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caring about drawing....


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jul 21 2003 - 21:50:14 PDT

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
From: Patricia Knott <>

I think you need to consider the subject matter -- offer something they
will be interested in drawing or ask them to contribute objects to draw
(who cares how stupid the objects are if they want to draw them)
Establish a wanting to draw first.

I thought I was through for the night but I guess not. I've been mulling
over some things Patty said. I think it's not so much having something they
want to draw as it is how unusual it might be to draw, like...everyone draws
hands, shoes, or faces. Wouldn't it be more fun to draw part of a mass of
backpacks thrown on top of each other...or a bunch of teddy bears, or a pile
of coats or a plate of peanut butter? I think one of my recent favorites
from this list is the pile of unpainted pantyhose sculptures. How neat!

I've read dozens of drawing "how to's" and most of them start with line. I
find line incredibly sophisticated. I prefer to start with form, volume and
mass. I like to have my kids create simple sculptures and then draw them.
They feel the form and mass first they make a connection they own it
then the translation to 2-D if they know how to feel it the seeing
gets easier..

Hummmm. If I had to slice my drawing unit into what I first start talking
about when doing "how-to's" it would be between things and I
don't necessarily mean negative space either. I'm talking about relationship
space that I mentioned somewhat before. This is a real interesting thread to
ponder. I never really thought of this idea before. What do you think is the
most important trick to drawing is?

I usually start my units with line first and like MaryB, I like to keep it
simple for the hook...keeping it non-objective. A good success is needed up
front before the fear begins.

I'm beginning to believe we can bypass all the traditions to get to the new.
I'm very confused as to where art is going and I think it is well time to
get beyond locking kids into thinking they have to be able to draw in order
to be artists. Observation can be achieved in many ways and if our standards
are based on 500 year old Renaissance ideals I think we all have a lot to
think about. I'm not sure I care about drawing anymore but I always care
about observing

Aaaah. Here I have to part ways with you, Patty. I don't think we're locking
kids into thinking they have to be able to draw. It's what THEY want...not
necessarily me. I really don't see how you can "observe" something without
looking at it realistically in the first place. Sure you can take it off
into any tangent you want but you need to look at it realistically IF you're
using the word "observe". For example...if I were to paint like a cubist,
I'd think first how a face is laid out realistically and then I'd keep that
in mind as I bevel, slice away, texturize, and otherwise distort it on
canvas. Without some knowledge of the face, I'd probably be making somewhat
or a unrecognizable mess....then we go from abstract to non-objective.

Another obstacle is the general public. Most don't appreciate non-objective
as much as something they can "recognize" and we all know where some of THAT
leads...Kinkade? Sooooo...we can hammer the kids with non-objective but the
general public will always win out in the end...sad but true.
helps to give them what both the public and the kids want...realism...and
help them be successful with that.

And I know you DO care about drawing! Toodles......Bunki