8.30 am: To the office, to set up and look over the day’s itinerary. Everything needs to run like clockwork (quartz) on days such as these, if I’m to fully maximise their potential:
9.00 am: The beginning of a morning and an afternoon of MA teaching. I had three tutorials before the Vocational Practice seminar at 11.10 pm. Today we discussed lecturing: good and bad experiences, real-life problems and their solution, and how do deal with nerves (without medication):
Teaching, this week, will be peppered with personal tutorials, both group and individual. The academic and pastoral are wrapped up one with the other. One is teaching a person rather than an embodied mind — an individual with hopes, ambitions, anxieties, and insuperable and intractable problems (at times). Throughout the afternoon, I listened, reflected, weighed up, looked to my own shortcomings, and only then gave answers.
5.30 pm: The final tutorial of the time comes to an end.
6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: Numerous admin bits and bobs needed addressing and loose ends, either tying up or cutting off.
Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:
- Speed, efficiency, and quality in equilibrium. That’s an ideal. However, one can only go so fast before the other two attributes are compromised.
- The early stages of a particular painting’s development can sometimes indicate the future course of a student’s work in general. Therefore, be attentive to beginnings.
- Answers often come in whispers. Therefore, still the clamour of the mind, bid the ‘demons’ of doubt desist, and listen attentively.
- Ideally, conception and formation, form and content, thought and action ought to take place in responsive and reciprocal loops. Therefore, you don’t need an idea before you begin to make an artwork. On the contrary, ideas may derive from the process of making. Such ideas are intimately bound up with the nature of the medium and form themselves. This, too, is an ideal.