So much fun!
On Friday, March 15th afterschool program providers from organizations like the YMCA, YWCA, Catholic Charities and others organizations attended an all morning workshop at the Santa Clara County Office of Education to experience hands on art lessons from Artspiration’s on-line lesson plan resource, Artrageous. Two paint based art lessons resulted in works of art that seemingly came from trained artists. Hard to believe most had no art background at all! All they needed was the opportunity to release their inner artist, just like students need.
Math and language arts common core standards first took the form of magical Chinese dragons. The group discussed their perceptions of dragons, from fire breathing, life threatening evil creatures to be feared to the good luck, royal, kind Chinese dragons.
After looking at pictures and discussing patterns and characteristics of dragons, it was time to start creating. As people sketched and talked, discussions began to center around the dragon shapes that were emerging from the blank white paper. While watercolors were being applied, the dragons began taking on personalities and coming alive! Stories were being told without even being assigned. Language development in action!
Once drawing and painting the dragons was complete, their creators walked around the room and looked at each other’s work to find a dragon friend to be a presentation partner. As each dragon was presented to the group, its creator told something special about it, what they liked most about it and what they might do differently next time.
Each dragon was absolutely beautiful and unique!
No less striking were the amazing paintings created next using only primary colors and black and white. After looking at pictures of flowers by Georgia O’Keefe and discussing how some of the tints and shades seen in her paintings could be recreated, the artists were ready to begin. Each had a palette with only red, yellow, blue, black and white. Experimenting with proportions to get desired colors came next. So much creativity followed! There were flowers, landscapes, a beautiful lighthouse scene, and – one of my favorites- an abstract painting called “magma”. Again, each painting had a unique story.
Such a fun group to work with! Keep in mind that these were on the whole “non-artistic” adults. As people were leaving, I heard one person say she was going to give her painting to her mother and tell her to put it on the refrigerator! Another said, as he was theoretically leaving to go to work, “ I kinda just want to go home and do art!”
I am so excited for the children who will have these enthusiastic, creative people eager to have them “do art”!
* article submitted by Sharon Dahnert, Professional Expert in the arts – Santa Clara County Office of Education