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Re: caring about drawing

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From: Donald Arcement (arcement_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 24 2003 - 10:18:38 PDT


Re: caring about drawingPatricia, thanks for your input...I got alot out of your comments and referrals. And don't give-up on the "trying to quit smoking", it will pay off in the long haul.

Thanks, Idus in southern Mississippi
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Patricia Knott
  To: ArtsEdNet Talk
  Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 10:25 PM
  Subject: Re: caring about drawing

  Please forgive me for bringing back the drawing thread, but some things were said that I feel needs response.
  And I'm quitting smoking AGAIN (please no lectures) but I'm antsy and need to keep the fingers and mind going...

  First something Mike said
> I'm currently taking a Contemporary art history class that meets every week in
> galleries and museums in NYC. Most of what's being done in postmodern art has
> little to with traditional drawing. The key is observation. And I'm pretty
> sure you mean you don't care about realistic drawing" anymore. I feel the
> same way. That is, until I'm in the classroom and they're struggling to make
> something look the "way it supposed to look".
> It's not just them. Ask any layman what their idea of good art is. It's almost
> always about realism. My professor and I were talking about this last week.
> The idea of educating the masses to understand what we are talking about is
> daunting.
  That is exactly what I meant, Mike. I wasn't talking about abstraction. I meant the other ways we can bring observation -----new technologies not so new forms like performance art, installations, etc..
  I teach Photo. I may have said this before, but I am constantly comparing the experimentation and chances my photo kids take as opposed to my art kids. The only conclusion I can make is that they don't have the preconceptions and angst about what is "right' that the art kids have. Anybody can take a picture. The tool releases the anxiety. The art kids are paralyzed with what they "think " is right. What is right?
  I don't know why the layman thinks it has to be realistic other than we haven't done such a god job in teaching the evolution of the form and process. (Personally I think art has been in the hands of the elitists and appears so out of reach to the "common" therefore something unattainable. I can't read the periodicals without referring to something, so how does Joe Sixpack relate ?)

  I accepted a kid into my Advanced class for this fall. He's spec. ed., has no background in art, can't draw, but ---he can't take the camcorder away from his face. He makes the most incredible 1-2 minute videos. Am I going to take that from him to try to make him draw? Certainly not, he will get frustrated.

  Bunki says
> I think learning how to draw is a BASIC and T-E-A-C-H-A-B-L-E skill if
> approached step-by-step. If it's a teachable skill than that requires the
> teacher to be 110% involved step by step. If you give me a student who can
> write his name legibly, I can give you a "drawer"....every time IMHO.
  I used to think this, but not sure anymore. The music teacher tells me he can teach everybody to sing, but my resistance is stronger than his intent and that is the obstacle. Until I think I can , I can't. ... and he doesn't tell me how he gets me to think I can. And does what I have to learn about music depend on my ability to sing? or play an instrument? NO Why can't loving art be the same way as loving music? Just because it is, I don't have to be able to do it.
   
  I really think we are very uptight about expression in art. I like what Judy says

> try this to open their eyes before you expect all of them to try realism/art
> as imitation as the "right' style /theory - ALL are right. The main thing is
> to get them DRAWING an give them confidence. Kids start drawing at a very
> early age. "We" do something that makes them stop. What is it that we do? We
> want them to draw a certain way. I didn't "get this" until just a few years
> ago (at least I didn't get how to "fix" the problem when a child wasn't happy
> with their drawing.
> How will they they find their style if we don't let them develop that?
> Expressionism -- Realism -- Abstraction -- Fantasy

  Give them confidence in something they do well. Forget your own conventions and traditions. Relish in their expression. Yes, What is right?
  If we don't let them express who will?
  Please remember that the greatest artists went 'off the path" I can teach everybody to conform to traditions, but my choice is to steer another way. Art has always been queer and I'm not going to do anything to make it otherwise. My only formula is to turn "it" upside down.
  I teach questioning, challenge, and rebellion.

  Art will exist with or without us -- it's a human need. But I don't see enough of us on the forefront of what is happening. And I don't see enough of us recognizing the naive expression. We have bought into standards and forgotten the form.
  The form is found with half closed eyes.
  What do we do to make them stop? We forget the the magic.
  Art is magic and we don't seem to come to conclusions on how to convey that because we are too concerned with positions.

  Patty

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