Art Faculty Summer Projects Q&A: Emily Trespas, Instructor in Art

Q: Did you work on any personal projects over the summer?

A: “I participated in two weeklong art workshops through Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Mass. The first was a ‘Drawing Intensive’ with Barbara Moody and the second “Plein Air Landscape Painting” with George Nick. As I teach drawing at Andover, one might question why I would take a drawing class. My teaching is strengthened when I return to the classroom, revisit skills, practice with peers and experience the teaching style and assignments of another professional. I moved through the workshops harmonizing my engagement as an educator, artist and student. It was refreshing and rewarding to explore limited materials like graphite, charcoal and pastels while honing my observational skills.”

Q: Do you have a favorite piece that you created? Why are you most attached to it?

A: “A favorite piece from my summer focus would be my pastel painting of a still life with grapefruit and cantaloupe slices. The setup was complex, colorful and overwhelming. I doubted I would finish in the five hours allotted, but I did. Also, the last time I worked with color pastels representationally was 20 years ago! This was a difficult project because of the time pressure and the physical roughness of the materials. My fingertips split and were tender the next day from blending the chalk into textured paper. When I stepped back from the pastel I was surprised that I drew it. It’s not a subject I typically choose nor [was it] drawn in a style or medium that’s familiar to my usual way of working; it took me out of my comfort zone. In the days leading up to this drawing, I worked hard to understand every concept taught and then apply them. Also, trusting my creative instincts with color and form led to a surprisingly realistic piece.”