"Each one of us, in his timidity, has a limit beyond which he is outraged. It is inevitable that he, who by concentrated application has extended this limit for himself, should arouse the resentment of those who have accepted conventions which, since accepted by all, require no initiative of application. And this resentment generally takes the form of meaningless laughter or of criticism, if not persecution." - Man Ray
After the review of our second assignment, the last half of this morning's classtime was spent on my patented "art department studio studies" remix exercise. This entails the students spreading throughout the mostly empty building, selecting a medium such as painting, metalsmithing, ceramics etc. which also turns into an informal "tour" of the department and the range of other classes we offer. They then had approximately one hour in which to do one finished drawing on 18x24" good paper using charcoal (after approval of a thumbnailed rough with graphite on newsprint) that samples views and elements of that particular medium and come up with a composition symbolizing or encapsulating that respective artform. It's a sort of dry-run quiz on successfully incorporating everything we've been talking about, thinking and experimenting with so far this semester, shooting from the hip and putting all the theory into practice. That means fore/mid/background elements, overlapping objects, full range of value, linear perspective and so on. And also it was the bridge between faithful reproduction of what reality offers versus referencing aspects and rearranging the elements into a new representation of content. Like sorta making it up, but not really - life just isn't gonna give you as an artist all that much to work with as it is, there's bound to be some issuing of creative licenses in interpretation now.
In theory, after Tuesday's experience cranking out a pile landscape gestures and also following from the previous week's compositional drills, students should be primed to produce, lots, and quickly. Being able to aesthetically assess any creative situation and draw from the information and skills accumulated to this point in this class was the goal.
"I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have." - Leonardo da Vinci
And I vented a wee bit after reviewing their collective efforts afterwards, a minor dressing down in which I bluntly expressed dissatisfaction with some of the pieces. In contrast and comparison it was a pretty flaccid effort, and I was frustrated and impatient. But hey, it's only 'cause I care.
Point of fact I counseled a few to give serious thought to maybe dropping the class, as if they think they're tired at that hour, it's actually nothing compared to how tired their teacher is - mainly looking at slack-jawed glazed expressions that would be more at home in a Romero flick. Like not slowing down for a speed bump, it's not really worth the effort to even bother getting seriously bent out of shape nor definitely take it personal. But hey, I can afford to casually toss off the statistical chances of failure based on student's performance by now. Cue ominous music.
I also said that by now all the requisite elements in creating a drawing have essentially been covered and demonstrated. There's only just a few more aspects, concepts, new mediums and techniques that I'm going to introduce, but from here on out it's expectations that'll be rising, and focus will shift onto producing quality work in a timely fashion. And the few that lingered after class worried whether or not they should drop, well, by default, since they were there, they're not the folks who should be concerned. Sending 'em all home with a minor rant might (might) light a fire under their homework over the weekend.
"No one so thoroughly appreciates the value of constructive criticism as the one who's giving it." - Hal Chadwick