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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stick figures in the classroom

Because we don't have a sequential program in our art department, (due to restrictions from scheduling the academic classes), we have students of varied skill levels in every class. Some arrive excited to be there... some arrive nervous about their perceived shortfalls...and most arrive with critics in their heads. So my job is to both reassure and challenge each one of them.
This month has been about getting to the bare bones of painting... mark making and relationships between shapes. So. I showed them photos of H. Matisse and B. Marden painting with sticks. That's how we started...
The students studied sea shells and then the class

skeletons. They started the skeleton drawing by taping a marker to the end of a long stick and drawing while standing on their seats. Afterwards I let them use a much shorter brush with black ink and white acrylic. The start gave each of the works a loose feel. These are just samples. I have to say there was something nice about every single attempt. Will do it again.
The kids really liked it, though they moaned a lot at first. When they complained that their work was going to "look bad", I responded how marvelous that they had an excuse of "my teacher made me do it with a three foot stick". That shut them up and got them having fun.

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