The past couple of weeks have been quite hectic with adventure trip, science, electives, and out of school activities. However, I continue to work with my mentor weekly in hopes of continuing my process in the in-depth project. After I finished my first painting in my last post, I have since then started my second painting. As we are already on the sixth week of in-depth, I am happy to say that I am still on schedule. In fact, one week ahead of schedule. With this being said, that is why my mentor and I decided I would paint on a larger canvas than I did for my last painting. At first I was quite hesitant as I don’t have lots of background with painting, but my mentor said that my history with drawing and my willingness to try something new would assure that I could pull off a larger painting. As my first painting was a close-up of dandelions, my mentor suggested I try something different the second time around. We decided that landscape would be a good option as it would help me improve my blending technique and I wouldn’t have to focus on any extremely fine details.
As for my relationship with my mentor, Grace, we have decided to try and meet once a week, usually on Tuesdays. The meetings are usually two hours long as the length gives us a chance to talk, but also paint. As my in-depth study is a hands-on project, communicating over phone or email is quite ineffective. This is why we choose to meet in person at her house. Her house is the ideal meeting spot as she has all the paint colours I would ever need and a large selection of brush sizes. No matter how many times I enter her house, I am always motivated to paint and draw even more after seeing all her different paintings and all her other student’s paintings.
Regarding the questions for this post, they mainly reflect upon the mentor student relationship. This is great for me as I knew Grace prior to this year and these questions help me to further improve our relationship.
- What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?
Something that has been working well is the balance that my mentor and I share. While it still is Grace that is teaching me, she asks me questions that make me feel like I am contributing to our conversation. Overtime, she doesn’t have to ask me as many questions for me to open up as I do it sort of naturally now.
- What learning challenges emerged? What did you do to hold yourself accountable for the learning?
One challenge that emerged was during one of our first meetings when I was deciding what to paint. I ended up spending quite a while looking through various books before deciding on a dandelion. This ended up with me spending my time looking while I could have begun the painting process. To fix this and hold myself accountable for this, when it came time to start my second painting, I had already talked to her briefly over the phone of what would be a good idea to paint so when I came to the meeting, I spent a considerably less amount of time looking.
- What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?
Asking more questions: I feel that asking even more questions during our mentoring session can help me to discover new information not only about painting, but also my mentor. It could also lead to even more interesting conversations afterwards.
Spontaneous: This strategy also involves questions as I would like to be more spontaneous with my question asking. Often, I mull over the question in my head before deciding to ask or not, but I realize that contemplating my questions does not really benefit anyone. I think if I ask more in the moment questions, it can help my learning process, especially with any confusion.
Common interests: Sometimes, my mentor and I will talk about other topics than just painting. I hope to find other interests we have in common as the ones I know of so far are great conversation topics and also give me more insight into my mentor as not only a teacher, but a friend. One common ground we have is our same cultural background. The generation separation however, makes for a great compare and contrast of my lifestyle compared to hers as a teen.
Anyways, thank you to everyone for reading. Hopefully by the next post I will be done my second painting.