Sunday, December 21, 2014

Lessons learnt

A selection of the great work produced by the guys.
How quickly time goes, it seems like only yesterday I was nervously heading to tutor my first class in Sanctus and now the course is over. 

The feedback I got from the class has been good as was the attendance, but as a tutor there are things I would do differently, if I got another opportunity like this. On their side, there has been improvements made in the artwork and they all seemed surprised and pleased with the quality in the collection of printed cards (above).
Sketching Fun at Sanctus 2014
We covered a range of topics ending up with Christmas cards so that the charity could sell the originals or prints on ebay. Mostly I concentrated on observational drawing/painting with them and one of the best classes, I think, was when I got the guys working in 2 groups to reproduce the street in charcoal. It was good to see them all collaborating on the piece, although a couple were keener than others and so did more drawing. I had planned a couple of field trips, which got cancelled due to the cold, so resorted to plan Bs such as drawing each other to practice figure drawing instead of people in the high street.

This course has taught me things too. One thing about my teaching is I've realised that after initial demos, my teaching was very reactive, and so I need to spend more time pre-empting possible questions and maybe breaking down classes to include mini-demos. 
Half of the group & I on the last day (a little fuzzy)
However, the biggest lesson learnt is that the majority of this social group are really nice people. Frequently, I heard that they have ended up in this situation due to the loss of work or the breakup of  their relationships. Yes, some of them drink, but as a way to stop thinking, to forget, but then some of them don't, just like in other sectors of society. Some have forgotten or lost the art of social interaction with the normal filters on conversation not being applied, whilst others warn them to watch their language or what they are saying. There was no reason to be nervous before interacting with the group and I hope that when I see someone on the street my reaction will have changed. Previously I have dropped a few coins, bought a copy of The Big Issue, or scuttled past. In future, I plan to take the time to say hello and offer a coffee or something and I hope you will too.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.