Just a couple of random thoughts on Drawing on the Right Side activities and still lives.
I once went with 2 members of my administration to visit a high school that had what they called a "Drawing Lab", which was a room/period that students were 'cycled into' (i.e. read 9 week cycling), so that essentially "everyone had art". Of course the administration was soo impressed with the work (which essentially was all of the exercises from the book). I was not. Yes, everyone could draw the Picasso drawing from the ditto they had upside down. And yes everyone could do their self portrait from their own photograph that they brought in. But no, no one knew anything about aesthetics, creative problem solving or art history. They worked from 'packets' which were derived from the book. I held my tongue and smiled while there, and then on the long ride home both administrators got it with both barrels! While I do value the exercises in the book, and take ideas from the book, I don't think it is the only exclusive way to teach. I suppose if we taught only for perfect products, then perhaps we could handcuff ourselves just to the book and the exercises. Woody's quote talks about those few and far moments when the artwork sours......and how we must continue to create until we get that to that one piece.
as for still life setups...I do a variety of short ones throughout the year.
1. lightbulbs on white boxes on a piece of white paper
2. old dented musical instruments
3. children's bicycle/my old bicycle
4. animal bones (I have a cow head, deer head, cat head, full pidgeon, beaver, frog) etc.