Happy New Year! My New Year’s resolution is to blog on a regular basis and share what’s going on in my art teacher world!
Here on the Olympic Peninsula I have been working with homeschool students on drawing and blockbuilding. Both of these topics have provided such a rich field for exploration.
I tried a drawing game in which we wrote names of animals on slips of paper and then drew out a slip at a time to create an animal stack up. It was such fun and it led me to realize that there are so any ways to vary the game and the individual drawing outcomes. And of course there are so many possible things to draw in a stack! How about drawing household objects such as coathangers, teapots, lamps, and hammers? That just reminded me of the Dr. Seuss book The Cat in the Hat in which the cat balances all kinds of things while standing on a ball! Maybe Dr. Seuss played the stack up drawing game!
In my block building class we have a wonderful new set of unit blocks with some really interesting pieces. Once the students became familiar with the variety of pieces I had them draw a simple structure as a blueprint and then create their building much like an architect designs and builds. All of the students enjoyed this, but several really got a charge out of doing it and loved talking about their “blueprints”. I think for many of my blockbuilders it was a good mental reversal that got them to think about building and the blocks from a different perspective. Usually the play and experimentation leads to ideas and then creation, rather than coming up with an idea, drawing it, and then building it. In fact in the block creation above, I did not think that the triangular blocks at the bottom would support the rest of the creation. I was thrilled and pleased for my student when they did!
I am really looking forward to attending the NAEA conference in New York City in about 6 weeks. I will be able to meet up with colleagues and attend some wonderful sessions. I know I will come back with lots of inspiration and fresh ideas for my students.
I hope that the rest of your January is artful! F. R.