One of the components of the Alberta Elementary Art Curriculum is Expression. Here lies the opportunity for students to explore media, personal narratives and ‘let ‘er loose’. While I typically embed reflection and depiction in my lessons, as well as inherently guide the students to compose well (all of the strands are connected), sometimes I focus more on the act of painting or sculpting or learning what media can do. Seasonal celebrations lend themselves well to Expression. Those educators who lean heavily on Pinterest for their ‘art ideas’ need to remember that these are, for the most part, Expression lessons and often of the variety that focuses on the ‘how to’ rather on the child’s personal interpretation of their internal narrative. We need to be wary of the ‘paper cut out’ approach for the sake of a ‘pretty display’. I think it’s essential the ‘art idea’ bank be balanced with more unpredictable outcomes and never sacrifice the experiences that come with Reflection, Depiction and Composition.
This month the students in my care, painted. The use of the brush continues to be a skill to be reckoned with. Turning the brush sideways for thin marks and flat for wider marks, another technique to practice. Dry brush and wet brush effects can be observed and discussed.
The resulting collages, including a wreath of evergreen that has been created using green on green, studies in pattern. In this case a second candle will be added on the second week of Advent (taller), a Gaudete candle on the third week (taller still and pink in colour) and the fourth candle, the last week, leading to Christmas.
Fully painted Advent Wreaths, horizontally on large paper. Concept in composition was overlapping…we did a few exercises with our bodies before beginning this…talked a little about perception. Notice North, South, East and West marked at the compass points of the picture plane. These dots give the students reminders to stretch their images to touch each of those edges. Chalk allows the students to explore placement, change their minds and plan and scheme. Pencil is debilitating at this age. Erasers become appendages. lol Just get rid of both. White chalk rocks!
Smaller format…still, on coloured construction for an activated picture plane. Later, to have the candle flames whitened with chalk or white oil pastel…I would suggest that these smaller compositions might have oil pastel underlines or embellishments added after dry.