Friday, October 20, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Seventy-Eight – View from the Woodland Park

Sketch blogging on a regular basis is such a good way of overcoming that creative paralysis because we don’t think we’re good enough. The fact that I’ve committed myself to one picture a day, means that because of time constraints I have to put up whatever I’ve managed to create whether I’m happy with it or not. People are so kind on the Internet – they only ever take the time to say something positive. And because of that regular practice we grow and become better. Also because I have posted quite a few pretty dire pieces – and survived – I’m doing a great job of toughening up my skin – I think ‘So it was bad, never mind I learnt something and tomorrow it will probably be better.’ I wish blogging had been around when I was at the Royal College of Art. The tutors in the department I was in had such a poisonously negative effect on me and many of my fellow students. Very many of the cohort left the college without pursuing a career in art and design, and one of our number committed suicide. Fortunately the RCA was only one part of my art school education and I came across some wonderful, nurturing tutors and technicians when I was doing my degree and foundation courses at Middlesex Polytechnic. I can’t name them all, but Keith Pickard deserves a very special mention.


Blogger Penny said...

Julie, thanks for your thoughts on blogging and comments, I came very late to sketching and drawing, only about the last 5 years and sometimes I get rather depressed at the poor quality of the stuff I put up, but then I suddenly do something I really like. Perhaps if I wasnt committed to every day I would never put them up, but well they go there to prove,... something!

1:52 am  
Blogger Alison said...

lovely composition - these landscapes of yours so often give the feel of being in it - very nice.

12:43 pm  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Penny you make me giggle when you point out what you don't like about your drawings. And good on you for taking it up - I'm sure that blogging gives you a good way to look back and see progress.
Alison maybe suffering the privations of plein air sketching (as opposed to taking a photo and painting in the comfort of home) has the advantage of giving it a whiff of authenticity .

11:51 pm  
Blogger Glyn Watkins said...

I don't post here very often Julie, largely because I would run out of ways of saying: 'Blimey! That's good.' very quickly.
I am posting to this to thank you for sharing your experience of the RCA. You do not grinding an axe about what it did to you, but what you write helps to understand just why the modern art industry works as it does. You paint or draw almost every day, share them with the world, and talk about how you are learning, but without this blog few would know of your work. Damian Hirst does not draw or share, yet he is a trademark, and a proud boast of the RCA. He succeeded by being like the RCA.

7:06 pm  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Glyn I can only speak of the department I was in and the time I was there, but tutors seemed to have been selected purely for their professional status and with absolutely no regard to their ability as educators. The ‘crits’ (when weekly projects were publicly evaluated) were a time when the tutors took enormous pleasure in finding the most entertaining and witty way to demolish the work presented. It was the 'X' factor for art students. So unless you had a monstrously huge ego, it was a completely counter-productive way to get the best out of us. I hope things have changed since then.

8:23 pm  
Anonymous annie said...

it has changed julie, you'll be pleased to hear!
tracey emin had a similarly awful time when she studied there too; place was way too macho then

tho glyn - as far as i'm aware hirst never went to the RCA; he went to goldsmiths

5:14 pm  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Annie – well it couldn't get any worse! I am glad. If you're a student there I hope you're having a great time and learning a lot.

6:38 pm  

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