Last week I spent time with the Grade 2 Class in the local public school. The teacher had shared with me her interest in having the students do colourful artwork based on a sunset.
I began the lesson with the students gathered together on the carpet. With some paint chips as props, we discussed the colour wheel, and warm vs. cool colours. Together we separated the paint chips into two piles (warm and cool colours). I showed them how the temperature of colours are very much 'relative'; they 'change' according to the colours they are paired up with. For example, purple is generally considered a 'cooler' colour. Especially when set beside red (because purple has blue in it - a cool colour). When purple, though, is set beside blue, purple becomes then the warmer colour of the two (because of the red in it).
The children were to begin their project by separating their crayons (or pencil crayons, or markers) into two piles: the warm or cool colours. Then they divided their paper into half - the top half for the warm sunset, the bottom half for the cool ground. Using a pencil they drew line designs that they then filled with colour.
Last week I spent some time with the students in the Grade One class in the local public school. The art lesson was based on the art of the Russian 19th century abstract artist Wassily Kadinsky. From past experience with the grade one class, children of that age love experimenting with paint mixing. Some children at that age haven't had too much experience yet with mixing paint. The teacher had also been recently teaching the students about 'lines', and primary and secondary colours. So considering all of these things, I was lead to have the children 'copy' one of Kadinsky's familiar abstract paintings.
The children began by dividing their paper into 8 squares (which was a true feat for many of them!). Then they each had the primary colours to start with. As I saw the children progressing with their paintings, I added white, and then eventually black, to their palette. I didn't want to add white and black too soon for fear that their paintings would be dominated by those colours.
The instructions were for them to simply have fun mixing colours - but to do so 'strategically'. They weren't to just mix all 3 colours together right away to make a 'sludge' colour, but to consider how the different colours mix individually with each other. They were to paint the rings of the circles each separately.
Last week four of my students completed their art projects:
This one was done by a new student (acrylic). She took the photo while on a trip:
This acrylic painting was done also by a new student. This is the very first painting she has ever done! (She found the photo online - @ visitamazingplaces.ca - the photo was provided by Long Point Provincial Park)
This acrylic painting was done by one of my grade 9 students. She took the photo herself while on a trip up North.
Lastly, this paper mache sculpture was made by another Grade 9 student:
Over the last few weeks I've been playing around with painting watercolour on a canvas; not the best mix of medium and 'ground'! If you have tried painting on canvas before with watercolour paint you will know what I mean - there is a reason why paper is the choice ground for watercolour paint. And yet, I was curious to try out the canvas option anyways. I have a pile of blank canvases in my studio, all of which have been sitting silently for well over a year now. I figured it was time to paint on canvas again, and yet I'm still so interested in watercolour paint. I just let the paint drip as it wanted to. For part of the painting I laid the canvas flat, near the end I put it upright. I also tried a newer 'watercolour markers' that Winsor and Newton have put out (in raw umber). All in all it was a fun experiment - another chance to expand my artistic experience.
I live in Southern Ontario on a farm with my husband, Dennis, and our two daughters. Painting out of my studio on our farm allows me to stay close to my family and to be surrounded by the natural landscape that continues to influence my work.