I’m finished with my third year at the Atelier in Oakland. Next year will be my fourth, and after learning anatomy (year 1), technique (year 2), and color temperature (year 3), I am faced with the “thesis” project.
We don’t get official grades at this school, because it’s 1. not accredited and 2. largely populated by students who have day jobs and so are self-propelled in their artwork. But that doesn’t mean we don’t grade ourselves, and indulge in a tiny bit of good natured rivalry with fellow students. But Rob doesn’t run his Saturday classes as an academic grinding mill, and that’s what I like about it. We learn from other students’ work, and find joy when they make a huge leap forward (and there are students—yours truly being one of them—who poke along for months, then suddenly break through whatever mental block they have and leap up to the next level of competence and sensitivity).
So, the thesis project is a big deal to me. If—no, when—I complete it, I’ll have a portfolio of pieces that are a “body of work.” Expect to hear more of this.