New year, new direction

Posted on: March 30th, 2013 by Alexander Stanuga 1 Comment

Art has been my passion for as long as I can remember, my earliest memories are of painting on a kids easel in our Five Dock backyard at my mothers feet while she hung up the washing. Thankfully I would have been too short to start painting the white sheets above my head, as she hung them out to dry.

I think I've always associated being artistic with being happy, and as a young boy, the successes I achieved in art class did a lot to make me feel accepted in school, as I wasn't very good at the other subjects. My memory of primary school art classes is patchy, I don't believe we had a regular Art class in our timetable, though in year 5 I was fortunate to have won a school held painting competition, which meant I was accepted into private art tuition.

For the next 6-8 years and during my High School I attended art classes most Saturday mornings, where I was introduced to drawing and painting of still life, figurative and plein air. It was also through these sessions that I developed an interest in traditional art making techniques like tempera, watercolour and oil painting. All of these skills I found lacking in the High School curriculum, and which I found confusing and devoid of any sense of direction. Despite not really 'getting' the High School Art curriculum, I was still achieving well, often excelling, though usually at the expense of other subjects. In my final year I was fortunate to have been selected for Art Express, which at the time was the highlight of my life.

Despite this little success, I still felt that joining the Army with a view to seeing the world and secure a regular job was my best option. As it turned out fate had other ideas, and while having to wait months for surgery to fix a hernia, I was accepted into TAFE (College) to study Graphic Design, here at least I felt I could use my skills and talents to make a living.

During the final year of my Graphic Design course I was accepted to study Art in London, at St Oswalds School of Painting, beginning the following year (2005 - I was a late starter as the UK year begins in September). Once again this gave me that happy feeling, and I tackled the challenge with all the gusto I had. My time in London though enjoyable, proved challenging, this was the first time I had been abroad alone, and I knew little about London living, other than through conversations with friends and backpackers in bars and clubs I worked in order to save for the trip. Never-the-less I was determined to succeed and learn everything I could, a trip to Greece visiting the ancient ruins was one of the highlights, and something that will forever stay with me.

The following year saw me back in Australia, having had to cut my study and time in the UK short, but my enthusiasm and self belief only grew stronger. By 2007 I was enrolled again, this time at The National Art School in Sydney, where I completed a three year Degree in Fine Art majoring in Painting. With time spent in Europe, I was able to approach the study of Art from a different direction, having seen many works first hand gave me a deeper understanding of them when they were presented in Art History classes.

Since completing my Degree, I have continued to face the challenges of the 'real world', I married the love of my life and moved to London again intending to pursue a career in Design. It was during the last year I found time to reflect on my life, where I've come from and where I believe I'm now heading. The thought of being able to teach the next generation of Artists during the most vital period of their education, and ensure they gain a well rounded understanding about what can be achieved as an Artist appealed to me.

This reflection has led me to take up new study once more, and I have now started my Bachelor of Teaching in Secondary Education. Next year I qualify as a High School Art Teacher.

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One Response

  1. Elizabeth Stanuga

    July 26, 2013

    So happy to read this.
    It is good to acknowledge the good you have been given.


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