slightly wonky


Fine arts degree?
June 3, 2011, 4:29 pm
Filed under: printmaking

As you may or may not recall from an earlier post, one of the people who recently reviewed my portfolio suggested that I think about getting an MFA.  Well…until we win the lottery, that’s not likely to happen.  But I have been thinking about it a lot.  I have an MArch degree, and I cannot ramble on enough about how much I learned in those three years of grad. school.  Understandably, I had a ridiculous amount to learn once I graduated as well…but the program itself taught me a tremendous amount.  So…an MFA…I have no doubt that it would be an amazing experience.  I wonder, however, what people who DO have an MFA feel was some of the most beneficial things that they learned by obtaining that degree.  So, I’m asking those of you who have an MFA:

What was the most significant thing that you learned at school for your MFA?

Was it the technical training?  Was it finding your “perfect” or preferred medium?  Was it learning how to translate an idea into physical form?  What was it?

For me, in the MArch program, I learned how rich design can be.  So many apparent and invisible intentions shape a building.  I was taught to consider everything…from the most basic geometry of the site, to the subtle modus operandi of the “client”, to the intentional way that material, form and light interact.  I found it fascinating.

I understand that every student, teacher, and art program is different…but I’m still interested to hear if anyone can give me their thoughts on this.

Yesterday, at my printmaking class, it was sort of funny that we were all feeling a bit apathetic.  I think that perhaps it was the crazy weather, and the recent tornado destruction nearby, that set everyone off a bit.  Luckily, our teacher rallied us to GET WORKING.  I don’t have any of those prints to show, as they’re still in process a bit…but I did do a couple of prints today.  Here is the first one:

I’m still pursuing drypoints, as this was recommended to me by one of my recent reviewers.   I’m happy with it.  I’m going to continue this series.

I also completed a woodcut print.  I have had little success with these types of prints, but I am happy with this one:

This is Petra, a city carved out of rock in Jordan.  Remember Raiders of the Lost Ark?  That was before CG was any good, so they filmed a real place.  I’ve never been, but we had an exchange student stay with us for a year when I was in high school.  She was from Jordan, so I learned about her country and culture a bit.  I think that it’s not likely that I’ll ever get to visit, but it looks so amazing.

Tomorrow…we’re taking my son to a local fair.  The last time that we went…he wanted to go on the roller coaster (a tiny one).  Naturally, as soon as we were all locked in, he said that he didn’t want to be on the roller coaster any more.  But it was too late to get off…I think he liked all of it, except when we would both slide over to one side of the car while making a sharp turn.  I think that startled him.  Maybe this year, he won’t mind!

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4 Comments so far
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I love it! I love your dry points (definitely a strength) and I loved that when you thought about carving something out of wood, you chose a city carved out of stone.

What local fair? Is the roller coaster in the shape of a caterpillar or dragon? Or more like the one at Quassy? Whatever it is, have fun. Ride the swings for me. They’re my favorites

Comment by growingmuses

How interesting! I didn’t even make the connection between wood carving and the building carved out of stone! You’re so crafty! What do you think about the woodcut print? Do you like the drypoint better?

The fair is just a tiny Greek festival at the local church. They get small rides…not even as grand as Quassy! It should be fun, though…except for the blaring music…have fun in VT!

Comment by slightlywonky

Thank you so much for your blog – not at all wonky.
I find that your are very wise with respect to getting a NFA.
To have obtained one degree will hopefully have given you the most valuable lesson you can have. I´m confident you have it : A critical approach that allows you to study new subjects and learn new techniques on your own!
Because you have learned to study.

Comment by Ole Skat Nielsen

Thanks so much for your kind response! Yes, I think that I did learn some valuable, transferrable skills with my own schooling. For example, when I had those recent interviews, several of the reviewers commented that I was definitely able to present my own work. I was surprised to hear this…as I did not think that I had said anything remarkable, but perhaps the YEARS of presenting work, something that we repeat again and again both as architecture students and as architects, actually was apparent. There are probably other things…like “how to study”, as you mention, that I may already have under my belt as well. I still feel like a complete fine art newbie, so the MFA is a bit of an enticing mystery to me. Like most of us, I love to learn!

Comment by slightlywonky




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