Thursday, November 13, 2008

Teaching HS Students to Paint...

Just a short blurb here on another side of what
I do with my life, namely I teach art fulltime...
and today my students start to paint, w/acrylics.

Understand that artists might value watching
another admired accomplished painter paint, and
especially in a workshop situation (I teach a good
number of those as well)...but, high school students
are still kids. In my experience the majority of
the current generation is not hard wired to have to
work hard for something. Let me describe that more
by saying if something doesn't come quickly for them
or near right away...they take that as a sign it is
not meant to be.

Never mind that Michael Jordan was cut his sophomore
year in high school from basketball, and determined
that a stringent self-imposed discipline of hard work
would forever change that.

As fast as I might be able to demonstrate for high
school will never be fast enough, but I know
that anything beyond 15 minutes and I will lose them
and have class management issues.

So in explaining how to squint eyes, see masses and
block in...I took an old students stretched canvas work
left here some years ago, and announced that I would do
a painting in fifteen minutes that will essentially take
them the remainder of the next seven weeks to accomplish
for themselves. THAT got their attention...but, here it
is, rough agreed...but they saw this come together in
less than 15 minutes and in ten minutes one student made
the comment it was already looking like something.

Call it in the trenches guerrilla painting!!!

I taped a reference photo from a place I love to paint in
upper Michigan with a view of Presque Isle of Lake

and the fifteen minute acrylic painting, 18"x 24"


Jo Castillo said...

Our art group had a 5 day workshop for a high school group a few years ago. I did the pastel day. Boy how right you are! Speed painting was a premium to keep their interest. It was waning by the end of the week, even doing a different media a day! Great idea you had!

Larry said...

Hard to entertain and understand what a talent is...which requires time, commitment, seeing a thing thru...with this generation, and I wonder if as adults this sense will come upon them or if not...what happens to patrons of the arts?

Doing something grabbing that canvas and using the back, is just crazy enough to get their attention for a few minutes. Entertaining...

take care, Jo...