Paul and Beverly purchased a casein painting titled “Wake Up” from my last solo exhibition, Another Mental Concoction. A few months later they came to my studio and picked out a small egg tempera on paper for their friends, Dave and Joy.
Paul was one of my drawing students at Phoenix College. He was also adjunct. He taught writing. Paul worked very hard in my class. Sometimes he stayed after to discuss a drawing challenge of some sort. The challenge could be a skill or technique he was struggling to achieve. We might discuss the technique, in reference to his drawing in particular or, he might ask me, could he approach it another way…No Paul, just approach it how I have directed you to approach it, I would say. He wanted freedom of some sort…maybe, and I would not give it to him…maybe. A challenge.
Sometimes he would point out other student’s work…I want my drawing to be as strong as Ivan’s drawing!. Ivan had been drawing most of his life. Paul had just begun…to draw. I tried to explain that Ivan draws like Ivan, and Paul will draw like Paul.
It was all good. It is about process, I would say. He got more at ease with the process and more excited with his progress as the semester continued.
A year later Paul took my 2D Design class. He invited Dave, a friend, to take the class with him. And between the two of them they had the majority of the class in laughter, most days. Paul was happy with his design work, all the time, it appeared.
He had found some freedom.
At some point in the semester I go over what it called the Golden Ratio as it applies to art and design. I always struggle with the explanation. I can draw it, but to clearly verbally express it is a different story. Dave having been an engineer early on in his career, came in with a long computer calculation of the ratio. I was impressed that he had taken the time to do this. I handed the class over to him and he explained it happily. Everyone got it. There were no blank faces staring back at him.
Below are Paul’s and Dave’s final collage designs. This was a four step process to get them to this abstract finale.
Dave hopes to take my drawing class one day. Paul has moved on to study landscape design. Joy, Dave’s wife works for Thunderbird School of Global Management. Beverly, Paul’s wife works for the Desert Botanical Gardens. Beverly and Joy are two very ambitious women. I enjoyed meeting both of them.
Between them all they take part in choir, play instruments, support local musicians, and a music store (Paul volunteers at Stinkweeds). They are very busy people who take time out to be creative.
Although I did not deliver the art work to their homes, my husband and I were invited to see where the work was finally hung. We enjoyed some good meals, wine and company.