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Line quality.

Welcome Back! One of the good things about teaching is the way each school year has a beginning an ending. It's a bit early to be looking forward to that joyful ending of the school year in May or June, but it is just the right time to relish the renewal aspect that goes with that first day, week and month of school. September is here and we at SchoolArts join you in anticipation of a productive year in art education. We are well underway in the careful selection of themes and articles that will meet your interests and serve your needs. The months to come will feature such themes as Crafted Form, Interdisciplinary/Multicultural, Celebrations, Advocacy, The City as Art, Printmaking, Design World/Careers, Art History and Technology/Media Images. In addition to the images and articles related to these themes, we will be introducing several new features ranging from a personal look at some of the art educators who have shaped our profession, to solicited articles about ways to deal with the real problems and issues that confront art teachers in their classrooms each day. This month's theme, Line Quality, considers the uniquely human activity of drawing.

Whether child artist or master artist, making a mark on a sheet of paper comes about as the result of many factors. These include thought processes, motivation, physical coordination, psychological set and other factors that relate to the individuality of the mark-maker. The mark of a tool--whether a stick in wet sand, a crayon on manila paper or an electronic brush--gives access to the imagination and graphic skills of the person who is exposing his or her ideas, and abilities, for all to see and judge. The quality of their drawings in any media may be assessed in many ways and with multiple criteria, but the most important thing is that the mark was made, the line delineated, a drawing produced.

We'll leave critical judgment of a master drawing to the professional critic who might either lament the lack of competent drawing instruction in the schools, or praise the aesthetic qualities of a skilled and gifted artist. When it comes to evaluating the quality of our students' drawings, however, we take a back seat to no critic. Whether looking at the work of a six-year-old at an easel, or a nineteen-year-old at a drawing table, we have our own perceptions of what constitutes drawing quality, in both process and product. From bold black crayon to delicate silverpoint, we look for some indication that there has been serious engagement with visual or imaginative content as a prelude to the lines, marks or strokes that respond to the ideas envisioned. Whether a child's hastily drawn sketch, or a framed drawing by an acknowledged master, a work of quality captures the essential character of whatever was drawn through the exploration of the artist's hand. . .and mind.

This issue of SchoolArts pays special attention to the qualities of good drawing. You will find reference to the drawing concepts and techniques of such master artists as Durer, Leonardo, Hiroshige and van Gogh (whose lines, in the words of author Pam Hellwege, alter in width, length and value ... and even suggest color). In addition, you will note a number of articles by successful art teachers representing all levels of instruction who are sharing some of their best drawing and painting projects with you.

We chose drawing as the theme for our September issue, based on our belief that most teachers begin the year with a drawing or painting activity. In addition to the usual group of articles directed to the theme, you might also note that most of our departments-looking/Learning, A Child's Gallery, Hand-Out, Verso, Resource Center and ClipCards--also follow through on this topic. And ... speaking of ClipCards, we hope you will be as pleased as we are when you turn this page and note that we have added COLOR to the ClipCards in our continuing effort to make SchoolArts the very best art education magazine possible.
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Title Annotation:drawing
Author:Anderson, Kent
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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