teaching artist, learning artist

My drawing students had their first critique this week.  I teach Drawing 1,2 and 3 students all in the same period. This is the largest group I have ever had…lots of work…I enjoy it. This is only their second assignment, and I already feel it’s a dream group. Most of them listen, are observant and work carefully.  Drawing students learn technique and build skill. They learn to look carefully and put down what they see. 

class_21 
My 2D Design hybrid course had their first critique last week. It too went well.  The 2D class deals with concepts and materials.  They learn the principles and elements of design, including how to develop ideas. In this case, because it is in-studio and on-line, along with design they have to learn various software’s.  As do I.

My struggle these days is between all that I do, all that I juggle. I enjoy teaching. I also have a number of commissions on my table, that I need to get to.  And I am working on a new series of drawings, paintings and prints, that I want to get too.  I also look for exhibition opportunities and prepare applications and statements. I made some time this week to update my web site because a grad student in Mexico found it, and wants to include my work in her thesis. Cool.
I applied for a solo, and I wait and prepare for a response. I was invited to participate in a couple of exhibits and made time to write statements for each.  And a magazine contacted me about an interview.  I competed the latter projects this weekend.
It’s all cool.  
Truth is…I need some stillness…to really create. I need to be able to spend uninterrupted hours in my studio…working out ideas and compositions.  And it is getting challenging. What to do? When to do it? 

Next weekend, my husband and I have planned a 3 day get away. I made time for family this weekend, and I will make time for friends next.

Before I taught, I juggled all this a little easier.  Now…hmmm….well…I do my best.  I think teaching is fun, I know I have lots to offer my students.  And they have much to offer me.  Last semester one of my students loaned me a Jean-Michel Basquiat underground video, I had never seen.  I appreciated it.  I saw two other student films that were great insight into various current art and music movements. Another student gave me a Picasso book.  I thought I had seen all the Picasso books, this one was different. In my 2D class last week, I learned about symbols…I didn’t even know existed, it was amusing.  The students taught me…about something I just did not see, despite it being around me. The experience of teaching is a give and take.

I have had a number of studio visits and sales since the year began.  So I am busy with that too. It is rewarding to meet the people that buy my work.  They react and respond right in front of me. I can see and hear if things are working.  

I keep thinking I need to learn balance. Maybe this is it, this is the balancing act. Now I need to find time to get out and visit museums, listen to lectures, catch music,  watch a play….

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