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!!

Doodling is good

Have you ever noticed how everything in our society has to be purposeful? I for one so often become a bit guilt-ridden when I find myself ‘drifting’ along, not achieving things that are deemed worthwhile or practical. I think perhaps our minds have become a bit fettered- we are too busy to think, feel or process things….

This little snippet reminds us of how wonderfully creative and lively our minds are. Doodling, far from being a complete waste of time actually focuses us and allows us to ponder, ruminate, disentangle…It’s funny how these precious everyday habits are downtrodden and dismissed in the whirlpool of our machine-like world of structures and systems.

Assemblage art

Assemblage art

This was a very well received art project. I used the example of American artist Louise Nevelson (check her out on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKtWwyQeG7E) Many artists create versions of assemblage art, however, so you can search the net and find loads of examples. the concept is simply using found pieces of junk, assembled to craft something unique. This is (in a nutshell) how I introduced it to my year 4-7 students, using texture as my assessment focus.

As a class, we viewed some assemblage art, to get them thinking about the artistic possibilities. I asked open questions with the intention of getting them to notice the textures and whether the artwork is considered 3D or 2D (it can be both).

Students were given a piece of craftboard. I encouraged them to bring their own ‘junk’ from home to use in this project. I was fortunate in that I had acquired a heap of wonderful junks for the art room also, so children were also free to explore and plunder the art room!
It was helpful to get them to access their vocab- how would they describe this texture? How is it different from the other things they collected? What is the overall effect? Do the ‘things’ mean anything to them? Why did they choose them? (anecdotal notes are great here, but you can also access this information by getting them to ‘show and tell’ their finished work)

Once my kids had collected their various bits and pieces, they experimented with ways they could be ‘assembled’ on the craftboard. I encouraged them to go for a variety of textures- even soft things like fabric can look amazing when they are glued.

In the next step, they were set loose with the hot glue guns, which they used with great enthusiasm ( strictly two students at a time-this can easily become a situation where safety can be somewhat compromised, especially if you are the only pair of adult eyes in the room!!!)… I have to say, dangers aside, the said glue gun was a source of pure joy for many of my upper primary students. They went on to create mini playgrounds made out of popsticks, hessian-and-shell wall hangings, intricate little sculptures…(I digress)

The final stage of this particular project was to spray paint everything gold or silver, This has the effect of highlighting the shapes and textures (Louise Nevelson style). That said, the sky really is the limit here. If I were to do this project again I would leave it far more open ended, or have it as a skills-teaching segment, allowing them to experiment with using paint, paper, photographs etc to finish them off. There are some great examples of assemblage art in pinterest, a recent discovery-