I’ve Always Wanted To Do An Art Degree…

clay head on desk

So I signed up to to study BA Fine Art

Yep, you read that right, I’m studying to do an art degree, as of last week, at University College Colchester. I am what you call a mature student, a very mature student at age 60, and yes, I am the oldest in my year, but that’s ok. Walking around campus, most people mistake me for a tutor so they’re quite respectful, most of the time.

There are a number of other mature student’s on my course, and I was so relieved to meet them. There are of course younger people as well, which is what you would expect. So far, everyone has been very friendly and welcoming and I am enjoying getting to know them all.

So on Monday’s I have Contextual Studies, online lectures about the academic side of art including research and other things that are leaving me feeling a bit frazzled at the moment. Then on Wednesdays I have drawing and on Thursdays Art Processes. Well that’s the plan for the first semester, that’s roughly until Christmas time.

I thought I would use my blog to share what I learn as I’m sure there are other people like me who would like to know what it’s like to go to art school and find out more about what you actually learn whilst you’re there. So, if that sounds like you, then please read on and share with your curious friends.

Official Student Photo

I didn’t get to approve the Student photo unfortunately…

Week 1 Fine Art Process

We kicked off practical work by looking at environments using different making processes to think about the relationship between art and the world.

So environment can be a place where we make art such as the studio, the classroom, the dining table or it can be the context that we make art in, such as politics, social environment, philosophy or art history.

The processes we use to make things have contexts as well and as makers and artists we do too. When we make things all these things come together in different and new ways. I guess that’s what makes art so unique…

For this first session, we worked with clay but without any tools and there was no firing or glazing taking place, so not being used in the conventional sense.

We manipulated the clay and placed it in the studio where it will be left to see how it ages.

I enjoyed playing with the clay but did find myself frequently asking what the point of the exercise was. I think as a mature student I will find it harder to stay open-minded and curious about what we’re doing. I have become very results orientated and find it quite difficult just to ‘play and explore’.

This summed up my thoughts, what is the point of all this?!

Other students made the chain, but some of it broke, so I attached a ‘pendent’ to the broken links then broke off a piece of the pendent and put it in the middle of the exhibit

I found myself asking what is the point of all this?

This was a piece I worked on with two other students, it is a bag so we placed it under the desk as you might leave your bag there whilst you were working…

Week 1 – Drawing

We spend Wednesday afternoons drawing. Now drawing is something I have a love-hate relationship with. I love scribbling and mark making, I hate doing detailed representational drawings. Guess what I spent last Wednesday doing? Well, to be fair, you probably can’t tell, but I spent hours drawing a piece of folded white cloth…

Working with Charcoal to capture White knotted cloth
Trying again to capture the cloth
Covered paper with Charcoal then used a rubber to draw with

I wasn’t happy with any of these drawings and found it really difficult to stand up for four hours drawing. I should have stopped and taken a break, also it would have helped to have moved the cloth so that I had more interesting and definite shadows as this would have made it easier to observe.

So, looks like I’m going to have to put in a lot of hours drawing practice… I hope that was of interest. I will be back with more updates next time.

That’s all for now folks!

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