Monday, February 04, 2008

Laurin D. Notheisen

Photo Source: © Laurin Notheisen - All rights reserved.

If I could go back in time to when I was an undergraduate, I would kick myself for not taking Laurin Notheisen for painting. I avoided taking her for most classes, because she had a reputation of being hard. But I had to take her for printmaking and I came to understand why people felt she was hard, because she was driven. Driven to see everyone do better and create better works. She sometimes seemed harsh, but I really think it was bent towards tough love and not to discourage students. I really think I could have gained a lot of skills from her. I now see that I am lacking in some techniques. I know that I am lacking because my current painting professor pointed it out in so many words. After that critique, I feel great. He hit me hard and when I brought the painting in, I knew it wasn't very good. But he made sure I would never bring in a work that I don't feel confident about. That is OK by me. That is why I took him. I knew he would make me rise to the challenge or just get out of the program.

There have been some key moments in my history that have made me say, YOU’RE WRONG, I will do it. 1. A high school teacher told me that I would not make it through college. 2. And sculpture teacher told me that I was not making college level work 3. And now I have, this is a first year undergraduate painting. I have over come the first two and now it is time to overcome this new challenge.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Hi Todd! I came through school where professors would just tear things apart and throw them on the floor to demonstrate what they throught about work they didn't like. Of course they would call that seperating the good from the not so good and many students left the program. I remember being in an emotional state every single time I had a project due, but lucky for me (along with a lot of hard work) I came away with every single project intact.

While I do not agree with that kind of instruction and don't use it with my own students, I did come away understanding how important it was to rely on my own intuition about my work.

Often undergraduate programs teach us things we do not consider a part of a particular program, but give us the opportunity to learn many life lessons. It sounds as though you have already recognized some of those.

As always, your posts are so thought provoking. I really appreciate that.

Additionally, thank you for your thoughts on my painting. Your insights are greatly appreciated.