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Lesson Plans

RE:Nudes/--Please read "Ways of Seeing"

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Katherine Giltinan (k.giltinan)
Fri, 14 Nov 1997 23:44:34 -0600

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Mark Everett Sanders, a minister and a life-drawing student must find
himself in an uncomfortable spot! There are folks, possibly in his own
congregation, who might have him give up lifedrawing. They question the
morality of a man in a room with an unclothed model. They are concerned
that man will lust and thereby fall into sin.

Sometimes sin is in the eye of the beholder. I would invite critics of
lifedrawing's morality to join a lifedrawing class. It is not a peek show.

I've done lots of life drawing and will argue that serious students are too
busy working to get very lusty. They are trying to successfuly get
proportions and volumes and values, if not colors - onto a two dimensional

Sure art students could occupy themselves with a lovely bowl of fruit or
vegatables. But if they're serious about art, they will need to include
the human figure in their artwork sometime. In lifedrawing classes students
learn to draw the human figure - clothed and unclothed. That's the
practical aspect.

In fact, many women at the turn of the last century were locked out of
careers as artists because American schools prohibited them from taking
life-drawing or anatomy.

Lifedrawing studies give the artist more than just practice drawing the
human body. Artists may deepen their understanding of the human experience
through lifedrawing.
What you learn about the model's body - - you're learning about yourself, too.

Someone once told me that the lifedrawing model 'remains clothed in nudity'.

Pornograpy is intended to arouse sexual desire. That desire isn't between
two equal people, either. Usually there is a difference in power between
the subject and the veiwer, (or the surveyor and the surveyed). Pornography
isn't about love. It's about lust. I don't think pornography is about
equality in any other ways (economic) either. I think it's about

Pornography didn't just appear in recent times. There were pornographic
drawings on the walls of Pompeii. Some paintings by artists, well known to
students of art history - are also pornographic.

John Berger put together a series for British TV, which was made into a
powerful little paperback, Ways of Seeing.
It makes a complex subject easy to understand. Please read it.

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