Art Classes and Education

Last Class

It was with a sniff that I walked out of my last painting class this afternoon; it has been such an incredible experience for me. I’ve learned so much in these few short weeks, met some cool people and just generally felt alive, inspired, happy.

Collage Close Up

With most things I’m quite content to be self-taught, making good use of the library and the internet. I’m pretty good at deconstructing things, figuring out how stuff works on my own, so I wasn’t sure that a painting class would be the best (or at least the fastest) way to improve my painting skill versus simply getting out the paints and having at ‘er. But after this class, I’m totally changing my tune. It would’ve taken me years of trial and error, plus many expensive trips to the art supply store to randomly test out materials, to figure out on my own what I’ve learned in this class. Things like using medium or gel, how colors work together, composition…these are all things I might have eventually figured out, but it would’ve been a lot of “This painting doesn’t look quite right, but I don’t know why.” Lame.

I mentioned before that our assignment was to create a painting from the collage we made last class and though I’m still not quite finished, here’s what I’ve got so far:

Collage Thumbnail

Another benefit of the class was getting critique of my homework and this was especially true today as we all had to hang up our work (some or all) so the entire class could see what everyone else had created. It was one of those gut wrenching moments to have my work critiqued by the rest of the class, but obviously a good and necessary experience for me to grow as an artist.

It was fascinating to see how different all of the work was even though we were all using the exact same color palette, had the same instructions and often had the same subject matter. One guy had the most vibrant beautiful greens in all of his paintings and another woman kept returning to purples and yellows. All so unique despite the fact that we all worked from just 8 colors. Amazing!

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