Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rules? We don't need no stinkin' rules!

An interesting thing happened to me today... again. A friend is currently taking a drawing class at our local community college. Charcoal is the medium being discussed and used, the professor exclaims that you should NEVER mix graphite with it. (Oops, I missed that memo).

A few months ago I had a young wounded Soldier spend some time in my studio sharing our interest in drawing. He is a very accomplished artist and was taking drawing with the same professor. You should NEVER mix charcoal and graphite he was told!

I should give some history here in order to make my point. A number of years prior to all this I had a one person show at the college in question. I met the professor back then and was invited to speak with the drawing class. I explained my technique to which I was told I couldn't mix them together. (Ooops) The speaking engagement never happened and I can only surmise it was because I would contradict the doctrine of the professor.

Each of the students that I mentioned talked with me before they came to that part of their class so they were prepared for the "rule statement". They chuckled to themselves. I had preloaded one of them with a small portfolio of mine which he pulled out to offer a debate over the issue. Even with evidence to the contrary the professor continues to teach the "rule".

Why are there rules in art? Who made them? Should we believe them? I am pleased I have no formal fine art training because I may never have put varnish on a charcoal and graphite drawing. Ooops!


Nolon Stacey said...

Hi Dean, I totally agree. It is because of 'rules' like this that I never took lessons and quit art at school (my teachers were failing me because I kept using graphite and not doing abstract work).
You are certainly evidence to the contrary, as is J D Hillberry, who always uses the two.

Grahame Butler said...

As they say, those that can can, and those that can't teach.