Yesterday was our first day of actual drawing in my Drawing 1 class. It was all about the mark. The only real direction I gave was to fill the whole page with marks; charcoal marks, graphite marks, pen marks, eraser marks, layered marks. More will happen next week, but yesterday, I wanted them to make friends with their tools and to discover what felt natural to them without the added pressure of making something look like something. I am always amazed at the range of responses I get. I never know who has any experience with drawing or art, and the successful drawings often have nothing to do with prior experience. Those interesting drawings have more to do with the student's ability to work without fear, or in spite of it. I learn so much about them by how they attend to this drawing. I learn which students are willing to go for it, which are willing to make mistakes, and which ones need rules to follow. This first project, titled "Big Fat Mark Mess," is one of my favorites....I get to learn so much about them that they may not even realize themselves.