Monday, 30 August 2010
Art at School - Guest Post by Ulla Hennig
Ulla Hennig lives in Berlin, Germany, where she works at the University of the Arts; she is responsible for its website, as well as supporting and training others in computer use. She was initially trained as a teacher and her interest in computers, as far back as the '80s and '90s, led her to help older people with searching the internet and email. Ulla describes herself as a 'hobby photographer' and it was initially through my blog and her wonderful photographs in her online Zazzle store that Ulla and I became friends. Her knowledge of Photoshop, and how to get the best from it, is prodigious and now that she has started to draw again, she makes full use of it to enhance some of her drawings and 'create products' for her Zazzle Store.
Ulla has kindly agreed to write about a subject that is dear to my heart - the shedding of her inhibitions that had prevented her from reaching her potential as an artist!
Art at School - Ulla Hennig
My three weeks vacation is over now. It was filled with creative activities. I now know that I love to draw, paint (yes, I actually began to color my drawings with watercolor pencils!) and to write. I have joined art communities like deviantart.com and totalartsoul.com.
I have discovered my inner artist, and I am having regular appointments with her.
I loved to draw when I was a child: animals, cartoons. My family encouraged me, but then...there were those art lessons at school! You had to follow a strict syllabus, and drawing was - as far as I remember - only a tiny part of it. You had to do this color circle and you had to fill it out without going over the edges. You had to paint the story of “Odysseus at the Giant’s cave”, and you had to do it using a certain set of colors (all kinds of dark colors and purple).
Art at school was no fun. There was no place for my creativity, and of course it was no place for encouragement. I remember once having created a painting which the teacher accepted. He did it with the words, “A blind hen sometimes finds a grain of corn” - no comment on that.
When I left school I had the impression that I had no creative abilities. During my studies at the university I had no time (or thought that investing time in drawing and painting would not be worth the time). Only now, in my 50s, I rediscovered those activities, due to the encouragement of some friends, some of them living in my hometown, Berlin, and one friend living in Wales.
I am glad to be on my way, but what about all those whose belief in their creativity has been killed in school by the way art is being taught there? And why does it have to be taught that way? What are your experiences?
You may be interested in visiting Ulla's blog and her Zazzle store. You can also find Ulla Hennig on facebook and Twitter.