I was inspired by this video to try something new with my artwork (thanks Craig R for sharing it). Though it is good to develop personal style, I find myself doing the same thing over and over. With time on my hands I gave the technique a go a few days ago.
The premise is to be influenced through music to explore creativity. I chose “In Sickness and in Health” by The Legendary Pink Dots from their The Whispering Wall album. I had no plan in mind and simply went with it, playing the song over and over for about an hour until the work was complete. It’s harder than it sounds and I doubted myself throughout the whole experience.
My goal was to simply break out of my comfort zone and explore new possibilities and various techniques that I usually don’t use. I used graphite, pastel, ink, coffee, charcoal, gouache, watercolour and collage.
The final piece itself is not a work of art, but a document of an exploration process, something newer art students may struggle with. I recorded the process in the video below and sped it up reducing it from fifty minutes to approximately three (you may also click the photo to take you to the Flickr page).
We’re on holiday for our mid-semester break and I decided to stay put to get some art done. Well the break is halfway over and I finally managed to squeeze some time in. I thought I’d do a self-portrait with acrylic gouache as I teach this next semester and I am a little rusty. Four and a half hours later I managed to pump this out in A3 size. I also photographed the process to create the video below. Not my best work but it feels good to do some artwork again! (That’s the problem when you teach art, you don’t have time to do your own.)
“To celebrate Youth Music’s 10th Birthday, 70 of the world’s greatest musicians and visual artists have created a groundbreaking body of collaborative artwork based on Rankin’s iconic portraits of musicians.
As part of National Youth Music Week 2009, Youth Music will take over Phillips De Pury London for a festival of art and live music featuring performances from Destroy artists.
Original works by Damien Hirst, Douglas Gordon, Debbie Harry, Michael Stipe, U2, Mat Collishaw, Marianne Faithfull and many others will be auctioned to support the UK’s biggest music charity for young people.”
View the Gallery to see the original Rankin photo and how it was ‘destroyed’ by another artist. I think students would enjoy a project like this by using celebrity photos from magazines or even taking and using photos of themselves, which a partner could then reinterpret. I may consider this when I do portrait painting with grade 6 students next semester.
I have seen variations of this Australian aboriginal art activity in the past, but what I like about my co-workers’ delivery is the crumpled paper effect. Sonya and Gillian did this as an after school activity with grade 1-4 students. They write:
“Students were inspired by an aboriginal painting to create their own ‘rock drawings’ in the style of the Australian aboriginal people. After drawing their animal in permanent marker, they used watercolour dyes in earth tones to colour the paper. When it was dry, the paper was scrunched into a ball to create the rock texture. Further detail was added with cotton buds and paint – the dot painting being very prominent in aboriginal art. A border was created for the work and students helped prepare their work for display.”
We are about 2 months into school now. I don’t know about you, but I am BUSY. Swamped actually. Every year seems to grow and get busier and busier. More stuff gets added but it feels like not much is taken out. With this, I ponder if I continue to challenge my students out of their comfort zone in Art. Are they challenging themselves or simply giving me what I want for assessment purposes? Do I encourage them to experiment enough or do I rush them?
I was flipping through some bookmarked videos and stumbled across this one again (video below). Not fully related to what I am writing but it made me wonder if I am understanding my students. I can’t remember who passed it on to me, so apologies. It’s in Japanese with Korean and English subtitles. Some food for thought.
File2.ws may be of interest to both teachers and students as an alternative way to showcase student/teacher work.
File2.ws is a free website that converts any of your own files into a public online web page. Every converted file to a web page has a unique web address so you can share it with friends, or other people on the internet. This allows information to be shared quickly and efficiently to a large audience.