Monday, September 30, 2019

It Never Ends

On Friday I ended up working with a bunch of students, and only some of it took place in a classroom. A lot of former students made their presence known.

The day began with Intro classes at my university, drawing with charcoal.  Most had little or no experience, but some found it quite interesting.  (I'm a charcoal fan myself, so I am not surprised.)  But before that first class started, I had a visit from Tino.  A student I first had for 3D, but I saw him struggling with a woodcut for his print class and gave him some advice.  This led him to ask me to teach him woodcut as an independent study, and he made woodcut a big part of his senior BFA show. That was over a year ago, but he often still hangs around, to enjoy access to the faculty and our knowledge (he respects us) and to use the workspace in the classrooms.  On this day he wasn't showing me any new work, but said he was on campus to do some research.  As an artist I know this can be an important part of making art, so after the rest of our discussion had concluded, I let him go and got on to the business of my current classes.  Those went as expected, and eventually I packed up and left.  But the teaching had just begun.

The day before I had been in an e-mail exchange with another former student, Sue, from one of my Belmar classes.  She's at point where she needs paper and was unsatisfied with anything at the store where she usually shops. Remembered liking the paper I had for the class and wanted to know what it was and where it could be found.  Gave her the name, some possible sources, and the material/size/weight in case she couldn't find the exact one but wanted to look for something similar.  Armed with this, she called the store and told them what she was seeking, and was told the a large shipment had just come in and was on sale, so she offered to pick me up some.  I sent her a reply agreeing to this, then got to bed to get ready for my long day of classes.  The mail I got from her on Friday had a different outcome.  She had taken the long ride up to North Jersey, but her phone contact was not there, there was none of the promised paper, no one present knew anything about a shipment, or anything about paper for that matter. I felt more disappointed for her than for me, but let her know she may have just gotten a valuable lesson-  art supply stores are getting worse and most of the store staff will know less than she does.

But I wasn't done yet.  Also got a series of e-mails from Nellie on Friday night.  She had been in my August woodcut class and completed some blocks and printed them on our last day.  (everyone always does) She had come to my Belmar opening and shown me the drawing for a new piece in progress, so I later sent her an e-mail with some thoughts on that.  Early on Friday she mentioned having acquired materials, but was hoping I could have her come to the Studio on Saturday to supervise her printing.  I sent her a reply that I couldn't commit to a time.  Late that night I got another e-mail from her telling me she did it herself- no reason she couldn't; we covered all this as part of the class.  Attached a photo of her new print, and it looked like she learned the lesson well.

Got another e-mail from her last night, questions about tool sharpening.  Like I said, it never ends.


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