looking closely and the value of seeing

IMG_8532

It seems right that this last weekend, on an early morning run, I find two objects ↑. The small, golden pinecone catches my attention as it shimmers in the grass. The larger pinecone waits for me at the end of my run. I bring both of them to my studio and consider the following Monday (that would be yesterday) we’ll be holding our first semester critique. And the subject-matter is the pinecone.

A sign of good things to come?  Oh yes!


IMG_8552

Here is my new group. Their completed drawings fill the wall behind them. We critique, among other things, some fine pinecones yesterday.

The first full assignment of the semester is a contour study of a complex natural object. You’ll see students give me more than that. Yes – note the fluid lines! I am  pleased with their careful observation and drawing. This is the first time they use markers to start and complete a work.

For many of them this is the first time they spend so much time looking at one thing (at least 9 hours if not more). One student asks if she can keep her pinecone. I tell her she can keep it if she has bonded with it. I have! I spent a lot of time with it. This is the value of looking and really seeing – I think out loud.

Here are some of the pinecones as well as some homework assignments (subject-matter of their choice). Note the titles…they tell you something about the group.

Yes…we are off to a great start!

IMG_8539a copy

Sofia’s Pinecone

IMG_8545

Jennifer’s Separation

IMG_8549

Nati’s The thing….

IMG_8550

Gabreila’s Life Lesson

IMG_8540

Bravilio’s Nature

IMG_8542

Sofia’s Pineapple, Strawberry and Lemon

IMG_8544

Nati’s Lemon or Lime

IMG_8546

Matt’s  Orange you glad I drew this?

IMG_8547

Yari’s Y el aguacate?

IMG_8551

Gabriela’s The Pain of My Eyes

I also have a couple of returning students. And while they pick up where they left off last semester and use mixed media, they have to keep focus on the line.

IMG_8548

Neomi’s Through Life

IMG_8541

Gwynn’s Charcoal drawing

3 thoughts on “looking closely and the value of seeing

  1. They are all very good technically, but so much the same which is interesting, as perhaps they are influenced by proximity to one another??? until you get to Neomi’s which is a stand out for both “essence” and looking. I am new to your blog as it was recommended, and enjoy your beautiful unique works and think it’s wonderful what you are teaching your lucky students.

  2. Welcome to the blog and thanks for your comment.

    These are beginning drawing students, many of them have not drawn before.
    They are influenced by each other, yes. They are also influenced by a structure I create in the classroom.
    Naomi, because she has studied with me before, has more freedom to be creative. She gets to choose what she does and how she does it.
    I do enjoy the work!

  3. oh, I did forget what it was like to be in beginner classes and follow assignments which were always valuable but which I also never truly appreciated doing until years later. Anyhow, your students are definitely getting their basics down gorgeously. You’re a good teacher. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s