Perspectives

Varsity, 24″ x 18″ oil on canvas, $735 + shipping

Perspective \per-spek-tiv\ n 1 : the science of painting and drawing so that objects represented have apparent depth and distance 2 : the aspect in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed; esp : a view of things (as objects or events) in their true relationship or relative importance

As an eighth grader I was finally able to take art as an elective every day!  I thought I was in heaven until I realized that art class was work, just like English, but more hands-on. The first thing we made was a portfolio for all of our work, but as part of that project we learned to use a Speedball C-1 pen dipped in India ink to make Roman lettering (which is probably one of the most challenging lettering styles to master for anyone, much less a twelve year old) so our names could easily be read. The serif had to have this slight curve to be perfect, according to Mrs. Strong. It was not easy, and I am pretty sure I never did it correctly, but at least I could read my name. (Note: As a middle school art teacher who taught Italic calligraphy, I learned quickly that one does not give a bottle of ink and dip pens to eighth graders and expect no “accidents.” My admiration for Mrs. Strong’s patience is quite high.)

In eighth grade art class we drew from life, worked with papier mache, and participated in poster contests, but when we learned one point perspective, I thought I had learned the key to making my drawings appear “correct.” For some reason using a straightedge and a vanishing point to create depth made sense to me, probably because there is an order to it. As an art educator, I looked forward to teaching the unit in perspective every year.  I was always surprised that some of the weakest students easily caught on to the process.

Using that method of perspective was useful until I started painting some of the villages in Italy, where there is no consistent vanishing point for a building, and I had to learn to gage angles for the many doors and windows. Out-of-wack perspective is disturbing to me. 

When several of my painting friends joined to create an exhibit, we decided to call it Perspectives because we enjoy making paintings with buildings. We just each have a different way of expressing our views. Painting the signs on buildings is a challenge, but I am sure I will never do Roman lettering. At least not perfectly.

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