…..tensions were high and the paint literally flew
After taking Karine Swenson’s class on abstract painting I decided to pass on some of the things that I learned to my grade 5 students. One thing you should know is that this class is huge by today’s standards. There are 30 students in this class and they take up every inch of space that I have for art. The other problem is that not everyone is on the same project and everyone wanted help at the same time.
I put on a Youtube video that demonstrated some abstract techniques that the students might want to try. This kept about half the class busy while I sorted out the problems with the other projects that were still incomplete. Earlier in the week I went to the dollar store and purchased canvases, small, medium and large that the students preordered and paid for.
Once I got most of the problems solved I brought out the paints, brushes, palette knives, palettes and a variety of other accessories that the students could use on their paintings. I took a canvas and in about 5 minutes I created an abstract piece that used a variety of techniques and i let the students dictate what colours they wanted me to use. I’m not sure I would have used those colours if I were making the decision but the kids aren’t afraid to experiment with someone else’s work. I’m glad I was wearing an apron because at one point when I threw the paint from the knife onto the canvas it came straight back at me and right onto the centre of my red apron.
It was actually a very good teaching moment and the kids could see how easy it is the ruin what you’re wearing. When I finished my piece the grade 5s were ready to start their own paintings.
The following paintings may or may not be finished. Next week when we have art class again the students will decide if they need to add more detail or change something they don’t like. A couple of girls have already made that decision and painted out what they’d done and they will start anew in the next class.
Karine Swenson always says that it’s only paint and canvas. Experiment. You can always paint over it if you don’t like it. I love the energy and freedom of these paintings. The kids had a blast and even though they left me with a huge mess some of them did come back at the end of the day to help me clean up.