It was during my third year as an undergraduate art student (Go Slugs!) that I met Frank, my abstract painting professor.
I’d never been more frustrated with a syllabus or a teacher in my whole life as I’d been with Frank. He gave us rules by having none. “Paint like you mean it,” he would say. “But don’t think about it. And don’t really mean it.”
The careful, thoughtful, planner inside me cringed every day in that studio. I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do, so I constantly monitored what everyone else was doing and followed instructed suit.
The bi-product: A six-foot tall canvas spread wildly with a cake frosting texture of Alizarin Crimson and Flake White oils. It took me over a month to create and countless two a.m. sessions to perfect.
I hated it. Truly—I gutturally despised it. It didn’t get better when I squinted my eyes. Or when I turned it upside-down. Frank loved it the moment he laid his eyes on it. “This is the best thing I’ve seen this year,” he gushed, hands literally clasped to his cheeks. Read the rest of this entry »