Art School: Semester 2, Week 12

Welcome to the beginning of the end of the semester. From here out I hope to have stories about how things are coming to an end, and thus life is getting simpler. We’ll see.

First up, this week sees us signing a lease. Our respective mothers haven’t heard the news yet, but we’ve done it. Moving will be soonesque — once classes are over — and the new place is small and funky, but we’ll make it work. It’s good to have that resolved, though, since the pack of dogs we have make finding a new home less than simple.

Then we had a car issue. The Element decided that the left rear wheel’s brakes should act up. They were sticking, and it was getting hot back there. I took it to the shop expecting to have to replace the calipers on both rears and what not — which would be a very large expense — but they opened it up and found it to be really dirty. They cleaned and lubed it and say it works just fine. I have yet to take it on a long enough test drive to confirm that, but the car did seem to have less rolling resistance when I brought it home, so I have hope. Given that’s all it was, I could have fixed it myself if I had a lift of some sort, but that wasn’t happening.

As for school, everyone is stressed out, and it is showing. I’ve seen a couple of near breakdowns, some physical illness, and a whole lot of people who are just done with it all, even though we have something like three weeks left in the semester. It’s getting a bit crazy, and I am actually a bit worried about a couple of folks. Those of us who are a bit older and have been around the block once or twice seem to be OK, but some of the kids, well… it’s ugly.

Art History

We had a lecture this week on photographic history of a chunk of relatively recent history of Peru, in which Fernando Belaúnde Terry (during his first time in office) undertook a major building program that was widely photographed, both by individuals and for (effectively) propaganda(ish) purposes. It was an interesting lecture, and reinforces for me the importance of learning new things all the time.

We have another guest lecture next week, and then a take home final due two weeks or so after that, and then this class is over. On this front, at least, I am breathing a bit easier.


Last weekend I went into the print studio and went through the process of getting my first colour down. I was cautious and careful, and it took something like 5 or 6 hours. In the end I have a bunch of pieces of paper with a yellow stripe on them. Whee. Here’s a picture of the stencil (screen) I used for it:

Believe it or not, that’s for the keys on a keyboard in the image.

On Tuesday morning, I spent the entire class creating the stencil for my next colour. It took many hours — my design turns out to be way too complicated on this layer — but I finally got all the emulsion on. And waited for it to dry. And waited. And got a heat gun out and tried that, but it didn’t do diddly, so I gave up and threw the screen into a drying rack to leave until Wednesday morning.

Before I left, though, I got sucked into making a quick fix to one of the two screen printing stations. Turns out one of the stations had a hinge that was totally loose, and it was rattling all over everywhere. Several people apparently printed on it that morning and no one noted the problem or brought it up. The instructor found it after the class ended, and had to run off to deal with something else. I dug up a couple of bigger wood screws and tightened that thing back down, but that will only last for so long. It really needs to be attached with bolts and lock nuts, but I didn’t have time to do that. Still, the fix I made should hold it for a while.

Anyway, here’s the stencil for the second color:

Second silk screen stencil

Maybe the fact that the previous one was for the keys on a keyboard makes more sense now?

And yes, I know I need to get an image of the drawing I am starting from, but I haven’t managed to do that, and it’s already coloured in with pencil crayon (what I called “colored pencils” before) and thus not exactly as photogenic as I’d like. So you may just have to wait for the final prints to see what I am up to.

In the meantime I will spend a lot of the weekend in the studio working on this, trying to get ahead of the curve on it. I need to have it done!


1E06, on top shelf, right

Rather than try to get it into the studio on the bus and train, I drove it to the school and did final assembly there. Easier that way.

And yes, it is titled “1E06”. Anne gave it that name, and it’s a good one. Some of you might understand. If not, ask. If someone asks, I’ll explain in the next post. If not, it will remain a mystery.

Crit was on Wednesday and it went well. I think everyone likes it, and honestly I saw some other really nice works. People did interesting things, and I think a lot of them learned a lot in the process. Most hadn’t done wood work before. As a result they underestimated the time required, and had to figure out how to make a process go forward. Good training, honestly, for a lot of things in life.

Me, I just had fun doing something wickedly complicated because I could. It was fun. Time consuming in the extreme, but fun.


Now playing “spot the error!”

Full marks again. She liked it. There were many that were better than this, though. Lots of my fellow students have real talent for drawing. I think most of them don’t think much of it, but they are really good. I am a novice in comparison.

We have one, optional assignment left for drawing class. A pentimento exercise, in which we alter a life drawing we’ve done. I will do it if I have the time. The rest of the drawing sessions are life drawing and we’re doing portfolio review of work from the class. Should be pretty simple, though I am not a huge life drawing fan. (It involves drawing people… ugh.)


And my final project is turning out to be a weird thing about Marcel Duchamp after he stopped being an artist, sort of. He’s a weird dude, and I keep coming back to him.


  • The usual index of art school posts and other things here on Medium, because Medium’s display isn’t chronological, as far as I can tell.

Dog Pictures

Someday the human will pay attention to us!

I love having dogs.

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.

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