Already it is the second term of art classes and sketch club. It hardly seems possible that time could go so fast. The classes are busy and have a wonderful buzz about the artists who come along. Some are just beginners and some are very experienced, but they all feel like part of a family. They probably don't realize that the principal reason I hold the classes is simply because of the joy I feel in seeing artists gathering with the model and each discovering their personal triumphs and frustrations as they take charcoal and chalk and pencil, watercolor and ink, and make marks on paper (whether perfect or imperfect) that reflect that deep human need to make sense of our world through making pictures.
These photos of artists at work are taken on our Tuesday and Wednesday life drawing class and sketch club this year. They reflect the passion of the true artist at work. The struggle with art materials that so many times won't co-operate, and yet other times create great beauty.
It is the role of the art teacher to encourage and acknowledge the successes as much as to use artistic experience to suggest easier or more effective ways to perfect drawings and paintings. As an art teacher my greatest desire is to impart a little of my passion and excitement with art and my reward is seeing the changes taking place as art students discover talents inside them that they often never suspect are just waiting for the opportunity to flower.
There is a fundamental need built into most human beings to draw the world around them. That is why we all draw and paint as children. We draw the things that are emotionally important to us such as our house and family. As adults we continue this trend, for while drawing or painting family is less important to us, we still tend to want to creatively to depict the human figure in all its beauty. The model remains central to our aspirations as an artist, and there is no artistic subject more satisfying than drawing the nude or draped human form.
Teaching art is important to me because I have benefited from the teachings of others. We all need to stand on the shoulders of giants in order to see the greatest distance. By teaching art I participate in this long tradition that reaches deep into the past, whereby the experience and passion of long dead artists is reborn in my blood. By teaching I am able to pass this baton on to a new generation of artists who will in turn pass it to others. Thus I feel part of an artistic continuum reaching both backwards and forwards in time and that makes me part of something far greater than myself. It is humbling but also glorious to share in this way.
This is art class and sketch club at East Sydney Academy Of Art,
Level 2/189 William Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, phone 02 9368 0696.
If you are in Sydney come join us Tuesday / Wednesday 6:30 - 9:00 pm for life drawing.