Tuesday, April 17, 2012

outside the box

we have been working on color mixing in my preschool class, and i have been really happy about how well it has been going.  i wanted to show you these venn diagrams we made.  they had to draw their own overlapping circles, and i won't lie, some needed assistance.  this is really hard for 4 year olds.  then they got to choose the two primary colors that they wanted to mix.  i think this was very successful!

while those we drying, we started this concentric circle project.  now, i'm pretty sure every art teacher on the face of the earth has used this painting by wassily kandinsky to teach a lesson.  even when i taught in the regular classroom i did it every year.

farbstudie quadrate,  1913  by wassily kandinsky

but when i saw this version by katie morris at adventures of an art teacher, i knew i had to do this with my preschool class.  i knew that just the drawing of the concentric circles was going to be hard for them, but i also knew that they were up for the challenge.  and they did not disappoint!  aren't they great?  yes, these are by 4 year olds! 

blogger is being temperamental today, so for the safety of my computer and the huge window in my studio, i will just show you those two.  for those of you who want to try this at home, we drew the circles with oil pastels on watercolor paper and then painted in the remaining white areas with the same tempera paint we had already mixed into different colors.  but you can also just use watercolors. 

my other students are all over the place with their projects...from large scale drawings to clay to mixed media creations.  one thing that i have increasingly become aware of with all of them is how hard it is for them to understand the concepts of background and layering.  for those that are older and have been with me longer, i've been really trying to push the ideas of process and patience.  kids are generally not good with either of those.  they want product and they want it fast.    

i believe what is successful about my own work is the complexity that is achieved through the layers.  and that just cannot be rushed.  remember this pic from last week? 

this is a detail shot of one of my new paintings, after probably a dozen layers.  here is the same detail now after several more.  and it's not done yet.  

and here is a detail shot of the other large mixed media piece i'm trying to finish.

it's all about process, and just like archaeology, the good stuff is in the layers.  so my new idea?  my more advanced students are going to do one with me.

think i'm crazy?  don't worry...carly (pictured here) does too!  and, no, i have no idea where this is going.  but i can tell you it will have layers and layers and layers.  here it is after layer 1.

so this week, here's to thinking outside the box, to being brave, and to a little bit of crazy!


1 comment:

  1. The images here, and your thoughts about process, are tremendous. Love both the before and the after detail of your own painting. And those two images from the 4 year olds...wow!


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