This year saw exponential growth in a lot of areas that all contributed to making me feel very ready and incredibly stoked for Art IV. My ability to draw things or people objectively skyrocketed over the course of the year--although the contrast is more the fault of very poor skills in the beginning of the year than anything especially fantastic I drew at the end. However, the growth I experienced as an artist this year is much larger thing than simply my ability to draw a figure. The most important thing that happened in Art III was that I became much more comfortable making independent decisions and serving as the driver for my art both creatively and technically (at least in the pieces I was most committed to, such as the environment project and abex painting--I still was not very self-sufficient on more technically engaged and less expressive pieces like the old master project and oil painting). I still have room to grow, but I no longer need my hand held to make my own art that is powerful and effective. This was a big problem in Art I/II, where I demanded constant attention from Ms. Mosley in order to get anything done. Independence and self-sufficiency are not only good to have, they are almost necessary to have in order to survive in a studio-like environment with 15 others in one classroom during Art IV.
However, the other big thing I learned from Art III was an appreciation of those projects and skills that might not be what I would choose to do myself. I distinctly remember Ms. Mosley saying to my Art I class, with an abstract expressionist piece on the screen, "You have to learn the rules before you can break them." I couldn't bring myself to accept that: how the hell did knowing how to draw a pen and ink still life help Jackson Pollock create his incredible works of abstract badassery? I just wanted to skip what I assumed to be the bullshit and make some cool art.
I hung on to that perception all through Art II. Art III, however, turned that notion upside down on its head. I realized how much better abstract art can be with an at least moderately developed understanding of how to draw objectively from life. Figure Fridays, the Old Master Project, the self-portrait--grinding through those increased my understanding of composition, value and space; which, believe it or not, still exist in the abstract.
The area I have seen the biggest growth is also the area that needs the most improvement. While I have become much more self-sufficient, I need to be almost completely so next year. This year, home projects served to explore ideas and develop skills, but next year, I will need to be making actual effective art at home, where Coach is not. This is something I can practice with the Dynamic Duo project this summer. The goal is to hit the ground running in September to make the absolute most out of my last year in high school art and my first year as an independent artist.