I don't have the information on imagery you are seeking, but I have had
students do beautiful larger-than-life still lifes with small baskets of
mushrooms, overflowing or spilled out of their "crate," and others showing the
'shrooms in various positions, including cut open from various angles to show
the internal line structures. Of course, any fruit or vegetable works well for
these. I had one student do some really dynamic paintings of 2 HUGE peanuts.
I use an example I got from some book showing a mushroom drawn in just
vertical lines when I introduce my advanced students to one directional line
drawings. I think I could lay my hands on that and another example in stipple
if you are interested.
Mark's points about the possible implications of the mushroom subject matter
are definitely valid. I never thought about them except like any other
vegetative material, although I guess I should have since drinking 'shroom
juice was popular during my college days too many years ago.
Your post also reminded me of a project I did many years ago with a small
group of elementary students where they picked mushrooms, pulled off the tops
and placed them gill side down on paper. They then covered the arrangement
with a box or bowl to prevent air currents from blowing on the mushrooms.
After a weekend, we carefully removed the coverings, discarded the mushrooms
and viewed the beautiful spore prints on the paper. As I recall there were
many shades of pinks and blues in the distinctive, delicate tracery patterns.
We then completed the compositions with line designs in pencil and/or colored
pencil. I don't remember how permanent the resulting prints were. I know we
discussed never being sure which mushrooms were poisonous and the necessity to
wash their hands, etc., but now I am not sure I would try it again with the
same age group. At the time, our three year old school building had the system
in court over the many leaks in the roof, and the supply was ample. You could
go for mushroom hunts in the halls and media center.
I would love see your plans.