I wasn’t sure how much they could do with this today, because we are in the middle of a Montreal heat wave and it’s boiling in our classroom, but I figured abstract art would give them the freedom to play with colours and not worry too much about the outcome… especially since the heat was already inciting little emotional outbursts.
I’ve given them a few abstract artists already, but I wanted one that pushed home the idea that this art form is about feelings and instincts instead of form. I’m currently reading my way through Kandinsky’s manifesto: “Concerning the spiritual in art” and felt he could fit the bill.
I started with another fun video from Youtube: “Learn Abstract Art” (Googled abstract art for kids and I liked this one the most). I gave each student an big piece of lavender coloured construction paper (14″ x 17″), instructed they could use any colours they wanted, make the drawing in any orientation (vertical or horizontal), and peppered them with reminder questions about the benefits of imperfection and mistakes. I also gave them the choice to work during the video or not.
I offered the option to use pencils first or go strait into it with their pastels. Finally, I asked in several ways if they needed to copy the example the video was showing or if they could go crazy with their imaginations… I got back a few versions of a growing mantra in my class: “Art comes from your heart”. Meaning, it is uniquely yours no matter what you choose to do.
They had about forty-five minutes to work and most took almost all off it. Those who finished early helped with the messy oil pastel clean up.
Here are the results…