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  • KC Pruitt

An Objective View at Young Artist's Infuriating Practices

As a teacher of 12, 13, 14 and 15 year old students the most common thread was students who said they couldn't draw. After much thought about this, my thoughts about my own journey remembering myself drawing all of the time from a very young age. A few years ago, a cousin sent a drawing to me that he had found while going through some old papers. He then sent it to me. It was a drawing of "Old Tim", a dog that belonged to Johnny Pruitt, my grandfather. It had been a gift to my uncle. He kept the drawing and passed in on to my cousin. The drawing must have been completed during the first or second grade since it was signed in cursive. My father used to tell me stories of me lying on my stomach in the floor drawing on paper. He said my sister, Janis, who was four years younger, would tell me how pretty it was then grab my paper and tear it into shreds. This happend over and over. She was Lucy taking the football away just as my Charlie Brown kicked. Thinking why did some students say they couldn't draw. A lesson plan to help them discover that they could draw started to develop. It started by telling them everyone can draw, but drawing well takes practice. They were asked the question "Can you think of a time when you got into trouble for marking on the wall?" Perhaps it was crayon on grandmothers wall or pencil in mother's bible. Listening to them soon found to a person, they could remember getting a spanking, scolded or sent to their room. My students are young enough to remember these things. If they had said they could not draw, their response was the same. They remembered getting in trouble. The stories differed but the memory was there. One student said "It wasn't the wall, it was permanent marker on the leather seats of my mom's new Lexus". Other's told similar stories. They are then told the reason they think they can't draw, is they associated it with pain and stopped trying. Once they understand why they think they can't draw, we begin drawing. Their efforts are reinforced by their drawing activity and showing them where they have improved and that to be really well takes practice. I had one young lady that responded to the question that when she drew on her grandmother's wall, "Granny bought frames and put them around her art. She was gifted and her drawings were uninhibited. Once a personal mistake was made by quoting Leonardo Davinci "L'arte non e mai finita,e solo abbandonata" but that is another story. The quote was remembered by several students who stopped working before they had mastered the work. A practice by a lazy young artist using excuses like trying to think or that they can't draw is infuriating.

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