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Sarah - Marisol Meets Pollock - Need Ideas

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From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 31 2003 - 12:10:50 PDT


Hi Sarah,

List has been jumping. Ill try to finally get this out to you.

1. lend itself to finding meaning in Pollock's work while keeping in mind
that comprehensive art teaching isn't simply making art "in the style of"
and
2. be practically implemented (what do you as a teacher need to do to
prepare students and the area for this activity).

Doing Jackson Pollock is a great choice to bring in movement, dance and
music too.... Might be fun. I would look at the comparison to the dropping
of the Navajo's sands to his dropping of paint. Supposedly, his inspiration
came from the Navajo.

I introduced Jackson Pollock as a "save" one year. We were making box
assemblage sculptures (paper mache) - using all sorts of recycled
materials - cans - bottles - different size boxes (from cheese size from the
cafe to max of 12 x 12 or so). The main box had a plaster cast face. As
planned, we painted them with bold colors (house paints - black, white,
yellow, red, blue, green - bought at ultra cheap prices - miss matched
colors for the most part) - We found the house paints gave better coverage
on large sculptural works. The original intent was to have them collage
faces on the plaster cast face - and collage other images on the surfaces of
the other boxes to create some sort of theme. As we worked, it became
evident the kids weren't into the collage part of it...so I opened it up to
painting patterns - I had some geometric foam shapes that made great stamps.
This plan worked well for some kids....then there were others that didn't
get into that...so along came Jackson Pollock. They still painted in solid
bold colors. We experimented with different ways to splatter them a la
Pollock. On bright sunny days we took them outside with big drop cloths.
When the rains came - we taped big drop cloths all across the tote tray
wall - an lined the floors. Kids wore our donated lab coats and rolled up
paint legs - some even took off their shoes and socks. One of the best ways
to splatter was to tap the brush on a block of wood (a piece of 2x4). This
gave a kind of fine splatter as opposed to the big brush flung at the
sculpture....We certainly had fun saying "and this one is for you!" and
"this on is for you!" (we had some chuckles - I told them to only think of
someone they were mad at and really let them have it via the paint.) We
laughed so hard. A couple of the boys had been naughty that year - were
suspended from school for several days. I had them come in after school to
make their sculpture. They used all of my materials - some interesting wood
scraps and boxes I had brought in. They did the Pollock splattering on
theirs to save time. They gave me their sculpture and it remained in my room
for many years. I just didn't have the room to bring him/it home. My next
years' classes had no idea who made him/it....but I often did refer to it as
my "naughty boy" sculpture. I would tell them if you are naughty in my class
you have to make your art after school. The kids loved it. I would also tell
the classes that the "naughty boys" gave it as a gift to me (big smiles).
New Classes always commented on it. "Wow - Do we get to make something like
that" and give them a big grin and of course tell the story. I did make
sculptural totem other years - just not the same way. The Ndbele totems were
really successful....but that is for a different post.

Look towards Incredible Art Department if you need help.
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/

----- Original Message -----
From: Pam
Subject: Re: Need Ideas for senior guys...

1. lend itself to finding meaning in Pollock's work while keeping in mind
that comprehensive art teaching isn't simply making art "in the style of"
and
2. be practically implemented (what do you as a teacher need to do to
prepare students and the area for this activity).

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