Part 1 assignment preparation

Ok, I admit it, I’m playing catch-up here. All this excitement of becoming a student again after 37 years has got me all out of sync! Here are some of my initial thoughts of my OCA experience so far.

Having made the decision to turn my hand and rusty artistic eye (yes, I do think I have one) to some study, choosing OCA after some research around what was available, I spent a fair bit of time setting up my workspace, sourcing materials and starting to read through the various OCA guides. Once my Practice of Painting learning pack arrived I then spent some time reading through the introductory material on paints and equipment and flipping forward though the course to see what lay ahead.

Signing up to OCA also spurred me on to make some sense of my collection of art books, learning videos and online resources that I have collected over the years. Having been a practicing librarian for some 27 years you might have expected me to be really organised on this front, but oh no, not at all – too much like busmen and holidays! So now I have started to catalogue all these resources using Bento 4 for mac and this should certainly help with the referencing and citing research tasks to come.

Having built up the courage to actually begin, I then spent probably more time than was necessary procrastinating – no, I mean setting up my learning blog, which was a bit of a challenge, but I think I’m getting the hang of the techie side now.

Taking the decision to start Part 1: What paint can do – Project 1: Basic paint application, with its three exercises: ‘Getting to know your brushes’; ‘Applying paint without brushes’; and ‘Painting with pastels’; turned out to be more of a challenge than I anticipated, not having seriously studied since the mid-1970’s!

But, I’m started now for better or worse and really enjoying myself. Having made a couple of contacts with other OCA students, I am inspired while also a bit scared about quality of work – the work I have seen on other student learning logs has blown me away and while not letting that dent my confidence too much I can see that there are certainly areas of practice where I will need to up my game. Just for my own future reference, here is checklist of 6 (there are no doubt more) of my perceived, if not actual, learning challenges:

∞ I’m not a very tidy painter – I like to ‘slap it on’ if you know what I mean
∞ I have never really kept a sketchbook for my work, preferring to just get to the canvas
∞ I can sometimes get a bit OCD over some things, for example too much research, thinking and not enough actual doing
∞ Trying too hard to produce stuff that will please others/what others expect
∞ Keeping focused on the life/learning balance (as opposed to the work/life balance at which I was crap)
∞ I find it hard to talk about my work, so descriptions around work done so far as part of the course are a bit sparse.

So, no pressure then, eh!