Back to school! A backwards journey for an artist

porcelain hands

porcelain hands

I am attending ceramics class at our community college, Eastern New Mexico University at Ruidoso. This is the third semester of art classes that I have attended. Why take art now? And isn’t this doing things backward? Well, I had applied to the high school of Music and Art when I was in junior high and got rejected. Determined to fulfill my dream of being an artist, I began sculpting and creating and eventually blossomed as successful artist. Now that I’m able to take a little time for myself and am comfortable with my career, I’ve decided to get the education that I desired so many years ago. I am so intrigued with the lives of artist and art history that after this ceramics class, I think I will take Art History. We are very fortunate to have this college here. Its a treasure. My instructor, Miranda Howe, is an incredible ceramic artist. I really enjoy learning new techniques and exploring clay and  glazes. Since I have no art schooling, this experience has been a challenge. I have had to use a sketch book and adhere to the lessons, which is a new discipline for me. My first assignment was to pick an artist and create a cup that they would have made for themselves. I had originally chosen Andy Warhol and did lots of research but on the date due, I couldn’t get my printer to work. Instead, I chose Michaelangelo, as he is the first artist whose work inspired me. I viewed the “PIETA” at the World’s Fair in the 60’s and remember how exquisite and how lifelike the sculpture was. So I sculpted hands, using my own as a model. I made them fold and clasp each other. I think it could be a functional cup. It is porcelain clay and I glazed it pure white so the focus would be on the sculpture, not the finish. My intructor Miranda, chose Kandisky, and her cup was very abstract and modern. The most fascinating thing about returning to school is that it is inspiring me to create different things and challenging me to “grow” my art. Our next assignment is a tile that incorporates various glaze and surface techniques. Scrafagito, slip trailing, carving, paper masking. Love it! I am working on a tile that will have a horse running across the surface, with lots of petroglpyhs and and colors. Must get back to work!!

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3 thoughts on “Back to school! A backwards journey for an artist

  1. you changed this up again! Love the process – I’ve taken so many art classes and been rejected in them (except graphic art, maybe that’s why I focus on graphic art now!) that I’m careful what I take. Last semester I did complete a film editing class. For sure there is always something to learn and someone in the class who offers a different perspective that can challenge one’s own. I am a perpetual student, that’s for sure; of life, of art, of the great mystery. So glad our roads have converged!

  2. thanks! I loved making the cup. It was so spontaneous and challenging. I was able to make something that I didn’t have to worry about selling. I guess that’s the nice thing about class. It’s exploring new territories without boudaries. When I’m working in the studio, everything is created with the collector. I design pieces that are the right size, color, theme for the area where I am exhibiting. It wouldn’t make sense to be sculpting geese and fish here in the southwest. So I have to limit my creativity. Going back to school has givien me the opportunity to explore new venues. Next semester is painting.

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