Saturday, November 17, 2007

Week Eleven - November 16, 2007

Week Eleven at the Art Centre.

Monday – C and I worked together this week. He with his lovely corn and nuts and me with my star grabbing angel. We started with gold and graduated to black ink. Although the class goes from 8:50 to 11:30, we each only managed to print two 4-part prints; at least they are two of the three patterns that are required. I’m not crazy about the results of one of mine so if I get on a roll one of these days, I’ll redo it. But time marches on and I really need to get a move on if I’m to get all 15 prints done. We are going to be moving on to screen printing next. Not to mention I’d hoped to get a few things done to sell at the craft show at the end of this month. That’s looking unlikely at the moment. If I went to printmaking studio I might make more headway but it is on the same afternoon as sculpting studio and I keep going there to try to catch up with those two projects.

Tuesday - painting class and I got busy and repainted the background to my two bottles and kept reworking parts of the bottles and the ground cloth until finally there was no time left and I was out of ideas to make it any better. Less paint on me this time. And in the final minutes of the class, we all were asked to turn our paintings outward and the teacher commented on each one. I have to hand it to him; he found something positive to say about each one somehow. E’s was the best of the lot – he did two gourds and an ear of corn. A got high praise for going against the “rules” that is she made up colours instead of trying to capture what things realistically looked like. M’s work was said to be “charming” and she laughed about that. When he came to mine, he criticized me for including the edge of the basket in my composition - I didn't remind him that this was HIS big idea - I had no intention of including it. Also he called me on the shape of the back bottle though there is definitely a distortion when you see that bottle through the other bottle. Haruuumph! Anyway - that one is over and done. And I must remember to gesso another canvas before next Tuesday when we start on the next still life. Oh joy.

Studio Tuesday – I poured my cup and vents for the metal but didn’t try to attach them. M. spent the entire period working on hers only to get frustrated with the process – A. didn’t tell her until the time was nearly up how to do it correctly. I got more carving done on my block – not quite at the polishing stage yet.

Wednesday could have been better. I have been waiting since July for an appointment with the surgeon. After three hours wait he called me into his office to apologize. There wouldn’t be enough time for the needed pre-surgery test so he’d have to have me rebooked. At least he only does these tests on Wednesdays – my day without classes. And I got more meditation journals read (for my Holistic Curriculum course at OISE).

Thursday and Art History class. We were shown a DVD taken from a TV series on great civilizations – this was on the Roman Empire. It was not to do with the art of the period but rather with the personalities that ruled Rome. It was fairly well done for a historical documentary though the series I Claudius from Masterpiece Theatre would have been a lot more fun. Next we were shown the color theory power point again and were asked to use finger paints to create our own colour wheel. Finally we saw a power point on optical illusions. I downloaded the files on the school computer put there for our class. I spent the lunch break reading meditation journals.

Sculpting class in the afternoon started with D’s presentation on Art Deco – he had lots and lots of pictures to show us. Though he thought he had about 20 minute’s worth, he went over a half hour. The teacher gave us a demonstration of applying an insulating mix and fiberglass to the medal with the cup and vents attached to the medal model. We also got to see him working with two others, all in protective gear, handling a brass pouring in the foundry part of the studio. His assistant A. had mercy on me and helped me attach the cup and vents to my medal so I’ll be ready for the setup next week. No time to carve today and I decided not to take the block home as I have a busy weekend with the OISE 100 years birthday celebration and the teaching learning and technology conference at Ryerson University, also the Chi Kung workshop part II on Sunday.

Friday we had a model in figure drawing class. Another male model and this one a slightly younger version of the one we had before. He had long hair in a scraggly ponytail, short beard on a pug-like face and more equipment than our older guy. He seemed very sure of himself and whipped into a variety of odd arrangements for the gesture drawings and fairly traditional poses for the 20 minute and hour long sessions. He looked at a small book on his breaks and I seem to recall him sipping a coffee but I was really more interested in looking at my drawings. I only had one I thought to be successful – one of the twenty minute poses. We are using conte in small pieces holding them sideways to create shapes – no lines and I am finding that much more difficult than previous drawings.

My marks came in the mail this week. Not really earth shattering nor particularly motivating. The teachers give you a number grade then letters (E for excellent, G for good and S for satisfactory) in several categories. They select comments from a supplied list and I got the same comment from all but one teacher who found a different thing to say from the list. We all know that some teachers just give a blanket mark at mid-term. Will be interesting to see what happens at the end of the term. So far in painting, in this week 11, the teacher still does not know our names and who is who when he calls the roll. The art history teacher doesn’t call the roll – but surely he can see that quite a few are missing from his class. Most go to printmaking, sculpting and figure drawing. And there are some who also do an optional figure drawing class on Thursday evenings after being in class all morning and afternoon. I just don’t have the energy for that this term.

With no teaching work in sight for 2008, my goal is to work harder as a student – meanwhile, I’m hanging in consoling myself that I haven’t missed a class or been marked late so far. And I have made tiny improvements now and then. There’s hope for me yet.

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