Wednesday, November 6, 2013

#8 Blotches, Splotches and A Treasure Map of Your Mind

Learning Areas: The Arts- creating and making, exploring and responding, Thinking- inquiry, creativity, Science- patterns, order and organisation, Communication- listening, viewing and responding
Materials: acrylic paint, paint pots, small plastic spoons, paint brushes, A4 paper, visual diaries, felt-tipped pens, coloured pencils and crayons

We are going to start a project together that I am very excited about: So far it is called Because of me  (the name might change as we go along)
The project is going to be about you: who you are, the things you like and do and the ways in which you influence the world around you.
We will be working towards using all of the ideas and things you create to design big box constructions to play and perform in. First though, we need to gather ideas... 

The place everything gets connected
We are going to go on a fascinating journey today: exploring the most important tool an artist has: our brain!
Artist’s notice things, gather things, imagine and think. When the thoughts and gathered things and ideas are very strong, an artist may choose to bring them together to create some art. When you bring everything together in art and are ready to begin making we call it a concept.
Let me show you a piece of art I finished recently. I made this after we made our colour targets (#3 Blending Colour: Transforming Spaces) You can see I chose to add more elements to my colour blend. 
The (next) Big Thing, Copyright Heather Marsh, 2013

We have a conversation about what they notice.They talk about the warm and cool colours - how they notice sea creatures and airplanes on the cool side and a heart and "seed" on the warm side. 

Before we get further into our artistic concept for the box project, lets put another element of art into our artists toolbox: shape.
Now, I know you all know what a shape is – how many shapes can you describe for me? What about shapes that aren’t regular – as in, shapes that can’t easily be measured?

Investigating: Rorschach Blots
Here is a type of shape I find very interesting. It is called a Rorschach blot. Do you think that would be tricky to say? Let's have a go..

How do you think this shape was made? Do you think the blot makes a picture of something you can recognise? 
What about this one – what can you see?

The children start to name the things they see, at first slowly and then once they get going they suddenly see many many objects, animals and people in the blots. 

Notice that because each of you is unique you see different things. Part of the specialness of being you is that you offer us a unique perspective.

Making: Colourful Rorschach Blots 

Lets make some Rorschach blots. We are going to use A4 paper and paint. Instead of using a paintbrush, though, we are going to use teaspoons to put very small blobs of paint onto the page.
There are some instructions for making this work:
Fold your page in half. Put a few small blobs of paint only on one side, close to the middle or in the middle.
Fold your paper and squish the paint around.
Unfold it to see your blot! What does it look like? Can you see a picture in your blot? 

*The challenge for some children is following all the instructions. This is a great opportunity for learning and without shaming children who did things differently, we usually discuss what we have produced in terms of personal satisfaction, what worked and didn't work and what we would do differently next time. 

Exploring: Mind Maps 

While our Rorschach blots are drying, lets explore artistic concepts again. I find when I am thinking about making some art, it helps to gather my ideas all in the one place. Recently I started doing mind-maps – it is like a treasure map to your brain and your ideas and thoughts are the treasure. 
Here are some mind maps I found: 
By Kira, Grade 6, Ararat Primary School 

Acknowledgment: Coach Shev Gul

Making... Again! 
In your visual diary you are going to begin a mind map. We don’t have to finish it today – it might be something that you return to and add to over time.
I would like you to begin by putting a shape or a small picture in the middle of the page, which we will call your centre – the thinking, connecting, joining stuff up bit of you. It could be a drawing of your brain, or your heart – or a sparkly gemstone – whatever you like that represents you.
Coming out from the centre we are going to draw paths. Each path can be different – wriggly or straight, thick or thin, dotted, textures – however you like. At the end of each path is something about you- a special thing you like, something you do well, your family or favourite pet, something you are really interested in.

New Vocabulary artistic concept, Rorschach blots, mind map, unique, perspective 

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