I once got into an entire summer's worth of battle with a teacher, while
writing curriculum. I was insisting on the student selection of subject and
expression and he was insisting on just the opposite. He ended up accusing
me of not 'feeling his pain." And I said --"that's it- the pain of painting
your chosen subject matter."
Certainly there is a point to exercises and drills, and certainly we are
skillful enough to use those drills within a context that is important to
the student's expression.
I start every year with time spent searching and collecting images, words,
objects, etc. that are important to the individual. Those collections are
kept in boxes and sketchbooks and used as resources for almost all projects
we use. And constant additions are encouraged. Some days we just forage.
Personally, I feel if we don't encourage personal collections as resources
for expression then we are only teaching drills and not art.
> From: Esa Tipton <email@example.com>
> Subject: Re: Painting unit in high school
> Have you considered breaking some of these projects
> into skills you expect to be demonstrated and let
> students decide the subject matter and how they
> interpret them?