I do not know how it started but at some point we were all at the table with paper and crayons and pastels. I tentatively asked if they would like a “lesson” as compared to us just sitting around vaguely drawing and chatting and sort of drawing….. They were weirdly enthusiastic. One dosen’t like to draw, possibly does in the comfort of their own home but not in any possible assessed way. The other doesn’t take instruction. Seize the moment.. insert
a book… I like the kids pictures that are in the book and that the author talks about the stuff that goes on in your mind about drawing and that drawing is not just for artists it’s communication and a way of learning about other things. The author differentiates between symbolic drawing and realistic and that teaching realistic drawing won’t interfere with the joy of symbolic communication.
I read to the kids from the bit at the beginning of the book about attitude, misguided ideas – like that artists like all their work! They participated. They went along with experimenting with their equipment. Drew the circle family, lines, curves, and angles. We looked a jug that was on the table, turned it into curves, enclosed space, lines, dots… noticed things we’d never noticed before! Then I gave them work sheets – from the book.
Impressive. But better still was the chatter..
Helena’s advise to her friend who felt their drawings were too small “think about big things, like elephants..” she was complimenting her friend’s drawings, they both complimented each others drawings.
I asked her friend what they first thought when they were given the page “I couldn’t do it”… during “well… the toothbrush is pathetic” Helena’s advice – try it again once you’ve done them all, and “it’ll be good if you think it’s good” which I’m translating to mean the doing of rather than the product. I they were proud. The next lesson (if they let me) I’ll have to reiterate that artists often don’t like their work – all those old masters painted over a rejected piece of work…
After our lesson they went outside and made a different kind of art..