From Marilee Up at Skokomish Rez
"We are stranded for sure - - - this storm is no joke - - - I bet you are not working today because of it. We had almost nine inches of rain from midnight night before last to six PM last night. Mudslides and water every where. So I seize the day to do my office at last!!"
I went to work -- no rain trouble except the driving yesterday was no fun and the temporary bridge we've has since the earthquake damaged the old one was like a water sluice. Today was fine, though. I had Christy, who finished and framed and took her pastel of a Chincoteague pony foal. Then Halisa and Tenaya. Halisa was bummed as she couldn't get on the computer ( the one which has her drawings and the scanner, too, was being updated which in my opinion should be done when I'm not there if I haven't already done it myself). Both girls are incredible artists and, as we artists tend to be, their own harshest critics. Then Josie and Scott. A swan and a wolf pastel respectively. Then Gabe and Anthony -- who started working today on pastel drawings (their first class with me). I'm attempting to teach them the concept of sketching-in the basic placement before digging into details. Gabe is drawing a zebra. He began by drawing a stripe. Anthony was easily pleased by his disproportionate first effort, then annoyed that he had to erase it. I had explained (as I do to everyone) that to draw you need to put something down, determine if it's all right or not, then have the bravery to erase it if it's not. Drawing has nothing to do, really, with putting down a magically expressive first line that can never be changed. In art, you're trying to change your eye and your attitude, and to do that you must constantly observe, assess, think, work... Then I had Tammy and Dakota, and we laughed away an hour but Dakota, who was horrified by a mark I made on her paper* erased it and worked alone -- producing the best work I've ever seen from her. Tammy got a little off base after starting very well, but by the end of their time both drawings were very good, and half done. They held up each other's drawing so they could get a good view of their own -- and were mightily pleased.
*My usual little trick to make students rely upon their own good knowledge is to say, "Here, I'll just draw the ear for you..." and do such a horrible (intentional) job that the student says, "Give me that!" in disgust and redraws it properly. Of course, it's easier now to draw rottenly than it was before -- but even using my left hand and drawing upside down I can still do it well if I want to.
posted by - 4:25 PM