Saturday, May 07, 2022

Last Day of School

 Today was the last day of the six week class I have been teaching for the JSAC.  It's beginning drawing, a class I have taught plenty of times before in different places, including the same building I was in today.   The big difference was that it's now 6 weeks instead of 4 weeks, or the random drop-in thing we tried a few years ago.

Not a great day today.  We had a big storm arrive yesterday, as expected, and it continued to be around all day.  I had loaded my large art bag yesterday before the rain arrived, so I didn't have much to move in the rain today, and even then I was leaving during a lull in the weather.  Still, I wanted to leave on time, as I have driven through Belmar (can't completely avoid it going to Ocean Grove unless I want to take a really huge detour) and I know from experience that the town can seriously flood during big storms.  I figured I better leave time in case I had to detour a few times on the way up.  Luckily, not much rain was falling then, so I got through to the building okay.  Was there by 9:00 am, an hour before my class.   No one was there, which didn't surprise me, as I knew there was a big event there last night.  So not for the first time, I had to unlock the gate, open the doors, and turn off the alarm, before I went in to carry my props, open my classroom and get ready for class.  I knew I'd be missing one student, who emailed me that she was going to miss class, as she was on her way out of town for Mother's Day.

Today's plan was more with charcoal, this time mixing black and white, so I had brought suitable props from home. What I hadn't counted on was that the room was not cleaned up at all from the night before, so I had to spend a bit of time moving stuff off the tables and to the counter.  The square table I use to hold my still life was missing from the room, but luckily I found it in the main hallway, where it had been used the night before.  Now that our art was down, that hallway held some large paintings.  The paintings weren't the worst I'd ever seen, but there were issues with perspective, especially in the painting of cars.  The tires were very poor.   In an abstract piece this would not be a problem, but these were realistically painted solid objects, so I noticed.  It's something we had worked on in my current drawing class, so I had to notice.

Only two people showed up for class, which I blamed on the weather.  I set up the still life, the students arrived, and we started the drawings.  They had definitely improved in handling still life, seeing the objects, seeing how they lined up in the piece, using what was there in the set up to measure things. So some lessons had taken hold. Sometimes the best way to explain is to show examples, so I showed them actual charcoal and ink drawings I had done, and even did a sketch in charcoal of a object in the still life, so they could see an example of how an artist could draw an object in charcoal.  They were very impressed, but I did point out that I had been using the stuff for more than 30 years, and that experience does pay off.  Since they were there, I did promote the next drawing class, which picks up where this one ended, so if they liked what they learned, and wanted to continue, this new one is an opportunity to do so. What will happen remains to be seen, in about a month from now.


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