Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wrap Up - Year One: June 18, 2008

Art Centre – Wrap-Up Blog for Year One

Last week was the last week we had class and then only two days where we could work on whatever projects we wanted to.

There was an interview with the drawing fundamentals teacher to review what projects we had in that class since the midterm. This week we had a final exam in printmaking and a presentation of the semester’s work in ceramics.

The blog will not have any regular activity until the fall term and I begin Year 2 of Art School. I might be posting for special occasions like the Nathan Phillips Outdoor Art Exhibit in July. and for any projects I complete at home over the summer months.

For now, the first six week online course, Holistic Approaches to Information Technology, that I teach at OISE/UT is over and I am receiving final projects and papers to review and mark. At the same time I am preparing for the summer session of the course to begin July 2.

Roundup of projects not previously illustrated:

Printmaking - t-shirt details

Design Projects


design principles

Design Books on Colour

Black Book

Red Book

My Turquoise Book had three parts

Brown Book

My friend and classmate M. created a very special (brown) book in design class that featured our class. She had a picture of each one of us (many are from my collection) beside a picture of one of our art projects. She asked each of us to say a word about how the year went for us and what we thought of our future. Here’s what I contributed:

1. My experience Year 1, Group 2, CTS Art Centre 2007-8

As a girl I dreamed of being an artist when I grew up as I drew and painted. I studied the performing arts instead and worked in theatre and TV eventually embracing the creativity of teaching. On retiring from being a full time professor, I got my "second wind" and came to study art for more than an occasional course and dabbling. Being able to get the grounding in studio work and classical approaches to the various media is giving me daily discipline to carry out a wide range of creative projects. I now have the guidance, support and feedback of respected artist/teachers and peers.

2. I plan to continue on with the three-year program, keeping my weekly blog to chronicle progress. Second year will give me deeper experiences and additional areas to explore. In my final year I plan to focus on mixed media and by the end of my studies at the Art Centre to have a portfolio that reflects my best work as an artist. I cherish the friendships that are growing within this artist community and believe that we will continue to enjoy and support each other in the years to come.

Ceramics: Semester final work presentation by Selia Karsten

The origin of imagery for the final piece of work, a canister, came from thinking about axis mundi and the tree of life and of those myths and legends that come from the various cultures regarding the creative life force.

I was inspired by the vision of Demeter (or Dimitra as she is known in Greek mythology) and the story of this earth goddess whose daughter Persephone was abducted by the King of Hell. As Dimitra searched for her, all vegetation shriveled and died. Persephone while in hell, was tempted to eat 6 small pomegranate seeds and when finally she was returned to her mother, it was only for six months of the year - explaining why there are seasons when the earth is growing, full of life and fruitful.

I began my piece with the face of the earth goddess, the moon and stars, the plants and flowers caught in her hair, the roots going down from her throat. This became the lid for a canister entwined with leaves and a variety of flowers, the vines twisting to become the handle for the lid.

I first became familiar with working in clay making a small pinch pot, inspired by the idea of "solitude". I went next to the coil method and a larger version of this first piece but it was only a crude copy enhanced by the broken blue glass in the glaze. The slab piece I built as an architectural self-portrait was a satisfying design, even when, in the glazing process parts were broken. The next piece informed by the cochlea of the inner ear featured a shell shape but in the end turned out to be fairly crude and unsatisfying.

The most satisfying part of sculpting with clay came with my final piece as I shaped the face, leaves and flowers that adorned the canister. I believe future pieces will tend to be practical as well as ornamental and I will likely be happiest with ceramics when I can add decorative shapes and work with coloured slips as I did with the Goddess canister.

NOTE: This canister has not been bisque fired yet – and will be completed in the fall when we return to classes. Below are images of the other projects from Ceramics class.

The pinch bowl and coil bowl were posted in a previous blog.

When stars collide (two views)


And that does it for now – it’s been a productive year and I’ve learned a lot.

I have my art supplies organized and several projects lined up to work on over the summer. Stay tuned! Selia

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