“It’s Not Always A Draw Off”

After receiving a few comments from Lyndsay H (S4), it brought up several issues that teachers have to face in every class with every pupil. Do we use the same resource for all pupils in the class or do we bust our guts producing 20+ resources so that all pupils can produce unique individual work? Art is a subject that calls for personalization and uniqueness. It somehow feels wrong to get every pupil in the class to produce the same piece of work. Every pupil has different abilities and different styles, though when you see all the work together it feels a bit of a waste to have twenty pieces of work when you could make do with one.

In ‘ye olden days’ it was common for artists and musicians to produce the same piece of work. In the sixties you could have the same song in the charts around five or six times sang by different artists. That would not happen now. We, as followers, need to believe that our art or music is unique to us. It makes us feel part of something, something that is just for us. It sums us up as a person, defines us.

The piece below is Lyndsay H’s (S5) from two years ago. It is her objects that have been photographed and used for the still life image. The same image that was also used by Amber T (S4) in the previous post. I think it’s really interesting to see artist’s different approaches towards observing and creating a piece of work from the same resource, though I sometimes feel like a cheat. I’m not doing enough as a teacher if the same resource is used, or if I even teach the same unit twice.

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Both pieces stand up on their own merits, the styles are completely different. Lynsey’s work is very defined, colourful and dynamic, with areas of fine pencil and bright contrasts. Amber’s work is free, filled with emotion, with areas of photographic realism. Both are very well delivered colour pencil studies.

I first looked through my photo library to find Lyndsay’s piece so that I could compare and decide which piece was better. Then I thought, ‘why am I doing this?’ Why is it important to compare and rate? We’re taught how to ‘evaluate and assess’ in school, we do it instinctively as human beings. It is the joy and the sadness of all artists, some will smile, some will resent, all will be effected. Why does art have to be so competitive? Why do we have to chart and rate our music, our literature and our art? We live in a life long competition. Does it have to be like this?

Your comments on the topic are more than welcome…

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