Saturday, June 5, 2010

Beginning Drawing Highlights: Pen + Ink

"The essence of drawing is the line exploring space." - Andy Goldsworthy

Past coupla days I've had teaching on my mind, seeing as how the 10-hour days have been stacking up on top of studio duties. One of the unspoken truths in teaching is basically having to just learn how to deal with constantly being disappointed. Whether it means "not taking stuff so personally" or lowering the bar of high standards and abandoning such high hopes, or worse, getting jaded and indifferent to failure as unfortunately many do, there are a lot of different stopgaps and solutions to wading through sub-par efforts. Maybe the "sensitive artist" stereotype is an even worse situation when recast into an academic setting - I often ponder the relative ease which utter bastards seem to deal heartlessly with the requisite objective assessments and judgments.
True enough, the comparatively low ratio of successes are usually powerful enough to carry the creative torch into tomorrow, but there are times when it seems it's an uphill battle of unending, pointless frustration. I recently went through a couple back-to-back critiques where many students either just simply didn't care enough to try and do even the bare minimum - or really, truly just didn't "get it" (in which case the ball's back in my court). 
And at the tired end of such a long day of defeat it dawns on you - why the hell are you doing this? That always immediately trips the mental breaker-box that also houses all my fuses for creating art, not just the ones for teaching it. And I have to eat my own advise: don't give up, stay with it, it might look like a horrible, undecipherable mess right now, but you haven't spent long enough on it yet. But the one thing you never do is stop: never give up requiring, pushing for and expecting the best. Because you can, and quite often do get it, and it's more than enough to slooowwwly turn around the oil-tanker and miss the rocks again. Like the samples posted here, they are the functional equivalent of little tug-boats that escort you back out into open water. And you get to sit back with no small degree of satisfaction and say to yourself: "Yeah... that's what I'm talkin' about."

"A line is a dot that went for a walk." - Paul Klee 

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