Henri Matisse had a long career as an artist and worked in a variety of styles. Towards the end of his life he began to refine his work into the study of the simple shapes that made up the world around him. The students used memories as inspiration for their work and tried to use simple shapes to create an image from their memory using paper, scissors and glue. They then had time to share their work and see if they could work out what each person’s memory was by reading the shapes.
Another artist who used colours, lines and shapes expressively in his work was Joan Miro who was from Barcelona. The grade 2 students had a lot of fun reading the shapes and lines and we talked a lot about how everyone does not respond to art in the same way. Everyone can have a different perception of what a piece of art means. We all agreed that Miro’s work made us think carefully and that the more we looked the more we thought about the meaning.
The students used a game to make their artwork in this lesson. They used a dice and worked in pairs. The number on the dice corresponded to a certain shape and colour that they used in their work. They created their work in their sketch books first, thinking carefully about composition. Then when they where happy with their plan they used paint to make a larger piece of art. I noticed how carefully they are looking at whilst working now and making choices about colours, shapes, sizes to creating a balanced composition.
Now we are really beginning to dig deeper into how artists use lines, shapes and colours to express themselves in their artworks. We watched the Artist Rudy Ernst create an Action Painting. The we created our own in groups of two or three. First the students created the lines in black and then they made some choices together. They decided if they were going to paint or use pastels, chalks and crayons. Then they decided if they would colour the lines or the shapes. Finally, they decided what the colour scheme would be; cool or warm colours, primary colours or secondary colours. This choice really made a huge impact on the mood the artwork expressed.
After watching these videos about the artist Jackson Pollock we talked about how the artist says he can control the lines to create very purposeful art work. We talked about the way he used his body and the way the lines in his work moved.
“I think it would be very difficult to control your lines when working like this” Poppy
“It looks like he is dancing when he works and his lines look like they are dancing on the paper” Josua
“At first it looks like a big messy thing and then you can see all the kinds of lines in it” Lana
When the students tried they where really surprised at how they controlled their lines:
In Grade 2 we have been exploring lines and how we can control them. We used ink blowing to create these lines and they were quite difficult to control. However, we found that our lines made shapes and that if we controlled our paint to colour the shapes we could create some amazing artwork.
In Grade 2 we are learning about how artists can express themselves through the Elements of Art. We looked at the work of Kandinsky and discussed his special talents. Did you know that Kandinsky had an unusual condition called Synethesesia? This is a brain condition that enables people who have it to mix sensory information without meaning to. For example they may see a smell or taste a feeling!!! When Kandinsky heard music he saw colours and this influenced his work greatly. He always painted to music and expressed what the music made him feel through colour, line and shape. This youtube clip shows his artwork and is set to his favorite piece of music, Seelische Vibration by Arnold Schonberg.
Grade 2 watched some videos of the artist Jackson Pollock working on his action paintings. They made notes about what they saw, thought and wondered about him and his work. We found that Jackson Pollock was in control of his paint and could control his lines. Jackson Pollock said, “I like to express the how I feel not illustrate it.”
The students looked again at the types oflines we learnt how to make and tried to use them to express themseves in lines without letting their paintbrush touch the page.
They thought it would be tricky and messy but we were masters of our paintbrushes and just like Jackson Pollock we controlled our lines.
What are these grade 2 kids doing? Slurping beetle blood? Spitting out licorice juice?
No, silly, they are trying to control their lines! They are blowing ink lines and seeing if they can control them in order to make shapes. It made them a bit dizzy! But they had shapes to paint and the finished work looked amazing. Have a look at it in the ES office.
This is an example of action painting that we found interesting because we liked the way the artist used lines and colour together. Even though we were distracted by the artists t-shirt we liked the way he moved and how he used different kinds of line to express his feelings about the subject he read about in the newspaper.
We made our own action drawings and tried to use all the lines we had leanred about. We worked in groups to make choices about colours and how we would express ourselves.