Sunday, February 5, 2012

First Exams

I've had a terrible cold, because let's face it: kids are basically disease vectors, and I spend a great deal of time riding sealed capsules called campus shuttles filled to capacity with college age kids hacking up lungs. Granted, many of them think they are immortal and indulge in the insanely stupid habit of smoking (if anyone saw how either of my parents died they would never even consider smoking), but this cold which made the rounds was of Medieval-plague proportions. I had a headache which pounded like a kettle drum, and during a simple Art History quiz after spelling such Italian jawbreakers like Gentile da Fabriano and Brunelleschi, my brain vapor-locked on van Eyck. I got the 'van' part but for the life of me 'Eyck' froze my synapses. I think wound up scrawling 'Eyke.' Oh well--I found out he doesn't count off for spelling as long as you don't try an ambiguous cover-your-bet dodge like combining Ducio and Giotto into 'Duciotto.'

So this coming week we have an actual exam MONDAY in Art History, and another in Italian on TUESDAY. I have been studying diligently and am curious to see how I'll do in Italian. Art History I have on lockdown. After all, this is the Italian Renaissance. Italian verb conjugations are giving me a bit of a tussle but I'm gaining on them. I think I'll do okay.

The two studio classes are challenging. We do three-four paintings a week and two-three major drawings. Being obsessive, I really can't just toss these things off; I have to put in a lot of work and effort. So I think I'm probably devoting about twice the work most people are doing. Back when I was a productive artist, I think I may have done four or five paintings every six months so this pace is interesting to me. The drawing lab is very fast-paced and we'll often begin another project before the previous one is complete, and switching gears this fast is, I suppose, part of the program.

I have a still-life to finish this weekend and I need to do it before my vegetables wilt any further. My cold is much better and I feel a surge of energy returning. I look forward to the exams and to seeing how much of this new erudition is sticking.