I’m going to participate but in a slightly different way………
There are so many other things to make note of here I’m not sure where to begin. I’ll try to stay focused but you may need to indulge me in a bit of rambling.
Did I mention that Mondays in the 4th grade room have begun? We’re practicing drawing for the month of October which really means we are learning to see. It seems that we always have to spend more time than I would like overcoming the widespread misconception that some of them are “good” at art and some of them are not. We talk a lot about how we all see things differently and therefore we all re-create that image differently in our work. So many kids will come up to you in a class like this and ask “is this good?”. I am getting better at answering this question and it usually involves asking them back a question such as “what do you like about it”, or making a statement like ” I see you figured out how to ……… in this piece”.
Last Monday I brought in 3 white objects, a white rectangular box, a full roll of white paper towels, and a tall cone made of white construction paper. We hung black paper behind it and arranged the 3 objects in a still life on a table draped with black fabric. I brought in a clamp on light to add some dramatic directional light, pulled the shades and turned off the lights.
Each student was given 2 large sheets of manila drawing paper (the school was “out” of white drawing paper!) and a thick black crayon. A large sheet of paper hung off to the side with 3 words written on it: perspective, contour, shading. We talked about these 3 words, their meaning and how we were going to apply them to our work. Penny & myself roamed the room working with students and helping them see as they practiced transferring the image they saw on the table to their paper in front of them. Among other things, we asked them to look for:
-the point closest to them
-the point most distant
-the darkest area
-the lightest area
-the largest object
-the smallest object
-the spaces between objects
-the directions which lines moved
About halfway through, we had them trade places with someone else to “discover” a new perspective and create a new drawing. During this melee, the light was knocked over and the light bulb broke which led to turning on the lights and an opportunity to draw the objects with just the overhead lights on.
One of the most interesting things they discovered was that even though no one in the room could actually see both ends of the roll of paper towels, most all of the students started out their drawings as if they could. We talked about how our brain can sometimes trick our visual system into “seeing” things based on past experiences with an object. We all KNOW the paper towel roll has a hole on both ends so we are relying on that knowledge instead of what we are actually observing .
So here is my invitation:
“I will send a little handmade gift to everyone who goes out and teaches some kind of art or craft to children (other than your own). You can take up to 6 months to complete this task. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return (in addition to paying it forward by teaching a child) is to leave me a comment on this blog about your experience or a link to a post on your blog about the experience.” For some, this may seem daunting, but it’s really not. It doesn’t have to be a class of 32 for an hour on a Monday. That’s just the way I do it. You figure out what works for you in your environment.
Trust me, you won’t be sorry. You may even find it hard to quit!
Won’t go into detail now but the final stages of show preparation are in full swing. Packing the car next Wed., leaving for Houston on Friday. Started an Etsy shop for shibori images (it’s working but needs tweaking and the rest of the images need to be uploaded-not sure when that will happen!) An online class at Joggles starts Nov. 14th when I get back from Houston.
I’ll be missing two upcoming Mondays as well as the homecoming game………part of the business of craft.