A New Year: You don’t have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude.*

Add a little smoke, welcome to Burlesque” —Diane Warren

Dr. Chuck Dziuban used to say, in the end, there were some teachers who closed their doors and just taught. That is about the way I have been feeling this year. After all the frou frou is gone, after all the data analysis, the best teaching practices and the reams of virtual paper dropped off in email, my best days are just with my students trying to teach painting technique. Trying to get them to internalize what the element of value is. Trying to have them turn on the brain and think while they process. To understand that process, is the process.

People think we just emote. Artists don’t think, they emote. Horsefeathers! To create is to think, think, think. The idea is get the kids to think, think, think and make them have fun while they do it. There is nothing hard about thinking, you can even do emoting, while you do it. Billie Holiday did it all the time. Nobody thought more about how to put sounds together, how to change patterns, to speed up, to slow and pull back and then hit the beat exactly. And she puts all the soul together with it. And so do a bunch of other people.

My beautiful moment for the day: Jordan was a kid who was doing a disastrous job on drawing 3 three-D forms. I was so busy with the class, I really knew I could not have the time to work with him. He said to me, you had those sheets. Oh, I said, you mean the sheets to show you how to draw cubes, cones and pyramids. Yeah, he said. They are over there.

I keep going on that class getting paint, answering questions. It is almost time to call for the witching hour and ask the kids to finish. I always hate to do that. And here comes Jordan, and he shows me his drawing and it is quite remarkable. And I say, this is wonderful, a perfect job. The kid sat down, used the sheet and did it by himself. I am absolutely elated for him and am reassessing what he did, and what I need to do. Just wonderful, I totally admire Jordan for that!!! And that, my dears, is what happens when you add a little smoke.

Welcome to Burlesque.

* I claim no rights to any Prince song or video, or his lyric or he himself,  just in case they yank the video off youTube again. (The original youTube insert was going to be Prince’s Kiss, but all the sound for it on all the videoes on youtube have been blocked. Hence the title, which is in ode to the Prince song, sorry.) http://www.wat.tv/video/prince-kiss-9w9_2frx1_.html

For more about Chuck Dziuban




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