Exploring why we make art

Art Insubordinate

I have recently finished reading the book, Live through this: On creativity and self-destruction (Chapadjiev, 2008). It’s a book made up of twenty-one essays by female artists describing how their art making was used to survive and process various traumas and self-destructive behaviors. There was a lot about this book that I wanted to share with my students, but it seemed to me to be a little heavy to give them directly. I wanted to have the conversation about how art could be used to process complex emotions, but I felt, for lack of a better term, that a class long discussion on using art to process depression/trauma/addiction would be a bit of a downer. At the same time, I have students that are now, or someday will be facing these issues and might need to use their art making as a remedy.

I decided to approach the topic…

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A Thought Is Where Art Begins

ARTWOLFE

by Tina Schonheit

ART
Art education is important. Because?
Because everything is art, and art is everywhere.
When we don’t know art we don’t know shit.

When I introduce myself as an artist the next question: Oh you paint!

I don’t paint. I don’t draw. I don’t sketch. I actually hate working with a pen or a pencil.

But you are an artist?

Art is powerful and art is power.
Art teaches to think.
To think free
To think out of the box
To question and to find new solutions.

“A picture says more than a thousand words.”
A picture can be a painting, a drawing, a sketch, a photograph, a sculpture, or words.
Words interwoven in sentences, projecting images to our imagination.

A poem, a play, an act.

Most artists work from their heart. Most art is produced to express. To express a feeling, or to hold or…

View original post 163 more words

A Thought Is Where Art Begins

ARTWOLFE

by Tina Schonheit

ART
Art education is important. Because?
Because everything is art, and art is everywhere.
When we don’t know art we don’t know shit.

When I introduce myself as an artist the next question: Oh you paint!

I don’t paint. I don’t draw. I don’t sketch. I actually hate working with a pen or a pencil.

But you are an artist?

Art is powerful and art is power.
Art teaches to think.
To think free
To think out of the box
To question and to find new solutions.

“A picture says more than a thousand words.”
A picture can be a painting, a drawing, a sketch, a photograph, a sculpture, or words.
Words interwoven in sentences, projecting images to our imagination.

A poem, a play, an act.

Most artists work from their heart. Most art is produced to express. To express a feeling, or to hold or…

View original post 163 more words

Teaching Painting: BrushWork 2

The Genesis Approach to Art

Teaching brush strokes to middle school students Teaching brush strokes to middle school students

In my last post I shared how I taught my 7th and 8th grade art students the many different effects they could achieve by simply varying the way they applied the paint. Some of the techniques produce loose, textured results, others produce highly controlled, smooth results.

Exercise Five: After mastering those techniques I have them use the three values of blue to paint a ball. When I first started using this exercise I would have the students use a filbert brush, but I did’t find that it made a great deal of difference so in time we simply continued using the 1/2 to 3/4 inch bristle.

The goal of the exercise was to create a crisp edge on the outer rim of the ball where the color is the darkest and then gradually blend it into a lighter and lighter value toward…

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An Art Lesson to Last a Lifetime

Let Me Illustrate My Point

Artistic expression Coco and Yogi
(Copyright © 2014 Paula Ogier)

I was probably about 13 when it happened. There was a teenage female model sitting on an elevated area on one side of the classroom while my art class drew and painted her image. I didn’t look at what anyone else was doing. I just painted.

When we were asked to stop and show our paintings, the class made fun of mine. They giggled, they moaned, they rolled their eyes. Why? The girl in my painting had bright orange skin and hair. She looked nothing, color-wise, like the model. I hadn’t thought anything of it while painting it, but the apparent strangeness of it in this 60s-era suburban Midwest classroom brought on complaints. From everyone except the teacher.

This high school teacher, who oddly enough is nameless and faceless to me now, responded to my classmates’ reactions in a way that I have never forgotten. She questioned why anyone thought my colors…

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3rd GRADE

Mrs. Filiault's Art Room

VA.3.S.1.4 Choose accurate art vocabulary to describe works of art and art processes (students can identify the difference between realistic vs. abstract)

REAL

(one slide from the presentation I created)

3rd grade students learned about the differences between abstract art and realistic art. Students were asked to predict both definitions before I provided the correct definition to them. Following this, students created a double bubble map to compare and contrast the two different art styles. Finally, students created a piece of abstract art, which was later shown at the school wide student art show.

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An Unnecessary Evil

Where Creativity Works

I’ve always struggled with the concept of being “good enough”; in my everyday life as well as in my creative endeavors. For some reason, our norm is surrounded by the idea of comparing ourselves to others and having this warped idea of “perfection”. I’ve learned the hard way, though, that the concept, in fact, does not exist; and that is just ok.  All day, every day we are in a constant state of judgement, whether it be of others or others judging us. In some ways it can be a healthy idea of competition, incentive to do better, or be something more. However, in the grand scheme of things it provides more negative than positive.

Recently I have opened myself up to the idea of praising my imperfections and the things that make me who I am. As a teacher and artist I would like to pass on this idea…

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The always not-quite-ness of being an artist.

betsybeadhead

Part of being an artist is always feeling incomplete. If you are content then you have no need to create. You would not have a lack, a hole, a vacuum, an emptiness. Artists create to fill that blank space. They must.

But the problem is that they never feel complete. They make the painting, the poem, the play, the piano sonata – and it isn’t enough. They still don’t feel done. The piece may be good enough for now, but it is never what they saw in their heads. So they have to either try to fix it, or make another one, or move onto another project.

It is like living in a world where you can hear another language in your head, but you can’t ever fully speak it. Just trying to say the words is like speaking with your mouth full of water. Yet you keep trying, because…

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