In another week I will be starting a new Art Studio classroom for elementary students. I will see one grade level each month, beginning with 3rd grade. Since this is a new adventure, I have been immersing myself in thought about how I want this classroom studio to operate.
The other night I was testing out some new illustration board that I was lucky to acquire for my classroom. I had been online looking at some terrific art blogs, so my head was swimming with MANY ideas from others. But when I sat down with a narrow strip of board (maybe 3 inches X 12 inches) and a Crayola watercolor tray, I found myself leaving the online ideas and shifting to that other way of thinking about art. I started devising the "color system" I might want to use -- primary? secondary? complementary? value? Then I considered the thickness of lines that might work best. I flashed back on Kandinsky's Circles, but dismissed using his exact idea. How about triangles, rectangles, organic shapes? I settled on squares and began. I want to have kids experience that leaving white, dry space between the watercolor stripes results in clear colors. Allowing the paint to drift wet into wet creates new colors that we may or may not want to happen. I was experimenting with trying to leave white spaces so that I could go back later with a black Sharpie and create black and white line designs in those spaces (much like the image above). Sometimes I "goofed" and colors ran -- "that's OK," I thought. This will be a teaching opportunity to share with kids. Unplanned events in art often create delightful results. Each decision I made regarding line or color offered fine lines of distinctions and a variety of possibilities. As I painted, I found myself realizing that this was the experience I want my little artists to have -- mentally sorting through the artistic options and making choices that please them.
As my students make their fine lines and splashes of color I plan to share their work here.