I have been doing some really interesting research lately in order to better inform myself about teaching art. In particular, I'm fleshing out a unit plan on communication in art. In particular I'd really like to focus on "illustration", and illustrative art which can tell a story.
When I was going to portfolio days with Oscar in the US, I was fascinated with the schools that offered illustration as a subject. The work presented was so interesting and varied. In reality a lot of art students have to turn to illustration in some field or other for work, and I think it's important to look at what is good illustration.
I found this great statement:
Once upon a time, artists found steady employment working for Popes and kings. From the cave paintings at Lascaux to the temple paintings at Karnak, from the Sistine Chapel to the palace at Versailles, the best artists could always feed their families creating artwork for the church or the state. Then, one by one, kings and pharoahs and Popes and Dukes stopped commissioning new art. Corporations emerged as the new centers of economic power. They also became the primary purchasers of art.
Artists were forced to adapt to the new economic realities. There were fewer jobs illustrating the bible and more jobs illustrating women's magazines. The same gifted artists who once might have been commissioned to record historic battles found work painting for corn flake companies and car manufacturers. Although the sponsors and the subject matter both changed, the quality of the artwork did not.
From this blog: http://illustrationart.blogspot.com
And it's an interesting thought. There's not much room in the great high and mighty art world these days for artists who can actually DRAW, and yet what usually marks out the great illustrators of today is that they can. And yet, that skill was highly valued in art of the past.
I despise snobbery in art. This whole setting up of "fine art" which is usually defined by what it is NOT, rather than what it is. I think it is really important to teach about art as inclusive (including crafts, of course). Not every child who does art at school will become a successful artist, but there are so many places for artistic people to find really fulfilling work (a better mark of success in my book).
So no pictures today as I am always a bit tentative about posting work that doesn't belong to me. But I have found some really interesting stuff. It's interesting though as on all the ideas for art lesson websites that I have looked at, there are none about illustration!
Posted from my ipad