13 January 2010

School Days

Here I am, back in school again. My first classes started on Monday. It is such a different perspective, coming back to school after being in the working world for over twenty years. It is refreshingly easy, compared to going to a job day after day. Here, my job is to learn, which I have been doing on my own for years now. My first semester is filled with basic art classes I need to complete before formally declaring my major in fine arts, an English class to complete one of my general education requirements, and a Pilates class, to keep me in shape.

My first class is Creative Process (Art 103), and our first assignment is a hypothetical art installation. We are to choose any location on campus, and design a piece in the medium of our choice for this imaginary commission. We do not have to worry about practical considerations, such as cost, engineering, or schedule, but we do need to present our projects, and need to provide drawings (sketches, elevations, front and side views, plot plans of the immediate area, etc.), photographs and/or models.

I am thinking about designing some kind of sculpture, so I started by jotting down a list of things I need to decide, such as location, theme, shape, and movement to give me a place to start. I rode my bike around part of the campus to look for possible sites for my work, and to look at the existing sculptures on campus to get ideas. Later today, I will take my camera and take pictures of some of the areas I am interested in to give me more ideas. I am also researching history of the university and of the area to give me ideas as to what my imaginary sculpture will look like.

Another idea I am playing around with is a mosaic. Like my sister, who is an amazing mosaic artist, I was deeply inspired by the incredible mosaics from the capitol building in Lincoln, Nebraska, where we grew up. We used to go on school field trips there as children, and whenever I am in Lincoln, I make a point to visit the capitol building to revel in the amazing art and architecture it holds.

I have yet to come up with a theme for my work, but some possibilities are education (obviously), native history, or Idaho history. Once I spend some more time looking around campus, and decide on a location, the rest of the ideas will come together.

This is a fun first project, and I feel I have an advantage in how to approach it, as what we are being asked to do is the same process I go through when I design a piece of jewelry. I try to not be too rigid in the first stages of a design, but to let my thoughts flow. I will often look at pictures to get ideas for shape or color, but soon, my creative muse kicks in, and the design flows through my hands to create the image in my head. Sometimes I will have a complete idea, and will sketch it beforehand, and sometimes I only get a general glimpse, and the design shows itself to me as I go along.

I will share more on this project as it develops. Thanks for joining me on this journey.
Until next time!


Shay Stone said...

I certainly look forward to following you on your journey Pippi! I think it's so exciting that you are in school. I did the typical thing for those who go to college, and went right after high school. I'm sure I learned some things, but I never used them in my work, and it if felt more like I "had" to do it. I think going to school later in life is an excellent way to go. If I wasn't so far from a college, I think I'd join you :) Have lots of fun!

pippijewelry said...

Thanks, Shay!
I went to college for about one year right out of high school, then dropped out. I had NO idea at 18-19 years of age what I wanted to do or get out of college. I have actually been wanting to go back for a while now, but didn't live near a school. When my husband and I made the decision to go back to school, we had to move to a different city to do so. And now that I am older and wiser, I am studying what I really want to study, instead of just studying some field that I can get a good paying job in. I'm glad I waited! I certainly appreciate school more now. :D

glazedOver said...

Good for you that you're going back to school. I wish my life circumstances would allow that I could do that now too. It does seem to make more sense for a young adult to first dip a big toe into the world before having to dive right into full time, intensive college studies. Not everybody can visualize exactly what they want in life the minute they graduate from high school.