I describe myself in many ways. I’m an artist, a musician, a writer. I’m a wife. I’m a mother, grand-mother, and great-grandmother! I am also a perpetual student. I love learning new things, and every year as September comes around, I feel the old excitement of going back to school.
Of course, now that I’m all grown-up, I don’t have summer vacations and regular classroom schedules, and with art, my studies are on-going throughout the year. Nevertheless, the beginning of September is always a time for me to re-assess my art studies, to look at what I want to learn in coming months, and to put together a bit of a home school curriculum.
In coming weeks my “school goals” are (a) to learn more about art history, famous artists, their works, and their approaches to art; (b) to continue playing with new media, such as acrylic pouring and alcohol inks; (c) to challenge myself with more mixed media pieces; (d) to keep up my art journal; (e) to work diligently on improving my oil painting; (f) to practice drawing regularly; and (g) to continue learning more about watercolors and how to use them. I plan on doing a lot of fun creativity exercises, too. Playing with grandkids in the studio is also high on my priorities list.
I’ve learned, though, that I can’t do everything all at once, so I’m choosing to work on — and complete — a few projects at a time. While in the past I wasn’t sure that “goal-setting” was something that would work for me as an artist, I’m now coming around to an understanding of how I can make my art lesson plans a bit more specific. Most important in this is having a specific end in mind. Maybe it’s completing an oil painting. Maybe it’s doing all the exercises in a drawing book. Maybe it’s watching a tutorial. Whatever the project is, I’ve learned that it’s good to have certain limits. It helps, too, when I have a clear understanding of what I want to learn and how I’m going to do it.
It’s fun to feel that I’m attending my own art school, and I get to be student, teacher, principal, and superintendent all in one! I can set the rules for my classroom, choose the projects and supplies, and choose the textbooks I need.
As a child, I always looked forward to going back to school. No matter how old I get, that never seems to change.
So today I’m welcoming myself back to the classroom and looking forward to the lessons I’m going to learn.