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[teacherartexchange] What is your process?


Date: Sat Aug 02 2008 - 12:48:12 PDT

I have been fascinated by the thoughtful posts on processes and ways to
break creative blocks. By serendipity the Teaching for Artistic
Behavior summer conference that just ended included a major workshop on
this topic! Attendees shared their own processes, then studied how
they connected to Hetlund and Winner's STUDIO HABITS. And then
addressed the question of how the varied habits might be supported in a
school classroom.
I have clipped some quotes from some of the teacherartexchange may see yours here and I thank you for your great ideas.

<<I don't do thumbnails or value studies. I use my camera to seek out
compositions and crop them even
more in my computer. I feel I'm too much of a slave to my photos. I'm
working on that now. I also enhance
the colors in photoshop and filter out some of the details prior to
drawing from my photos. I'm careful to
only use my own photos. I draw directly onto my watercolor paper
which is often stretched tightly over
gatorboard. I work fast and wet in wet in developing my paintings. I
most often paint with a group of

<< When I get home from a day of teaching it seems all my creative
energy has
been spent. You know what I mean? I have several books that I re-read
to fire
my jets and get past artist block.


<<… I realized I hadn't learned a new medium in quite a while:
what right did I have20to say what should/should not cause my students
to be
afraid? So I took a furniture making class this summer. I'm
and when panicky, find myself needing instructions multiple times.
What a
fabulous learning experience!>>

<< Usually I paint from the
ideas that I have sketched out in one of the sketchbooks. The oldest
sketch from which I have made a painting is 20 years old. That is,
20 years from sketch to painting. Other times I paint from the joy
or agony I am experiencing in my life at the time. My images are
usually non-representational, but are occasionally figurative. I
never paint in a highly realistic way, so photographs are seldom

<< I start with preliminary rough sketches, which may really never see
the light of day finished, just to get the "pump primed". Then for my
puppet, as in other mixed media pieces, it becomes the thrill of the
hunt to gather materials that may or may not work, but have been
"suggested" by the lists. Once I am surrounded with the lists, and the
materials, then I am ready to start combining to head towards the
original idea, which may have by this time, congealed into something
solid. I will work on a piece for a couple of days, then let it rest
for a couple of more, then revisit the work with fresh eyes.>>

<< I think what we all ask all the time is how to get ideas? how to
foster ideas?how to get some original t
hinking? I think we have to
get kids to connect to the things that create memories- -dreams, mass
media, conversation, storytelling,wishes What is the process when
why is your story important?
what is the "gist "of your story?
what is the sequence of events in your story? what are the activities?
when somebody else tells a story what memories do you create?
when you tell your story what do you make-up?
  how do you embellish your story? what do you expect as general
knowledge? what do you have to explain?>>

<< I work from original photographs ONLY!!! I use both my traditonal 35
mm AND digital pocket camera. I have boxes of prints categorized
(roughly) and since I work in both graphite and watercolor - find this
to be my most valuable resource. I look for abstract or dramatic light
and dark patterns - and geometric shapes/forms for most of my work. I
work very realisticaly - doing watercolor landscape/buildings and
trees/rocks in pencil. I start with value sketches - done on a light
box to save time. I simply put tracing paper on my photos and look for
interesting value patterns and contrast that I establish with B grade
pencils. It is a time saver.>>

<<in order to work past my fears, I have found if I declare what my
intent is "out loud" to anyone whose opinion matters, then in order to
"save face" I actually have to do it!>>

<< My ideas
come from both dra
wing and photographic sources. I think the "fear
factor" kicks in when we are presented with deadlines and graded

What are the art making habits of our students? How do we make them
more aware and encourage them to leverage their very personal habits
for successful art making? How do we support multiple approaches to art
making in busy school life? Would the all of the list members quoted
above be comfortable in our classrooms?

Thanks again for a great and timely thread. I am still thinking hard
about this.
kathy douglas
k-3 massachusetts, retired

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