Saturday, January 23, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Art Class Might Make me Crazy

I started a painting class last night - and immediately got into trouble. The teacher, a rather flaky lady, put out a still life consisting of a bony pelvis from a cow or something; an African statue; and a ceramic head. There was so much going on in that still life that I got confused, started getting hung up on drawing rather than learning how to use paints. So, typical me, I abandoned the whole item, and just focused on the table and made up a ball on the table. She was .....surprised, let's put it that way. Others were painting away, but I learned afterwards that most of them had taken alot of drawing and painting classes with other teachers. I did get a bit sharp with this teacher at one point. There is a young girl in the class from Iraq, she can't be more than 20. Very shy, very quiet, she brought photos of her paintings from her classes in Iraq - she did gorgeous very detailed work. She barely speaks English but is trying to learn. So...the still life gets set up, and this girl starts in on a detailed drawing - which is what she is used to doing. Nancy, the teacher, starts waving her arms and talking about Planes, and intersections, and the objects "talking" to one another, and really wants this girl to just let go and paint big and splash around. Finally, young Rama starts to cry....I went over and asked Nancy to back off, and spoke quietly to Rama about her work and how gorgeous her drawing was. ( I think this counts as a good deed for Friday - right?)
We settled down after that, but I think I'll use this lady to get little hints and tricks and ideas and just ignore her flaky personality. I know what I want to learn, and I'll figure out the rest.

Happy Saturday everyone!!!

22 comments:

ElizT said...

That's mighty mature of you!
I would use a stronger word to describe her.

Baino said...

Mim, I think painting comes from the heart.Just learn the 'techniques' and do your own thing. I actually never went back to snow skiing because the instructor was such a cow. Put me off for life. Don'let 'Nancy' do the same. You know you have talent and those who can't . . . teach.

Mary said...

i love that you did that ;)

and, as someone who has taught painting for years and is basically self taught i think the best way to learn to paint is paint, paint and paint some more. and go out and really look at good paintings (the museum kind ;-) books and local shows won't show you what you want to learn so now and then really go study a painting you like and look at the brush strokes, palette, etc...

and have fun!

soulbrush said...

omg that reminds me of the 'weasel' whose art class i was in 2 years ago, who told me my art is 'shit'!!!, so i left... report her to someone, she is shit!!

Renee said...

I am glad you were there for Rana dear Mim. Why are people so ridiculous.

Love you and glad you laughed. I laugh when I hear some people talk about that shit too.

xoxox

Teri C said...

There is nothing worse than a bad teacher and nothing better than a sweet human like you. I know the girl will love you for life.

You might learn some things but perhaps you should look for a better, nicer teacher.

I once had a teacher who wanted, well let's just say I never went back.

Cat said...

I wouldn't be surprised if that young girl never goes back to that class. If she does, it will be because of you. You made her feel worthy. As a 'creative' we all know how important that is.

I really could rant on and on here. I won't. I can say that I know how this girl felt. Been there, done that.

You are a fabulous person for really being there for her. It upsets me so badly when I witness these types of things that I too would have had to do something.

Bea said...

What a wonderful thing you did for her. So many people mean well when they offer to teach a class. Not everybody is a teacher. The do-it-my-way approach is not helpful.
I hope she comes back. I hope you continue to do thing YOUR way.
And, yes, take the techniques and hints to mind but not necessarily to heart. :)Bea

Mim said...

Thank you for all your comments. It's a funny thing, this woman is a wonderful painter, maybe she was just nervous the first night but she was quite out of touch. I'll get what I need from her - I summed her up in a few minutes...which is rare for me!~!!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That is a good idea to just take from the class what you want. The poor young girl. The teacher was probably doing to her what she wanted to do to you but wouldn't dare.

kikipotamus said...

Thank you for coming to Rama's rescue!

Lynn said...

Yes, it was a Great Mitzvah what you did for Rama and your job is to sit near her each class meeting (if she is crazy enough to return) and be there for her, a comfort zone so to speak!
Bravo for you too for painting your ball on the table. I love it.
Looks good too, all that paint slopped around and turned into a very good table.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

I had a teacher once who could paint really well. My Mom and I took this class thru the City, years ago, But she was a lousy teacher. She got REALLY upset at my mom once because Mom did a better job on something that the Teacher did. Mom was really upset over the ordeal. So just because someone can paint doesnt mean they can teach. Good for you standing up to her. She could ruin the joy for this young gal. What a shame that would be. A good teacher teaches techniques and lets the Student develop her own style.

sukipoet said...

firstly I adore your painting. very painterly. love it.

thank you so much for speaking up for the dear woman whose name rana? I cant see the post right now. oh my. how awful to barely speak the language and then get yelled at.

I think you may be right though. One can learn from teachers like this. I spent an entire year in a yoga class, hating the teacher who often was ridiculous (moving an elbow say a fraction of an inch) and snide. I also hated the yoga style which seemed "babyish" to me. Why did i stay??? no idea. But by the end of the year I had a complete reversal of perspective on both the yoga style and the teacher (whom I came to sort of "understand"). The yoga style gave me the gift of being able to practice yoga daily at home, which is big and which I have now been doing for 6 years. So, you never know what learning is happening below the conscious surface.

ArtistUnplugged said...

Being the best of painters, (or anything) does not mean one can teach. I think it is important to be comfortable in the class and not uptight, fearing a "mistake". Good for you for standing up for that young girl! You indeed, earned your good deed for the week! I love your painting and still think you could probably get something from the class...and maybe that teacher can also! LOVED your heart card!

Call Me Cate said...

Pretty much agreeing with everyone else. You're there to learn what you will from it. Take from it what you can, don't sweat teacher issues. And good for you speaking up for the other student.

Thanks for playing 6WS!

Katiejane said...

I took a painting class last winter where the teacher put various unrelated objects on the table and asked us to draw them. I did my best, although drawing is what I wanted to learn from the class. After that night the teacher essentially said to just paint whatever we found photos of from home, like magazines!?! If I could do that, I wouldn't have been in the class!
I agree, some people just can't teach. (But I have seen that this teacher is still doing classes.)
I'm glad you were there for the poor young girl who thought she was doing what she was supposed to be doing.
And good luck with your future classes. I think you have a good handle on what you want to learn.

studio lolo said...

First, I do love your painting! The lights and darks hit in all the right places in my opinion. And I laughed when you decided to paint what you wanted, even if you made your own ball appear!

I haven't really taken any art lessons even though I had a very brief stint in college. I pour myself into art books and websites and learn from art friends. I paint what I feel and what I know, like Rana was trying to do.

This teacher may not be comfortable in a teaching role. So nice of you to already recognize this and to cut her a wide swath.

Stay true to yourself Ms. Mim. And stick close to Rana if you can. We all need believers and a nice shot of encouragement ;)

kj said...

you are a gem, mim.

an independent, compassionate, fiesty, talented gem.

i'm quite fond of you.

Michele said...

Mim that is definitely a good deed. I'm so proud of you for comforting the poor girl. I had a pottery teacher once who was a bit like that. I ended up dropping out of the class because I couldn't stand her.

Debra Kay said...

I'd like to kick that teacher right in the crotch!

If are were paint by number, that's all it would be. I think are is about bringing what YOU see to life so other's can see it and say "oh, I hadn't thought of it that way".

Caroline said...

Good for you Mim! A heartwarming story! Hope you enjoy the lessons!