Exploration, Investigation, and Experimentation in the Studio

“The essence of drawing is the line exploring space.”
— Andy Goldsworthy

The school year has begun, and the art studio is active with light, inspiration, material, and movement. Welcome to the art studio.

This term students have the option of taking Drawing 1a or Drawing 1b. In both courses, the young artists are exploring what is means to really look and observe. Students have been working with a range of charcoal, graphite pencils, black pens, and erasers. With each drawing project, students have to make considerations about composition, and scale.

And as an educator I ask myself, “How do you really teach students to really look and look again?”

Some questions the students are asking themselves are:

What is an artist?

How do artists make choices about what material to use?

What is a drawing, and what are the different ways I can make marks on a surface?

In each class, students work in their sketchbooks to experiment and brainstorm. The sketchbook will become a visual resource/diary where ideas are generated and expanded upon. Students also take the sketchbooks home to work on their sketching homework.

Some assignments have been: Draw 50 cups. Sketch 25 different kinds of brushes. Attach 5 elements that are interesting to you into the sketchbook pages: postcards, a ticket stub, fragments of letters…etc…

The sketchbook also is a place where the drawing students attach thumbnail images of the artists we are looking at in class. We have looked at the work of Eva Hesse, Ellsworth Kelly, Tara Donovan, Chuck Close, and Sonia Delaunay. The pages of the sketchbook will become an archive of art history, process, experimentation, and thinking.

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