Interesting thing about being an art teacher---you might not excel in every area of art. I recently described photography and handwriting as my left and right Achilles heels as an art teacher. I have, not one, but two colleagues who put me to shame in both categories. And I just got back from a trip to Mongolia with both of them...
I understand the theory of good photography. I know some of the technical stuff like f-stop and shutter speed. Had to learn that stuff for Praxis. I even co-taught photography with the tech teacher during my first student teaching. Plus I understand composition, value, texture---all those elements and principles of art. I just can't manage to make it work when I'm behind the lens of a camera! These days, I don't even own a camera. It died during my second year in China and I haven't bother to replaced it. I did buy a Nikon DSLR for the art department at the end of that year, and have been known to borrow it on occasion, but I live most of my life abroad without a camera. I was thankful to my photography-talented friends for documenting our adventures in the steppe of Mongolia.
And then it happened.
We were in a ger of a local family. My friend was sitting on the floor, learning a game similar to jacks from the wife. He passed the camera over so someone could document the game. While I had the camera, the daughter made her way to the door. I snapped this shot. And then I clicked a few more times. Just in case the first one didn't turn out.
It might be the only good photo I've ever taken. And my friends---they each have 400 amazing shots from the week---but I'm especially enamored with my sweet picture of this little girl, looking out into the world from the safety of her humble home.
After I referred to handwriting and photography as my left and right Achilles heels, I realized I am also embarrassed by my inability to draw from my imagination. Drawing from observation, no problem--but drawing from my head, drawing anything in a cartoon-style, no way! I guess I am a three-legged artist, or at least a three-heeled one...
Do you have an area of art where you struggle? Are you embarrassed by it? Have you found ways to work around your weakness?
I will print a poster rather than make it by hand because I prefer fonts to anything I can handwrite, or could. Just this week, I decided to view handwriting as an exercise in observational drawing---mimic the letters of favorite fonts when writing by hand.
Maybe this will be a turning point in my relationship with my handwriting.
Photo processing credits to Warren.
Not sure how much he tweaked it. I know I didn't shot in black and white, but I love it as a black and white image.
Visual Arts and the PYP Exhibition-- A conundrum
2 weeks ago