Emily Carr found that by verbally describing her subject before she began painting or drawing, she could heighten her visual acuity, and thereby expand her painter's vocabulary. Ask students to begin by choosing a subject for their artwork, and then to initiate their investigations by describing or "wording" what they see using the richest language possible; this will not be read by anyone else, and can be very personal. Students might want to ask themselves, as Emily Carr did, “What attracted you to this particular subject?” and “What do you want to express with it?”1 This freely written description then becomes additional material for their artwork, either stimulating media applications or used as linguistic devices in conjunction with visual symbols; finished work includes any material students feel is appropriate.
1Maria Tippet, Emily Carr: A Biography, (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1979), 186.
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