In Part 1 children were introduced to real artist tools, and also to music played with record albums on a record player. Music inspires art. It goes into your ears, then your brain and your heart. Then it shoots out your fingers like magic to help you paint.
We started with fun painting. Since we’re learning about Italy, we decided to paint with spaghetti. We dipped cooked pasta into paint and then dropped it from the loft onto paper. It was messy, fun, and very creative. Children returned to their painting to add a single spaghetti noodle dipped in black paint as a highlight.
In this way, children learned that an important work of art isn’t created in a day. Artists return to their painting over and over again until they are satisfied. From this point forward, all the art children painted was open ended; they could work on a painting as many times as they needed to get it ‘just right’.
Every day we put a record album on the record player, either Vivaldi or Beethoven, and painted. We made different types of art, and children could choose what they wanted to do. Some children decided to paint with thick gold paint and add jewels to resemble Early Renaissance art.
Some children were fascinated with Venice. They used a collection of items to create the bridges that cross the canal. Sparkly blue scrapbook paper, painting with a loofa, craft sticks, and real stones made some great art. Other children were fascinated with actual masterpieces and wanted to recreate the art. It is amazing what happens after a child is empowered with ‘I can’. The children’s paintings are remarkably close to the original!
Large Blue Horses, By Franz Marc
Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog,
by Caspar David Friedrich
And of course, some children wanted to paint the Mona Lisa, after we really studied her and wrote what we saw. Children often see more than adults do. The background in her painting seemed to be what interested children the most. Have you ever looked at it carefully?
~Tell Me a Story~
There are trees.
There’s a river.
There’s a castle.
Her neck is white.
I like her.
She’s feeling happy.
There’s sand along the road, maybe a beach.
The water goes from one side to the other.
She might be a mermaid that turned into a human.
Is she smiling? Yes (10) N0 (4)
Since this was portrait painting, children wanted to paint the Mona Lisa… but they really wanted to paint Gloria. We called this the Mona Gloria.
The most popular paintings were straight from the heart; letting that music shoot out your fingers like magic so you can paint. Colors and shapes that have abandon. Feel good paintings.
There is one last thing that makes a painting a masterpiece – a title. Every important work of art has a name. Children certainly know Starry Night. So, when all the paintings were finished, each child gave their masterpiece a name. There is ‘A Busy Scene’ (above), ‘Charlotte’, ‘Water’, ‘Blue Beads’, ‘The Bridge of the Water’ and so on. Icing on the cake.
We had a Zoom with all of our families to show them our masterpieces. It was wonderful! Children beamed and talked about their art. Families were thrilled. My co-teacher and I hang the Art Show this weekend. Stay tuned for the Part 3 finale.