Saturday, July 27, 2019

Artists Innovate

One of the Artist Behavior units we tried out in my advanced class 2nd semester was about artists using nontraditional materials or methods. I called it “Artists Innovate” because though less descriptive it was a lot shorter!

Here is part of the lesson plan:
  1. The students will view and discuss work by relevant artists.
  2. The students will apply paint or ink with non-traditional tools.
  3. The students will explore creating a traditional image with non-traditional materials.
  4. The students will explore creating sculpture with found objects and non-traditional materials.
  5. The students will plan and implement a project that is created with a non-traditional process or materials.

Day 1: Look at Chuck Close’s fingerprint portraits- layering prints to create different values- and discuss. Look at images of Matisse doing gestural drawing using a pole and discuss- why did he use that approach? Next, students will make a picture of a plant from observation either using their fingerprints or a paintbrush on a stick.
Day 2: Continue plant pictures, try the opposite of fingerprints or paintbrush on a stick.
Day 3: Look collage/fiber artists Mickalene Thomas, Bryan Grove, etc. Students make small traditional image with nontraditional media.
Day 4: Look at found object/assemblage artists. Explore available materials and play/experiment.
Day 5: Come up with a proposal and present to teacher. Work on project!
Days 6-20: Work on assignments.
Here are two examples of the traditional subject, nontraditional approach exercise. Plants made with a paintbrush on a stick and with fingerprints.
This student turned a broken hair dryer into a drawing machine. He melted crayons on the blades and figured out how to still make the fan run with a little help from our technology teacher.

This student wanted to make jewelry out of found objects. She started with forks and ended up exploring nontraditional jewelry the whole time.

She got scraps of glass from our local hot glass shop and fused them before making a wire wrapped necklace inspired by Alexander Calder.
This student used fabric scraps to create an abstracted kite piece.

This was the unit where I saw the most exploration from my students. Some didn’t have a finished product and others had multiple. Since I grade mostly based on the Artistic Thinking Process that worked out just fine!

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