By studying art and making art, we place ourselves into a centuries long continuum of
observers and visual speakers. We begin to understand previous and current cultures
through drawn, painted, and sculpted images, as well as through pottery, jewelry, and fiber
objects and buildings.
We enter this expressive sequence when we take a pencil in hand, observe, and record,
creating not only from observation of a person or thing, but also from emotions and
attitudes developed from birth.
In my art classes I encourage students to look closely and understand their subject. In
some classes the focus is on accurate representation of space and subject. In other classes,
the focus is on observing carefully and abstracting, even to the point of losing any sense of
the object. Visual choices are considered and decided on. Students learn and practice
critiquing on the basis of the Principles of Design, guidelines for pleasing arrangements of