Continued with Gary Kelley who is a true inspiration, someone we view as the best teacher we have had with Syracuse. He is articulate and teaches while he critiques and works with the students to move the concepts ahead--beyond where they might not have gone. He is tireless in his own work--trying new things, thinking new thoughts, seeking out inspiration that takes him further in his work. He is straightforward but respectful and kind about others and their own work. I love the way he integrates his thinking and direct inspiration to the history of art. He directly references Matisse,the cubists, Picasso (who he views are truly a giant based on his ability to design-how every single line that Picasso places is understood, and designed), jazz and music/ musicians.
We are working on the topic of blue. Lots of good ideas. I am constantly stunned by a classmate who always pushes back and tells our professsor she will not move on the idea, direction etc.--essentially, missing the opporunity to grow and expand. And, she is rude. Inappropriately so. And no on takes her aside and suggests she shift her perspective. I was working on pictures of Krishna "blue boy",Blue Bayou, Bluebird of Happiness (blue valentine) and Blue Devil (depression). After working with Gary, I am working on Blue Devil--essentially, a monkey on the back of the person who is depressed. It's going to be a blue to black/grey image. I found some good images including some vintage photographs of men (inspired by Gary's work)--to work with. Today, around noon, we have to present scaled up drawings. I am fighting a little with this and feel a bit "out there" about it...but todays a new day--and I am sure that with help, I can get where I want to go.
I had to track down Syracuse management to collect "the orange folder"--essentially a listing of classes with paperwork that we needed to fill out to make sure we got our degrees and credits versus dealing with the tangle many of our recent alumni stuggled with to get his transcript. We had to remind our leader about this form and that form so that the credits register etc...which he is good with...but we all need to be little herding dogs, nipping his heels to make sure all continues to run right.
I had my thesis review. It was, in general, fine. Lots of good questions, lots of questions that made me think--but questioned whether there is art in my work, questioned the value of my work, critiquing the work entirely differently from the "pat on the shoulder" critiques that are handed out during the entire two years. The thesis defense was acceptable, but totally out of context-- and to me, no problem, but to those who are not used to this sort of thing, could be crushing. I am a bit depressed over the thesis--not elated, not celebratory but quesioning whether I can do this thing...(which in my heart of hearts, I can)--but it was sobering. I am a bit sad/sorry that there was no exchange like this earlier on--to prepare me/us, but if the meaningful aspect of "art" (which from lessons from David Tatham, is pretty much as defined by the artist) in the illustration--to give us a better context for this final discussion. The woman on my panel has an agenda and something to prove. It was supposed to be my moment, and it felt like it was hers.