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RE:[teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: August 14, 2006


From: Maureen (mmorris_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Aug 15 2006 - 09:52:51 PDT

"Drawing what we think we see" vs. Observation
Copying and Tracing

Wow, I wonder how these discussions get going so fast. I am happy to add to
it, albeit late. I agree with numerous things that Jen wrote. Observational
drawing does not necessarily lead to drawing exactly what is there. How
could it when each individual comprises of a unique and individual lens.
Does it really matter? Observational drawing leads us to conceptual
understanding of how the world is constructed, the nature of reality but not
reality itself. My skills that have developed through observational drawing
enable me to draw from my imagination. Since what we do is often understood
through relationships, one angle to another, one shape to another, one
object in relationship to another, etc. Sure, there are mathematicians out
there drawing as precisely as possible, but to be artists and not mere
mathematicians, one has to cross that line from subject matter to content.
As an artist and teacher, I say that drawing from a photograph or picture is
copying. So what? Unless I have not been made aware that the word "copying"
has become the new four letter word, I have no problem using that as a tool
in the classroom on a limited basis as long as students are made aware of
the differences. Besides, I like many four letter words. This is where I get
more principled. Students should only trace their own work, artists should
only trace their own work, and certainly there are many processes that
artists employ where tracing can become part of the language. Am I strictly
opposed to allowing a student to trace something to get to where they want
to go based on their level of need; developmental, intellectual, physical
considerations? No I am not that strict but again, I would encourage those
students to use it only as a tool, again teaching them to be aware of the
differences. I got to tell you, I am so excited to be a part of this forum
where talented and intelligent people are sharing, Thanks.

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