I’ve always loved art. I loved it in Junior Cert where we had weeks to complete our projects so naturally, I presumed that I would take Leaving cert art in my stride. I probably should have taken a closer look at the exam format because this year when I looked at my timetable I realized I had ELEVEN HOURS of exams. Excessive. This week I took my craft exam on Thursday and my life drawing and imaginative composition on Friday, It’s Sunday now and I still feel like I have been run over by a truck.
However nervous you feel on the morning of the craft exam you absolutely need to have breakfast because the exam is a marathon. It’s five hours (with a two-hour break) but however long that sounds on paper it wasn’t enough for me. I chose Bookcraft for my craft so the five hours were a blur of attaching lids and clasps and painting. I really wish I had managed my time better and hurried more in the first section of the exam because by the end I felt like I was in Dantes circle of hell I was so stressed. This is the last year of this craft exam as the new exam system is already in place for next year. I’m really glad because a five-hour exam like that was simply too much, we were all broken women leaving the art room at half four.
The next day began with Imaginative Composition and I was determined to manage my time better. I sat down and made a plan the night before and by sticking to that I was a lot less stressed (much to the relief of my art teacher who had witnessed my frazzled state the day before). This exam was two and a half hours and I fit comfortably in that time as I had practiced my painting so many times. My bedroom looks like a small shrine to the little old man I was drawing as I have practice copies of his face in pencil and watercolor stuck all over my walls. When I was done I stuck my notes to the back of my sheet and I was finished!
After lunch, it was time for life drawing, one portrait in 30 minutes and one full body pose in 15. This exam was designed by someone who wanted to make me cry, the exam is so time pressured there isn’t any room for error. I must have some guardian angel looking down on me however because it turned out reasonably ok! (Bar a little wonky eye, but nobody is perfect.)
All in all the art exam wasn’t a failure, it’s such a relief to have 60% done before the exams but when I was sitting on the floor on Friday afternoon, exhausted after over eight hours of exams all I wanted was my bed, and to never draw a portrait again.