Square One

October, while it’s my favorite month, can be a bit dreary in Iowa. I suppose it’s typical for October in a lot of places, but this year Autumn came around like someone flipped a switch on October 1st. One day you have clear, sunny skies and 80-degree temps. The next it’s 60 and raining… and the rain continues for the next week or so. For the most part I love it. I love the rain and the smells that come with it. I love the variety of colors we get here in the Midwest. I don’t like the fact that it hails the coming of another Iowa Winter. I don’t really want to consider what this year will be like. We’re already expecting flurries this weekend.

Aside from the cold and damp October brought with it my first foray into teaching. Last night I taught my first-ever drawing class. My experience confirmed that I do, in fact, really enjoy teaching. It remains to be seen whether or not I’m any good at it, but I think the lesson made an impact on the few folks that showed up. I imagined classes would be small to start. Frankly it suits me fine. Having fewer people to begin with gives me a chance to develop my approach towards more individualized treatment of the students. Once I get more comfortable with that then it will be an easy transition to larger groups… If indeed there will be any larger groups. Things like this take time to catch on. This term lasts a couple of months. Just enough time to give me a good idea as to whether it’s something I’d like to continue doing and to get the word out.

Last night’s class focused on Line: how different kinds of lines can convey different things, the way lines express things like motion, weight, distance, intent and mood. We touched on some other topics like composition and negative space as we progressed. If you’re reading this and are not sure what that means and would like to know more… contact me or the Des Moines Social Club… Or just show up for a class. We’ll work it out.

I called this post Square One for a reason… which I haven’t really touched on yet. Square One is where you go when you go back to the beginning. Drawing is the place I started. I put myself through the same process as I did my students. It was refreshing to teach and go through the exercises I was taught when I started on my Art major in college. We focused on very simple shapes: we drew unadorned, stacked boxes. With a subject so basic you have to put aside things like color and detail and focus on composing and exploring the simple shapes in front of you. Something I think will have a profound impact on my work. Teaching gives you the chance to play the “if only I knew then what I know now” scenario. You get to revisit something I think is vitally important to growth as an Artist. You put yourself out of your comfort zone and take yourself back to school. I know I can wax philosophic, but but it’s true. You never really stop learning.

Next time I’ll have some pics of our class work so you can get a better idea of where we’re going. Would love to see you there!



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