day-to-day + as a teacher

week 24 :: 08_06-08_12

1. eggo syrup container
2. strawberry
3. dollie
4. bobbin
5. doll dress
6. sunglasses
7. PX IMPOSSIBLE nigo film

fav: tie between the dollie and nigo film

it's time for a day-to-day project catch up. 7 weeks?!? i'm slacking in the posting about this department. but i haven't stopped yet. i'm more than 1/2 there - 52 here i come. AND it's been really fun to see blair take up a similar project. 

week 25 :: 08_13-08_19

1. pocket knife
2. blue bear
3. lulu
4. bean flower
5. origami lotus
6. crumpled paper
7. snack bag

fav:: tie between blue bear and origami lotus

i was in my drawing class the other morning. it starts at 9am. this is hard for them. [was hard for me at that age too]. funny how 9 now is LUXURIOUS sleeping in.

week 26 :: 08_20-08_26

1. spinach seeds
2. bento box sauce container [fish]
3. monkey
4. bamboo brush
5. bamboo quill
6. food in jars book
7. pineapple tomato from yard

fav :: food in jars

i found myself trying to energize the class. standing in front of them. almost like a stand up comic. saying the wackiest things i could to WAKE THEM UP. get them engaged.

part of my brain realized that i was acting just like a quintessential eccentric art teacher. you know. THAT one. the one that is quirky. that says things off the cuff just to see if you are paying attention. that has obviously tried to teach this exact technique/concept countless times before, but is managing to make it relevant [or at least trying to] in this very moment.

as i waxed on about the quality of line and my adoration for negative space i think i even said out loud something to the effect of : wow - i'm becoming that crazy art teacher... the students laughed.

week 27 :: 08_27-09_02

1. plug
2. lunchbox
3. container
4. sunglasses
5. soy sauce
6. grape stem
7. pattern pencil

fav : lunchbox - it's the littles.

for the rest of the day i was thinking about this. what is the role of college professor art teacher? as i stand in front of my classes i would be naive to think that most of them will continue to make art for 5 years after their graduation.

is that important? not really. but it's an interesting fact. the drop off rate in art is immense. partially because i think it's such a struggle to keep at it. especially if as you get older you have dreams of owning a house, or a car, or having a family.

it's not EASY to make a living as an artist. ever. even harder to make work if no one looking at it and giving you feedback. even harder still if you have to have a day job to pay the bills and simply exist.
week 28 :: 09_03-09_09

1. matches
2. blue stick
3. lightbulb
4. pre-k pasta necklace
5. tea bag
6. ring
7. chinese mustard

fav : pre-k pasta necklace

i often really wonder now what it is that my students want from their life. and why they are choosing art. especially the disengaged ones. the ones that have excuses for everything and who don't even really care about what they are putting on their pages. i'm not talking about caring about grades but what marks you are making.  how can you NOT CARE?? i remember feeling nervous, intimidated, not worthy - maybe that came off as not caring occasionally - but if it did that was a front. i always cared. deeply. because of what art did to me when i looked at it. if i could harness that power - even for one second - then that would be amazing. and i would try any method suggested to get to that place. that place of being able to make something that did something. said something. moved me. even better moved someone else.
week 29 :: 09_10-09_16

1. apple from our tree
2. syringe and case
3. pop-up notes
4. pop-pop mini firecrackers
5. pink felt tank
6. rubberbands
7. flower

fav : tank

i think about my favorite teachers. the ones that not only inspired me by what they said, but by what they did.

the ones that seemed like REAL people. with lives. with likes. truthfully i was always drawn to the ones that had a sense of style too - wore cool clothes, or socks. or earrings or something...

the ones that impacted me were present. weren't afraid to seem stupid. said what they meant and meant what they said. they set high standards. made me laugh. made me look at art that i didn't think that i would like. made me think about art in a new way. pushed me - in ways both subtle and not so subtle to take risks. try things. jump off that cliff - even if i was petrified.

week 30 :: 09_17-09_23

1. tonka sleeping
2. millie's paw
3. piece of yarn
4. eucerin
5. magnifying glass
6. blue whale curiousity shoppe mug
7. neko [F's puppet]

fav : piece of yarn [you can't really see it here, but oh well].

the best teachers met me at where i was at the time - but also helped to move me forward. when i showed interest, they responded. when i tried hard, they responded. when i asked for help they gave me just enough, but also forced me to figure things out for myself.

it's funny to think now that they were learning too. i NEVER imagined that. i never thought that this might be the 100th time they had talked about composition. that they might have been trying to think of a new way to present an age old idea - or craft a way for ME and only ME to understand a foreground/background relationship. that they might be SO sick of seeing the exact same kind of drawing, but knew that it was important to my development so they took as seriously as i needed them to.

i can only hope if i am authentic, if my enthusiasm for what is interesting in art shines through [even if it means i have to make a complete fool of myself]- 10 years from now a few of my students think that i was able to do for them what my best teachers did for me.


louise said…
I think your student are very lucky to have you. xolj PS Drawings looking great. xoxo
Anonymous said…
It is even more interesting/fun to see a few weeks' drawings all at one time. KUDOS to you for keeping it up amidst all the other things you do.

And even more KUDOS for such a heartfelt sharing of your experiences as a student and a teacher. Having been there/done that myself on both sides of the relationship I can attest to the points you make. The teachers who inspired me were like the ones you described. And I, too, have tried to be like that when I have taught others. It is those moments of 'success' when a student really 'gets' something that make all the hard work, anxiety, and at times tedium worth it!!
Kathryn said…
Wow, what a great commentary on teaching. I still in am awe of how you do it! Last year I decided to track down and thank my teacher that really made a difference in my work. I remember his studio was right next to ours and being in awe of him constantly making, struggling, cussing about his own work yet being so kind but honest when talking about ours. He had died of a heart attack just a few months before. So, for those of you who remember that amazing teacher, thank them NOW!
Katrina said…
i love so many of your drawings it would be impossible to pick a favorite. when i was a TA in grad school one of my professors said that there were usually two types of students--one was insanely gifted and put forth little effort, the other put forth great effort but was not naturally gifted and it was a rare student who was gifted and put forth great effort. crazy, right? that shocked me. i bet you are a great art teacher. xoxo
Jesse Lu Bain said…
aahhh... sleeping until 9am...

You, Lisa, are a fantastic teacher. Your honesty is your best gift in teaching. I think there are many who will teach and either tear students apart with their honesty (I've had one of these) or be so completely fake as to be misleading to their students (can't tell if I've had one of these). You strike a very important balance of letting your students know and understand the reality of things, but never ripping away the dreams for those of us who still want to keep them.

I think the greatest relief I came away with from your teaching was realizing I didn't have to be the next Kiki Smith to keep making art. You made the world of art that much bigger and roomier for me. You showed me there were different paths to pursuing an art practice.

For this I am grateful, it made space for my other dreams.

Your second best gift as a teacher is, of course, your awesome wardrobe, from which I learned, also, a great deal. ;)

bugheart said…
i agree with
your students
are very lucky.
i was not able
to keep up
my drawing a day.
you are amazing.

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