The Art Class: a written review


“Looking at your Scottish Ladies, they are improving in leaps and bounds.
You must feel very happy. They tackled some exciting subjects and large too.
There’s many an
art student that couldn’t rival them. There’s a TV show in there somewhere. Love the giant crab claw, and the single rhubarb stalk and a mussel painting and crab painting…the sailing ships could have developed further with some juicy slabs of colour almost going abstract. This old guy asked me for my thought of the day up in Byron bay, I replied at 6am in the morning I might add: ‘Walk with eyes wide open.’
You certainly have some broad landscape for the club to sketch.”
Cheers, Dad (Perth, Australia)

I’m thoughtful; I gave an informal crit/review yesterday at Cathy’s down the peninsula, looking at our last 10 weeks of Springmix on the big screen in my Picasa Album, the full documentation. I knew one of the women had got seriously despondent, feeling she hadn’t ‘improved’ at all. I’ve been quite worried as I realised I hadn’t given her enough support, relying on her fearless spirit, true painterly talent and game approach; but it’s too easy for the stronger creatures to get missed. I know that for myself at college, if you’re an able and ‘strong’ character it’s easy for teachers to think you can sort it out yourself, and then it get’s hard to ask for help because everyone thinks you can. Easy to get passed on by as a coping spirit. It’s easier to help the vulnerable at school, harder to focus on the able, but we’re all needing encouragement and direction. I know this woman is a natural, she just needs more time in the tasks, like I would, because she really looks and thinks about her colour mixing, she’s intuitive, but that takes a bit more time. But how to convince someone they’re doing absolutely fine if they don’t accept it? It’s a more silent and subtle crisis of confidence which can so easily make us give up.

Thankfully it resolved itself: “That’s brilliant” she said only a minute in, “I love that drawing”…we paused…”But that’s yours!!” we cried. She was genuinely shocked. And she kept commenting and liking most of her own work through the hour, without knowing it was hers! To see her beam with belief and a little pride once more was a very moving thing to see. It’s so easy to lose that self belief, don’t I know it. What another learning curve. Thanks Cathy for the uplifting Lemon Drizzle cake.