Process or product: An art activity gone wrong

Process or product: An art activity gone wrong

I was pretty excited to lead my grade 2 class in a messy spray-bottle edicol dye experience the other day in art. Worked really well with the pre primary and grade 1s at another school. The idea was to get squares of canvas, make masking tape ‘pictures’ and then spray the canvas with brightly coloured edicol dye. Rip the masking tape off, and wallah…masking-tape-resist prints. Easy. Unfortunately though, having anticipated a repeat experience with the yer 1s and 2s, I found I was sadly short of the canvas I had been using. Oh well, there’s heaps of donated fabric in my art room, so I decided to use it instead. This fabric was heavy, but somewhat soft and furry, so when the grade 2s excitedly removed their masking tape, all the dye bled through creating psychedelic blobs of colour on material. 😦  Needless to say, I aborted the plan to do the same thing with year 1s (sigh).

Next week we had a go at salvaging our psychedelic muck ups by getting them to do black fruit prints over them. I actually loved the process of doing this. There’s something old school about using fruit and veg to print with, reminds me of when I was in kindy (well I don’t remember actually doing fruit prints, but I have a kindergarten association with them nonetheless). Whilst the finished product is a bit ‘meh’, it made me realise how very important the art process is, not the finished product. I now have a whole saga of edicol dye Meanderings to act as catalysts for conversations about texture, colour and focal point with the kids.

Smartie & m&m primary + secondary colours

Smartie & m&m primary + secondary colours

I’m busy creating an art programme for pre primary to grade 3s at one of the schools I work in. Starting off with colour. Hopefully these little tasty things will engage some interest!!! It may provide a fun discussion about what colours might taste like or what they may say if they could talk (these colours all taste the same. Maybe I should have used skittles, but I don’t think there are purple ones!!!)

Elements of design

I need to start thinking about how I will set my art room up. From experience, kids really engage with visual stimulus such as posters, trinkets, found objects….and of course their own artwork will be given pride of place.

Since much of my planning is focused around the formal elements of design, this little video may come in handy. It also provides a bit of needed inspiration for creating a classroom display around these principles….

I pad art apps

Layers app
Layers app

Evergreens

Bamboo app
Bamboo app

I’ve been trying out different art apps for the IPad. Someone said somewhere that the iPad is nothing more than a $1000 pencil. I would agree if not for the fact that it is a pencil, fineliner, paintbrush, crayon, watercolour palette and more… I am yet to discover the animation possibilities.

So far I have noodled around with bamboo (smoking lady picture), layers (pot plant) and art rage (evergreen trees by a lake). I like art rage best, this will be my best friend when I do not have time or opportunity to paint. The effects are wonderful, and the “paint” can act wet or dry. The bamboo app also has potential, mostly because it is like a virtual journal ( book format), and journaling keeps me sane!!

Application to teaching is limitless, especially for extension activities. Artistically inclined students with iPads ( which are on the book list at the school I will be teaching at) will be able to really hone their skills. These apps are also a wonderful motivator. My nine year old has already tinkered with the layers app-which is somewhat easier to use for younger kids.

Importance of art education

I am somewhat passionate about this. It frequently annoys me that the arts are considered to be ‘fill in’ subjects, or given the time and thought they deserve. Intelligence is broad, creativity is broad and human beings are diverse creatures. Art connects us with spiritual awareness, ourselves and each other. It’s important!!