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Re: caring about drawing

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From: Jayna Huffines (jayna_99_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 24 2003 - 17:49:25 PDT


Ok, I get ya-
I have to admit, I have been in a snotty mood today and probably shouldn't have responded to your email the way I did. I'm pregnant, and I get that way sometimes.
I attempt to get my students to practice drawing "skills", and it's true that some of them experience the "magic" I feel when I draw, and for others, it takes different media. I have only been teaching 3 years, so I feel like I always have to advocate and know what I stand for. Sometimes it's hard as a new teacher to remember the "magic" part when you teach in a "School of Excellence" where teachers use "Quality Tools" and "PDSA cycles", etc. Hopefully over time I can more easily intertwine the magic with the DBAE type stuff I do, but in my position (sorry to use that word again), I have to be able to back up every thing I do with data. I'm ok with that though, because I have a springboard to get organized and make sure my students get a well rounded curriculum. Sorry for being snotty.
Jayna
Patricia Knott <pknott@enter.net> wrote:
Jayna asked

> By "positions", what are you referring to? Our teaching positions????????????

I used the word position to refer to anything you might think it could mean

> Claiming that art is magic and will exist with or without us doesn't exactly
> help advocate our profession, does it? I think we need to include the
> development of skill in our curriculum, otherwise we come off as warm bodies
> with smoke and mirrors.

I'm getting old and I'm tired of advocating. The reason we need advocating is because there are still too many art teachers out there that don't know their stuff. AND PLEASE, THAT IS NOT DIRECTED TO ANYBODY ON THIS LIST. All of you on this list are here because you are looking for development and thank god we have this list to bounce around ideas.

Skill is only part of the process. I worked for many years as an illustrator. I made very intricate detailed drawings and the only thing I felt when I completed them was relief. Job was done, but there was no magic. (And I made a lot of money at it) I feel magic when I pursue an idea that has a connection for me and I'm not caring so much about the skill. It's the idea.
There is always somebody that can make it more skillful.
But the idea people where do they fit in? how do we nurture the ideas that all kids have and not rope them into our notions of what is a skillful pursuit of

The magic is not at all about smoke and mirrors
The magic is about the mystery. Where did this idea I had come from? and what is the connection to the choices I made? Art is not about skill. Art is about Michaelangelo saying to the Pope - you want me paint stars on the ceiling ? I have another idea and he thought he wasn't skilled as a painter. The magic is about the cave painters that we still can't figure out.
The magic is the opportunity without the expectations.
I'm thinking about what Judy wrote about Kindergarten lessons (and BTW Kindergarten ain't what it used to be lots of pressure and testing going on) But if I could rewrite the standards there would be one that says the The student will Play

my position is off the high horse I have let go of my notions and preconceptions

this is a very long article
but think about what is said about What creativity is not.
Creativity: Method or Magic?
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Papers/Harnad/harnad.creativity.html

prepare the mind for it

Patty

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