November 16, 2008

Royal Winter Fair '08

It's that time of year again when everyone seems to know each other and cow dung gets stuck to your shoes. The Royal Winter Fair is in town and packed with hard-working farmers and equally determined art students. Above are a couple of little critters hanging around the petting zoo, but more importantly I wanted show you the piece below.

This is the work of four year-old Anna who, after looking over my shoulder for several minutes, wanted to paint as well. I offered her a page, taught her how to use the water-brush, and made sure her mom was cool with it. After a few strokes, I asked Anna what she was painting.
"What?" she replied.
"Yeah, what is it that you're painting?" I repeated. After a long, confused pause and without looking up, Anna said,
"It's just painting."

IT'S JUST PAINTING. Well, didn't I feel silly. This four year-old was just painting for the pure enjoyment of putting colour on paper. She would rejoice when she saw what colour showed up on the page and was neither under a time constraint nor the pressure of having to hand in her work.

There was a time when all of us believed it was "just painting", so thank you, Anna, for showing me the big picture. I'll try not to forget it.

November 15, 2008

Post Already!

Okay, okay, I hear you!

After several harassing comments, I am finally (reluctantly) posting. School is back in, and art is on display everywhere. Art that inspires, yet depresses. When I see the seniors' work I think, "Now, I can't possibly post my silly, amateur doodles on a blog!"

Alas, here I am, facing these fears and self-doubts. These life drawings were done last week at an extra course San and I take off campus. It is so refreshing to go into Toronto one night mid-week and mid-rush to simply enjoy art for art. I tend to produce more confident work there with the pressures of the Sheridan competition removed.

The constant goal is to find a balance between looking at your neighbour's newsprint (or painting, or animation...) for inspiration and guidance versus looking at your neighbour's newsprint to find out where you rank. I think we can all relate to this, and I will continue to take extra courses outside of Sheridan's program in order to remind myself why I came to this school in the first place: art is fun!