Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The END--Fall Semester 2011

This lonely painting, discarded by some art student from PAFA at the trashcan near the former Occupy Philly spot at City Hall seems to pretty much sum up the fact that the semester is over and life rolls on.

The fall semester of my senior year has come to an end at PAFA, and with it also has come the end of my undergrad classes in the Certificate program at the school. I still have one more semester, Spring, which starts in January, but I will have no classes, just studio time and my three critics since I have completed all of my requirements for my drawing, painting and liberal arts classes. So in a big way "Schools out!" like the song. So from now until I graduate next May I will just be painting my arse off in the studio!

Peter checks his roster to see who has shown up for the last crit--and who's still a sleepy head somewhere-dragging ass to class.

As thr room heated up my fellow students drung themselves in, one-by-one to set uo their work done during the semester in class

My last class was last Friday in Life painting with Peter van Dyck and my last studio crit was yesterday with Celia Riesman. After my class on Friday I sat in on the last round of MFA crits at school on the 8th floor. Since I am planning on applying to the Masters Program I thought it would be good to see more of the work and the critique process and comments.

I thought there was some very nice work and frankly just some aweful work as well, but that seems to be grad school in my search around looking at schools. in fact I'd say there was 99% crap when I look at most grad schools, scribble and drips seems to pass for most when it comes to any form of drawing and painting, at least at the Academy we still have some real painters in the masters program.

You can see my line-up of paintings here to the right of Peter. I think I got two good paintings out of the class, one of which is in the current student show.
To break up the monontony of the average school final crit Peter had us pick a painting by each student and then do a sketch of it to try and analyze it and see if we could make the composition better.
Monday was the last class in the High School Art program that runs at PAFA. I have been teaching the Illustration class again this semester and we had a good crew turn out this time.I think I had the most ambitious class this time and they really worked hard doing comics and illustration. It's hard in one way since the class lasts only 2 hours but the students really came in and got to work and turned out some cool pieces. My two TA's Rob and Scott really helped too as we individually coached each student along the way. I'm impressed as some of the students had never done watercolor, or even comic before.
So with the semester done I am turning to cleaning up my house, catching up on chores and reflecting back on my time at school and I'm sure I will post many of those thoughts here, but I'll end by saying that going back to school and to PAFA changed my life in ways I could not have foreseen. I'm a much better artist and my life has been enriched by the friends and deep connections I have made there, I can't imagine my life without them and the experiences I've had, one is never too old to go back to school.

1 comment:

William R. Moore said...

Mike,
Thanks for blogging about your experiences at PAFA. I have really enjoyed following along as you have shared your experiences with school, instructors and friends. Looking forward to the spring semester and the Masters Program. I has seemed like a great experience.

A friend once told me he was often ask on returning to school, how old are you going to be when you graduate and his response was the same age that I'll be if I don't.