Friday, May 25, 2012

Back in Delaware

I write on three seemingly unrelated topics; 1) my art studio set up, 2) education and 3) a political diatribe 

 The studio is cleaned, art supplies unpacked and stored in their proper locations. All the pastels are unpacked. I have a 32” x 40” blank archival cotton fiberboard squared off and ready to go. The photo close-ups of several breaking waves are printed and squared as well. Now, I just have to start to work.

 And Then

Marlin Brando, Pencil and powdered graphite, 32" x 40" (1979) 

 After the wave is done I want to do an over-sized iconic head like the ones I did in powdered graphite back in the 1970’s and 80’s only in color with pastels this time, and I think India ink for the darkest areas beneath the pastel. I’m using the ink because I don’t want the dark areas to move and smear. Dark pastel will move mix so easily into lighter and brighter colors. I will also need to subtract from the dark areas and then work over them with the pastel. I haven’t figured out exactly how to do the subtraction part- perhaps white gesso or acrylic over the ink, allow to dry, then sanding with fine sandpaper so it will take the pastel.
And, most people think art is easy and fun. I guess they’re right about the fun part, but the easy part, NOT. Doing art is hard work, and a continuous problem solving process – true for all The Arts.

And, we interrupt this journal entry with a tangential thought.

The fact that doing any of the Arts is hard work and involves a problem solving process is exactly why the Visual Arts, Music, and Theater are so important to educating our children. Oh, would that our public education destroying Republican Party state legislators and governors understood all of that. I’ve just been reading from various Pennsylvania newspaper Websites about Governor Tom Corbett’s 1.5 billion dollar cut to public education in Pennsylvania’s new budget plan - the second year in a row of Brobdingnagian cuts to public education in that state. Reading the articles has gotten my steam up because I taught Art in Pennsylvania for 38 years at a time when our public servants and elected officials from both parties understood the importance of the public educational system, as well as The Arts, and Physical Education within that system. During my career I felt as though I was helping students to not only learn things, but how to think productively and creatively as well. Now I watch as 33 Republican governors and state legislatures cut public education to the bone in the first step in their effort to privatize it. Some school districts in Pennsylvania are contemplating dropping The Arts, physical education and sport programs, as well as kindergarten because of the draconian budget cuts.

Wow! From a journal entry that I intended to be about my art I’ve moved on to a political rant (almost). So, let me extend the almost rant.

When I was 12, my favorite program on television was Tom Corbett and the Space Cadets because it sparked my imagination and fed my – at the time untenable – desire for an honest to goodness space program complete with space stations, shuttles, and space cadets. As an ageing adult in the Twenty-first Century United States of America, I (and 300 million other Americans) actually have a partially dismantled space program, and a REAL Tom Corbett and 32 other SPACE CADET governors busily taking apart our public school system, and coincidentally destroying the future for American middle class blue collar, white collar, and working poor children!

Okay, now there is no “ALMOST” about this political rant!

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