Friday, April 4, 2008

Trip Down Memory Lane (and at least one more cliche included)

I was trying to remember my first studio class at CSULB – the basic drawing class. My professor was big into the whole right-brain drawing thing. So, there were lots of exercises in negative space, drawing an object hidden inside a paper bag by using touch, etc. Now and then, I do refer back to negative space when I’m stuck on a particular shape or angle, but it’s really not my way of working.

Then there was a series of exercises involving drapery done with contour lines – black and white charcoal pencil on gray paper. It was tedious at the time, but a neat result. And, I do think I handle drapery pretty well.

I find it a little odd, however, that throughout my formal education (where drawing was concerned), that I had so little experience with materials other than pencil and charcoal. I realized later that other instructors had covered a wider range of materials in the basic class. For me, chalk pastels came into the mix only occasionally, and I never crossed paths with pen and ink until I recently picked them up myself (a recent experiment with pen from the sketchbook).
Now, if this sounds like a complaint, it’s definitely not! As I became familiar with the department and professors, there were plenty of opportunities to get more out of my education. And, I’ve come to understand that the greater responsibility of education actually rests on the one BEING EDUCATED and less on the educator. You could have the best teachers in the world and still get very little out of it if you don’t take charge of your learning (“You can lead a horse to water, but…). I could easily go on about this, but I’ll refrain for now.

Anyway, I know I avoided teachers under whose wing I might have grown the most. With a full load of classes that demanded equal attention, an outside job, and the distraction of a far-to-busy social life, my goal was to just get through it all and move on – that was how I’d gotten through my entire education and had done well enough. I wasn’t particularly interested in challenging myself then.

However, with distance between my college years and the present, it is a very different story. Now, I am quite determined to work through any lack of experience I may have with different media and master it.
This could get ugly - beware of more sickly blue pigs!

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