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Lesson Plans


Re: drawing as a skill

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry taylor (taylorh)
Sun, 18 Jul 1999 10:06:56 -0700


> Drawing is a skill and a process fundamental to much of the visual arts
and
> beyond the arts as well. Art comes into drawing with the additional skill
of
> effectively translating perceptions to the process.of drawing.
>
> - -henry >>

>It was disheartening when I realized a pervasive "I can't draw" attitude
>amongst the faculty at my school. It was all I could do to not just shout
>"BUT you can LEARN" to them.

Sigh, yeah... so very true. Education and teaching, to use web metaphor, are
"push" modalities. Learning is "pull." Learning is the active participation
and direction of the student. As a student I CAN learn. The potential is
always --apparently-- there. But there are limitations. If you beat and
scare me enough (not too much) I can and probably will choose to learn just
about anything learnable---and be warped to some degree in the process. On
my own I learn because I have a need to learn and the energy I apply to the
process is in direct proportion to my need to learn it. Oh THAT, and my
willingness/ability to accept the qualities (qualITIES not Quality) inherent
to my drawings. My biggest obstacle to learning to draw were my own
expectations--the models I held in my head about what LOOKED right what i
was willing to qualify and validate as REAL and as GOOD drawing. When you
are five its hard to understand why you cannot draw like N.C. Wyeth. You do
know that you can't and so you are almost forced to generalize about your
identity as an artist. "I am a person who cannot draw." There are a lot of
other different but related obstacles.

I think that Drawing itself is a skill not a gift or a talent. anyone can
learn to draw if they NEED to enough. Gift and talent show up later in the
quality of the drawing. Drawing IS useful in daily life. We do need to have
the skill. The form of drawing known as Diagraming can be an essential part
of the analytical process. Quite a few of us draw but hid the fact even
discounting and disassociating the act and work from drawing. Maybe closet
drawers need to be "outed" to make the world safe for drawingand
developmentl drawers? <vbg>

>I also heard a new young teacher reply, when complimented on her
>french braided hair/pony tail, that she could only braid her OWN hair, not
>anyone else's??? Is this possible?

Well, it could be that she has just developed a strategy to avoid beeing
drafted into the tedious process of doing someone elses braiding for them.
The trick of coordination required to shift through the mirror is not that
great but makes a helluva nice excuse. And, isn't it tedious sometimes to be
drafted into doing other peoples drawing for them just because you had a
sufficient reason to do your own. Imagine if this paradigm drifted into
other parts of life...

>I guess so, if TRYING or PRACTICING are
>not part of your learning processes. Guess I am venting.

Vent away. Trying and willingness to practice come from need to do the
thing. Sometimes I think that all the teacher is, is a motivating coach
uncovering for the student.their EXISTING but undeveloped motivation.
Sometimmes I think that even if that were all we did in a classroom and for
each individual student in personal terms... it would be enough. They would
become "autodidactic" self-teaching---self-driven.

-henry