Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A New Beginning

I hated high school.

I scraped through getting NCEA level 1 and that's all I have when it comes to qualifications. That bothers me. It's not that I'm not smart; I consider myself quite intelligent (when i choose to be hehe)- it's just high school and me never agreed and because of my rather colourful history I have always been very scared to get into the whole education thing again. I have just stuck with working. I am also very cautious with money and have so far never bought anything on hire purchase or got a loan. The idea of paying interest irritates me. So the decision to start studying again was not one I took lightly.

I remember the day I first found out about TLC. I was at the hairdressers getting my hair chopped off and getting it re-dyed bright red. I was looking through some magazines to fill in time and came across an advertisement for a school that focused on "art and creativity". I looked into it a bit more for about 6 months and toyed with the idea of quitting my job and studying from home full time (the school is in Wellington and I'm in Auckland). After working out that financially I wouldn't be able to do that I started to think about studying part time while working.

Three weeks ago I made the decsion I was going to do it. I was going to study again; I found out that the next intake was 31st May so I needed to sort everything out quickly. After a few emails, filling out an application form, a trip to get documents verified by the Police (a relatively interesting event in its self) and applying for my loan I sit here with a box full of materials and my first drawings in years.

The first exercise was to draw a face. A simple instruction. Draw a face - any face - however you want. I put it off for hours, convincing myself that bad TV (Wife Swap to be more precise) was more interesting. I realised I was putting it off because I was worried at how terrible my face would be- I haven't drawn in years and have never considered myself a drawer. Once I realised that and re-read "the purpose of this is to show where you are NOW in terms of drawing" I thought 'for gods sake just do it and get it out of the way'. I did and it was a little bit better than I thought it was going to be but still not great. It was surprisingly hard for me to do but I did it.

Once I had that out of the way everything else was more fun and easier to complete. I am still embarrassed by some of the drawings I have done for the exercises but have forced myself to show my partner and have a bit of a laugh over it.  In the end they will never be great because you aren't allowed to look at the page when drawing it! You focus on the object (in this case your hand) not the lines you are drawing. Its teaching your brain to recognise what you see instead of what you THINK you should see (much harder than you would think).

My favourite exercise I have done so far is drawing what I see with a giant white waxy crayon (so far I have done a self-portrait) and then using watered down food dye to do a light wash. The paper absorbs the ink but the crayon repels it; revealing your drawing. I was going to try and draw one of our cats (the lazier one) using this technique but he wouldn't sit still this evening so maybe tomorrow.

This is Zeus - usually very lazy but full of energry this evening

I keep thinking back to my past and am looking at how far I have come in the last 6 years and I still can't believe I have done it. Some people I knew would not believe I am the same person. By beginning my study with TLC I feel like I have overcome an incredibly huge and scary hurdle. It feels like a new beginning. I feel like a new person.

I will be sharing my experiences and discoveries in the art world through this blog. Everything from my experiments to my triumphs to my disasters; art is something that should be shared and I intend to do so!

Rhiannon xxx


  1. Pix or it didn't happen....

    can't wait to see what you come up with!

  2. Hiya Maria! Thanks for the comment- it's great to hear that =) Hope your finding the course as enjoyable as I have so far. Did you start at the beginning of June?

  3. Thanks One Fine Weasel! It is proving to be the best thing I have done too so far - I have already learnt so much about what I like, don't like & everything in between! I am loving your blog Graffitio by the way =D