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Re: caring about drawing....


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jul 22 2003 - 07:53:49 PDT

caring about drawing....LOL at me....I had a great come back to this when I
woke up this morning....but I read everyone elses' mail first and now I can
not remember what I was going to say..... Bunki and Patty are both right. I
KNOW is help for you in defining your own philosophy on
how you deal with kids when it comes to drawing (Mike this is for you - your
answer to the offlist message from you). If a student is trying to draw
realistically and just doesn't see it the way you do.... If the child sees
things differently---THEN that child also views drawing the same way Patty
does (and she is BRILLIANT - her school even said so).....AND if a child is
doing observational drawing and gets it, then that child views drawing the
same way Bunki does (and I HAVE NEVER known Bunki to be wrong -- smile).
Here is how I handled it..... I found an artist who also drew the same why
the child did and showed those works to the child who wasn't getting
observational drawing. (Dubuffet and Picasso are both good - Doesn't matter
whether or not the kid knows those artists also drew realistically - I have
another one to share -see links below)

Mike - you just might have a bunch of Pattys in your class - so appreciate
them.....and slowly work to get them to see your way....but be happy they
are WORKING for you.
I am just having so much fun talking with all of you who think the way I
do.... I will get back working soon.

>>>It's what THEY want.

True....but why?

Teach the four theories of Aesthetics...There are four Aesthetic view points
of view....Some of your kiddies just have a different "Aesthetic view " than
you do.
Art as Imitation - Art as Expression - Art as Functional - Art as Formal
Order Students can then be proud of the way they see things.

How will they they find their style if we don't let them develop that?
Expressionism -- Realism -- Abstraction -- Fantasy (these are the four
general style categories used by art experts - so listen to them). Students
who see things differently can be proud they have developed a different
style at such an early age --when our culture focuses so much attention on

Mike, I hope this has helped to shape your philosophy. I used a lot of
abstract art in my curriculum (from various cultures) because it was
something all of my kids could do and be successful.

Terrific Tuesday,


Louise Bourgeois: Drawings (check these out - I can't remember everything
that is there)
An exhibition organized by the
University Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
University of California, Berkeley
landcapes -lines

----- Original Message -----
From: Bunki Kramer
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 12:50 AM
Subject: caring about drawing....

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.