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Re: [teacherartexchange] What is your artistic process?


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_6_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jul 26 2008 - 11:40:34 PDT

On Jul 25, 2008, at 4:13 PM, wrote:
> I too am interested in the responses. I have never ever met two
> artists whose processes were in any meaningful way just like each
> other's. Which has huge implications for art education practice,
> don't you think?

I think it's a shame that the words art and fear get connected in a
phrase. I think the wee little ones don't even consider it and it
doesn't happen until - what around 4th grade? - when making things
"right" becomes pervasive or when the teacher starts giving exemplars
that some kids know they can't reach. For those of us that went
through art school the fear happened in those damned college crits
when our work got trashed or disregarded. (see James Elkins "Why
Art Can't Be Taught") I must say I always found college crits to be
confounding, confusing and mostly anxiety ridden.
I don't think we learn much when we enter a situation in fear.
Mostly we learn to avoid the fear but experiencing the pain and then
figuring a way not to get into it again. So I think about that when I
teach. If I have a kid afraid to try something, he/she will either
not do it or do something just to get by. How do we get them over the
hump? the same hump we all go through as artists?

Certainly a safe environment; an enriched environment is foremost.
Art making is about feelings, emotions, expressions,
storytelling... The place must be safe to tell the stories with
lots of stuff to stimulate the stories.

I'm not sure we have to worry about artistic process as much as
process in general. How do we get ideas and transfer them to original
performance? What are the steps?

First there is deductive reasoning -- Here's the recipe. If you
follow the steps you will get.... ( a rule)
                        inductive -- I see the
recipe, but I will change , alter, add ( internal experience)
                       analysis --- what do I
have to do to create a new recipe?
                       Synthesis -- putting it
all together and making a new recipe

Don't I see too often recipes that stop at inductive?

I think what we all ask all the time is how to get ideas? how to
foster ideas?how to get some original thinking? I think we have to
get kids to connect to the things that create memories- -dreams, mass
media, conversation, storytelling,wishes What is the process when
why is your story important?
what is the "gist "of your story?
what is the sequence of events in your story? what are the activities?
when somebody else tells a story what memories do you create?
when you tell your story what do you make-up?
  how do you embellish your story? what do you expect as general
knowledge? what do you have to explain?

To get to the synthesis level every art project needs to be a problem
to solve. Not a technique to master--technique is only practice and
drill. Choosing the best technique to express the idea is analysis. I
always tell my high school kids that there are plenty of people out
there with the technique, only few with the ideas. If you can make
"ideas" then you will be the millionaire, not the bloke that can
pound it out on the keyboard. I certainly don't disregard skill. I
just cherish the thought.

Kathy is correct that no two artist processes are alike. I think
studying the greats and analyzing their thinking ( not their mastery
of skill) helps kids to see that it's all about connections, and the
society and the times and the politics and the economics and all
those things the great ones put together to make them great.
it's safe to be odd

If you don't know, it's a great place to see and hear
"thinkers" explaining process, ideas and innovations. I constantly
spend many many minutes watching the videos.

if your attention span can last 20 minutes this is great about ideas
and storytelling
Jonathan Harris: The art of collecting stories


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