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Re: AEN hs rant (pond scum)


Date: Sun Feb 29 2004 - 10:12:19 PST

Some thoughts to add to this discussion writes <<Collecting first ideas and making them
unavailable to be used is like this
swishing away of bad water. At this point we require the creative mind to
really engage to come up with some good things.
What has happened as my students do these thumbnails, is one at a time they
are bringing them to me...and I am pointing out the merits of some of their
designs and the weaknesses of others. A chance to talk about negative
space, formal or informal balance and so forth. >>

I believe that it is extremely important for students of all ages to know
that 1. Artists often prepare for a work for a long time before actually making
it. 2. Some artists work from a long series of sketches and thumbnails,
working their problems out as they go along before they approach what they plan to
be their finished work. 3. Other artists do NOT work this way and rely on
accessing the subconscious, for instance, to create compelling images. The
autonomism practiced by some of the Surrialist painters (Eduardo Matta, one of my
favorites, was one) used automatic writing and mark making to begin some of
their most amazing images. Another approach: In the PBS video Behind The
Scenes: color, discussed here some weeks previously, the painter Robert Guy de
Montes prepares to paint by visiting the flower market to get the colors in his
head. There are as many approaches to the preparation for authentic art
making as there are artists. If we all prepared to make art in an identical way
there would not be so much wonderful variation in what occured!

Larry also writes, movingly: <<It is hard to emphasize the value of art to a
students whose mother is in
the hospital due to her stepfather coming home drunk the night before and
beating her up. Hard to emphasize the value of a late English assignment,
math or anything. >>
 And I totally agree. And I agree that most of school offers little comfort
to children in crisis, children on the edge. Why can't the art class offer
this? Read Robert Coles' THEIR EYES MEETING THE WORLD, which discusses this
poetically. Children on the edge, because of families in crisis, because of
academic failure, because of emotional problems and worse, like their
counterparts in the history of art, have the potential to express this as the content
of their art. I am no sure how much great and moving art came from cozy
comfortable people making things just to be pretty and acceptable. I do not
think that is what Larry is looking for either!

Just more food for thought. It is very stimulating to see these discussions
going back and forth. Thanks to Larry for getting us all thinking.
kathy douglas