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Re: [teacherartexchange] Input wanted on "blue clouds", are they common in other parts of the country?


Date: Sat Sep 23 2006 - 05:40:20 PDT

Hi Carol

There are two theories about this. Clouds are blue because they are part of the
blue skyline. Clouds are blue because the paper is white. If you support
Viktor Lowenfeld's ideas (Creative and Mental Growth), children all over the
world will draw a blue skyline and a baseline. The big empty part is air.
Clouds are part of the sky so they are drawn blue or because the air is white
and what other could you color them so they could be seen. Children at this
age, according to Lowenfeld do not draw what they "see" and neither should
adults have them draw in ways that are contrary to their own intentions.

According to Lowenfeld children invent these devices to represent the world and
children do this all over the world in very much the same way. It is a process
of genetic unfolding. It is not a cultural thing, according to Lowenfeld.

I have seen many children draw blue clouds. Because my background in art
education was based upon the theories and philosophies of Viktor Lowenfeld, I
do not have the children "change" the clouds....I guess it is after all

Now I have heard another idea...clouds are actually white according to children
it is just much easier to draw the smaller negative blue areas and leave the
rest of the area. The rest of the area is actually the clouds...adults don't
get it. :-) I don't by that one.

So in the end, it is anyones guess...but it is not unusual for your children to
draw blue clouds. :-)


> I hope some of the list members can help me with this. When I first
> began teaching (k-8) here twenty years ago I noticed that almost all of my
> students would color their clouds blue and leave the sky white. It is a
> low-income
> area so my first thought was that first grade teachers encouraged children to
> color that way to preserve the blue crayons, but years passed, crayons were
> plentiful and still the blue clouds persisted. Often I would ask: "Why are
> the
> clouds blue?" the response: "Because that's what color clouds are." I would
> say "look outside, what color are the clouds?", they answer "White." So I
> ask
> why they color them blue and the usual response is "I donno, they're just
> supposed to be blue."
> I have worked in schools in various parts of the country, but don't
> recall noticing a lot of blue clouds. I grew up about sixty miles from here
> and
> have no memory of them as a student or teacher there. I can remember my
> kindergarten teacher showing me how to draw fluffy white clouds in a blue
> sky. Is
> this just a local thing? If so, do any of you see it in your areas? How
> would
> you handle it?
> I usually insist that my students color the entire page so the clouds
> either disappear when they color the sky blue or they color the sky a
> different
> color (which is fine and sometimes striking) but after these many years I am
> still wondering...and last week my granddaughter came home from kindergarten
> with a picture of our house and (you guessed it) blue clouds. I asked her
> why
> the clouds were blue, the response "because that's what color you are
> supposed
> to color clouds!"
> Any thoughts or comments are welcome. This is like the sun in the
> corner, is that typical all over the world or just in this country?
> Carol Karn
> Clio, SC
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Dr. Diane C. Gregory
Associate Professor of Art Education
Director, Graduate & Undergraduate Studies in
Art Education
Department of Visual Arts
Texas Woman's University
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