Professor Patrick Mayton's class completed a "Drawing To Music Assignment," taking the auditory and translating it into the visual. This is a one-day assignment done in a 2.5 hour class period. Each student starts with two pieces of paper that are 18 x 12 inches, charcoal, graphite, pastel, india ink, water, brush, and an eraser; some students also had gel pens. The students listen to instrumental music, either classical, jazz, surf, metal, funk, folk, ska, world music, or bluegrass, but all instrumental. Half of the room tries to focus on making marks that reflect the high notes or the high tones, strings, keys, wood wind parts. Half of the room tries to focus on making marks that reflect the low notes, low tones, bass and drum parts. At the end of each song the students trade their drawing with another student who is doing the opposite notes and tones. We trade four times, ensuring that each drawing is “touched” by four students, two layers of high notes and two layers of low notes. In addition to thinking about notes and tones, the students think about tempo, and how the marks they make are an interpretation of the music they hear.
Please click on the compiled project below to see over thirty representative pieces of music represented through a visual art medium.
Pastry goods are as much a visual art as they are an appetizing indulgence, with possibly none more so than cakes. Consumers are always searching for the latest trend or most extravagant desserts, and they are willing to pay top-dollar for a one-of-a-kind confection that will leave everybody talking for months. Pastry artisans and decorators spend a large amount of precious time and money to learn and master all the skills and techniques available to keep their products as the most sought-after designs. I was always taught that no matter how sensational your dreams of cooking or baking are, you must have a firm foundation of basic techniques in order to produce those masterpieces. Cake decorating at its core needs to start with cake that is baked well (not loose or crumbly, and not rock-hard), and it needs to be level (it’s hard to ice a lumpy or domed cake). Your icing must be smooth and lump free, thin enough to spread without ripping the cake, but also thick enough to actually coat and cover. Your coverage needs to be smooth until almost seamless. A frosted cake shouldn’t look fuzzy unless it is by the request of the consumer or the specific design of the cake. Piping should be uniform and smooth. Any garnishes should be edible and match the color or theme. In this short video I made, I was icing a cherry cake with a smooth buttercream mildly flavored with cherry juice and topped with lightly dried maraschino cherries. It’s a fun recipe that produces a delicious and lovely cake, perfect for saying goodbye to the harsh blueness of winter and heralding in the soft colors of spring.
–Missie DeLoach, Certified Pastry Culinarian