This is a site about VISUAL THINKING, a foundation-level studio art course at Agnes Scott College. Each student in this course creates a process log (or a p-log) chronicling the development of her ideas and creative activity throughout the semester. Follow the individual links at left to see the work and progress in the student’s own words. The posts on this page feature periodic “reviews” that stem from class critiques and highlight excellent and outstanding work reflecting objectives contained within the assignment.

The process log provides a venue for reflecting on and recording work during the process of making it. This virtual venue performs alongside the physical sketchbook and hands-on studio work as a method for developing ideas, working approaches, reflecting on connections and for simply recording effort. The p-log provides me with a tangible means to holistically evaluate hours spent in (and out of) the studio, risks taken, research methods and techniques pursued, links to other artists, as well as the progression and transformation of ideas. Emphasizing the process and progress of the work rather than focusing on a “perfect” final product fosters a practice of healthy reflection and in a students work habits. The writing and visuals provide me with a way to comprehensively evaluate a student’s thinking and work.

For students who go on to major in art, the process log encompasses the important work and ideas that form their creative practice as an undergraduate and can be a helpful resource for juniors and seniors when considering what sort of work to focus on. Aesthetic, material, and subject preferences become clear, based on tangible visible evidence. References to concepts, other artists, and preferred methods of approaches to problem solving can provide specific information to guide choices for study during a student’s capstone year and beyond. I encourage students to include connections they find across disciplines. The p-log has the potential to be especially meaningful when it includes questions or themes that are encountered across disciplines–social, political, historical, philosophical, and religious ideas may more easily be seen in the blog medium, which provides a template for uniquely and efficiently synthesizing visual and written ideas. Ultimately the process log becomes the working draft of the art major’s web presence and launch into the world. It illustrates an in-depth gallery not just of “finished” images, but as a means for showing thinking. Not just as an exhibition of images but as an illustration of how a person approaches and solves problems and communicates her findings.

For non majors, the process log can accomplish the same goals. In some ways art has an advantage in the liberal arts venue because it is by nature an image-based discipline. But making thinking visible is a vital tool for any person interested in a vehicle that can highlight understanding. Through individual choices to link to and reference the wider world, create and insert persuasive images alongside the power of skilled expressive writing, the process log is a powerful tool for making meaning.