As I ended part one of this course I realised how badly I wanted to ‘succeed’ at this, however we define success. I suppose in the simplest terms it means that at some point in the future I can produce work that accurately reflects what’s going on in my head and in my heart. And getting to that point through the degree pathway is something that so far, I’m enjoying. I like the structure and the challenge.
On the down side I have occasional crisis of confidence. I can see how wonderful it would be as a full-time student in real classes with real teachers rather than scouring youtube for advice on watercolour washes, paper types, how to use oil pastels. It would be a dream to walk into the same work space every day, rather than setting up in the kitchen or on the kids’ table tennis table (though admittedly this is now MINE) or even on the piano (shocking).
As a result I now take two 2-hour art classes a week. One is a very classic, very strict formal training (two hours to draw the contour of a teapot), the other is what the French call ‘Art Plastiques’ which doesn’t seem to translate. The aim is for everyone to take a ‘piece’ of finished work home, consequently we work to a set pattern, it feels a bit ‘colour by numbers’ but at least I am learning some new techniques (currently painting with a knife).
I’ve added a ‘Gallery’ to the learning log, where I’ll put the final exercises from each part. I think this will help remind me where I’ve come from, show my progress and give me motivation when I’m flagging. Looking at it now, I am pleased, there is a huge difference between part one and part two, at times I could have flung my oca folder across the room, but I did stick with it and there they are – in colour and mixed media! (though it seems I have a weird predisposition to red, white and blue – worrying). The only pieces I am really unhappy about and would gladly use as cat litter are the colour pencil exercise of vases and the stupid orange fish in newspaper.
Going through my notes on these past exercises, there are three things that I want to keep front of mind going forward:
- push myself to experiment more
- really try to get to grips with the different media (especially coloured pencils, pastels) and try out different papers
- yet more messing about before committing to the drawing – don’t be frightened to make mistakes
I find this learning log works well for me, better than a paper book, which I know would cause me endless stress. Miraculously the learning log is always there for me, I can’t possibly lose it!