Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Life as an art student | Day 3 of 20

Since I am a full-time graduate student and I also do everything else full-time (wife, mother, high school teacher), the ideal time for me to get course work squared away is in the summer months when I don't have the demands of the regular school year. My degree track is steering me to earn a Masters of Arts in Teaching with a subject area endorsement in visual arts. Because I am a career changer, I don't have nearly enough visual art/fine art credit hours for my subject area endorsement (most other people probably do) and so I am relegated to having to take specific studio art credit hours that an undergraduate art student looking to go into art education might have already taken already.

It's a LOT of work to be a career changer. Just the same? It's worth it to me and I am hardly bothered with the prospect of being in a Painting I 3-credit hour class. I will readily admit that I am awful at painting but that I desperately want to change that! And for that reason, I am totally jazzed about taking this intensive summer session of painting.

It's the third day of class and we still haven't painted yet.  We started discussion about what it means to think visually and then we watched this really neat TED talk via streamed video about Beau Lotto's work with color and light and what we see when those things interact. I plan on sharing this with my students when the school year rolls around because it really was informative, interesting, and definitely entertaining at times.

We did at least spend  some time at our easels working but not with paint. We did a negative space study that utilized torn paper to create the forms and show the organization of space (and imitate how we would lay paint down on our canvases) and while I know that there were a lot of other students who were frustrated with how challenging this was and also because we are still not yet painting, I really REALLY enjoyed this activity. It's even one that I feel like could be really useful for the students to try out in 2D. I rarely (OK, I never) use still life set ups and I am quickly becoming convinced that I should.

My view and finished work from today!

Yesterday we stretched and gesso-ed our own canvases - something I LOVED and if I instructed the painting classes at my school? I would TOTALLY push my students to do at least once or twice a semester. (So maybe it's good I am not teaching painting because my students might strongly dislike me for that). The first day of class we went over the syllabus and also had an open discussion about paintings (abstract included) and what 'we' as viewers glean from what we see.

I am really enjoying this class so far. If nothing else, it blocks a wonderfully long chunk of time on each day (except Friday) for me to fully devote myself to being a visual artist and strengthening my own technique - this is very MUCH needed! Still, this is much more than just that. I am definitely learning a lot, being challenged, and finding inspiration with what/how I go about my own journey as a visual artist.

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