Why Don't We Draw Anymore?
by Colleen Robishaw on August 31st, 2013

Wow! After 6 Art Camps, the summer came to a glorious end. It could not have happened without all the support and help of my dear friends. The Lord has blessed me greatly. For those of you who helped get the word out, please know that it paid off. I had a couple of my camps fill to capacity and even had to open an extra camp for Week 5. 

I believe I may have learned more than my students. I learned what to expect and what not to expect. I learned how much children can enjoy art when they are equipped. I learned that their is lots of room to slow down and help my students refine their skills. 

One of the most interesting things I learned in preparation for the summer was that most people stop drawing around age 9-10. I saw the reality of this when the classes I had scheduled for 10+ students were not getting any hits. It wasn't until the end of the summer that I finally had 4 wonderful students in the afternoon who were all 11 and older. They were such a wonderful group of kids--engaged, interested and motivated. 

Why do we stop drawing around age 10? Well, as a classical educator, it makes perfect sense. You see, it is around that age that children naturally become logical or dialectic. We see this in our teenagers when they begin to ask, "Why?" They haven't just become distrusting or fed up with authority. They really want to know why. Their brains have been wired to desire an understanding of the world around them. In art, this manifest itself like this: The child is drawing a face but instead of really looking at the lines, curves and shapes, their brains are telling them, "Just draw the symbol for an eye and be done with it." This continues for the whole drawing. When they get to the end of their drawing, they wonder why it doesn't look like the person they were trying to draw. The child eventually becomes frustrated or someone is critical of their efforts. Done! The child has ended their drawing career. 

What would happen if we were to encourage children to continue drawing, practicing their skill and teach them to draw what they see and not what they know? We may have more children grabbing their sketch pads and drawing the world around them. You see, most people don't wake up one morning drawing like Rembrandt nor do they wake up playing the piano like Mozart or even playing basketball like Michael Jordan. These all take practice, including art or drawing. 

Drawing is not just for making artists but it increases a person's creativity in all areas. 

I encourage you to pick up a sketch pad and start drawing... maybe even with your kids!

Colleen Robishaw

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