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J.S. Gordon, Esq.|
Municipal Inspector of Schools,
DEAR SIR -
On commencing my work as Supervisor in August, 1914, I found the Drawing in the schools in a healthy condition, which is evidence of the good work done by my predecessor.
Briefly, the aim of drawing as an educational factor is threefold, viz: to awaken and develop the powers of accurate observation, to give skill of hand, and to train the memory.
With that threefold aim the drawing course includes: Freehand Drawings in light and shade and color from common and natural objects; Simple Designs based on geometrical form; Geometrical Drawing.
In the Primary classes the work is done in pastel and watercolor from simple objects and seasonable nature forms.
Much good work has been accomplished in these classes, but there is still evidence of a lack of co-relation between the Drawing lessons and the Nature or Language lesson.
This is especially unfortunate in the Primary classes where the appeal is largely through the senses. Too often is the child "drilled" for mere hand work, to the detriment of his perceptive and inventive faculties.
Good work is being done by the Junior classes both in Freehand Drawing and Color Work. Ruler work, however, is distinctly weak and bears evidence of a lack of the carefulness in measurement that is so essential in all "mechanical" or "technical" drawings.
Design work in this grade is largely based on the ruler work.
Much careful work is being done by the Intermediate and Senior classes alike in Freehand Drawing, Design and Geometry.
In respect of Freehand Drawing, I regret the weakness in knowledge of Light and Shade displayed by those grades, and also the strong tendency on the part of some classes to draw from a theoretical knowledge of the form rather than from actual observation. Object drawing from theory is a distinctly bad fault for it at once disposes of "exercised observation," one of the most valuable of mental processes in drawing.
While work on the whole is good, much still remains to be done, and it can not be done as it should be if the Supervisor remain (sic) without an assistant.
A two-monthly visit is all too little, unsatisfactory alike for teacher and supervisor, and I would strongly recommend the appointment of an assistant supervisor who would relieve me of the Primary Work, thus leaving me free to strengthen the remaining Public and High School grades.
I would further recommend that an Art Master be appointed to take the art work of the King George and Britannia High Schools.
At present this work is being done by teachers of other subjects, and, however conscientious they may be they cannot exact that quality which should be looked for in High School work.
For that reason and the added probability of increased classes in the High School next year, I make the above recommendations.
The prevailing courtesy of school officials and teachers has helped me to enjoy my five months' work here, and I look forward hopefully to my work under the Vancouver Board of School Trustees.