There are a lot of ways I could start this reflection, and a lot of ways I could talk about the experiences that I've had in the art program here, but not one in particular stands out to me. In that, most every art class I've had has been unique, and has allowed me to grow not only artistically, but as a person.  Maybe that sounds like I'm trying to be a kiss up about this, but some of my favorite memories from high school were made in art class. 
     In Art 1, I was not only introduced to the media that I would be working with for the next four years, but I learned about the power of having an art table, and about having people I could return to every day who not only encouraged me creatively, but personally. In this class, I learned that it took more than 30 minutes to complete a work of art, and that design and planning was as just a large a part of the creative process as the finished process was. At the end of the semester, when I saw the AP art portfolios of the other students, I decided that I would never, ever take AP ARt. 
     I don't remember why I decided to take Art 2, but i feel like it was the first actual art class I'd ever taken. Not that Ms. Sudkamp's class wasn't the perfect learning experience for my first art class, but Art 2 really whipped me into shape.  I was serious about charcoal, really understood what people meant when they said "everything is a line" for the first time, and had a fantastic art table that taught me so much about growing up and being a human being. I would say that Art 2 was the favorite of all the art classes that I've taken at school, not only because I could feel myself gaining growth artistically, but because I had such a strong support system who encouraged me to try new things and gave me something to strive for. 
     Next (I know that this sounds like an autobiography, and it is, so bear with me), I took sculpture. I didn't have such a support system in sculpture, and in a way, that gave me a greater freedom to experiment. Sculpture really gave me the ability to see form and the way things work together, and how they have to work together in order to create a cohesive whole, even if you can't see exactly how that was accomplished. Which was a very important step in my drawing process. You can't really draw something without understanding how its physical presence affects it-- like a face. You can draw a smile, but the eyes also move. But, anyways, sculpture was when that shoe dropped for me. 
     Drawing was comparable to Art 2, both in terms of growth and support. I drew some of my best pieces in Drawing, such as my flower zombie, and I played more with charcoal, because I love it so much.  I learned prismacolors also, but that wasn't as fun. And I played around with some other stuff. But, most importantly, I think, I got to apply the lines I learned in Art 2 and the shapes I learned in sculpture. And, I finally caved and signed up for Art 4 and AP. Also, I learned from Allison and Noah about portfolios, and consequently planned mine for that entire semester, all summer, and then the next fall semester. 
        Which is Art 4! Or, first there was my panicked summer work, which was really helpful, because again, charcoal, and I love collages so much. So much. Even though I'm not really good at it, I always looked forward to the last project because it usually meant that we got to do collages. But, anyways! That covers summer work. And then Art 4 was really disheartening, because I was working really quickly and all of my pieces were looking really poorly, and I couldn't help but look around and see all of these people who deserved to be in Art 4, while I was there, sort of as a fluke. But I think I managed to improve some, and I did overcome my insecurity, and eventually found my pace and was able to do what I wanted to do without reservation. 
       With AP art, I  had a lot of insecurities too, but, I was really, really happy that I got to finally complete my concentration, because I had been planning it for a while. And, I got to work in all of he mediums that I had learned previously, and improve in hopefully most of them, and I got to learn some new stuff that I had never done before, like watercolors, guache, and oil.  I also got to study faces a lot, which was all I've really wanted to do since sixth grade, so hopefully I improved with that.  I'm sort of still too close to this to accurately reflect on this past semester, past what I've said beforehand. 
     My art experience overall has been overwhelmingly positive, and I am so happy to have followed art through my entire high school career. I know that I will never be serious in art, but it has been a lot of fun to explore the range of my talents and learn how to express myself differently. I can definitely see myself continuing art in the future, even if it isn't as a professional artist. 

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