My teaching philosophy is based on the premise that everyone is different, learns at different rates and expresses their feelings in different ways. That’s why my workshops are individually based in their program structure. I want my students to experience art at a level and pace that they identify with. At the end of my course I expect 11 different results from 11 students. In Cairns I achieved that aim. Maintaining the ‘creative rage’ is challenging at times, but my experience as a senior-secondary teacher has been of enormous benefit, so much so that I enjoy this way of teaching immensely.
My class was composed of ‘beginners’. Most had little of no art experience, a few had undertaken some courses. Most were slightly apprehensive because they didn’t know what to expect from me, but their enthusiasm soon came to the fore and we were off on a 5-day journey of self-discovery!
At the centre of this week-long workshop was each student’s visual diaries. I believe diaries are an integral part of an artist’s life and an excellent learning tool for students. They will inevitably tell you all you need to know about yourself. Powerful stuff, but true! We began and ended each day with a written reflection. Discussion notes, ideas and planning were also added on a daily basis. diaries are so important that in the coming weeks I shall write a post about their role in an artist’s career.
Day 1. at the ARTescape was all about graphite pencils, coloured pencils, imagination and confidence building. Every student started with the same ‘problem’ and as each worked their way through the design and composition challenges they eventually produced and individual piece of work by day’s end. I was very pleased with not only the results, but the attitude and enthusiasm on display.
Day 2. was all about colour. Colour theory, colour mixing and a monochromatic painting followed. Not everyone finished by the end of the day, so I allowed time on day 3. for the task to be completed. Everyone needs to mix a colour wheel, there is great benefit from learning to mix a broad range of colours from the primary colours plus black and white for monochromatic work. A great day it was, and I was impressed with the results, especially the monochromatic paintings.
In my next post I’ll discuss the events of days 3 & 4.