Teaching: Art tips!

27 May

I have been busy working as a relief teacher all week and  I have missed writing on my blog! So I thought I would start this blog with some of my mother’s ‘everyday objects’  art tips! My mother was an amazing woman, she remembers, from a young age, her father taking her to live shows and art exhibitions in London. He had a love of the arts and obviously saw a kindred spirit in his daughter. In her teens my mother’s parents sent her to a school for gifted children. She remembers feeling as if she had come alive!  She was at the school for two years and then went back to regular schooling.  She often said that she had learnt so much in those two years that she believed in that period of time her eyes were opened to a different way of viewing the world. My mother lived through the war in England and I remember the stories she would tell me, how she would walk home from work and only her house was standing and all the other houses around had been bombed. How strange it must have been to come to Australia from England, what a culture shock!

Her love of art continued, I remember her creativity as a child,there were numerous handmade clothes and dolls. One doll I remember she made, I think it was a Raggedy Ann doll, she sewed a heart button onto her body! So when I undressed the doll countless times (as you do!) I could see her little heart! Everywhere I looked I saw her creativity in the stories she read, in her amazing drawings and paintings, in her love of nature and the unique way she viewed the world. Here are some of her techniques.

1.Shaving brush!

The tree pattern is great as with a few quick dabs of the brush: instant bushy leaves! The grass I feel is very effective and is produced by sweeping the brush across the paper! To the right and then to the left and voila: wavy grass!

2. Painting with a stick!

I remember an art unit my mother decided to enrol in and when she came home I asked her how she went with her lesson. She said the lecturer sent the students outside and said they needed to collect a stick and have some black paint ready to go! She was wondering at this stage why on earth she had enrolled in this class! It was an adult class and there was a scantily draped model posed on a chair, the students were then  asked to paint the model! She was a tad surprised but after an hour she had produced quite an amazing likeness! For the sake of this blog being about children I will include a more child friendly example! I stayed with the nature theme as I have discovered children of all ages are keenly interested and innately tuned to the outdoors.

3. Painting with a plastic knife!

My mother always believed that from an early age children should be given a range of tools to express themselves in art. As metal palette knives are quite sharp she felt plastic knives still gave children the opportunity to experiment with different ways of applying paint to paper.

4. Painting with the back of a teaspoon!

5. Bubble wand art!

A Uni friend and I put our heads together and this is what we came up with! Enter one bubble wand!

Next we carefully drew around the stencil onto a pizza tray with a pencil (good chance to recycle!)  and also drew around all the patterns. Younger children would need some help, older children could manage this by themselves.

We then loaded a paint roller with black paint, it was the only paint we had to hand at the time!

Then we turned the pizza tray over and pressed onto a piece of paper and voila! Our lovely ladybird!

My friend introduced the activity to a group of preschoolers on her practicum. They loved the idea and added lots of red for authenticity! Some children added glitter while the paint was still wet. I will try and add some of their masterpieces on to this post for you to see.

I am off to the shop as the next two everyday art tips (from my mother) require a plastic net bag and a chocolate wrapper!

See you soon!

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