It's taken me a few days to finally get around to Posting about my final review for the fall semester. The last couple of weeks have really been a real whirlwind between the holiday. teaching, writing papers, finishing Draw! 27, and keeping up on my commercial workload. Even though the semester is over for me as a student it is still not over for me as a teacher as I still have my final fall review of the junior animatics for my storyboarding class at UARTs which happens tomorrow.
After that I still have plenty of commercial work but I will finally get a chance to clean up around the house and hopefully after the holidays really have a chance to start putting things in order for next semester which will be my final semester as a student and one which I am really looking forward to. Honestly I in a big way really can't wait to be done even though I am sure I will miss it, miss PAFA and seeing so many Friends and teachers on such a regular basis, however I don't honestly think I will miss the grind.
This fall semester turned out some interesting developments I think for me as a painter which I think might have come about and away as an outgrowth of the necessity of trying to continue to paint with very limited painting to do so. Some weeks I would only really have maybe one day in which I was able to paint as opposed to previous semesters when I would have maybe several days out of the week free to be able to paint.
This allowed maybe some new way of applying paint new way of thinking the faster drying time I found myself using my fingers using the properties of acrylics which gave me the ability to do soft transitions like watercolors or very bold opaque passages like oil paint anyway I'm not sure why but it ended up giving me A real list this semester and as a result I think I turned some kind of corner as a painter which people who have been looking at my work for a long time like Scott Noel really seemed to pick up on.
Here is a video of my final critique
In the past everybody would sort of lineup like airplanes waiting to land at a busy airport you, they would be carts and painting stacked outside of the credit room waiting for people to run out and grab them and then run in and try to set up within the 10 minute. He had to set up your work for review I think having that 30 minutes this time really wasn't much much better way than the previous years. In the past you would have would have maybe 10 minutes to swoop down I'll unpack your cargo or in this case your paintings or your sculpture or whatever it was you were showing, arrange, swap your four head, Catch her breath, sit a have the entire faculty or most of the faculty in attendance review your work but you only had a 20 minute critique. Sometimes it felt like it was such a rush of getting in and getting out, I think people felt that they were not really getting as full a response to their work as a had hoped.
Now any program with as many MFA students in it as we have a PAFA, which between the first-year and second-year must be between 90 and hundred students, is not going to be a smooth running system at points, and especially when it comes down to having the final reviews or critiques just because of the massive amount of people to show work over the course of only three days.
But I think that this new system, while not perfect, did A) give people more time to talk about our work, we had a half an hour and B) we also had a half an hour to set up or work as opposed to only having 10 minutes. I know this is a big complaint in the past with a lot of students, they wanted more time to bring in their work, set it up really spend time presenting your work in a away that you felt was the best way to set up an display your work as opposed to running in and just almost tossing the work up, all breathless and sweaty right before the entire faculty would swoop upon you with their opinions. The downside of course is that there are two reviews going on at the same time and that meant that you had to choose sometimes between seeing the reviews of different friends or artists in the program and this isn't great obviously, but I think that what I noticed is that everyone seemed to be more positive and everybody seem to be far less drained this semester than the previous semesters because of the fact that we did not have to basically run this big long marathon of reviews.
My friend Phyliss Gorsen
The faculty seemed fresher the faculty seem to really embrace and enjoy this new way of doing critz I know not everyone loved this system and of course you can't ever make everyone happy it's just impossible. In fact I heard there were a few let's say explosive teaks that happen where some people really got as they would say"their ass up on their shoulders”. One artist even smash something into their studio wall and scrolled some graffiti in a frustrated response to how people reacted to his work, Another seemed to insult just about everybody else in the room. There are always going to be meltdowns there are always going to be people who are angry at the response that they get to their work--- I know I have been frustrated myself in the past when people didn't react to the work what I felt was useful or valid comments about my work. That said we should still have a level of civility and respect, but I guess this being A house full of passionate artisans painters sculptors performance artists use you name it that's just not always going to be away.
It's always going to be a stressful time there's no way to avoid that people are always going to feel nervous, people are always going to wish they had more time people always wish they were able to finish one for piece of work, but I think even though no there will be never a way of making this perfect I felt myself that I had a much better review this semester. The response to my work was strongest is been, the most positive that has been it has been and I didn't get some good prodding and thinking comments and to maybe make me dig in more and think about my approach, how to claim what I am doing as my own which is an important question, an important thing to ask myself and I was also able to get Scott in a way to finally ease up his negative comments towards paintings that are made from photographs form photographic sources. I thought I would post the video of my Final review that my friend Evan recorded for me. I think this hopefully will give a little bit more insight into how the process went and I think it's nice to have this record of my review. Years from now it Will be a nice little time capsule of my time at the Academy and I think that they should record all of them as a way of having a permanent record not only of the work in the reviews of the students at school that they can have for themselves but also a record of the students and the progress of the program over the course of time. They have A copy of everyone's thesis in the library so why not a copy of some of our reviews.
Because I was teaching on Thursday I was not able to see any of them reviews of several of my friends this semester which was kind of a drag but I did try to make A record on the previous Friday and of course last Friday. I was very impressed by my friend Melissa’s review and her talk about her work and her process her journey which started with her year in the Postbac program at PAFA and her work has really changed quite a bit. I don't know if I can be a heady as she is about it all. That's what were all hoping for real change in real growth real movement along the path for real progress in our journey up Art Mountain.
I was also excited to see work by my fellow student Ben Gordon, whose work I have always admired from his first semester, I think Ben is one of those artists you're really going to see a lot of once he leaves the Academy.
There are not that many let's say "traditional painters" like myself in the MFA program and I really really liked his work. I was sad that I didn't get to see my friend Niloofar’s review as she found out about the school from Iran because of this blog. She;s made quite a journey to get here! So it's kind of like going full circle to see someone who found out about the Academy from far, far away because of this blog and then in a few years sit in the audience watching her work and seeing her process. I have had so many people tell me that they have found out about the academy because of my blog, a dozen people easily this year told me this and in fact some people made the decision to go to the PAFA over the New York Academy because of the things they saw on my blog about the school and my blogging about school. I think that's pretty cool, I think that if this blog in anyway helps any artist in any part of their journey then I think that that's a pretty cool thing that makes any of these musing or postings worthwhile. If someone else can find something from my journey something from my process that helps them in their journey and in their quest as an artist.
I know a lot of people tend to be down on social media going to be down on Facebook and to be down even on blogs but I have found that I think it is a great, A fantastic way for us as artists to talk and share about our process about our journeys as artists and the ability to so easily share information on an artist that you like or paint that you like a pallette that you like a School that you like a museum that you visited, something to get you fired up or something to get you passionate about art is just a fantastic thing and I wish that this existed when I was 17 and coming up and really hungry too launch on my journey as a professional artist.
So now Time to try recharger with a break start packing stuff home I need to start actually cleaning out the studio worn more week by week in preparation for graduation so that in the final weeks of school for the final week after you graduate hopefully I will not have a giant pile of stuff to have to try a whole lot of my studio so if I do a little bit by little bit should be really easy. I also hope to get a chance to ask you do some painting over the break although right now I still have plenty of work to do between the strip in those Star Wars books that I am working on and with the holiday week coming in my parents coming to visit things are going to be pretty busy but after New Year's I hope to have a few days for just me and my paint.