Alien Landscapes

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My Grade 3/4 and 5/6 classes both created ‘Alien landscapes’. First, we brainstormed movies we had seen that included an alien landscape (for younger students we unpacked the idea of ‘alien’, that it can have some features of earth, but different). Students  came up with movies such as Green Lantern, Star Wars, Avatar and Planet 51. I wanted children to use a horizon line to map out where the sky and land meet, and encouraged them to think of the different landscape features on planet earth (such as cityscapes, deserts, rainforests), and how they could be altered. Students made preliminary thumbnail sketches, then lightly drew their designs using pencil. For their final piece, the older group used dry pastel and the younger ones used watercolour. This provided another teaching opportunity, in the characteristics  and possibilities of the materials. Both provide good colour saturation with a fair amount of control.

Most important, though, I think this project inspired their wonderful creativity and they really expressed their imaginations.

Alyssa Kanitsch

As an artist, I am deeply inspired by imagery that explores tangible metaphors. This is perhaps why I am drawn to the world of fairytale, fantasy, dreams and iconic or religious artwork; especially from artists in the early renaissance. In many of my paintings, I try to use images, landscapes and objects to weave together a story or a sense of nostalgia and distant memory. My favourite art medium is acrylics, however, I also love mucking around with mixed media and pastel, and I occasionally work with oils. I have been known to paint furniture, murals and surfboards, mostly because I love to surround myself with the energy of colour.

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