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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Art Day

The first Wednesday of (almost) every month is professional development day in the Weston Public Schools. Students have a half-day of classes, after which they can go home and the faculty have workshops and the like. Usually these days have a particular theme, such as the achievement gap or writing unit teaching guides.

Yesterday was Art Day.

A week ago, each of us had signed up for our choice of workshops. Being a techie, I naturally selected one that used Photoshop or iMovie — right? Wrong. I figured that I could learn those on my own (not that I’ve done so yet, despite plenty of opportunities). So I decided that this was the right time to take a risk and sign up for an intro to drawing, since I’ve never been able to draw.

It turned out that pretty much all of the eight of us in the drawing workshop were convinced that we couldn’t draw. But the instructor was incredibly encouraging and positive, so nobody felt intimidated. We started with “drawing with scissors” — somehow cutting out an image isn’t nearly as frightening as putting a pencil to a blank sheet of paper — and proceeded to learning to see circles, rectangles, and ellipses in various objects. We then drew some still lifes (still lives?), explored the use of negative space, and moved on to two-point perspective — all in ninety minutes. Along the way we learned about using our right brain instead of the left brain that most of us teachers love to use.

I think it worked. At any rate, I’m no longer convinced that I can’t draw.

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