Thursday, May 31, 2012
Jackson Pollock - day 1 of the mess
This is just the beginning...
My students learned about Jackson Pollock and his painting process. They've been talking about improvisation in music class, so this spontaneous painting process really ties it together.
The kids were required to have their art shirts on to participate. They knew the would be making a mess and would be responsible for cleanup, and they did great today. We didn't bother to protect the tables, since I knew there'd be so much cleaning to do anyhow. I prepped a bunch of containers of paint, and put sticks in them, and put one large sheet of Kraft paper on each table. (The kids also had the opportunity to use old large house paint brushes if they chose.) I pulled student names from a bucket to form work groups, and then the groups rotated turns choosing colors until all the colors were taken and everyone had one to use. They were allowed to trade colors during class. I put on some fun music and everyone started dripping and drizzling and flinging paint, directing the colors toward the inside of the paper and away from the edges!
Here we are at work: Sorry I can't get them to rotate, so you'll have to rotate your head!
I realize this isn't something everyone can do. I have about 16 or 17 kids in each of two 4th grades. If I had larger classes or more 4th grade classes I would NOT attempt this. As a matter of fact, this is a project that I have done a few times, always at least 3 or 4 years apart. Enough time to develop amnesia about the challenges! I have chosen to do the project only on years when the kids were a group that I thought could handle the challenge.
The biggest challenge: drying the artwork! I had prep time after today's 4th grade, and so the paintings stayed on the tables to dry a while, and then I took them out in the hallway. At the end of the day they were still drying (4 paintings) and I put them on top of the chairs on top of the tables to dry. Tomorrow the other 4th grade class starts their paintings the same way, and then on Monday and Tuesday each class will have their turn at a second chance to add more layers to the paintings. I'll be adding leftovers of metallic paints to the paint selections.
I'll show you the paintings when they are complete!