Friday, April 11, 2014

Artist Study - Who is Hundertwasser?

Children in Charlotte Mason schools studied one artist per three-month term.  The Orthodox Masonite limits herself to the 13th through 19th centuries.  I believe masters from these periods are important to include, but I also think you can mix it up a bit.  Sandwiched between terms studying Fra Angelico and Corot, why not Hundertwasser?

Hundertwasser was born in 1928 in Austria, and became the best-known contemporary Austrian artist. 

The art teacher at the public school where I teach is truly amazing.  Ms. Green challenges our students to do more than they think they can do.  This month, she introduced the kids to Hundertwasser, the artist, ecologist, and architect.    

Ms. Green is a MonArt teacher.  MonArt is a method developed by Mona Brooks, and explained in her book Drawing With Children.  Monart uses the Five Basic Elements of Shape and the Line Family to teach children how to draw.

At the beginning of each artist study, Ms. Green puts up a tri-fold board of pictures and text about the artist being studied.

Ms. Green's Hundertwasser poster
She gives each student a warm-up page to familiarize them with the shapes and lines to which they will be paying special attention. This one shows her black outlines, and a child's work in pencil.
She guides students through the process of creating their own Hundertwasser-inspired cityscapes.  For this particular project, students use pencils, Sharpies, Japanese watercolor markers, paintbrushes, and water.  They draw their cityscapes with pencil, go over the pencil lines with Sharpie, erase the pencil lines, add a bit of Japanese watercolor marker, and brush over the marker with a wet paintbrush.
These are the gorgeous results - done by FIRST GRADERS!!!
Using Ms. Green's methods as an example for one way to do artist study, the parent/teacher could choose an artist, and - over the trimester - add relevant images and text to a tri-fold board, collage-like.

The parent/teacher can tell the child to pay attention to certain shapes and lines, or create a warm-up page for the child.  A coloring book page can also be used to show shapes and lines.  

Give guided instruction, but then step back and let the child work.  Give them work that is challenging and expect best efforts.  Provide some special materials (and teach children how to care for them).  

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