Today I had a student etching lines into his background for our Van Gogh project (continuing from last week)- he said, they are "roller coaster lines" with much enthusiasm. Any way I can get them to stand and move their bodies around while they are working... the better! Art is typically a seated process, but I see better focus and attention when they are standing and really moving their arms around. They are engaged! They are excited! This is good stuff.
We created these heavily painted, tactile backgrounds in a small group of about 6-8 students. I set out two tray of vividly bright paint colors, and wide flat brushes. The students slathered the paint, stamped, flicked (a little) and had a good ole messy time. At points, I tried to go around and directly squeeze some paint on their paper... More paint, please!!! After the paint shellac, it was texturizing time, with tools like combs, forks, whatever! I probably could have brought out millions of tools but I limited to three, and told them to try two.
Since they all did not all paint at the same time, the students that were waiting to paint cut out a symmetrical vase form that will hold their flowers from last week. Some of them did cool cuts like the one below and others chose simpler forms and decorated on top with patterns & designs.
So it is generally more busy and stressful for me when I've got two things going on, but in the end, it's nice to have some small group time happening during the art period rather than chunking everything out overall.
I think the students liked the movement and kinetic nature of the scratch painting and I hope to do more of this soon.
Next week I will wrap up this Van Gogh three weeker- it's been great fun and I think the students will be surprised at the results!