Saturday, October 31, 2009

Connect the Dots!

It was a very busy week in the studio.  And we couldn't have done it without all the wonderful help of the art moms.  On Wednesday local artist Tiffany Kimball Santos joined us in the studio to help with our project. With a generous donation of wood veneer from the Art Cottage, we created some extraordinary bark paintings in the tradition of the indigenous people of Australia.

We listened to the music of the didgeridoo while learning about how aboriginal cultures use story telling, music and animal imagery in their paintings to maintain strong personal connections to their ancestral origins.

Students were given a piece of wood and invited to trace the wood on a piece of paper. A tempera paint "wash" was provided to stain the wood and allow the grain to show.  While the wood dried, the traced outline provided a format for students to develop the main subject of their bark painting.  Once the wood was dry, students used a variety of colored tempera paints to create their imagery.

Students used the brush to paint large shapes of color to represent their subject. To simulate the dot pattern found in traditional aboriginal art, students dipped the blunt end of the brush in the paints,providing details on their flats of color as well as outlining their work with the dot patterns.

The indigenous people of Australia have a great respect for creation which they call the dreamtime and for the place of their birth called the dreaming.  We talked about our birthplaces and used animals and landscapes to represent the places we were born.

I took photos of the bark paintings created on Monday by students in Mr. Steidel's, Mrs. Wolfe's and Mrs. Doell's afternoon class.  Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge the images. Each week I will be posting the work from a few classrooms so be sure to stay tuned and watch for your student's creations.