February 3, 2016

7.00 am. I awoke from another interrupted night’s sleep with a Beatles’ song in my head, the title of which I couldn’t recall, and cramp in my right calf. 8.40 am. The weather was decidedly hostile. Having picked up my laptop from the School, I headed, face to the ground, for the Old College, against the driving rain, to begin a morning’s teaching of third year painters and PhD Fine Art students:


9.30 pm. Then, I thought of Rauschenberg:


11.00 am. Coffee/hot chocolate, followed by an introductory tutorial with another of our PhD Fine Art newbies, followed by a lovely lunch with the aforesaid at Medina, in town. (A first for me, and well worth a return visit.)

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • You need to have a vision for your life beyond graduation. That vision will help to motivate and sustain you on your journey towards the Exhibition.
  • You need a vision for your life that is bigger than art. That vision will feed and motivate your practice.
  • Sentences, like pencils, should be sharp and pointed.
  • Keep one hand clenched and the other open: determination and responsiveness are not mutually exclusive.
  • Produce/say far more than you need, then cut away the dross and the excess to reveal the essence.
  • You don’t carve and polish a sculpture at the same time. Whether in writing art history or making artwork, concentrate, first, on determining the content and the structure of the piece and, only after, on its refinement.
  • We can no more fully comprehend our work than we can ourselves.
  • The best teachers are the product of their students’ greatest needs.
  • Extrapolate/evaporate: focus the knowledge of your past and present successes onto your future anxieties, and watch them disappear.
  • Be more than prepared for the task ahead.

1.40 pm. Back to the mothership …


… where Julian Ruddock (Coleg Ceredigion), was waiting to talk to our MA Fine Art, Vocational Practice students about his experience of teaching in Further Education. How hard it is to begin a career these days:


2.10 pm. I had a telephone tutorial with our external PhD Fine Art student, who’s studying in Vancouver. They’re on the closing laps of the dissertation element. 3.00 pm. A further PhD Fine Art tutorial until 4.30 pm, followed by one more, via telephony again, during which we arranged a follow up conversation on Skype, to be held later next week. By all means and in all ways…

7.15 pm. On with BA Dissertation draft reviews (with King Crimson taking up the rear guard):


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