Mississhippi's Madness

A place to share my creative pursuits

Term 1 down, only three to go…


The first term of my Certificate IV in Visual Arts and Contemporary Crafts at TAFE has flown by. I haven’t been this busy in years, and I’m loving it.

It has been interesting talking to some of the other participants – some of them love a particular subject or two and dislike other intensely, some of them don’t turn up (in fact, some haven’t turned up since the first week) and some of them, who knows how they feel! Me… I’m a sponge, taking in everything and loving it, even Art History, which I hated in high school, so much so I chose not to do art after the first year.

So to recap…

Drawing – We’ve used ink, graphite and charcoal, working on A2 size paper mostly, to create 5 works which will culminate in second term with a triptych using all three, focussing on interiors.

Ceramics – I’ve created three pieces so far, all faces, and I’m halfway through building a large vase. I’m learning heaps and I think this is probably my favourite subject. I love creating in 3D.

Art History – even though we are only doing an overview, I am learning so much about Ancient History and how world events shaped the art that was created. Ancient Greece was fascinating – want to learn more about that period and the art/sculpture that is the basis for so much of what we do today. We have handed in two assignments so far, one of which was a review of an exhibition. We have to complete 5 reviews over the year and will have one essay mid year.  I am learning so much about how to look at an artwork… it is not really pretentious art speak – I’m beginning to understand what reviewers are talking about.

Printmaking – biggest learning curve here. Have never done this before. Really enjoyed the monoprints – no control, just have to create and enjoy. Lino cuts are interesting, but I need to do more to see if it really appeals or not. I want to create some hand-made prints at home, so I am going to find out what I need to set up. K. and I can have fun with this at home and create all sorts of things.

Photography – I must have absorbed more about this over the years than I thought. My grandfather was an amateur photographer – he taught my brother so much about photography (I was a lot younger) and he always had cameras with him. He gave me my first Kodak camera at age 8 – an instamatic. He gave me a Canon Demi when I was older – I love that camera. I have always enjoyed taking photos, so it is really interesting to learn how they are processed and what you can achieve in a dark room. It is frustrating to have to wait until I go back to class next term to print the 2 rolls of film I took on Saturday for our next project – I am so used to digital now – I want to see the results. But I’m patient…maybe… there is a photo place I can take it to get it developed… I didn’t like getting the film out of the canister in class as they didn’t have any of the correct tools to open it… had to pry it open in the dark with my fingers… ouch!

We have completed two projects in Photography so far – Identity and Camera Controls. Identity was a digital print based on something to do with my own identity, and Camera Controls was a project aimed at helping us to learn how to use the camera. I am so happy about a couple of the shots I took for this project. I had to hand them in but I’ll post them next term.

Painting – Have completed two acrylic paintings, one tonal, one limited palette and will finish the third one, using the full palette, during the holidays. It was a great relief to find that I can paint using a paintbrush as well as with pastels. Still have a lot to learn but now I can have a go with acrylics and see what I can create in my own time. Next term we start watercolour, which after my experiences last year, I’m not really looking forward to. But with a different teacher, who knows… I’ll go into it with an open mind.

The teachers speak about how many who do Cert IV move on and do the Diploma after. Four days a week is a big commitment over two years. Two days a week would make it four years, and twice as expensive. Something to think about over the course of this year.


Author: Elaine

Artist, writer, married, mother, living with Ankylosing Spondylitis and winning (most of the time). My creative impulses have led me to drawing, pastel painting, writing, handcrafts and photography.

3 thoughts on “Term 1 down, only three to go…

  1. Ditto to everything you said Lainie 😀 It's been a great start to the year!! Love your work and wheat we're all learning too.

  2. Thanks Robyn. Just thought I needed to think about the past term and what I'd (we'd) accomplished.

  3. It sounds very exciting and you are producing great work! Keep on having fun!

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