Monday, August 27, 2012

pencils... paper... action!

Drawing Workshop with 4th year Early Childhood Education students at Macquarie University, August 2012

Does anyone remember the days of sitting in an art classroom anxiously waiting for the teacher to come in and set some mammoth drawing task for you to complete in two hours? I do. I remember the dread, the sweats, the panic set in, as I would wait on my wooden stool surrounded by a sea of drawing materials and a big empty white sheet of paper...
How would I fill it in with something that would resemble a drawing and not a scribble??

Drawing seemed to be one of the hardest tasks! And if you ask anyone today what they feared the most in art class, 9 out of 10 would say drawing. Most artists' still say they can't draw, and that they avoid it at ANY cost. 

Which is understandable with the projects that most art teachers set their students. Drawing any subject beyond stick figures is scary... And then we ask for perfection while creating our realistic representations of say.... a face... or a landscape... or an object. 
It's completely daunting... 

I used to be the same. I would be that freaked out kid in the classroom, watching everyone else complete these fearless drawings while I would scribble something in one small corner of the page, trying to hide it with my other hand!

So when I was asked to give a lecture and a workshop to a lovely group of 4th year early childhood education students at Macquarie University a few weeks ago, I decided to be honest and tell them of my lack of confidence in art, while I was at school and uni... 
Honesty is the best policy I reckon. And, in a way, I found the whole experience cathartic. 

But when it came to the drawing workshop, I decided to create complete chaos in the classroom!!! I wanted to teach an action drawing workshop, so I could let each student be free and get out of their heads and out of their negative thoughts about drawing...

And it was so so much fun!! 
For two hours we.... drew with out eyes shut, while running, while continuously changing hands, changing pencils, ripping things up and then putting them back together! 
And it was amazing what they made. 
Beautiful BIG abstract colourful collage drawings.... without any fear in sight!! 

Their gorgeous lecturer Claire, who is also the head of the art department at Macquarie University.
She joined in too, as she didn't want the students to have all the fun!

I asked them to throw things on the floor, look at their drawings from different angles, and not be precious or uptight about what they were creating. I wanted them to let go... and enjoy the ride!

And as you can see, there were bits of paper flung everywhere!
And from each ripped up piece of paper, something amazing came into being...

This was near the end of the class...
And as you can see... a messy art room means a fun art room!

Thank you Claire, and to all the 4th year students in Early Childhood Education.
I hope you had as much fun as I did...
And that you found a new way of drawing, and of being creative...

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