One thing I truly love about teaching is when a past student comes to visit and talk about their art and their future plans.
Fran has just finished her Fine Art degree and I had the pleasure of teaching her at A-Level.
We still talk about the day I cracked open the pot of acrylic gel and began looking at the world of mixed media. I can still remember how her face lit up, and I swear I saw that light bulb above her head light up like a beacon!
Fran talked about using materials that aren't 'precious', and this is a practice that I have also enjoyed.
In fact, I remember when I was a Foundation Art student in the 'Eighties and my tutor gave me a piece of the most beautiful hand made Japanese paper.
It is still in my portfolio, completely untouched, as it intimidated me so much and I was scared of ruining it!
The tiny boat in this piece is actually a piece of a Curly Wurly wrapper!
I love this piece, the cut out stars were unplanned, and it's often the piece of paper or fabric on the floor that is the perfect finishing touch!
To be 'open' to the overlooked and spontaneous is an essential element in any creative process.
It's that balance between control and openness, to accept that you cannot pre-plan every aspect of your work that is so difficult but so important.
I sometimes describe painting or creating being like a conversation, you have to talk but you also have to listen.
( Hope I don't sound too bonkers!)
Fran talked so eloquently about being on the cusp of a creative future.
What really struck me was how wise she was when she considered her degree. Fran feels as though you shouldn't 'expect' a creative career, but that a degree in the Arts will affect your whole life.
You can follow Fran on Instagram as:
franniepenny and flp_artist
I am so proud of you Fran and I can't wait to see your future work!
Thank you for inspiring my students and myself, you were just what the doctor ordered at such a busy and sometimes stressful time in the academic year!