A place to see what is happening in Fine Arts at Rocky Mountain School for the Gifted and Creative

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Art is Derivative

I have been watching a student who spends most of his art time in the drawing center. He has been making complex, web-like geometric designs. Some times he uses a template or a ruler, sometimes he draws free hand. He uses color in interesting and thoughtful combinations.
The other day I added some resources to the Drawing Center and placed a Smithsonian Magazine there. It contained an article about Audubon and I left it open to a page featuring a drawing of a hawk.
That day, my student created a particularly nice geometric drawing, which I admired. It took most of the class period to complete, but before class was over, he had produced a second drawing, still featuring his now characteristic geometric webs, but now contained within the body of a bird. The bird was sitting on a branch, minding it’s own business, as birds do, seemingly unaware of his unusual plumage.
It was exciting to observe this student taking his ideas in a new direction. He assimilated a visual reference while staying true to his own personal style and current interest. In making his second drawing, this student derived information from outside sources as well as from what he had created previously. I displayed his work in a power point slide show along with various other paintings and drawings from his classmates. By the end of the next studio session, I was handed three geometric line drawings done in marker, by students who rarely visit the drawing center. All of these drawings were clearly derivative, but unique and interesting on many levels.

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