finally after several years of not making up, my local art center’s offering to teach silk painting finally got the minimum number of registered students, so i’m teaching a silk class this fall.
usually i sm spared this, and can concentrating on being tired – and when i’m not, doing my own artwork, in whatever form (this november i’m writing a novel). but i do love to teach, so i’m a sucker for a class, even tho the hourly breakdown is only enough to cover the gas to get there and back (and i get lost every time, atlanta is no joke even if you know the roads).
in classes past, i’ve had a lot of very talented and some even driven women telling me that they’re not artistic whine moan sorry sorry. and i believe that everyone is an artist, but i won’t go into my political philosophy right now. i have a jar that says it contains the ashes of problem students. i keep implements of torture in it.
this time i’ve got five women all in middle age, one just retired, all with an artistic bent they’ve been nurturing. some are ready to go professional and they almost know it, others are hoping to stumble on something they can do happily and use as a springboard to something else. only one has a low self image about her art, but she can’t help herself when she gets around colors, so she’ll be fine. and i’ve even got one who started in on shortcuts the very first class. yay.
when i was substitute teaching in our local elementary school, i always got called in to teach the special class. i’ve written about this somewhere. these were discipline cases. give me the discipline cases. give me the fidgetty, question-asking, rule-breaking can’t help themselves kids. those who i want in my silk class. people i really have to stretch for. the smartest kids in school.
because in this kind of art, you don’t have to follow the rules. there are hardly any rules. you look up fabric dyeing techniques and you’ll get a range of formulae and different methods, and won’t any one of them be the ONE RIGHT WAY.
see, i don’t believe in one right way for anything. my choir director likes to swear at us: “there’s is one god, there is one truth, there is one authority in this room and it is me.” my hand goes up whenever he says it. um, bill, i have to assert more than one god, and certainly more than one truth. i am shouted down more often than not (even before i get to coirrecting his grammar.)
so when i teach a silk class, i do the correct, rule thing, and each them how to mix up colors with eye droppers and a formula for each color, and we do a color chart using all the rules. drawing inside the lines.
and for the second class, we throw all that out, mix colors from the three primaries, sometimes right out of the bottle (risk of contamination), we violate resist lines, we bleed colors on purpose. and the girls have already suggested bringing coffee and something harder to put in it. so okay, we’ll learn loads in this semester.
disappointing for people who want to do precise, repeatable little works of art on a scarf, but i’m afraid i’ve moved beyound that, and am more interesting in the happy accident and the beautiful colors.