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Edwin Dickinson: Jumping On a Moving Train

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Frank Hobbs blogs some excerpts from Mary Ellen Abell’s essay Seeing Everything for the First Time: The Teaching and Aesthetic Philosophy of Edwin Dickinson as well as examples of Dickinson's drawings.

Abell writes: "One of the key aspects of the aesthetic experience in the Dickinson class was its stress on seeing things freshly, with no preconceived expectations. All of his devices – unusual poses, ‘unnameable color,’ ‘interstices,’ ‘angular’ perspective, unusual angles – were about setting aside one’s preconceptions and learning to look meticulously at something as if one were encountering it ‘for the first time…’ The goal was to complete a more honest likeness or more authentic kind of work that was fresh and original. ‘If you do not bring anticipations to the sight of an object when drawing it, anticipations which are connected with its associations in your lay life, it’s easier to get it right than to to get it wrong,’ he explained. "

For additional, fascinating insight into Dickinson as a teacher read George Nick's recollections of being Dickinson's student as told to Larry Groff.

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