designs the form of the building: wide, tall, straight, twisting. He selects the materials to build the building: brick, glass, steel, concrete. He designs the entrance and the lobby. He designs the landscape that will surround the building. His team of skilled draftsmen draw the "working" plans that tell the construction teams how to build the building. 

Here are some selected projects of Stephen Lepp Associates, Architects.

This is a vacation house that Steve Lepp designed. It was built in North Haven, Long Island, New York.

This is a photograph of the interior, taken from the second floor.

This is a photograph of the walkway from the house to the pool area.

Here are three sides of the Queens College Student Center, designed by Steve Lepp.

Project: A Model of Your House

Some architects like to build paper models of their designs for buildings. Try to build a paper model of the building where you live. These are the materials you will need:

Construction paper
A point-and-shoot camera
Elmer's glue
Scotch tape

With an adult:
You are going to construct a paper model, a simple box shape, of the building where you live. You will glue photographs of your building to the outside. You will build the box out of construction paper.  Here's how to do it:

On a sheet of construction paper,  draw five rectangles 4"x 4." You will have a center square and one square on each side of the center square. It will look like a big cross shape. (These will be the floor and sides of your building.) 

Photograph the front of your building, and the sides and back of your building. (If you can only photograph the front of your building, don't worry. You can leave the sides and back blank.) Download the photos to your computer and print them. (Keep the image size 4"x4.")

Cut around the outside edge of the big cross shape, the box, you drew on the construction paper. Make a crease around the middle square (Use a paper clip to press the crease and a small ruler.)

Trim the photos to 4"x4" the same size as the squares. Remember, the middle square is the bottom of the box. Fold the sides of the big cross up so you have the walls of the box. They will form the front, sides, and back of the building.  Scotch tape the corners together so the model stands.

Place the photo of the front of the building in the front of the box. (Make sure the bottom is on the bottom.) Put drops of glue in the corners and glue it on the model. If you have photos of the back and sides of your building, glue them on.

There. Now you have a small model of the building where you live. Do you want to do the inside???

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Studio Project: Color with Josef Albers

 Josef Albers was one of the greatest artists and teachers of the 20th Century. He taught a color course at Yale University's School of Art. His students learned that color appears to change depending on the colors that surround it.

This is an Albers painting: Albers combined four reds: a bright one, a deeper one, an even deeper one, and the deepest one. Notice that the reds seem to curl up. Albers did not mix his colors. He used colors directly from paint tubes.

Albers said that if different people chose what they think of as "red" each person would choose a slightly different red. There are many different reds. Here are some studies from a student in the Albers color course.

"Red Saturation"

"Yellow Saturation"

"Green Saturation"

"Blue Saturation"

"Transparency study"

By placing blues that are a little lighter in the center, they seem transparent and appear to float above the deeper blues. 

"Figure-ground study"

Which color is the background color?

Here is a project for you. Look for some reds in magazine photos. Cut the  reds out and create a collage by putting lots of reds together.  Paste them down with tiny dabs of glue. Look at all the reds. and choose which one you think is the "real red?" Ask other people to pick their "red." Same one? Different?

Studio Project: Sculpture with Picasso

One day, Picasso (one of the most famous artists ever), was drawing in his studio. He noticed his guitar on the table and began to make some drawings of it. Then, picking up some loose scraps of cardboard and paper, he decided to put them together to make a playful paper sculpture.

Can you find some scraps of cardboard, maybe part of a cardboard box, some towel tubes, some string, and put together a "guitar?" Use some Elmer's glue to join the pieces, but wait until they are completely dry (a few hours) before you try to lift your sculpture.

Studio Project: Paint with Jackson Pollock

Drip! Splash! Dribble! Splatter! But this painting project makes no mess. Terrific, yes? You can use your iPad computer to blast color across the page. A light touch gives you a fine line. A pause gives you a big splotch.  Each time you lift the cursor the color changes.  In minutes you can create wonderful networks of Jackson Polllock-like paintings. Go for it!

Here is the link to the web site: You can paint wonderful little splash and drip paintings just by moving your "mouse." 

You can save your painting as a screen shot. Press command shift 3. You'll hear the camera click. Save it to your desktop.