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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Facing questions

I tried to do this without mirrors. We talked about what they knew... what they might have learned about color, drawing, proportion, perspective, depth, value, and humor. They were given scissors, paper, glue and paint. It was meant to be a culmination of the semester of painting class.

Groups of teenagers worked tightly together, generating swatches of color amid sounds of laughter and screeches of delight. Was it all fun and games?

Eyes gaze at me from angular choppy backgrounds. The added text both mystifies and clarifies the personality of the artist. They need more lessons in design! Likeness? Proportional gesture? What am I trying to teach? What is it that the teenage artist needs? They are, to be truthful, trying to satisfy a teacher, glimpse at their true selves, and not lose face. But that won't get us anywhere. It's all a process of seeking, work, and risk taking.

There are 37 portraits in the class. Each of these paintings has had two or three predecessors. Each one shows potential for another transition. The room hovers between chaos and alchemy. There just hasn't been enough time for it. I see my weaknesses.

Todd Poteet, director of the Mill Street Loft, always said- "a painting is never finished, it is just abandoned". Next term I will go slower. Drink less coffee and shed more of the northern pace I arrived with. We wont quit. Maybe we will get somewhere. (ndp)

Here are some of my favorites.

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