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Re: [teacherartexchange] look for unusual drawing media


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Aug 05 2006 - 11:21:38 PDT

This a fabulous idea for a class and I must say I've been pondering
such a course, but I'm so sick and tired of writing new curriculum I
keep it on the back burner.

Once again, and as usual, I have to concur with Marvin. This is
perfect for spurring all new kinds of creative thinking.
> This sounds like it could be a great course that teaches DISCOVERY
> and INVENTION--teaching CREATIVITY CREATIVELY. I would give
> students fewer ideas and ask them for more ideas. What about
> giving credit to each student who finds new materials and tests
> them using a standard comparison method that the class invents?
> Invention might include new combinations of materials, new ways to
> place the materials on the paper, use of binders as well as
> colorants, new bases on which to draw, etc. This is very
> appropriate education for the mind of an artist, a scientist, and
> for anybody else who wants to succeed, prosper, and make the world
> a better place.

Yesterday, in the midst of this conversation, there was an article in
the NY Times about a prisoner who uses the colors from M&M's to make
paintings. He makes his brushes from plastic wrap, foil and his own
hair. Now that's making something from nothing because the need to
create compels. I'm not judging who he is or what he does, just
that he is doing.

I have a project that I give my AP students -- 25 ideas in 5 days. I
only give them words and phrases and they have to find the ways and
means. I limit the supplies to what is only in the classroom OR
their own invention. I would love to do this in first grade. I am
always amazed at how they can turn a phrase and find the metaphor ---
and when pressed find 25 ways in 5 days.
Since the history of art has always been about up-turning the
traditions and conventions, I think it's more than time that we
provide the avenues and opportunity for our young ones to let us know
what they want to turn upside down and inside out. And, in their
pursuit of questioning and rebelling, that's when we can sneak in the
E's and P's. I truly think the the e's & p's need to be snuck in and
not be the start point. The ideas have to come first.
Michal wrote
> Marvin, this reminded me of a project I did in college that I had
> forgotten all about. My instructor gave each person in the class an
> assortment of items and we had to turn it into something, using
> everything in the kit. It was amazing at the wide range of projects
> considering they all contained the exact same things. It was
> definately a creative push and one of my favorite assignments. :-)

I've done this for years. It came from a creativity challenge in
Fiber Arts magazine years ago. I collect a lot of "trash" and
distribute. They have to use it all and can add if desired. The
best answer I ever got, was a student who, made from scratch his own
paper bag, then put all the trash I handed out into it. It was

Hint at ideas of possibilities for invention. Make it a game and see
how they can make it a game.
I had a student last year who smeared peanut butter and jelly over
her self portrait and microwaved it. Turned out to be one of my
favorite pieces and no way did I ever suggest the microwave. Never
even occured to me.

They think places I don't think. Give them credit for thinking. I
love this course idea.


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