Sometimes it's the little things that make something worthwhile. In this case, I'm referring to my occassional work with the Shiawassee Arts Council, where I've taught a couple of art classes for children. I'll admit it's not where I imagined myself after graduating college, but it's something for now. The work is simple, the pay is decent, and a few of the kids can make the experience particularly rewarding. But what really made my day was seeing this.
The Argus Press, a local newspaper, published an article about my most recent class. That Saturday, I was taken a bit by surprise when one of the paper's writers, Michael Peterson, showed up before my class started, wanting to talk and sit in during the class. Despite being unexpected, I felt very much at ease with Peterson's comfortable personality. It was a pleasant interview while I waited for my students to arrive. When class started, he sat and listened as I worked with the kids, sometimes taking pictures, and talked to each of them as well.
I was fairly flattered by the attention and afterward was looking somewhat forward to reading the article, expecting it likely to be tucked away somewhere in the middle or back of the paper. After all, it was a small art class, so I wasn't expecting it to be exceptionally newsworthy. So when we got a phone call today from an aunt of mine, saying how surprised she was to see me in the paper, I thought it a bit odd. When I was able to see a copy for myself, I understood when I saw the article featured on the front page. Not only that, but accompanied by a good-sized photograph of myself with my students. I know it's not a huge publication, but it still was still exciting and gratifying. It's nice to know that people take an interest in your work.
Upcoming Conventions and Other Appearances
Monday, April 20, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Of the mediums I work with, pastels I can really get my hands into, quite literally. During my time at college, initially, I was discouraged from touching and blending with my fingers by my pastel professor, but after resisting for so long and seeing my results, she couldn't argue and let me be. But this is what makes pastels so unique from my other drawings, namely sculpting with the colors. If you know me personally, this is rather unusual as I am prone to work very clean and fine. To put it simply, I don't care to get my hands dirty. But despite my nature, I feel compelled to do otherwise with this medium. And I think the only comparison I can make to such a compulsion is the painter J.M.W. Turner.
"...Delacroix is taken aback that [Turner] looks rather like a farmer with unwashed hands. Oh, there's dirt under Turner's nails, all right, but it's likely to be gamboge yellow or Prussian blue, not farm muck. And the worst thing is that he seems to wear his unwashed hands like a badge of professional pride.
"When a young gentleman aspirant artist comes to see him, Turner grabs his lily-white hands and growls 'You're no artist'.
"Turner himself uses his fingers to make his art, keeps a nail deliberately untrimmed so he could wield it like a claw to cut into the paint surface."
-Simon Schama's Power of Art, "Turner"; BBC Video
Certainly I don't get as messy as Turner, and his work was with oil paints, not pastels, but there is a definite, mutual satisfaction in being able to touch and mold the medium on the surface; almost like working with clay, but in a two-dimensional sense. And after all, it's only natural to want to touch, isn't it?