‘Painting with my students’ – Development of Subject Matter and Refinement of Personal Styles in Selected Paintings among Fine Art Students at Kenyatta University
Students of Fine Art at the University level embark on many artistic undertakings within their semester durations as a requirement of their programme. In painting, a major objective is the development of a personal style that occurs over a period of time as each student works through the respective painting units spread out across the academic years. As they work through the units, they consolidate and refine their individual styles in readiness to begin their artistic careers in earnest, as well as enhancing their individual growth. This means that they spend a significant amount of time refining their skills as well as gaining knowledge. Another objective in painting is to help students delve into the realm of thematic interpretation in order to acquire the impetus towards an inquiry into the myriad of pertinent issues in their environment and life. This enables them to develop a rationalised personal view that in turn allows them to develop subject matter for the purpose of self-expression. Students’ work is often viewed as students’ work. This paper posits that this, however, does not necessarily denote that students, who for the purpose of this paper will be referred to as student artists, do not already possess the capacity to examine and interpret themes and extract admirable interpretations and anecdotes of self-expression. It does not imply that they do not already possess admirable painting skills even as they endeavour to further develop and refine these skills and consolidate their individual styles. It does not, subsequently, imply that what they paint lacks the capacity for significant inquiry, commentary and sense of self-expression. This paper delves into selected paintings by student Artists to determine whether their level of visual execution, construction and composition of subject matter as well as their interpretive ability, demonstrates or negates a current ability to meet the stated thresholds in their own right.
Copyright (c) 2020 Kamau Wango, PhD
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