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Lesson Plans


Re: What are you thoughts on copying?

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kprs (kprs)
Sun, 23 Mar 1997 13:36:45 -0800

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Bunki Kramer wrote:
>
> Hi, everyone.......I've been on this listserv since mid. summer and I
> haven't heard anyone yet discuss the practice of copying in the classroom.
> Specifically, I'm talking about copying from magazines as a basis for
> learning how to draw and see as opposed to, say, still-life setups (which,
> BTW, my mid. school students hate unless it's something unusual like teddy
> bears, motors, etc). How do YOU feel about using a magazine picture as a
> source for drawing?
> Looking forward to your answers!
>
> Cya...........
>
> Bunki Kramer
> Los Cerros Middle School
> Danville, California 94526
> bkramer.ca.us

I first start with my definition of what art is, and then see how the
use of magazine images fits into that. You see, I think art is "taking
one thing that exists, and combining it with at least one other thing,
and creating something that has never existed before....and the final
piece must be reacted to by someone in order to have fulfilled its life
as "art"". So....my students do use magazine images, but they do not
directly copy them...after all a xerox machine can do at least
that....but they must make "provocative" art with them. So....for
example if you are going to use the image of a woman in your painting,
you may choose to use a composite of women found in magazines as your
source, but not to use Christie Brinkly's image alone (especially since
it belongs to HER and THE PHOTOGRAPHER)....and that's stealing.....Also
along those lines I let kids work from photos ONLY IF THEY TOOK
THEM....AS AESTHETIC DECISIONS ARE MADE WHEN YOU LOOK THROUGH A LENS,and
if you copy a photograph you are stealing someone else's artistic
creative process. There are many times in life where it is impossible
to take the image you want from your reality, but you can find many
images and make a composite. For example if you want to paint an
elephant, and you don't have a zoo or elephant nearby, there are
perfectly good examples of elephants in National Geographic, online, and
in a variety of other 2D media that you can use as resources to draw a
perfectly good elephant. They key here is just like writing a term paper
in class, you are to glean the information needed to make the elephant,
NOT STEAL OR VISUALLY PLAGERIZE. As you can tell, I have strong feelings
about copying. Probably because I have kids entering the program who
have been copying all of their lives and been complimented heavily on
their product. I have been heard on many occasions saying that I value
an original idea,no matter how sketchy and timid, to a finely crafted,
strong copy.

San D


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