I don’t remember the exact moment I decided to go to Art School. I hated school so much my only refuge was the Art Room. There were only a few artists in a school that was mostly filled with aspiring military types and future business types. There was an artist called Jonathon Land, who painted in the style of Salvador Dali. The artist that influenced me the most at the time was Wassily Kandinsky and his geometrical works.
My first Art School was Eastbourne, where I did a “Foundation Course” . Here I was to encounter not only a wonderful group of students but also a an Art Tutor called Martin. Martin’s teaching technique was to freak out us students. He would occasionally use words to psyche us out, but often it would be the silent treatment, frowns or disdaining looks, as his eyes surveyed our efforts to produce art of some kind of merit. His method was to test our resolve, to see if we had what it took to get into another college to do a degree.
One thing I discovered while at Art College was that Art Tutors were often flawed characters as well as being alcoholics. There was one tutor at Wimbledon, where I did an MA in printmaking who would traipse in late reeking of alcohol. Another I recall when I was at Art School, in Cheltenham used to smoke nonstop, his hand would be twitching, he had all the hall marks of an alcoholic. For many years I regretted my time at Art College, as it led to a lack of career, no rewarding jobs. I flitted from one job to another, until I landed in teaching. Later on I began to cherish the time I spent at Art College, and some of the other students who I met along the way. I realized that Art School played a big part in the formation of my life and art a big resource for me.
This article is part of a blogging challenge,