26 March 2009

construction paper

Today we are working on color experiment collages with colored paper. We have red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple, and pink paper on the table. Lola looks through the paper...

: Hey! There are only boy colors here!
Bianca: What are boy colors?
Lola: I don't know.
Chance: Oh I know! Boys like them! Boys like yellow, green, and blue. Those colors are actually girl colors too. Like, my mom likes blue -- it's her favorite color. I just say it's a boy color, but it's actually not because girls like it too.

Assigning gender to color is pretty complicated -- as Lola's uncertainty about "boy colors" reveals -- but it continues to be a prominent way for children to conceptualize society and understand our culture. When Chance realizes that he reflexively calls blue a "boy color" even though "it's actually not," he demonstrates an awareness of his desire to categorize as well as an awareness that gender is a construction.

19 March 2009

music to painting

Today we are painting to music. We put on two songs from Charles Mingus's record Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus: "II B.S." and "Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul". The second the music comes on Sachie shouts out "Blue!" -- this sound/color association then triggers a memory that she uses as a subject for her painting. Skuli, Silas, and Finn all take to dancing while painting -- their brush marks flow with their movements. Ranger paints as though he's playing the instruments he hears -- hitting the paper with dots when he hears drum beats and painting furiously when the saxophone is riffing like crazy. When the songs end and the paintings are finished, we take some time to look at and talk about each painting. What follows are some of the comments made during our critiques:

Ranger's painting:

Sachie: I see it's really full.
Finn: I see a lot of dots.
Sachie: A dot would sound like "dunt" "dunt".

Sachie's painting:

Sachie: This is of me and my mom. We're going to the swimming pool and there was a rainbow and lots of dots in the water.
Skuli: What are the dots?
Sachie: They're the drops of water.
Silas: The little ones?
Sachie: Well, I picked up a brush and splashed it like when I was splashing in the water.

Finn's painting:

Finn: I was painting some parts to look slow when the music was slow and fast parts when the music was fast.
Sachie: The blue part looks like the pool in mine.
Ranger: I see lines.
Finn: But it's not much of a line because it's bendy too.
Ranger: Lines can be like that.

Skuli's painting:

Silas: I see some black.
Sachie: It looks cool down here because it looks like a giant!
Finn: We all used blue because of the music and because of the paint we had.
Sachie: I used it because of the pool.

Silas's painting:

Silas: Me and my dad were about to go in the rainbow but we saw all the cool playgrounds you could go in here. I painted all of my hands and that's how I did it.
Sachie: What are these sparkles on the bottom?
Silas: They're the guards . . . the music changed my painting. I wasn't listening to the music all of the time because I had to get other colors -- but then I went back to the music.

14 March 2009

back soon

Hi all -- I'm so happy that everyone has been enjoying this site. I'm sorry to say that I've been feeling a little under the weather so there won't be a proper post this week. If you haven't had a chance to see some of the older posts you can find them in the archive on the right side of this page, and there's a link at the bottom of this page to some new pics on Flickr (sorry nothing from Tuesday's group -- I forgot my camera -- another consequence of being a bit out of it this week). Until next time, here's a great pic of Sachie working on her Duchamp-inspired string drop piece!

05 March 2009

chance Arp

Today in class we are thinking about the role chance can play in creating art. At our meeting we look at a book of Jean (Hans) Arp -- an artist who used chance operations to create many of his compositions. The children look at the pictures and make guesses about how things were made and with what materials.
Sachie suggests that we might bring in a ladder so that each person can climb to the top and let pieces of paper fall to the floor for a chance collage. We thought this was a great idea, but did not have a ladder available. Instead, the children make chance collages by cutting and tearing paper, and letting these pieces fall to the floor from where they stand or sit.