Tuesday, September 7, 2010

going outside the lines

Has anyone noticed the new Target ad on TV? It shows some young kids painting big beautiful, loosely expressive paintings at easels - the kind of art room we all would dream of, and the teacher is saying "Express yourselves. Don't be afraid to go outside the lines..."

All very lovely, EXCEPT as teacher makes this statement, the image joyfully focuses on two adorable girls at easels, and one is merrily painting the other girl's entire arm green, from wrist to shoulder.

I'm very annoyed with Target. The "express yourselves... " message of the ad is nice, but COME ON. There should be boundaries of decorum even in the art classroom or everyone will just be tossing clay at the walls and smearing chalk on each other's faces. Not OK in my book. When we are painting in my room, I certainly encourage individuality and expressiveness, but I do NOT endorse allowing kids to merrily paint each other's body parts or clothing with no reprimand. Am I an old fuddy-duddy? What's your opinion?

And totally unrelated: cleaning out my school stuff in prep for tomorrow's start, I found a note to myself with a couple of book titles evidently found while reading blogs. I went to amazon.com to see if I could find these books and one doesn't seem to exist. So if you are the blogger who wrote about a book (?) called The Blazing Banyon Tree (or it could be spelled Banyon), can you please check the title and let me know what it is and possibly where to find it?



  1. Phyl,
    Try this link- it is to an art lesson in a pdf- there appears to be no book in my google search- it looks like a great lesson

  2. Phyl I think this lesson is from the book Dynamic Art Projects for Children: Includes Step-by-step Instructions And Photographs [Spiral-Bound]
    Denise M. Logan (Author)-

  3. I haven't seen the Target add, but I totally agree with you. They should not be encouraging students to paint their bodies in school. I have students do this all the time, and it's not because they are being creative, it because they are goofing around. When I have students paint their arms and hands, I take away their paint and have them finish the day coloring in crayons. If they can't paint appropriately, then they won't do it at all.

  4. GREAT! Just what we need. Body painting in the art room. It might look glamorous on T.V. but it is not a pretty sight when someone does this in my room! I tear off my pretty teacher face and become big bad monster teacher and vanquish them to time out for the eternity of that art class!

  5. Erica that's funny I always used to tell my son don't make the mommy monster come out. I have a teacher monster too!
    Can we blame Target from now on when we get the "my son came home with paint on his new clothes" email? we can just say they were 'expressing themselves' rather than the desired response of - they weren't following directions or they didn't wear their smock - or they thought their smock was bullet proof or you knew it was art day why did you send them to school with new clothes on??!

  6. So funny. I just introduced painting the "kindergarten way" to my newbies. Before kids get anywhere near the paint they learn that "paint goes on the paper". I really like to take my time with this, teach it well the first time, and review often. I found the Target ad a bit disturbing, too. I hope none of my kids see it or I'll be doing this all year.

  7. Wow, who'd have thought that my little post before bedtime without even a photo would grab anyone's attention! Glad to know I'm not really "out there" with this opinion of the Target ad. Maybe I'll follow up and write them a letter expressing my concern...

  8. uh!! that is one of my biggest annoyances.. when kids start to paint their hands. I also put a stop to it right away.

  9. Oh my goodness! I saw that commercial and probably gasped when I saw the girl painting the other girl! Hehehe........oh my. I just hope no one emulates that one.