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Old 11-08-2010, 05:23 AM
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dapianoplay3r dapianoplay3r is offline
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Re: Problems with Bachelor of Fine Arts at my University..

I go to an adult education art class thats run at my school in the evenings. The teacher there has been really helpful and has taught me how to paint rather than the concept behind the painting. Maybe if you try find one of those groups you could learn more. They dont cost much either
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

Leonardo da Vinci
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:45 PM
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Gardavkra Gardavkra is offline
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Re: Problems with Bachelor of Fine Arts at my University..

Originally Posted by guineverec
Ha! Me too! In my school, the art history majors and the art practice majors were always in conflict over this. The art historians could always BS and talk such a load of pretentious verbal diarrhea, but when they came in for the actual painting classes, they could hardly hold a paintbrush. The really good art practice people tended to hate our art history classes, where it was all talk and no actual doing - they saw it for what it was, talking the talk but not walking the walk.

It's funny you should say that because, I've noticed the same thing here on Wet Canvas, mostly in other forums. I'm not saying it's bad but, you do have those that like to talk about art and then there are those that do it. In other words, just because, I KNOW how to drive a car doesn't mean that I can.
You can't put art in a box.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:37 PM
joqua joqua is offline
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Re: Problems with Bachelor of Fine Arts at my University..

Originally Posted by Gardavkra
...just because, I KNOW how to drive a car doesn't mean that I can.

I got a chuckle out of that. And I'm thinking about people who know how to drive a car, but shouldn't be allowed to! In New Mexico, where I live, we have one of the highest repeat offender rates in the country for people who are arrested for DUI.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:27 PM
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sarastar sarastar is offline
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Re: Problems with Bachelor of Fine Arts at my University..

Almost all teachers teach you what they know, how they paint, etc. The key is finding a teacher that paints how you want to paint, or close to it. My teacher is a natural realist and I want to be a classic realist, but they are close enough and there is respect between the styles, but I am still mostly learning natural realism from him and I am supplementing the classical part through workshops, videos and books.

There is a mistake tons of young students make. They go to a school without making sure they want to learn what the teachers are offering. I hear the complaint that the students are customers and the teachers should give them what they want. But in a way it is untrue--a customer shouldn't go to Office Max for Staples brand products, they will have to go to Staples for those. There is a component of the student/buyer going to the right store/college.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:00 PM
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OOzOO OOzOO is offline
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Re: Problems with Bachelor of Fine Arts at my University..

Not all schools are stuck in the modern art rut. I have recently returned to my old school to complete the BFA that I started 20 years ago and, while it varies a bit from one instructor to the next, for the most part the teachers know their stuff, and they ask you what style or type of art you're interested in, and they help you get there. Exploration is for introductory classes, because you are not expected to have a developed "style" yet, and exposure to different methods and mediums is a great way to find your style. So, I agree that you should explore everything that your school offers...but by the second or third year, you should have a pretty firm grasp of the kind of art that interests you and that you want to do, and your instructors should not only allow that, but encourage and assist you in developing it.

My first painting instructor actually began the class by showing us the proper way to fold over the end of a tape roll so that it's not a pain in the butt to pull off tape next time you use it. She showed us how to use a palette knife to mix paint. She showed us how to hold the paint brush, to what consistency paint should be mixed with medium in order to achieve different effects, how to use color temperature and neutralized color to create dimension, how to use plumb lines and size comparisons to get an accurate drawing quickly, and a million other small basic things that I'm sure get missed in lots of classes.

My second painting instructor is more of a pain, because he paints in a very loose, thick, chunky style which I personally don't like, and he wants me to stop blending. I'm sure I won't make an A because I paint better when I paint my own way...blended, rounded, detailed, with soft brushes. But on the other hand, he knows his color temperature stuff, and he has taught me how to exaggerate temperature contrasts. He also does a complete painting in front of the class as a demo for each new lesson, which I'm sure a lot of instructors would not have the guts to do.

There are good schools out there, and it's definitely worth going if you have the time and money, but be picky about your school, look at the work of the instructors, and don't be afraid to transfer if you're not getting what you need.

One thing about my school, UNCG, is that they require instructors to have Masters degrees, and to be working artists...they have to continue to show and compete while instructing. They also require a portfolio and juried selection process to enter the BFA program, but not BA. It's worth checking into because it's one of the cheaper colleges in the US, one of the better art programs for a non-specialized school, and it's in a nice town.
Follow your bliss!

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Old 04-20-2012, 05:33 PM
kindaquiet kindaquiet is offline
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Re: Problems with Bachelor of Fine Arts at my University..

