Thursday, April 22, 2010

the sketchbook

After sharing the chicks with the Kindergartners, one of my daughter's friends drew this picture for me; it's us and a chick. I really think she captures my personality here and I would totally wear the purple dress : )

Above it is a picture of my studio this morning.

As soon as I got in the car I pulled out the folder full of drawings the children had given me after the chick visit; they made my day! I could tell what had been most important to each student by looking at their drawing. There were so many different ways of seeing the little birds! It made me remember something I've come to believe, every school should require students to keep a sketch book all the way through their school years. It would be a declaration of our belief that the aim is to see, not just look. This skill should not be confined to the art room. It's not about becoming a Rembrandt, it's about acquiring a tool for life.

Rudolf Arnheim put is clearly and chillingly when he said," Every child entering grade school in this country embarks on a twelve-to-twenty-year apprenticeship in aesthetic alienation. Eyes they still have, but see they do no more."

I need to enforce the sketchbook rule in this house. My girls, age five and eight don't need reminders, but I can see that as my ten year old son gets older he's loosing his natural connection to drawing. He has become more concerned with executing a successful drawing and deciding whether, "it's his thing" than owning it as a natural and sometimes private part of his life. Sadly, This is the standard course of things.

OK, trip to Blick today! I'm getting one for my husband too...


  1. What a great idea! Not just for the kids, but for grown-ups, too. I don't sketch nearly enough. Malayna's class does keep a journal - each day they write something and then draw a picture to go with it. She also does the same thing at home.

    That drawing is so great! There is nothing like kid's drawings to put you in a good mood. They're so free!

  2. I love the drawing, I love the photo and I particularly love the bit about "seeing". Yes, why are artists the only ones who keep sketchbooks? And getting caught up with drawing is an unfair pressure. Sing, dance and draw.



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