Linda Carson cares about art, and teaching, and teaching art. This is not so much a blog as a growing archive of things she's found it useful to share.
Caution: Linda Carson is not afraid of rude words. Or big words. Or big rude words.
I own a lovely laptop bag, the prize from a web site asking for women's 10 most memorable business moments. Here's the web site, here's the laptop bag , and here are the moments I shared from my years teaching art and selling supplies.
"I'm an artist and
playwright who built a dream job at university, but gave up her dream
jobs teaching in her own studio and operating a funky independent art
supply store to do it. So I'm all nostalgic about my art-business
Taking a plaster bandage cast of the torso of a very generous, very
pregnant friend . . . and nestling her newborn daughter under it just
two weeks later.
Translating between French tourists and the Spanish guide in the
Galapagos Islands, using a bit of high school French and a lot of
Learning American Sign Language to teach drawing to a Deaf boy who
wanted art lessons more than hockey skates.
Every time I taught egg tempera and watched the self-deprecating
housewives blossom a little bit when it turned out being able to
separate eggs is an essential skill!
Shopping for silverpoint supplies and pigment in Florence, Italy,
literally in the shadow of the Duomo.
Anatomy classes: Showing twenty-year-old women a real female pelvis
and a real fetal skull, and watching every one of them mentally
reviewing her birth control precautions!
Last weekend, sitting sketching in a butterfly conservatory, when a
passing mom said exactly the right thing to her daughter, "Yes, she's
drawing. Isn't that great? If you practise a lot I'll bet you could do
An artist-in-the-school gig at a Labrador high school . . . in the
grade nine *science* class.
Preventing two unnecessary circumcisions (boys 8 and 10) with timely
advice and educational diagrams for mom. Really.
Every time I overheard a student passionately explaining my studio
rules to a newcomer:
Don't put down anyone's work, especially your own.
"The bedroom has been removed from its frame, and awaits me in the restoration studio. I am eager to get started on this restoration! Not long after my appointment as head of conservation at the Van Gogh Museum in 1999, I was given the file on this painting. I read that the painting has been on the list of works awaiting restoration since the 1980s. Still, it’s a good thing that we waited, since the research techniques available to us now have taught us far more than would have been possible twenty years ago."
While I was checking this out, I discovered that the Van Gogh Museum also has a site devoted to his letters. This sketch is just a quick screen capture for a taste. You've gotta check this out for more, and better. The site features the original text, translation into English, and facsimiles of the pages. Treasure!
No one who has been taken prisoner ever really comes out of his cell, he says. “But in a way, I’m grateful, because at the formative age of 20, you realise what losing liberty means. You take freedom for granted, then suddenly you’re 1,000 miles from civilisation, in the jungle, with a fire to keep snakes away, trying to do your drawings, thinking perhaps someone might discover them one day. This is what made me an artist, because it gave me a purpose. As a student, you spend days on the folds of a sleeve, but without purpose. Suddenly, you have a way of applying it, a subject that matters. Those four years were my formation. A God-sent gift.”
It's no surprise to my students that I'm a big fan of blind contour
line drawing, both the practice and the product. Look! I found a
kindred spirit, France Belleville of 'wagonized.'
Drawing without ever looking at the paper is a humbling but liberating endeavor. I have started a new sketchbook (which means I now have four going simultaneously) and have been blind contouring exclusively -- just looking at things, people (Nora, notably!) and focusing on the subject, not the drawing. I have already covered pages -- and here are a few. They've all been done in a couple of minutes -- since I don't know yet how to make a blind contour drawing last. Pilot V5 pen.