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Re: [teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: September 18, 2006


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Sep 19 2006 - 15:43:33 PDT

On Sep 19, 2006, at 4:03 PM, Maureen wrote:

> "To erase or not to erase"
> I certainly agree that the erasers can create much drama in the art
> class.
> Giving out erasers is like giving out candy, they disappear as
> quick as you
> give them.

First, I must admit I have not followed this discussion, so forgive
me if I repeat any thing said before.

I know the "eraser thing." I've been asking my self for years why
the eraser becomes so important? And
all I can think is all those school induced fears about being
wrong. Kids come with all kinds of preconceived notions of what
is right or what they think the teacher wants. They often spend way
too much time trying to be right rather than discovering. It's not
our fault as art teachers. Think about all the other classes they
take where right IS right . Of course "erasing' becomes something
they think is a have-to do.

What the teacher values becomes what they value.
I don't value erasers, I don't put them out, what I have is ugly.
I value "taking from" initial marks and picking and choosing and
doing over and extending rather than erasing. Show some artists whose
thinking process is evident in their product --- where the "erasing"
becomes a ghost that is developed.
There is no right or wrong when choices are being made.

How about making the eraser a tool to create with rather than a tool
to get rid of "mistakes'? Draw with an eraser.... "pick up" with
it , stamp,
smear with it.... let them know that not every expression
has to be so "neat."

If you "take the line for a walk" sometimes that line is not so
clear or light or on the path , but most often you will find that
line, started in a kid's head someplace, is a line that you can you
take without erasing it.

Sometimes, I think we forget that in the process of art making and
discovery things get "ugly." I spent much of my childhood
"erasing" because I wanted to be "right." Took me years to
learn my "right" may be okay. That's what I want to take away from
my students------ spending years in the "eraser place."



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