Friday, March 5, 2010

Yesterday's Cookies

Professor Art teaches at a community college. He has been there 18 years. He likes it. The students are always new and generally unskilled. Again and again he hears “I can’t draw” or worse “I want to take an art class but I cannot draw a straight line.” He says “That’s why you take a class, to learn how;
that’s my job and we do not draw straight lines. I will give you the time to develop skills and encouragement to play with them. My classes teach self discovery and either you participate not. Of course you can do it your own, but you won’t. By mid-semester you should see improvement as long as you work.” He does not have a standard other than Do It With Feeling. “People are so worried about doing it wrong”. He says, “when making a work be forceful, be yourself…Art’s a big lie and people will believe you if it is a good one." He enjoys community college because the students are always new and always the same. He is not concerned with the “artistic ego.“You do it my way in my class and you will learn something and after you leave you can do anything you want, but you will have learned something from which to react...” He hates Art Sandbox that’s how he was  taught.
AND he really hates text books on how to Draw or Design or Paint. Reading about do it does not work. Reading about driving a car is not driving. Why go to class? The Artist/Teacher must explain and demonstrate how it’s done. It gives you place  to concentrate and communicate with peers. “What about those “art workshops? You go and learn someone’s technique and then ? "I remember a student you was doing OK. who took a work shop and came back with some very nice looking pictures and then reverted to their old ways.” How do you use what you were shown in your own work and make it your own? Every teacher wonders how to transfer knowledge learned in one class to another. “What are the complementary colors? How should you use them."
Here's a picture he made a few years another time and space. In answer to a jesting, derogatory question   "what do you paint? Kittems with Yarn?" The very worst  subject with no redeeming value. Seemed a good theme good to him.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe I´m too used to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and strange vegas and gorges and islands of your recent art work....In favor of this one I have to mention that at least you didn´t paint a duck :)
    Community College students can be a dream or a nightmare....fortunately we all wake up at the end of the semester. And some become good friends.