Art School Anecdoteby Wanda
I am slowly going through your comprehensive site and am enjoying it very
much. I wanted to tell you a story from my days in art school, many years
I took a lot of continuing education classes at a prestigious art school. I
was lucky that I had some good teachers, especially in the figure drawing
and anatomy classes. However, as you might expect, were the artsy-fartsy
teachers who didn't really teach anything. In those classes I mostly just
drew or painted what I wanted and they left me alone. I can't recall one
good bit of advice they gave me, or really anything they told me that helped
me. At least I got access to a model, which was of some use.
Anyway, in this one class (figure drawing) there was this one student who
drew "funky"-I think he had potential, but he had the big head-short legs
thing going on. His artwork had a certain charm, but it was primitive. He
never seemed to get better and the teacher NEVER mentioned anything about
the incorrect proportions on his figures.
Well, I was young and full of beans, so one time I approached him and asked
him-"Do you WANT to draw realistically?" He said that of course he did! I
told him, as gently as I knew how at that time, that he wasn't there yet,
that there were some proportion problems. He said that the teacher had
assured him that this was his style or his "freshness" (I forget the artsy
fartsy babble term) and she never encouraged him to change. Because of this,
he thought he was doing "realistic" drawing.
When I left him, he was a bit rattled and I saw him talking to the teacher
again, and I could see she was doing "damage control" and trying to undo
what I had just done, which is tell him the truth and ask him what HE
I thought what she did to him was not a kindness. He didn't realize that he
was drawing things "off," but she did. And she decided what HE wanted wasn't
important. Anyway, I think she convinced him to keep going down the path he
was going. Ah well.
I just thought I'd share this story with some like-minded people. If you are
publishing any of art school anecdotes from site visitors, you have
permission to use this email.