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I'm another "lurker" who's been reading this listserv for almost a year
now, but I rarely post anything. I've learned so much from all of you
that I have a notebook FULL of many of your lessons, tips, etc. I'm
teaching all the Art in a small K-12 school (and some P.E. too!), and
consider myself a generalist in art, (since it's my minor, and I didn't
have an emphasis in any one area of art.) I was in college in the 70's,
and my drawing courses (actually, I only had one!) were SO free and
unstructured that I basically don't have much knowledge about teaching
it! I finally got Betty Edward's book this summer, am reading it, and
love it! Decided to try out her methods with my Art I kids.
We started out real well - now we're to the positive shapes/negative
spaces section, where she wants the kids to see and draw the neg.
spaces, rather than the objects. I don't think I'm getting this across
to the kids, or helping them see the neg. spaces as shapes - any
suggestions? Also (this is our 3rd week of school), and they're getting
tired of doing these exercises - even though I can see most are
improving at least a little. They all want to know when we'll get to do
the "fun stuff" - like printmaking, ceramics, etc.
I must admit, I'm not sure where to go from here - my thought is that
maybe they don't feel like they can draw any better than previously, and
are bored, even though I'm trying to emphasize to them that we're trying
to retrain how they see things, etc., etc., as stated the book.
The next sections in the book are on sighting, and perspective, which in
the past, I've touched on later in the year.
I'd like to help them improve their drawing skills, (and have THEM be
able to recognize some improvement!), and stay interested. Any
thoughts, suggestions, lesson ideas, tips, etc. from you "pro's" would
be GREATLY appreciated! At this point, I'm tempted to move to something
else for a few weeks - (maybe some printmaking assignments with emphasis
on line, shape, etc. that could relate to drawing), and then return to
drawing later. I REALLY want to get them excited about what they are
capable of, and not just have them give up - but I just don't know where
to go with this! I have TONS of "How to Draw" type books, from
Nicolaides to "Hooked on Drawing" and so on. I'm just real frustrated
that my lack of knowledge is holding them back. (Wish I could afford an
Artist in Residence to help us out!)
Thanks for your help in advance!
P.S. OK, you whiners - how about this schedule? Elem. Art (grade
varies each day), Elem. P.E., Jr. High Art, Elem. P.E., Art II, Elem.
P.E., Art I. (Oh, yes, I'm 8th grade class advisor, too, and teach a
Visual Arts/Humanities course 2nd quarter.) Life is never dull, but at
least I have a plan period this quarter!