Magazine article School Arts

Motartcycles

Magazine article School Arts

Motartcycles

Article excerpt

Some of the best ideas come out of perseverance. This year I wanted to start off with a very focused drawing project. The aim was to get students back into the discipline of seeing as well as improving their skill levels.

I wanted a visually complicated object to draw, something that would demand attention. I decided what I wanted was a large black motorcycle ... perhaps a Harley. I knew this concept would be attractive to students. The idea was also easier said than done. First I asked the school faculty but no one had one. Then I spoke to the custodians, one had one, but it was not working. I called the local police to find they don't use them. I called the Harley-Davidson showroom in a nearby town. I was hoping they would like a little free advertising at my school. They said, "No way!"

So on the first day of school the center of my room was empty. I asked both my middle and high school students if any of their parents could lend us one for approximately two weeks. I offered the conditions that no one would touch it and the door would always be locked when the room was not in use. I was really happy when the father of an eighth grade student called me at home to offer a sleek black Honda CB750. The next morning I knew it was worth the effort. The bike was impressive and the student enthusiasm was very high.

I developed three directions for the students. I wanted them to see the diversity that can be generated from one focal point. They started with the same jumping off point: pick a section and fill your paper using only line to define the shapes you see. …

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