I cannot think of a better title for this blog post. Seriously.
The Art of Seeing.
It's funny how things turn out sometimes..coincidence...fate? I don't know, but it is surely is amazing. At least a month or two ago, when I was looking for examples of a good AP Studio Art syllabus (just in case they asked me to teach that for my new job)...I saw a name I recognized on the screen- Fran Gertz.
Did I saw recognize? I meant a name I respect... a name I revere.
See...eighteen years ago, she tutored me for a brief period. I can't remember if she was new to the county, but somehow she was teaching at a local middle school and I ended up with the privilege of working with her. I say privilege because that is exactly what it was. I didn't have many lessons with Mrs. Gertz but she really did make an impact on me. At that time she had already been teaching all over for years, even overseas...and she just had a way of explaining things...of making me see. It was amazing.
I digress...too busy gushing. My bad. So anyway, a little while back- I see her name. She was listed as a facilitator for an AP Institute at Nova Southeastern University, so I contacted her via email, thinking it would be great to see her. I also offered to assist her if she was interested...and it turns out, she was.
What I didn't know is that she had recently been in a horse riding accident so me offering to help came at a great time as she would need help. It's funny how things work.
Monday morning...early...I am up. I drove the hour and change down south and there she was, exactly the same as I last saw her, and probably even more inspiring. The reason I say that is that I know that I am more receptive to the information that she has to give, now, eighteen years later, as an artist and a teacher trying to grow.
So I left feeling good about seeing a former teacher and happy that I could assist her. But I left with questions for myself...about my work. I sat there listening to my former teacher, talking about how to get high school students to produce work that will be worthy of college credit...discussing formal qualities and how to take the work further... and I am realizing that I need look at my work and assess these same questions. I am excited about my commitment to making art, but I want to make sure that I am pushing myself as an artist...asking myself questions, pushing myself and the work further. I take my work from an initial idea at the beginning of each month, but I think that if I work harder I can explore more, come to more solutions, better solution by the final piece in the month. I can do more.
Baby steps, at first.
Last night I tried to break out a little bit...I was thinking about texture as I scribbled faint text on my image...but then I was like, why is the figure still in the middle of the composition?
...and tonight I abandoned my usual point of view, zooming in and using more of the space. I have much to think about...and I don't know what impact this will have on my fashion illustrations...but I do see a change in the last few pieces, and I will consider that progress. When I was uploading today's piece to my June body of work I could see where the images, while I do like some of them, they were becoming stagnant. I feel that the last five images are starting to get somewhere...and after completing my piece today I think I can try to whole heartedly push the work, push myself to take it that one step farther.
Thank you Mrs. Gertz...you truly have the art of seeing, and helping others do the same.
Artist and Art Teacher