The answer is, "yes" but I am not asking this question just about children's work and the many things they are capable of. I am talking about how adults can approach the presentation, or invitation, for painting.
I have been thinking about this year's class, their interests, and how they, as a group, approach painting, building, and most importantly, playing. This class has a great sense of place and when I think of them I think Destinations and how the children like to shape their play by setting up or defining place first and then exploring character and story line.
|Paul Klee, Rhythmical|
Image Credit: www.wikipaintings.org
|Paul Klee, Burg und Sonne|
Image Credit: www.xn--herrbscher-eeb.de
I think of Paul Klee when I think about this group's sensibilities. They had really embraced the fairytale city studies from a few weeks ago. So, today, I wanted them to begin to build their backgrounds using just black, gray, and white which would later be stained with watercolor or perhaps even ink, oh and gold, definitely gold!
That's all well and good, a good plan as plans go, but I was knocked down with pneumonia and needed to stay home on Monday and perhaps even longer. So after phone calls and messaging sessions back and forth with links and attachments with Andrea, the other teacher at our school, a plan was in put place to go ahead and FLY, or rather sketch, because that is what these paintings are, sketches.
So I learned something important today. When I was working on my teaching degree, we were instructed to craft lesson plans as if someone else would have to implement them, you know, in case you needed a sub. I don't miss school enough to have this tested and I actually never write lesson plans anyway. The work we undertake is a collaborative process of serendipity, happenstance, and humans. Children change each month, each year, and while we establish a thread over the course of the year, a new approach must be fashioned with each new group. So this method, phone calls, messaging, ended up being very, very effective. And this made me happy because it is hard for me to miss school and really hard to miss the joy of a new painting.
Andrea and I talked about which brushes to use, colors, about sky, how high the buildings would need to go. Note: these are the backgrounds for the self portraits so the bottom third will certainly be covered by the portraits and this is the first large scale painting project the children have undertaken. Their eyes and efforts needed to be trained up toward the top of the composition. All of these things we discussed, large and small and with a little bit of mind reading, Andrea tells me. And of course, Andrea is a most excellent teacher, so in the end, the children, of course, could and did do it and the adults' work wasn't too shabby either!