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re:[teacherartexchange] Meet the Masters


Date: Sun Apr 27 2008 - 09:33:56 PDT

Hi Everyone,
Thought I'd add my two cents (sense?) here. I never used my meager
budget to buy any packages but always design my own lessons. That
being said, I often use art and artists to teach art. I try to use
the same approach that I use when I, myself, am creating art.
Sometimes I sit in the museum and sketch from a work of art. Why do I
do that? I AM trying to copy it. Why would I do this? Usually it's
to understand how an artist composed a work, used shapes, lines, or
some other formal element of art. Will I remember that work of art?
Yes I will. I call this deconstructing a work I admire to add to my
own repertoire of skills in the art making I do in the future.

Copying does have a purpose but it's only one segment of what I do.
Copying has been going on through the ages. Look at the masters of
art and see who their masters were.

Is copying creative and out of the box? By all means no it is not.
Should it be the foundation of all artwork. No it should not.

I participated in a teacher workshop with Lois Hetland from Project
Zero about 1 1/2 years ago and loved it. Pretty much what she created
was typical of what I might do in my art classes. We had an activity
drawing or creating something original and then had a critique not
only about what we made but also the process of doing this. I do this
with all my classes (grades K-8 and a zillion lesson plans to create)
but not every week because my students get only 40 minutes of art
weekly. Sometimes the principal holds meetings with teachers and then
I get to have the kids another time in the same week. That's when I
might conduct Masterpiece Theater where students select from a pile of
art repros I have and try to replicate the work. Then we discuss what
formal art element lines up with both the work and what the student
made. Then I suggest the student use some of those ideas in my next
conceptual art lesson.

Nobody needs to purchase a package of instructions about using
masters-but certainly we want our students to have some familiarity
with recognized masters' art.

Barbara from Boston

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