Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bark Paintings

We've learned that painting can be done on many surfaces. Starting with the caves at Lascaux, we found that early civilizations painted on the walls of caves. And, we've learned that wall painting, whether on caves, cement blocks or stucco, continues today and is a popular way of telling or selling a story. Artists that choose painting as their medium find many surfaces for painting depending on what they have available and what they have to say. Take Australia, for instance, where caves and rocks have been popular painting surfaces for centuries. Art has alway been an important part of traditional aboriginal culture, where story telling takes the role of written language for passing information from generation to generation. With one particular aboriginal group, the bark of the eucalyptus tree has been the perfect surface for painting. Painting is not only a means of telling a story, it is also seen as a spiritual act, and the act of painting serves as a source of energy for the artist.

We'll be tapping into that energy this week while listening to the music of the didgeridoo and learning about the themes and messages contained in aboriginal bark painting.  We'll see how dots, lines, and concentric organic shapes can be used in creating art on a brand new surface.

I'm looking forward to a great week with your students!