Since my last post, I have started my third painting. I worked on it for a week or so before I headed off to Mexico on spring break. My mentor also went on vacation for spring break so we were not able to meet for around two weeks. However, we did meet up this week to try and make up for the missed meetings. For my third painting, I decided to paint a photograph I found in a book of a beach. While I worked on it for the first week or so, when I came back from vacation, I ended up not liking it very much. While at first I didn’t want to have to restart, I also didn’t want to paint something that I didn’t fully like. After a while, I ended up voicing my opinions to Grace, my mentor. While I didn’t want to disappoint her, I’m glad I shared my opinion as Grace had a lot of good suggestions. She handed me a couple other books that I could look through to find inspiration to add to my painting or to find a completely different photograph to paint altogether. Fortunately, I ended up finding a photo that had a very similar setting to the one before.
Once I had found a new photo, I went to select a new canvas. I’m very accustomed to pencil drawing where grabbing a new sheet of paper is the answer if you want to change the outcome. While erasers work wonders, if you want to change almost the entire drawing, even they will leave behind faint pencil marks. However, Grace reminded me of one of the many advantages of paint. Even if you want to change the entire painting, acrylic paint can be easily covered with just more layers. I found the technique really interesting as when I started painting my second photo, I already had a layer of paint under. This eliminated a lot of the white dots I usually run into when my paint isn’t thick enough.
Here is a look at my painting and the changes I added:
Onto the questions:
- What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
My mentor, Grace, provides me with a handful of different mediums of art that I can take inspiration from to incorporate into my painting. She provides me with a ton of different books that I can look through, whether they are books of paintings, sketches, or even photos. In terms or learning, Grace gives me a lot of freedom in terms of choosing what to paint, the canvas size, and other aspects. This leaves a lot of room for mistakes. As stated before, small painting mistakes are easy to cover with a little bit of paper towel and some more paint. With Grace giving me so much freedom, she lets me learn from my mistakes opposed to some teaching styles that are very constricted. I think letting me make my own mistakes definitely improve my painting as I can analyze what I did wrong and remember that for next time. It also ties into a lot of the TALONS learning I do as there is a lot of flexibility and learning on my own.
- What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
As I mentioned above, Grace letting me make my own mistakes opens up a lot of new opportunities for me to learn on my own. This is especially helpful when I paint at home by myself as I am learning how to clean up my own mistakes rather than always have someone else do it for me. The freedom of my own mistakes reinforces independent learning, as well as creativity. I really enjoy taking my mistakes and somehow incorporating them into my painting.
- What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
I could definitely take a painting course at school to even further my learning. While I tried to sign up for Drawing & Painting 11, I ended up not getting the course. There is an opportunity for me to take it next year to continue with my in-depth project. Another learning opportunity that I could use is the internet. There are some great tutorials and videos on painting all over Youtube. While hands on experience is still the primary way for one to learn about painting, watching tutorials is still a great way to introduce myself to new techniques.
- When you get together what do you talk about?
When Grace and I meet up for mentoring session, we start off by talking about what I am going to accomplish in that short meeting. Once I get the paint out and start actually painting, our conversations takes off to a bunch of different topics. Since I have known Grace for quite a while, conversation flows really easy. In a few of the session I’ve been to with Grace, there have been other kids there as well (including my sister) so sometimes we have giant group discussions. However, when it is just us, Grace and I cover a bunch of different topics each day. As she has kids around my age, she often talks about them as well as their plans for university. We also talk about how our week has been since we last met as well as any news.
- What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
Something that is definitely going well in our mentoring relationship right now is communication. Over the past few months, I’ve been finding myself becoming more and more comfortable voicing my ideas and opinions to Grace. I think this aspect is definitely an important factor in any mentor-mentee relationship as open communication leads to a ton of new opportunities.
- What are you learning about one another?
Besides teaching me about painting and painting techniques, Grace and I also learn a lot of different things from each other. I’m definitely learning a lot more about her kids and her history before becoming an art teacher, both topics we generally didn’t discuss prior to this project. Overall, we are both just learning more about the other in terms of personality and experiences!
Thanks for reading!