Taught at Wheaton Area Schools - Minnesota

is making a connection 

to past learning and discoveries.

It is a necessary task. 

Without the application of new skills

and understandings such as design principles, a

person continues on the same level aS

one who has had no training.

There are many talented and creative persons who have great ideas (insights and things to say) but who have had no training in methods of composition, perspective or technical methods. Such"natural" artists are called PRIMITIVES. Any person who is entirely natural, instinctual and self trained is called a  primitive. Primitives do things in their own way until they learn another, perhaps better, way. Henri Rousseau is a famous french primitive who was greatly admired by the modern art masters. America has produced hosts of unknown or less well known artists Grandma Moses, a woman who began painting in her 70's is an example.

Your art teacher has tried to give you tools which are valuable in producing art. Some of you would have eventually learned these on your own by analyzing and synthesizing the work of great artists. Your teacher, however has done exactly that, and saved you some of the time and trouble.

Your teacher has intentionally asked (urged) you to pursue ideas and methods which would not have not been your natural choices. Why? Because if you had only repeated yourself, doing things the same old way, you would have remained unchanged and unlearned in the essentials.

The purpose of the time spent in the art class has been to equip you with some working tools and knowledge, which you have the choice to use or not to use at any time in the future. Will you be a better person if you APPLY these learnings? Not necessarily a better person, but you will definitely be a better artist. What are these basic skills. Every art assignment given to you has put one or more into focus. Here are some of them:

Observation skills related to seeing detail

Observation skills related to seeing shape,mass and proportion

Observation skills related to seeing color, tone or texture

Knowledge of figure and field (image and back ground) pattern relationships

Observing and drawing human figures with correct proportions

Observing and drawing human figures expressively

Producing 3 dimensional mass in 3 dimensional space; Using simple perspective methods

Synthesizing (creating and organizing) structure "in the round"

Ability to show mass using modeling techniques, both drawing and painting

Using liquid media, skill using the wash technique to sketch

Using color creatively or sensitively in a personal way

Using color realistically,  the ability to identify and mix colors on a palette

Discovering what makes pictures harmonize or not harmonize

Applying design elements such as rhythm, harmony, transition, contrast, emphasis, etc

Understanding how to look at things visually  ( seeing visual elements) and not simply identifying objects

Interpreting meanings identifying symbols, or  personal icons

Develop skill in several kinds of drawing and painting methods /techniques,

Develop skill in drawing forms in perspective, suggesting depth and distance in space

Using creative problem solving; working within imposed limitations

Growing in discovering and understanding what other artists have had to say and how they said it

Learning about things which are outside your present range of knowledge or interest (intellectual stretching)

Art is really kickin!!