Saturday, February 4, 2017

Art


My color pinwheel. Adjustable. On a black background with a black strip on top, so you can choose what color you feel like. I felt cool and blue, Beren adjusted it to reflect his feeling.

I sometimes wonder about making work too complicated, work that he can't emulate, when we make art together. I doubt that hunter gatherer people felt that way about making a too perfect arrowhead in front of their children. So make some art, Momma.

***

I often ponder the various approaches to education, especially in the arts. I studied artmaking at a university and a community college, and in high school as well. 

I had art classes in elementary school though I hardly remember them. It seems we made identical cats made from precut pieces of paper, or copied penguins for a teacher's example. I recall not really liking one art teacher from that era, though I did like the inevitable messiness of the classroom and its paint odors.

High school art classes were generally freer. I especially remember a 3D art class, which was a more advanced class and mixed age. The older students tended to be rowdy, keeping one teacher alternating between irritated and amused. 

We made beads, clay pots, paper, and once an visiting artist taught us how to make molds from cuttlefish and then pour metal, brass I think, casts. I made some badass pedants that mixed well with my gothic style, though I generally preferred silver jewelry, of course.

The freedom of the class likely inspired me to 'study' artmaking in college. I also worked as a creative printmaker after leaving college in Connecticut and prior to enrolling in a community college.

Before reaching the freedom of 3D art in high school, I slogged through drier 2D classes. In a drawing class, the teacher once erased part of my drawing. I was fairly insulted and annoyed, thinking my Sinead O'Connor drawing copied from Rolling Stone was pretty damn good. The other teacher was "out to lunch". 

I now wonder about making art with my six year old. Generally, we make art side by side until he becomes very interested in my work and makes suggestions, alternations, and improvements. I find our spontaneous collaborations endearing but also irritating. This is my work, I think to myself. 

And yet, I have learned through parenting that there is no longer just me. Me and I began to dissolve when I decided to have a longterm partnership with my husband. But perhaps, me and I were just a fiction all along. Because I assume my mother's selfhood dissolved when I was born, and her mother's selfhood... All these selves, always linked, never solitary.

Beren copies or mimics like we all do to learn, but makes it his own.



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