Sunday, 2 September 2012

Getting Started

This blog will act as my learning log to fulfil the requirements for the course I'm enrolled on with the Open College of the Arts. I'm currently tackling 'Drawing One: Drawing Skills'. 

I previously have only studied art and design as far as A-level but that was over 25 years ago. For that course I kept sketchbooks sometimes with written reflections and notes on the work produced but I've never written a detailed learning log. I'm also new to blogging so will hopefully get to grips with creating links as well as photographing and uploading my work over the coming weeks.

My Hopes, Plans, Expectations

Over the last few years I've almost completely stopped producing any creative work as the demands of career and family have relegated this activity to 'something I'll sit down and do when I have time'. Of course, that time will never miraculously appear as there are always other mundane activities such as housework which expand to fill the time available. 

When I was much younger, expressing myself using marks on paper and canvas was an important part of my identity. Some of my oldest friends would still identify me as being 'arty' but I feel that I've stifled and buried that part of me. The longer I've been inactive the more difficult it has become to start again. Fear of the blank page results in a deluge of excuses and procrastination. My main hope, therefore is that the course will act as a stimulus to make me do do something that I've always claimed I want to do! It will give me a reason to do the activity which has a stronger pull than the reasons not to. I hope that after that difficult first step, the work will gain its own momentum so that I regain that old sensation of being completely absorbed in what I'm doing. Currently that feeling of 'flow' is not possible because I'm very self conscious.

I plan to complete this first course within 12 months. I think that is a realistic target given the number of other commitments I have. I am also planning to have my work assessed with a view to building towards a degree - however, I'll make a decision on  whether to go for the degree as I work through the course and see how realistic this might be.

I expect to encounter frustration especially in the early stages of the course as I'm out of practice with pens and pencils. However, I also expect that if I keep in the habit of daily drawing that the skills I've lost will return and I'll begin to enjoy the process more and feel more confident to experiment. I'm also looking forward to looking at other artists for inspiration and techniques.

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