I have not done any "real studio work" in about two weeks. Still, I am making a blog post anyway - to show you, dear Reader, a slice of the life of this particular artist when things are not going so well in the studio! *laughs*
A series I began last month has come to a halt, perhaps due to overthinking but also perhaps because I have been clinging too rigidly to an idea with insufficient depth. I've just got to let it rest for a moment.
I've been teaching a lot, and then part of my studio is under construction while my work rests. So I decided to make a "Pattern Book", which requires neither a studio not any long-term, involved processes.
Feels like I'm back in school trying out ideas in a very unsophisticated way. Looks like nothing much, but sometimes these things lead to surprising developments. Meanwhile, the meditative nature of exploring different types of pattern is kind of nice. I can let my thoughts wander over and around many ideas while playing with the simple colours and shapes.
In the teaching realm, I have been doing printmaking workshops with primary school students. Basically I am teaching how to make collagraph plates, and then making relief prints.
The process leads to something like this:
Prototypes for a Grade 3 class studying Peru, made in the useable part of my studio. The collagraph plates shown above measure 5 x 8.5 inches. I make prototypes for every class because I am still learning about printmaking, and the process evolves with each lesson!
It's a bit funny, teaching kids, because there is always an aimed-for end result. In the studio there is also at times an aimed-for end result, but it's much more fluid. Getting sidetracked in the studio can in fact lead to greater productivity, if you want to think of it in those terms. In a 90-minute primary-level art class however, things have got to stay on track.
I try to focus my instruction on techniques while encouraging students to create their own imagery and aesthetic interpretations. Most of them are very creatively independent, while a few will copy my prototypes. Either way, everyone seems to have a lot of fun exploring ideas while learning new skills, with occasional "eureka!" moments in the mix.
And isn't that really the point of education? The point of being alive?
Until next time,