I must admit I was a little nervous going in, but my adjunct professorship at Charleston Southern University has been a true pleasure for me. Not only are the Drawing 1 & 2 students eager learners but they are some of the most gentle, fun-loving students I’ve encountered in 37 years teaching. I think the Christian philosophy at the heart of the school’s mission may have a lot to do with that. As a non-Christian for most of my life, I found it hard to relate to the level of serenity being a Christian produces in a person. Those who understand the gift of grace get what I mean. I am finding many parallels and applications between drawing and our walk as Christians.
There is no fine arts major at CSU so there isn’t as much pressure to turn out professionals. But, I am treating this as professional training. What that means, is I am getting them to take seriously their pursuit of the methods and processes I am producing. As in any situation, some take the ball and run with it, while others are satisfied with meeting the basic requirements, resolving the criteria for each project. Fortunately, most of my students see this as an opportunity to improve their artistic skills and work ethics.
I’m asking and expecting the work they produce to be fully resolved, rather than subjecting them to my idea of “finish.” All my assignments have a set of criteria that need to be resolved. These two samples from my one of my drawing 2 students demonstrate a remarkable interest in the process. One of them was a creative perspective exercise and the other was a creative combination of portrait and landscape genres. As you can imagine from these, I’m being inspired by what the students are bringing in and accomplishing. There is a lot of growth and I’m looking forward to what I like to call, “training the next generation of my competition.”