Friday, March 28, 2008

Art Lessons

Yesterday’s art classes went well. Both were small classes, and I was able to get some one-on-one time with my students and some of my own painting done at the same time. These three watercolors have been done as lessons with my students. They are copies of other people’s work taken out of watercolor books. The Venice scene was taken from the internet – it was an attempt to paint "looser." Two of the biggest struggles for my students and me are to paint loose and to put color down without it becoming muddy. Painting with my students is always helpful, although I have trouble keeping the younger student's attention. These lesson paintings of mine are not usually my best work, because I am not focused so much on my own work, but on the student's work. Plus, I show techniques over and over on the same painting until I paint something to death. I don't want them to paint just like me, but I want them to find their own niche, and I want them to care how their art works out. Just writing that last sentence makes me realize that many of my students never see their art work as "bad or good." They are just happy no matter what. Is that okay? I guess it is good that they just enjoy being here and painting. On the other hand, they never seem to improve because "its all good." Their painting will be a mess, but they are okay with it. Other students get frustrated trying to make a painting look "just right." Then I have to convince them that it is okay for their painting to be unique or different. Keep painting; keep working it out. Art is so subjective. Who am I to judge? And yet, art is judged.


Buck said...

Art is so subjective. Who am I to judge? And yet, art is judged.

I think you're well qualified to judge... you are the teacher, right? And you also have a body of work that demonstrates the successful application/execution of the techniques you're teaching... three excellent examples of which you've posted today. My $0.02.

Bag Blog said...

Thanks Buck. I have a student whom I think might as well give it up. She did a painting that I thought was awful. She had no sense of color, no sense of perspective - the whole painting was a mess - and it won a first place ribbon at a show, because the judges thought it was some sort of modern art. It was a real discouragement to my other students. That one girl was happy - but then she always is. At another show the grand prize in the youth art went to a three year old that happened to slap some color on a canvas.

Dawn said...

I am so bummed I missed yesterday!
Lou, I am so with Buck on the judging thing! I think after reading this post that your the balance for each of us! I'm trusting in your "artful eye"! I depend on you to jump in and say "no dawn, try this" or "yeah that's it, you got it"!
Guide our thinking girl!! I trust ya! ( I got a lot more to say but I'll talk it to your face :)

Becky said...

I'm no teacher. I don't have that gift. Yet, I teach in karate class all the time. One of the hardest things for me to learn was to let my students go. Let them be themselves. I had to acknowledge that the weren't going to be carbon copies of me. I had to let them do the techniques with their own individuality. My main goal as a teacher is to impart to them a love of the martial arts. Encouraging them, without nagging, is essential to this, yet oh so hard to do!

You thought the one student's painting was awful, yet she was pleased with it. In the end, technique aside, isn't your main goal to impart to your students a love of art?

My $0.02

Junk Diva said...

Lou I thought I you were talking about me until you said they won a ribbon.

I believe everyones motives for taking an art class are different, I agree, not everyone really cares about the outcome. I think for some it's the fellowship, and for some it's just relaxing. I just like to be creative in any form, don't know if painting will be a good outlet for me yet or not. I Will let you be the judge. LOL Just kidding I will keep painting even if you tell me I'm bad.

I think I will enter the next art show, sounds like I may have a chance at a grand prize ribbon.

Buck said...

...the whole painting was a mess - and it won a first place ribbon at a show, because the judges thought it was some sort of modern art.

I guess that just re-enforces the ol' cliché... "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I can just imagine how your other students felt. "Discouraged" probably doesn't come close.

Course of Perfection said...

You have my permission to flick my son on the ear if you need to get his attention.

Art is very subjective! For example, some people would simply adore the use of certain colors. Let's While others might not like it so much.

I am thankful for your Art class, not only for the art lesson, but the fellowship. Even with strictly silence & concentration, I like the idea of my son gathered with others who are like-minded. Thank you for your contribution towards all "us artsy people". (also those who attain to artsiness)

Junk Diva said...

Ya thanks, from an attainer.

Jo Castillo said...

I have to think that art judging is such a thing of the moment. Richard McKinley judged our Austin Pastel show last year and he told us that any of the paintings could have won on a different day. He liked different ones at different times when he looked at them. So your students have to trust you to learn the principles and the way paint works and then practice and learn. We can't make a masterpiece every time. Lessons and practice are just that.... A painting that wins one time may not even be picked the next time and vice versa. One judge, one day......Some judge on color, others style, others effort, etc. You just never know...:) It is still nice to win, huh? Ha.