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Re: Formula for good trees


From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 14 2001 - 05:28:23 PST

> O.K.... I knew I would get blown out of the woods for giving such specific
> directions! -Jane

The many ways to teach and get an idea across, or inspire is as varied for
teachers as it is visually for artists...and for the most part just as
valid. Its basically only administrators stuck on old Madeline Hunter
convergent thinking models that think it needs to be one way. If it works
for you, that's what counts. If your passion is felt and then emulated by
the students, that's key!

I have about 15 year's accumulation of expensive art magazines such as,
"Wildlife Art News", "Southwest Art" ..."American Art Review"...etc., and
find it useful to frequently set a stack of them on each group of tables in
my room. Yesterday...I wanted to support the idea of how useful organizing
the painting is with the device of warm versus cool colors...with one being
a dominant theme. So...I had them flip thru, find paintings that seem to
catch their eye, then ask themselves why...and break the images down into
warm versus cool.

The same could be done with trees....and the students will see many ways
that artists have done them.

It seems that for many kids...perhaps coming from broken homes now, I don't
know...that taking creative risks is a fearful proposition. You don't see
that so much at the K-3rd grades, but you begin seeing it little by little
there on...especially 8th grade on, etc; Its that odd mix of trying to
convince students something difficult is worth tackling where payoff and
satisfaction are greater, and yet, something that looks difficult is not
always so. Life teaches us that the natural progression is from simple and
easy, to the more difficult. You find out what that is for you and those
you are responsible for. Visit any of my online lessons, you'll know I
believe in good drawing...I also believe in kindling passion, fun,
celebration, and appreciation for many ways something can be done.

Simply what works best for me is to first understand shape and form (sorta
like sounds and word formation), then break down the further complications
from there (sorta like getting into gramatical constuct). I'm not
advocating avoidance...simply seeking to help students guarantee success
enough (like all of us) to kill that beast- "fear" which paralyzes