NOTES ON STUDIO ETHOS AND PRACTICE

 

PLEASE READ!

 

(Also, please read this)

 

Cell phones must be off or on vibrate throughout class. If you answer your phone during class make sure to move swiftly into the stairwell where others need not be disturbed by your irrelevant conversation. I appreciate that certain of you need to continue your businesses during studio time but it needs to be done in a manner respectful to the needs of others in the space.

 

Tea and coffee are a structural necessity for the studio, without these the institution would crumble from within. A tea break is an important way to get a little critical distance from your own work and have conversations with fellow students without disturbing those that are not consciously included. It is not the studio’s obligation to ensure that there is milk/sugar/tea/coffee, if you enjoy partaking then occasionally bring something you’d enjoy to the table. Please wash up when you’re finished.

 

Do not throw dirty cloths/solvents/palette scrapings down the toilets and please use rags from home for cleaning palette and brushes, not the studio toilet paper supply. Your solvent should be poured into a large jar at home each day and allowed to settle, when the jar’s full the clean solvent can be poured off and reused.

 

Unless you’re using your own, or some alternative, then consider contributing a bar of green Sunlight soap (the kind you use every time you wash your brushes) to the studio.

 

A certain amount of curiosity about what others are up to, and why, will serve you well. Being curious is usually rewarding and a wonderful way to pretend to know how little you know.

 

Please be aware that people working in the private studios might not appreciate interruption or disturbance so if you’re curious about what they’re doing then ask, but keep in mind that they too have scavenged time to be here.

 

You are at the studio to learn and practise the technical crafts of painting and drawing but also how to see and how to think about the world in productive, creative ways. This knowledge comes from the teacher, from your receptivity to what other people are doing, and above all from trying and looking and trying and failing. Put your vanity on hold so that you can pick it up again at a later stage with far greater effect. Look at paintings, look at art, see how others are solving some of the same problems, so that you don’t have to.

 

If, in a different kind of selfishness, you think you have an insight into something that another person in the studio is doing, then feel free to ask them discreetly whether you may share your thoughts, however, keep in mind that this will only be useful to them if you have some idea of what they think they’re up to. Ask.

 

Art is an amorphous and ill-defined category but what we do know of it is that it is the formalisation of one person’s thoughts and experience of the world precisely so that these can be given back to that world or to some individuals within it. Art presupposes not only an artist but also a viewer, who are your viewers and what do they need? A certain amount of generosity is required. Discoveries of interest should be shared, and while painting and drawing are the ideal form of that sharing (as regards the studio), points of interest should be spoken of where they’re deemed to be valuable to all, keeping in mind that, irrespective of content, speech says more about the speaker than it does the aforementioned content.

 

 

 

Steal with your eyes.

 

Take notes.

 

Have fun.

 

 

 

Douglas.

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