Go For IT!!!

Hello My name is Marty. I am a qualified art teacher, a youth worker and a father of a leaving cert student!! I would like to congratulate the designer of this web page. It is great and a great way to offer support to leaving cert students!! Congrats and well done!!

As a father of a son preparing for his leaving cert I can certainly relate to the ‘stress’ and pressure in preparing for the Leaving Cert. I guess I wanted to come on to offer support and encouragement to the students who use this site. In my son I see he is doing his very best, at times wants to ‘scream’ and finds it is all about ‘pushing himself harder’….when in his heart he is saying ‘I’m doing my best here!!’…..sometimes I need to remind him to breathe, try relax and that no matter what he is still my number 1!!

From that place I want to encourage you in a similar way… there is so much choice and things that you could become and for many want to become…and you can! My advice, and it is just advice…. would be to remember that your leaving cert is just one small (at the moment it might seem like the biggest!!) battle of your life…. You will come through it and you will survive!!….there are many battles in life…and for some of you this might seem like a war…. its not…. its one battle and there will be many more! So what would I say… 1.STOP…as in actually stop…2.BREATHE, try relax….(do what helps you relax!!) …put where you are at in to context… 3. PLAN…work out a plan…..(no solider going into ‘war’ goes in unprepared!!)…. 4. stick to it…requires discipline (making good choices of where you are going!!)….5. GO FOR IT!!

In reading a blog on cao choices can I throw this at you!!

1. Firstly you can do it! Believe in your the ability you have.
2. Think about your passions, what do you love to do? Draw up a ‘My strengths’ list on yourself….be honest with yourself…e.g…I am good at…., I love to….., People say I am really good at…., … In deciding what it is you want to do there are already abilities, skills and talents within you… tap into what your heart tells you!! And remember it is okay to change your mind later!
3. Listen to the good advice of those who know you and love you. Believe it or not your parents, teachers and coaches are for you. They want the very best for you!! remember also too that they are ‘opinions’.. at the end of the day you will have to make that final decision….and again….You can do it!!
4. I would like to encourage you to listen to what the other students are saying on this site! They have been there so they know what it is like!!
5. Finally…GO FOR IT!! and all the very best wishes to each and everyone of you!!


4 thoughts on “Go For IT!!!”

  1. hiya! have you any tips on how to do the gallery visit essay im struggling with it! weve went to the gallery and everything but i dont know what you need to write about! a sample answer would be brilliant! 😀

  2. Hi Sarah,
    All artwork whether we like it or not causes us to react one way or the other…either ‘uckk that’s horrible’ Or that is ‘really nice’….or somewhere in between…sometimes even we can be left numb cause we don’t get what the artist is trying to say….but even been numb is a reaction…so when looking at artwork it is about looking at it from another angle….ask yourself a question first. “what is it about this work that I like, don’t like?”… a good start could be to engage your feelings first and then your mind to answer why you feel the way you do about it…. Taste is a personal thing and we are all unique so that is the beginning of art appreciation…

    The art gallery visit question can be varied… i.e describe your experience of a recent visit… or compare and contrast two exhibitions… so here is my advice…looking at last year’s question…

    18. Answer (a), (b) and (c)
    (a) Describe and discuss the presentation and layout of an exhibition in a named
    gallery, museum or interpretative centre that you have recently visited.
    (b) Outline how the experience could help you to organise an exhibition in your own
    school for open day.
    (c) Briefly describe one work that impressed you during your visit.
    Illustrate your answer.
    Firstly the question is worth 50 marks…so read the question and underline what is they want from you?

    Here’s what I see…

    a) Describe
    So tell them as much as you can…in your own words about the presentation and layout…what you saw… how was the exhibition laid out…how many paintings, space between each…how many on each wall, type of lighting on it, type of frames….space away from the work…
    And Discuss
    So tell them what you saw, what you liked, what you think worked, how the presentation and layout actually made you as a viewer feel… did it work…did it make you feel good or bad? Make a comment on whether you think it worked or what you think would work better…analysis, compare to something else etc)

    b) Outline – So tell them what you would do point by point what you would do differently or the same? Consider the space you have available in ‘your school’, the lighting, and how many art works would you put up, how you would decide which ones to put up beside each other, is there a theme?
    c) Briefly – so tell them…BRIEFLY… ‘the art work I especially liked was ‘mad cows’ ’ what does it look like? How was it made..paint, drawing, pastels etc….why you liked it? ‘I Liked the title, liked the image/picture, liked the use of colour, liked the size,’ etc how it made you feel, what it said to you or made you think of when you looked at it…
    Try draw/ colour a picture of the artwork in answering the question!!

    In preparing from your own recent experience….

    1. Think back over the visit you had…write down the answers to the following questions….
    2. Where was it held…location, venue etc.
    3. Who was the artist/ artists?
    4. What was the art medium? Paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, mixed media etc.
    5. How was the art work presented? Big paintings, space on walls – all together, well spaced out, layout, lighting on them …natural light…artificial light etc
    6. Was there a theme to the art work? Any written words about the work/ artist (leaflets etc) What was the story of the work? This might have been the work of an artist or artists on a specific theme… example: family life…Are there names/ titles on the art work….do they tell you something about the picture/ image…
    7. What where some of the pictures like? What did they say to you about the theme? Did you get it/ could you see how the art work relates to the theme? Describe briefly how the art piece was made and how you think the it relates to the theme…use of colour and marks on the canvas…. Strong colour can indicate passion, anger etc while ‘softer’ colours can indicate calmness or quietness….what is the artist trying to say? again think about how they made you feel…(I know sometimes you might not be able to say how you felt…there have been times when I felt nothing…but it is about trying to understand what made the artist paint the way they did)… ask yourself if you would have painted or made the artwork that way? How would you have done it. Art work is a visual expression of words…words tell stories…what is the story?
    8. What did you think of the artwork and the space it was set up in….did it work? How did the art work make you feel? Happy, sad, angry…Where the paintings well spaced out, was there enough room to stand back and look at them, did they work well beside each other…or where you distracted from one to the other?

    Other things to consider in this question may be more general…as in… how does the venue work as an art gallery? Are the posters, catalogues, brochures, sign posts and general facilities (coffee room/ gallery shop/toilets/parking) helpful in promoting the art on display? What would you do differently?

    Finally… if at all possible get to another gallery with these questions and write the answers as you go around the gallery….Having a real experience knowing that you are looking for is a lot easier because you have been there….easier to remember an experience than having to make it up!!

    Hope this helps…

    And as always GO FOR IT!!

  3. Siobhan duffy

    I was just wondering could you help me with sample answers on Monet and renoir.Struggling with learning off answers!:((
    many thanks :)))

    1. Hi Siobhan,
      Send me some of the questions that are posing you problems and lets see if we can work out a way to help you remember the important bits!!


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