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Fine Arts

The title of this blog really is the biggest lesson I’ve ended up learning here at Fontbonne this semester. Not that I didn’t know or believe in following my dreams before, that’s one of the reasons I’m here in the first place, but I guess you could say that the lesson has been solidified. One of the best things about all my classmates in the art building is that they have a lot of the same dreams and goals as I do, and it’s an inspiration to say the least. We all want to create art and share it with the world in one way or another. We share our ideas and help each other work through challenges. It’s so easy to get caught up in the social ideas of having to work yourself to death for a big house, luxury car, and mountains of debt from buying things. I’ve met more people being happy with making a modest living doing what they love and appreciating what they have. The secret to that has been that they’re following their dreams and going after what they’re passionate about. Life is short, we only get one shot at it, so do what you love and make some amazing memories along the way.



I love our Fine Arts program. Fontbonne teaches more traditionally than some colleges, which means there is a heavy emphasis on the human figure.  The figure is used in every studio class. Along with understanding human anatomy, there is a strong urge for students to know techniques of old master painters, or at least have an ideal about past painters. Depending on the professor, you might find yourself drawing/painting/sculpting the human figure for 10 weeks of the semester or more.

We do offer classes that stray from the traditional figure, still life and basic technique, too. Bookmaking which is offered every few semesters, is a great substitute drawing class. You learn to produce books, stitch together folios, bind books, etc. You produce about 6-7 books. It is a great class that gives you the opportunity to be creative in a different way.

Any painting/drawing class taught by Tim Liddy will be very open ended and allow for so much out- of-the-box thinking which you may feel, as an undergrad, you don’t get to do in class very often. He is so open to any and every ideal you could think of and he is great at offering suggestions and doing everything he can to help make your ideal happen.

Mario Carlos is a drawing professor who, with more advanced levels of classes, will give you more free reign on certain projects. Victor Wang’s drawing class is another class that does more non-traditional projects but I have never taken this class.

A newly added class that is offered to artists is Woodworking. I was in the first group of students to take the class and you learn basic concepts of woodworking, safety, and how to use common tools. I am in the process of making a splayed leg side table :)

Photography, another great class, is definitely one to allow your creativity to flow. Our photography classes use (usually) 35MM  black and white film. Some people use larger format film, which we do have the equipment for. We have a great dark room too. Photo is a lot of work and can be a little expensive, but it is well worth it for the knowledge, experience, and great shots you get.

As a graphic designer, Illustration Techniques definitely keeps you thinking. We did a lot of projects, focused on the ideal being presented, how to present/express your ideals thoroughly and talk about them. It is interesting because you can feel like you are illustrating something so clearly and when you present the project, people might not get it. That is a very valuable experience to have.It was also a ton of work,but well worth it.



Alumni Posts

Hi All!!

by Alumni Posts on September 11, 2012

in Academics,College Life

Hi all! I am new to the Fontbonne University blogging community so an introduction is only appropriate.

My name is Kelia, pronounced “Kayla.” A lot of people, teachers included, know me as “Kayla,” but freak out when they see my name on paper. So don’t worry if when you read my name on paper you wonder who the heck that person is. It happens to the best of them. Once you get over the weird spelling, I think it means we are friends.

First thing first, I am a senior! This is my last semester of college. Last. Semester. How insane is that?! Unbelievable. Three point five years have never gone so fast in my life. If there were a mantra that should be scribed all over every notebook/agenda/wall of incoming freshman, it’s this: Life goes too fast. Appreciate it, have fun, worry less, smile more. Just because you are a college student does not mean you should adopt the stress level of Obama. This is something I wish I would have tuned in on. Have fun while you can and study when you should.

I am majoring in Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design. I love art. Every type. I love to create. I will probably be writing a lot about this. Expect to see musings about my art classes, which are: Painting with Tim Liddy, Life Size Painting with Victor Wang, Senior Project with Tim Liddy, Digital Imaging with Denise Shilling, and Wood Working with Mark Douglas. If you have no idea who these professors are, go find them and introduce yourself. It’s not everyday you get to hang around actual, real life, thriving Artists. The Art Professors of Fontbonne University are incredibly talented and profoundly caring. They create art, and they sell art. Some of the works are in New York, Europe and Hong Kong. They are kind of a big deal. Shake their hands, ask them questions, be their friend.

The other class: Kitchen Survival: Cook Well, Eat Well, Live Well (the special topics course.) Because of the awesome dedicated semester topic of Foodology, this cooking class was offered and I could not resist. I love food, I love to cook and bake and I love to be healthy. Best class ever. I will most definitely be writing about the creations from this class.

