Wednesday, 7 March 2012

On teaching art: post-workshop views

I finally attended the one-day creativity workshop that was initially to have taken place in November, but which I had to postpone attending due to Tiger's viral infection.  I signed up for this workshop with the aim to be more informed of the different ways to teach art and drawing, to widen my perception of creativity, and to learn from other art teachers.  The workshop met all of my objectives and more -- it has left me feeling stimulated and more confident about letting Tiger (and myself) explore seemingly unrelated avenues of artistic expression without worrying too much that Tiger is not yet ready to learn representational drawings.

The workshop room at lunch time.
The workshop leader was a very experienced teacher-trainer and practising artist.  What a fantastic combination!  He not only gave us many thought-provoking exercises that helped us to get out of our comfort zones, for example (1) focusing on a single part of the life model and finding ways to represent the texture and (2) gradually reducing the number of strokes to represent one posture, but also validated an acceptance to the different styles of artistic expressions.

The following pieces of "family-friendly" work I did on that day give a good glimpse of my experience.

Close-up of the model's hand and foot.
An interpretation of a fellow participant's palm.
The life model.
Drawing with 10 lines.
The same pose in 3 lines.
The biggest learning points for me from the workshop are:
1) individual responses and interpretations of the same subject are different and valid, as long as the finished work is what the artist want to convey;
2) it is perhaps more important for the artist to connect with his/her subject and convey that connection down on paper (which is then conveyed to the audience viewing the final work), rather than being technically perfect but disconnected;
3) connectivity needs to be borned out of freedom of expression;
4) technical perfection is helpful but can hinder the artist's expression if he/she becomes too rigid about technicalities;
5) different forms of artistic exercises and ideas can increase the development in another art form -- creativity can 'cross-pollinate'.

Before attending the workshop, I wondered whether I ought to introduce formal drawing lessons to Tiger so that he can "draw better".  Having attended the workshop, I no longer worry about this.  We do a lot of visual art at home, and I am now reassured that each activity forms a different experience for Tiger which has a cumulative effect on how he chooses to express himself.  We can afford to wait a few more years for Tiger's fine motor skills and ability to concentrate for longer periods of time to develop, so that he may then learn formal drawing skills in the most effective way.

My pre-workshop views are in On Teaching Art: Pre-workshop Views.

This post is linked up to several blog hops, where you can visit to see what other homeschoolers have been busy with.


  1. great post. A local museum offers workshops for teachers. I am hoping to attend one this summer--good to hear you had a good experience at yours.

  2. cool! I am planning to go to something similar at the end of the month at the homeschool conference near here.

  3. Love that it is spring on your blog =-) So pretty! Wonderful art work! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! See you again tomorrow,


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