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Re: Blending values


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Sep 09 2002 - 20:53:24 PDT

I used to be an "art Nazi" about smudging. I wouldn't allow it. In my
heart I still believe it's a lazy act. I tell the kids that smudging only
dirties the fibers of the paper and the beauty of a drawing is allowing the
white of the paper to provide "the glow." But I wonder what for? anymore.
Photo Shop has a smudge tool. How much longer is my word going to be

One of the things that I learned when I got out of art school and went into
the business world is that half the things I was told not to do were
standards practices in the business world. I maintain that you can't
"cheat" until you know how to do it the "right" way first. But the "right"
way is becoming so oblivious.

And on that note, I question how important it is to teach perspective. I
always found the lesson to be a chore and a stumbling block for those kids
that just couldn't get the concept. The results are often cold and lacking
in personal expression. And, the perspective being discussed here is a
Western concept. I need to teach to a diversified population that may not
find going to a point part of their cultural heritage. Perspective is just
an illusion and the Renaissance ideal is no more valid than the idea of
stacking. I think a major part of the thinking of 20th century artists, is
that trying to represent 3-d space in a 2-d format is a concept to be

There is too much to teach. All subject areas grapple with this problem.
I think long and hard and everyday about what is important for me to teach
about art. What do I want my kids to remember when they leave my class?
Most of my students will not be working artists. Think about the time you
have with your kids. How is that time best spent? considering most of your
students will not be artists.

I'm not criticizing, I'm just thinking