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Lesson Plans

Re: drawing - was calendar art

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Larry Cox (L_J_Cox)
Fri, 8 Jan 1999 16:02:54 -0700

I had a similar experience myself. I went to high school and took art and
went unrecognized there. I went to college and started out in graphic
design in the 70's and found it frustrating, so I switched to fine arts and
got a little of everything and not a lot of what I needed to do anything
with it. When I was done, I could draw, but not paint. I was excited about
printmaking, off-loom weaving, and watercolor, but I couldn't just jump into
a career without more than one or two classes. And it took me three years
to get the credits for two years. So I got an office job and later after I
had kids, took watercolor classes (7) and a couple of acrylic classes - wish
I would have had time for more. Then I realized I could teach kids. I had
been helping school teachers with art for years as a volunteer. It has
become my first love. I think drawing is the key, or root to all art and
has to be a basis for everything else. Linda in NM
-----Original Message-----
From: Betty Bowen <>
To: <>
Date: Friday, January 08, 1999 9:48 AM
Subject: Re: drawing - was calendar art

>Thank you for the comments about college art faculty wishing they got
>students who could draw...
>A couple of years ago my framer asked me to help her son apply for
>acceptance to an undergrad art program in the large university near us. So
>took a day off work and we went up & had lunch with a couple of the profs,
>a tour. When they told us what they were looking for in portfolios, it
>quickly became clear to him that he had nothing - nothing! His teacher had
>never even mentioned this school had an annual "portfolio review day". He
>went home and tried desperately to catch up on his own, but to no avail. He
>wasn't accepted. He was devastated, crushed, demoralized. All he'd ever
>wanted to do was go to that school and study art. He'd gone above and
>all his assignments - wasn't he the star pupil? - after all, he got lots of
>medals at the annual art banquet...
>What did he lack? drawing. No ongoing sketchbook, no "observational", no
>"memory", no "imaginative". What did he have? cartoons, lots of "juried
>student show ad competitions" - lots and lots of flashy magazine photo
>transfers, polaroid transfers, photocopier transfers, collages. Paper mache
>animals for an ecology project that got his teacher's picture in the paper.
>But when it came down to what a strong university program needed in order
>see who they were really dealing with - he had NOTHING.
>The kid bounced back - got a temp job at the zoo in the graphics
>department and started going to another school part time as an art major.
>The zoo realized the treasure he is and made it a "real job", so he's
>securely in the graphic-design track he'd intended. (I ran into him at the
>Pizza Hut Sunday and he told me he eventually wants to get his MEd). As for
>me, I couldn't stop thinking about it. The experience deeply upset me - so
>decided to examine those powerful emotions to see what I was trying to tell
>myself. It came down to "if you think you can do it better, you'd better
>to it". So I am - if I manage to find a job!
>Betty (BA art, MFA printmaking)