Friday, May 8, 2009

Semester's Over and it's time to Blog again.

I'm sorry for not updating this blog as often as I should have. I certainly had the time to create art, but I did not have the time to update, organize, and think of entrys this semester.

This semester was especially difficult for me. I had two classes in an artistic subject that I am a total novice in. Being a total novice in these subjects meant I had to really struggle to make work that was actually worth looking at.

First, there was art 108. Art 108 is BSU's introductory 3D art course (3D as in sculpture, not CGI) and it's a requirement for all art majors. We had a project due every 3 weeks. That's not much, but coupled with other requirements of my schedule it became hectic. I will say that it was interesting that the grade on these projects got gradually better, from C to A. The toughest part about this class, though, was the journal. We were supposed to keep an art journal using a sketchbook. When I think sketch book, I think sketches. So, I made sketches, and apparently we were supposed to make these things 3D. Which means like pop up shit, stuff glued on to it, etc. But it wasn't supposed be a scrapbook. So I was really confused as to what actually to do. The instruction in regards to the journal was piss poor considering it was 25% of our grade.

Second, there was art 231. Art 231 is introductory sculpture. You can only take it if you're currently taking or have taken Art 108. Art classes are extremely difficult to get at BSU, so when given the option, I had to take it, despite the fact that I should have probably gotten through Art 108 first. Art 231 was an intense course, because from day 1 it required you to be in the studio for hours and hours after the class was over. However, not a single student did this. So the first project accounted for the first half of the semester.

The first project was to create a relief sculpture. We modeled the relief on a 12"x12"x1" block of clay, then made a plaster mold, then we casted cement in to that mold, and then put a treatment on the surface. The plaster mold and the cement cast were amazingly difficult for me. As an artist, hell, as a person, I never get things right the first time. I always fuck up and gradually become more confident and capable. I haven't ever been in that situation where things just "come to me." Especially when it comes to the "craft" of art. So I fucked up both the plaster mold and the cement cast. The plaster kicked too soon and I didn't have time to properly put on the mold release on the clay. As a result the bubbles from the mold release formed in the mold and gave it a kind of texture that ruined the detail. Then, when I made the cement mix, I thought it was too wet, so I drained alot of the water from the mold. This made the cement crumbly and sandy and unfortunately led to someone breaking it accidentally.

For the longest time this was our only grade, and it was a C. Personally, I think the teacher gave me a break giving me a C on it. Then there was the self portrait and that was an intensely long process of modelling in clay, making a mold, and casting that mold with paper mache. Each sectoin felt like a project unto itself. The only thing I didn't have trouble with was modelling in clay. However, I fucked up on the mold and the paper mache. The mold was made way way way too thick. Most people had like an inch of thickness at most, I made mine 4 inches thick. Breaking it off once I finished paper macheing it took two days of careful chipping. The paper macheing it self was a nightmare. The first layer had to be done really slowly to get all the detail. I took around 7 hours to get that first layer down and I still didn't do it right. There were wrinkles and a lot of detail was lost. Though, there was enough of a ressemblance ot warrant an A. What saved me on this project was my experience dealing with the figure. I've drawn the face so much that even though I'm not perfect at it yet, I have a good idea of how to deal with it three dimensionally.

Right after this we had to make a wire sculpture with a surface treatment. The wire sculpture had to defy gravity, and we had to make it using wire brazing which is essentially a kind of welding. The toughest part of this was dealing with fire. I was a moron and made my sculpture too big, and this prevented me from dunking it in water. I could spray it, but I couldn't really douse it. This meant it was freaking hot to touch all of the time. So I just rushed through it because it hurt to work on. This was another C project.

Finally, we had to take our self portrait and add something to it to convey a new meaning and trascend the idea of traditional sculpture. I chose to take my head and turn it in to a 3D version of "Tribal Demon" a painting of mine. This actually turned out to be the only fun project because every aspect was something I had experience in by this point. However, it required more attention because I used EVERY single project in this one project.

All in all, the sculpture course was incredibly intense, and I had to stay in the class for hours afterwards just to keep up. On more than one occasion I was the last one there. I found out later that the other sculpture teacher was much less intense with his students, especially on the final project. My sculpture teacher was a visiting professor by the name of Holly Streekstra. She was very competent and certainly understood her project, but she is young. I'm guessing late 20s early 30s. Well, she looked late 20s early 30s. Seriously, one of the most attractive teachers I've had, but that's really an irrelevant comment, so I'll just leave it at that. Anyway, I think that youth is partially the reason for her intensity. One thing I didn't like about her, was the fact that I seemed to get the impression that my inability to do something translated in her mind to an inability to comprehend what she was saying. I'm used to people thinking I'm stupid, and I've learned that it's best not to confront them on it. It's best to just prove them wrong. But with art, I rarely, if ever, accomplish this. I guess that's what it means to have no talent. I've had this experience with many art teachers. I really can't get better at art just by being told what to do. I mean, being told informs my actions, but I still make mistakes. It's not for lack of comprehension either, which is what makes it frustrating. I understand what I need to do, I just don't know how to do it. It's like if you were in a karate class, and they told you how to do a high kick. Could you do a high kick on your first try just by being told how to do it? Sure, some of you could, but most of you would have to work at it.

Oh, and then there was this one student in the sculpture course who actually was a fucking moron. I mean, they say that there is no such thing as a stupid question. That's true, but there are irrelevant questions, and this chick would ask them all the fucking time and just waste time. I mean, on the last day, we got instructions on how to present our projects, and that we would be cleaning the studio before we left. Holly said, "Are there any questions?" and this little bit of brilliance said "Where are your glasses?" All I could think is "what the fuck is wrong with you?" The girl seemed to be stuck in in this immature-ish high school mode and was simply insufferable. One thing is for sure, she tested the prof's patience and I'm sure it'll be very difficult to really annoy her from this point forward.

To top all of this off I had a Logic course and a Criminal Justice course to deal with. The CJ course was difficult because I had 10 page papers due every couple of weeks, and the Logic course was rediculously difficult at times. There was one time, where I got stuck on a logic proof for 9 hours.

So, as you can see, I barely had anytime to myself this semester, and the time I did have went to the occasional quick arting or videogame.

Now I'll pay attention to this place more and I'll start with uploading most of what I made this semester. So, prepare for multiple entries.


Holly said...

Actually, think you are very smart. The self portrait project is very long and self involved. It is difficult to know the level of self involvement and commitment that each student is employing up to a point. It takes a great amount of patience and faith and I'm sorry if you felt something less than that. I appreciate your hard work. Good Luck with every thing. You are very talented.

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