Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The Joy In Learning
As if I don't have enough on my plate! I love learning, and taking classes from other amazing artists is one of my personal joys. I wish, wish, wish I had the time and freedom to join studio workshops and retreats, but right now with young children, all I can manage is online offerings.
I must say, the world of online art classes has grown exponentially over the past couple of years. There are so many different approaches, so many different techniques, so many different teachers. Finding the classes that work best for me can sometimes be like finding a needle in a haystack.
There are a lot of incredible artists out there, many of them don't get the recognition or exposure they deserve. Their success often depends on their ability to self-promote, remain "present" in all the latest magazines and social networks, and circulate around the art-retreat circuit. So, it's a matter of blog surfing on a regular basis to find the jewels.
When I'm considering taking classes, I start with the artists whose work I admire and from whom I would love to learn. Then I focus on my desire to expand my capabilities into subjects and techniques I don't usually use. It's easy to stay in my comfort zone but stretching myself into subjects and mediums less familiar is always challenging.
One of these amazing artists I speak of is Jane Davenport, not only is she a hugely gifted artist, but she is a beautiful, beautiful woman, and an inspiring and endearing individual.
I'm currently enrolled in her "Supplies Me" class and I have to say, it's one of the most enjoyable online classes I've taken (and I've taken a LOT). My objective is to learn to draw faces. Try as I may, the gift of the "face" eludes me, and after a few weeks of Jane's class, I haven't yet mastered it but I have improved. But I am determined to get better! So in the interests of openness and sharing, I'm posting some of my attempts at drawing "Faces" from Jane's class.
Jane's approach to teaching is so delightful. It's raw and real, as though you're standing over her shoulder watching her work. Nothing feels contrived or staged, she just turns the camera on and goes for it. "Supplies Me" is all about making use of art supplies (and let's face it, we're all supplies "junkies" in one form or another). But in order to showcase the myriad of supplies and their uses, Jane uses her amazing skill with faces and bodies. She is incredibly generous when it comes to sharing her secrets and offers techniques and processes that are so simple and easy to learn.
Drawing "Faces" takes a lot of practice, there's no doubt about that, and there's no short cut. It's like learning to draw flowers. I've dedicated so much of my efforts in drawing the garden, that persistence is no stranger to me. But it seems the "Faces" that appear on my page are not yet the face I see in my head. I have a long way to go.
It also helps that Jane is an Aussie as well and I sometimes get to see glimpses of my treasured Australian coastline in her videos. Jane is by far one of the most inspiring artists I've encountered, and this online class is truly wonderful, a real gem. I thought I had the most art supplies any one person could own, but I'm humbled to say that I think Jane has more. I highly recommend "Supplies Me", and I will definitely be continuing my art education with the lovely Jane Davenport.
Thanks for checking in. xx