Drawing Portfolio grades

So, we went over my portfolio tonight in Drawing class, and I got an A- on everything except my Mark-Making assignment, which I got a B+ on. This is good. The different things he didn’t like about each of the sections amounted mostly to my inability to do things I haven’t been taught yet (shading before he taught shading, or how to set up a composition without it ever being mentioned in class) or with differences of opinion (on the Mark-Making project I created a rigid border that intentionally boxed in all the other marks, in an attempt to show that even within such a tiny prison there could still be a lot of motion, energy, and differentiation. The teacher’s feedback was that the border made the whole thing feel boxed in, and although there was a lot of motion and energy in the piece, he wished it wouldn’t have been trapped and confined. I tried explaining that that trapping was the point when i turned it in the first time weeks ago, and I tried again tonight, but I’m still wrong and he’s still right), or worst of all with my inability to draw straight lines freehand on some of the perspective assignments. I have never in my life been able to make a straight line, for years even with the assistance of rulers. I have adapted my work outside of class around this, but am held accountable for it in class.

oh well. As long as I pass, as long as I do well enough that they let me keep taking classes, at least until I get into the painting classes i want to take, that’s fine. We’ll see how the rest of the class goes.

Drawing class – perspective

So, due to my Maui vacation, I missed two of the three classes where the teacher actually went over perspective in class. Still, I’ve had a good understanding of perspective since elementary school, so I was able to understand what he was teaching by looking at the other students drawings. The only difficulty was the “busy work” that took up all of my weekend with doing careful drawing after careful drawing. We also had a “final” basic perspective drawing that was due today that combined the elements that we learned from the other assignments. (For those of you paying attention, this means that I did the final assignment that comprised what I learned from the other assignments before I began the other assignments, since its deadline had not yet passed and was thus the most important, temporally.) About half an hour before the end of class last Wednesday the teacher advised us that he would like to see shading on the “final” drawing, and ran through about 5 minutes “teaching” shading. He said we wouldn’t be graded on our shading. We should begin actually learning how to do shading in two or three weeks.

So, I did the perspective work, no problem. I was very careful to have a clean drawing with no smudges or unintended marks on the page, which can be quite difficult when working with a giant triangle and T-square resting on your drawing the whole time. I went over everything more than once, with increasingly soft leaded pencils, so that I could remove any early mistakes and only emphasize the lines that were good. Then I timidly followed his basic shading instructions, not wanting to make my 6-8 hours of careful perspective work to be ruined by my untrained inability to shade.

Today in class, we all hung our thumbnail drawings and final drawings on the wall and had to discuss what we had trouble with, and what we didn’t like about our own drawings, and then the rest of the class would try to find something they liked. Due to random selection of the side of the wall to start with, my drawing was next to last, and I got to hear the teacher spend most of his comments focusing on people’s shading. My blood pressure was rising, my mouth becoming dry, my heart racing as every new thing someone could have done better was something I saw in my own work, often by design. Had I made all the wrong choices going in? Was I supposed to somehow teaach myself proper shading in my “spare time“? One or two comments about perspective or composition came from the teacher, but even the comments about composition seemed to be attacking my use of negative space! I wasn’ sure I’d be able to open my mouth when it got to me. He even made jokes about some people’s circles not being round, something I feel I have particular trouble with, right after not being able to draw a straight line.

We finally got to my drawing after over 85 minutes of drawn out discussion, where even the most impressively-shaded drawings were getting negative feedback about their shading. I said I had tried to emphasize negative space and that I had tried to de-emphasize shading to focus on the perspective work and composition. I pointed out that I had one round sphere, but that I have a lot of trouble making circles round. I pointed out something that I had actually thought I could have done better, and then the teacher started by saying that he really liked that part of it. He was impressed by the roundness of my circle, and thought I had real control of perspective. He even said that I had a good grasp on the beginnings of shading, but that I should go back through and darken it up. The only thing he said I could work on was that it didn’t make him feel dizzy enough.

That was it, he moved on. One other student started to say that the shapes were too crowded, but when he walked up to it to point at where it was too crowded and could see it better, he stopped himself. I don’t know what feels worse; the anticipation of getting negative feedback or not getting any real feedback. Every other student had 5-10 minutes spent on their drawing. A couple that came after mine were even compared to mine (“Try to get a feeling for light vs. dark when shading, like Teel’s here.”) during the process. I get almost nothing. “Keep up the good work.” “Try a little harder on the stuff you haven’t learned yet, but are still good at.” It frustrates me.

It frustrates me because I paid $420 tuition for this class, plus most of the $350 I’ve spent so far on supplies has been for this class. If I’m just going to be told to draw without being taught to draw, then is it worth it? Another year and I should be in Painting I, which is where I want to be. I have to get through this semester, then an entire semester of “Color” and “3D Design“. Oh, and I have to find a job (or two) that I can do at the same time I’m taking classes, that pays enough to cover living expenses and classes. Which at these prices and at this rate of classes, raises what I need to earn per hour by almost $0.74, to $13.36/hr. Crap.

Fucking homework

Last night I worked four hours on homework for tonight’s 2D Design class, and I just got done with almost 5 hours of homework for tomorrow’s Drawing class. It’s fucking late. I will be up trying to get ready for work in … four hours? Fucking homework.

Worse, the glue isn’t holding the thing down properly, so it looks like carp (to me). I’ll take a picture of it for you, and .. when/if we can figure out how to get pictures out of this camera, you can see it. Fucking homework can suck my fucking cock, mother-fucker.

Registration started yesterday

[post transcribed from a paper journal]

Registration started yesterday. I heard that the first person in line showed up at 2:30AM… A lot of people showed up at 6:30 or 7:00, and had to wait in a line that wrapped around inside the entire length of the building for some number of hours (usually at least 1.3). I, being a highly skilled procrastinator, had not remembered that registration was starting, and had not yet thought about what classes to take. Luckily, there’s telephone registration, and I have the amazing ability of creative organization of time/space, and had thrown together a nice looking schedule with all the classes I absolutely needed, and a few that I would have needed after a while anyway, in just a few minutes. At which point I called the telephone registration number, and was informed by a recording that the telephone registration was “not available” (until 3:30, 5 minutes later). So I spent the 2 minutes before and the 2 minutes after 3:30 trying to get back through to the telephone registration, hoping to be put on hold… and at last I was. And for only about half an hour, as well. Then I got an actual person, who was qquite helpful, and I actually got into all of the classes that I had wanted. Quite an accomplishment, I hear. Oh well, at least next semester I won’t have any classes on any Fridays.