I am from Kentucky. I was born in Ohio as a 3 month early premi. I live in Northern Kentucky when I am not in ST. Louis attending school. My family lives about 7 minutes from Cincinnati Ohio, where I plan on landing a job. Expect to read about me missing my family, friends and my amazing boyfriend of 3 years and 7 months. Hey, long distance relationships suck, so every month counts.

Exercise: I love it! I love to run and have run competitively since 7th grade. I have been playing soccer since the age of 4. In high school I ran cross country and played varsity soccer at the same time all four years. I love the dedication and physical demands you ask of your body as an athlete. I found Fontbonne because I was recruited by a past cross country coach and fell in love with the school, the program and the area. I ran Cross Country and Track for 2 solid years, switched to soccer last year, and this year I am doin’ my own thing. I like to lift weights, I like to run, I like to sweat.

I am really excited to share my experiences as a last semester college Senior with everyone! Thanks for reading,



I have been taking Victor Wang’s Oil Painting Techniques class this semester. In the class we go through the painting methods of three master painters;  Jan Van Eyck, Titian, and Peter Paul Rubens. These three painters exemplify the three central methods of traditional oil painting.

Since I have been learning about traditional painting methods, I have been wondering what it was like for a painter back then. They painted when an artist couldn’t go to the store and browse through a shelf full of synthetic oil paints, nicely pre-packaged in little tubes for convenience. This led me to the question, “Where DID they get their paints?”

So, I have begun to research how to make paints. I started by purchasing pigments, which are colored powders that are mixed with oil to make paint. Still, this seemed too commercial. I wanted to know what it is really like to make paint from start to finish. I begun with the easiest pigments to make, which are earth tones. I searched out colored earth of different colors, looking for reds and yellows. I found two that I really like in Des Peres. One is yellow rock, and the other is a reddish colored dirt. I brought them back to my studio, and began grinding…and grinding…and grinding. Grinding it down until I had a powder fine enough to go through a metal coffee filter. The next step is to mix the pigment with linseed oil, and then grind it together. This step takes about 3 hours of grinding for a small tube of paint. Then, when the pigment is ground into the oil, I put the paste into tubes, and voila! Oil paint!

I thought that this project would just be about how it felt for the masters to make their own paint from raw materials, but now I’ve started using them and I can really tell the difference! My own paints don’t have fillers or preservatives, they are pure pigment and oil. I’m hooked.

The amount of time and energy that goes into making paint probably makes buying it end up being a little bit cheaper. However, it is not nearly as rewarding. Now I have started working on a bluish-green pigment made by suspending copper over vinegar(the masters used urine instead, but I thought I would spare my classmates from the smell). The result is a teal rust that I can’t wait to make paint out of.

I plan to slowly replace all of the paints on my palette, one color at a time.


Visiting Artists

by Alumni Posts April 19, 2012

Every few months the art department invites a visiting artist to come and do a critique with the graduate students. Most of them are professors from nearby schools, but sometimes they are more prominent painters. For the last two days we have been spending time with Jerome Witkin. He is a phenomenal painter with works […]

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Why Art?

by Lizzie February 16, 2012

Would you like to know my major? Well, tell me what you think! I am a Fine Arts Major, and I’m also planning on doing Education as well. I’ve been drawing ever since I was about 5 or 6 years old. Boring, right? Not quite. As the years came by, I began to open myself […]

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My Valentine’s Day!

by Alumni Posts February 16, 2012

There are a lot of mixed emotions about Valentine’s Day. I, personally, think Valentine’s Day is wonderful! My wife and I have been married for 3 and a half years. Even though we love each other every other day, it is always fun to celebrate our love for each other. This year we made a […]

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This is my esteemed professor, Victor. Ah… I mean, Mr. Wang.

by Alumni Posts February 8, 2012

After my senior year of high school, I was a little lost on where I wanted to go for college. I knew that I wanted to study art but I hadn’t found a place that felt right. My high school art teacher recommended me for a summer art camp hosted at Fontbonne University. I hadn’t […]

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Life in the Studio!

by Alumni Posts January 31, 2012

Hello everyone! My name is Doug Weaver and this is my first blog post at Fontbonne. This is my second semester at Fontbonne as a graduate student in painting and drawing. I live in an apartment in North County with my beautiful wife. As I write this, I am sitting in my new studio space […]

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What do you do when you don’t have any rubber bands?

by Alumni Posts March 12, 2010

Fortinbras is a go.  We had our first stumble through, and nothing drastic happened.  The performing arts department is producing a hilarious play about the truth of what really happened after Hamlet died.  It’s being directed by Deanna Jent.  She is the director of Fontbonne Theatre as well as the artistic director of our professional company, Mustard […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.