Skip to main content

On teaching

I've taught printmaking on and off before, usually in small groups or one on one, and quite enjoyed that. When I first had to teach a large class about five years ago, I nearly had a nervous breakdown, and it took me a long time until I wasn't completely terrified of going into a room to teach to ten or fifteen people. About once a year for the last few years, I've co-taught a class with my wife, called Journal and Sketchbook: Ways of Seeing (that's what the class is called, not my wife). She is a very experienced teacher, and is Associate Professor in Fiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago. Even having Patty as the lead pilot wasn't enough initially to quell the terror.

But here we are in 2010, and tomorrow (Thursday) we begin to teach this class again, for fifteen weeks, and for the first time I am not unduly nervous. Practice makes for - well, less imperfect. There'll be a few nerves in the hours before the class, but once it starts, I know it will go fine. And who knows? Maybe the students will enjoy it, and feel at the end of the semester that they've learned something of value.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Brancusi in Plastic

Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:

Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.

How to etch a linoleum block

Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.


A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…

Me Talking About Alexander Calder

In the first years of this blog, in 2010-2011, I created a series of 100 short illustrated talks on art that I called Meditations on Art. There is a page on this blog linking to a complete playlist. I remember, about a year after I completed the series, checking in via YouTube and seeing that one of them had passed 1,000 views. An insignificant number compared to your average viral cat video, of course, but considering I made these little videos mostly for my own amusement, it still amazed me that one of them would get 1,000 clicks (whether they were purposeful or accidental).

Well, I just looked at the stats again, and I am amazed to find that one of these videos, the Meditation on Alexander Calder, has now surpassed 18,000 views. Here it is: