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Re: Elementary Painting

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From: linda eastman (lindacharlie_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Nov 06 2002 - 03:14:45 PST


on 11/6/02 1:47 AM, Beth Hanlon at BHanlo@DOVER.K12.PA.US wrote:

> ... I think one of the main
> problems is their experience with the medium, most of them are still at that
> manipulation stage. You might want to start with an non-objective/abstract to
> warm them up...

one of my favorite lower elem painting lessons is based on helen
frankenthaler's color field painting. i prepare large sheets of paper with
bigger sheets of newspaper taped to the back, squeeze bottles of many
different (unusal) colors of tempera paint, and halves of sponges with
clothsepin handles. i have the kids close their eyes and imagine they are
floating through a rainbow and every space they move into is a different
color. play some ethereal music, and really play up the atmosphere of color
idea. then i group the kids in threes on the floor with some paint bottles
in the middle and they can squeeze out the colors and sponge them around
until their paper is filled with fields of color. it's a very direct process
and the kids get real into moving the paint around in shapes rather than
lines. before i had my big drying rack, i used to line the hallway with them
and some strategically placed "danger - wet paint" signs. (that'd be great
on a fire drill day!) also it helps to have a couple of water buckets handy
to throw the sponges into.

the following week we put up the compositions and i give the kinders small
figures (people) i cut out of magazines to experiment with - putting them in
different places in their compositions. when they do this the color fields
take on monumental proportions and it really does "feel" like the figures
are floating through a rainbow.

once the coolest thing happened. one little girls painting looked almost
exactly like a flipped version of a real frankenthaler!

i love this lesson!
linda in michigan

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