Sunday, March 25, 2012

Advice for Beginners

One of the biggest setbacks for a beginners in art, craft, or woodworking for many is that their abilities don't match their expectations, for most this isn't a matter of talent, but a lack of experience in the technical techniques that is needed to achieve their goals. This happened to me the first time I tried oil painting, what I saw in my head was a long way from what I painted on the canvas and it wasn't that I didn't have the talent or the skills I just lacked the knowledge of the process.

 I'm a professional woodworker and the first thing I learned was the basics then I started learning more advance techniques then with confidence I started to experiment, a lot, and with that I developed my own style. When I tried to start oil painting I skipped learning the basics and was so disappointed in my results that ended up just putting it all away with the feeling that painting just wasn't for me.

Well now, I am a student at Wilmington College as a art major, and one of the things that I have noticed is that many of these younger student go though the same thing that I did with oil painting, with some of the different medias they are trying working in, they forget that they are there to learn the technique and instead they get wrapped up into the expectation of their finished pieces of work, which is easy to do. They need to remember that these beginning pieces are just a byproducts of learning the techniques of the process. Many just need to take some time to try do the work a different way and to feel the freedom to experiment while not being afraid make mistakes, however it being a class, the emphases is always on the finish piece, and not the how it got there or if we were willing to take chances along the way. What I noticed is many of the students keep doing the techniques that they felt comfortable with, so they didn't risk any mistakes and while there pieces came out good, some could be been much better, but as with all students we always have that grade to worry about and our senior portfolios to fill.

I think for beginners its important just to do a lot of work, do a large body of work that will help to develop your style and teach you more then any class or book. If your a beginning artist, crafter, or woodworker  learn the basics then color out side the box when you get the chance, take them chances, experiment with your work, yeah you will make mistakes and sometime you will do work that is total junk, but them are the ones you are going to learn the most from, but more than anything else have fun with it, don't take your failures to serous and when one does go bad look at it to see what  can I learn from it, that failure is a great learning opportunity and then go try something else.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Furniture at The Cincinnati Art Museum

Over Spring Break from school I went to the Cincinnati Art Museum to see the Cincinnati exhibit, mostly to see the woodworking and carving that was on display. Cincinnati was home of some great carvers and some well known furniture builders during the 19th century. I thought I would share some of the pictures with everyone so enjoy and if you are ever in Cincinnati the Art Museum is well worth a visit. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Learning to be a Student Again

Hello woodworkers, no I have not given up woodworking, I have just been busy pursuing my education. I decided to go back to school at Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio a private Quaker college where I am studying for a dual degree in Fine Arts, and Media Productions. yes friends I do plan on using this in my online woodworking hobby. What I am hoping to do is to get into producing online content for applications like ibook or working for a magazine. I am hoping that there will be a need for people who know SketchUp, video, photography and how to write, so they can produce manuals for products like Ikea bookshelves or Cannon cameras in iBook. Content that is straight forward and easy to follow with SketchUp models, art work, pictures, easy to follow writing, and videos of professionals assembling or using the products. Theses books can be downloaded from ibook and and will give the user a better experiences. 
I’m on spring break this week, so I am catching up on my art work. I am also preparing my images for my screen printing classes which has been a great class, now I can make my own company T-shirts. I have noticed one thing watching some of the other students in class that I also noticed in some woodworker classes I have taken. Students take classes to learn how to do a technique, but somewhere long the way they get so wrap up in their project that they get tunnel vision where the whole class becomes about that piece of work instead of learning as much about how to do the techniques needed to do that project. For me any art piece or woodworking piece I make in a class is a by-product of the class, a by-product of learning the process and I try not to get to focused on it, but instead put all that energy into learning as much as I can. I do that by talking to other students and helping them when I can and excepting their help and advice. I ask them about their mistakes and try the make note of them so I don’t repeat them and I tell them about mine and how I fixed them. I also started making better notes with pictures that I keep in Everynote, a program that I have came to love. This has made me a better student this year and I am sure that in the long run will improve my work whether its art or woodworking.