Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beginning Drawing Highlights: OE&I

"Stop trying to impress some art-school teacher with a stick up his butt whose opinions you never respected from the time you entered his class until you left it 10 years ago. Draw like you." – Dave Sim
This past semester's Beginning Drawing class finished up with a few weeks of figure drawing and working with models. I always like to have the very last in-class exercise be the "Observation, Experience & Imagination"  piece, which ostensibly affords a final opportunity to drive home some crucial points one last time. And then it's off to the "real world" and hopes that something will linger from their experiences and carry over into whatever path they will wander down afterwards. There's almost as many different reasons for doing art as there are individual styles, and teaching it means casting a pretty big net to cover as much of the motivations as possible. It's important not to crush aspirations and intimidate anyone into never picking up a pencil again - there's a whole wide demographic that draws for no other reason than self-satisfaction, private pleasure versus profit or public display, without worrying what anybody else thinks of their work. That said, being able to objectively assess their own progress and the pieces of others and stand toe-to-toe with any criticism, warranted or otherwise, is something very useful to have on their palette. They should be able to leave this gateway course empowered to do anything, at the very least take intermediate drawing with confidence.

This exercise is a good on-the-spot "test" to see where they're at when shooting from the hip at a spontaneous assignment. And it hopefully shows the what a bottomless source of unexpectability, the continual amusement, the outright weirdness, and the grand, sweeping power of art and the imagination. Personally it also reinvigorates me: motivational catapults like these are a spiffy springboard into the next crop of aspiring talents that will undergo a similar explorations and evolutions. Cue strings...

"The only way to do it is to do it." - Merce Cunningham 

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