[quote=Emma Llewelyn]Hi all,

I am currently in my second year of a Bachelor of Fine Arts in NSW Australia, and I am hating the course.

I am very much a traditional, realist artist, and I came to Uni hoping to learn new techniques like colour theory, composition, tones and values etc. Instead what I got was a complete lack of instruction in the theory of practical art. We study Art History, only modern art, and only their concepts not their techniques. Im my prac classes we learn a lot about concept and ideas, and then are left to paint and draw as best we can with no instruction. Its not just that I'm wasting so much money on no teaching, they also won't let me work how I want. The lecturers are all into modern art, loving abstraction etc. They mark the works purely subjectively. For example I was told today that I couldn't do landscape for my major project purely because my lecturer doesn't like landscape, he thinks its too easy. I brought in a portrait I'd done, it was a commission that sold for a reasonable amount of money so its not like it was badly drawn. My teacher said it looked too much like a photo and so was boring, so I had to start again with a different subject. I'm not even allowed to work in my medium of pastels, because they consider only oils, acrylics, watercolour, sculpture and textiles to be worthy of majoring in. They say Modern Art frees the artist, but I'm finding it very restrictive.

And the work their method of teaching [or lack thereof] is producing is of shocking quality, outside the uni in a regular art competition it wouldn't even get a second glance. I get that some people like Modern art and disgregarding all the artistic techniques that we have developed over the centuries, but you have to know the rules first to break them. And surely its better to instruct us in these techniques and those that want to ignore them can, that is easier to do than learn them with no help..

I turned up to my first painting class of the semester today, and was told we will spend 2 months on collages.. I'm sure collages are great for those who are interested in that type of thing, but I don't see how glueing magazine cut outs will benefit my painting in any way..

Is this a normal experience of University Fine Arts, or is this just my institution? I can't change to a different Uni as I'm doing a double degree here, so I guess I have no choice but to stick with it, and then maybe find more suitable art instruction once I graduate. It just seems such a waste of time and money, but I don't see what I can do about it.
Sorry to rant I'm just very frustrated at the moment...[quote/]

Do you think that the teachers at the college leave it to the students more to allow them to develop their own style more? They say each person has their own style...but need to practice all the basics first. So, it could be that they let you work on the basics first, then later they may give more instruction for you to further dev. your own style of art. It does seem that everyone's art is different even if just a little bit.

If you aren't happy in it, could you switch to another art area? It seems like teachers and students often disagree whether that be about an interesting book or an interesting work of art. However, if they are wanting you to learn the abstract styles first, then that doesn't mean you could never work on landscapes, etc...if that is your style.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:00 AM
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Mettaphorica Mettaphorica is offline
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Re: Problems with Bachelor of Fine Arts at my University..

Just curious, wondering if this is it ( you don't have to say publicly, or at all, if you don't feel comfortable)


I don't have any real experience, and I don't have any formal training, though been thinking about it, but your dilemma reminds me of something I read recently:

Juliette Aristides, in 'Lessons in Classical Drawing: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier' has criticism of the modern teaching methods for precisely the reasons you cite: too much emphasis on concepts and free 'expression' and not enough on the technical drawing skills. She is all for the 'atlier', where an artist is apprenticed to a master for several years, and where they learn, painstakingly, the rules before they break them. Who is she to say? Well, she seems to have a good reputation and some talent herself. So the point of this is to let you know that there are some teachers (eg Juliette) who agree with you. Her book is worth getting a hold of, by the way.

Have you looked at Open University? Though their course might also be a bit too theoretical--it's worth asking, though, you do it online, and you can get HECS/ FEE-HELP (I am thinking of doing this one, majoring in visual culture).


as for TAFE, TAFE is, in my experience, disappointing (tried more than once at more than one TAFE and more than one course). Ocassionally you get someone who a) knows how to teach and b) cares passionately about the subject. This is cynical, but much of the time, TAFE teachers are from industry looking to make some $--it pays around $40 an hour and you don't need to know how to teach--simply have an industry background and your Cert IV TAA. TAFE is also undergoing problems. They used to be great. I even found a short hobby course disappointing.
sorry I can't say better about it
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:16 PM
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Tahloola Tahloola is offline
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Re: Problems with Bachelor of Fine Arts at my University..

I am an older student taking art classes at a University. I have been very dissappointed in the teachers. The emphasis at this school is for modern pop art and graphic design and they have no interest in promoting or teaching classic art. When I submit projects that reflect my interest in the masters, it angers the teachers. It seems that there is pressure on the faculty to not promote classics. I am self taught and just wanted to learn basics. I try very hard to be open for correction ad be humble. I am considering taking one more semester of beginning classes and then will study elsewhere.

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