Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Collage And A Bright Future...

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!


  1. Wow, you are one very inspiring teacher xx

    1. thats so lovely of you Tina but its the Art Department and the fab students we get to work with that are the stars xxxx

  2. Wonderful. I accompanied my mother to the closing of the special education school she'd taught at ( it was sadly merging ) Hers was an amazing era & I used to help out !
    A woman came up and asked, " Rosemary ? " Mum said she was. The woman said she had done her youth opportunity training at the school in my mum's class room & she had inspired her to go into special ed teaching & had worked at that very school for years. I was so proud of her back then & it was a lovely moment xx

    1. That's such a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing.
      It's moments like that that make this job so rewarding xxx

  3. It is always fantastic when ex students visit or keep in touch. I love to see how they have developed. It looks like you have been a big influence on Fran and that she has a really joyful approach to making.

  4. What a lovely lovely thing to say, you are right, 'joyous' is the perfect word for Fran's work x


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