The human impulse to create art is universal. Art has been a way to communicate beliefs and express ideas about the human experience throughout all stages of civilization and in every region of the world. As cultural documents, works of art provide important insights into past and existing cultures, helping us to understand how others have lived and what they valued.
As an Art teacher, one of my greatest joys is to facilitate and witness the students' growth in critical thinking and the creative process. Art should be accessible to all students, not just the talented or well-connected few. Child development professional Grace Lynch revealed in her article, The Importance of Art in Child Development, that motor skills, language development and inventiveness are essential developmental skills children receive when given formal training in the arts.
Line, shape, color, form, space, value and texture are the vocabulary used to describe any work of art. They are the "Elements of Art.” As per the Georgia Performance Art Standards, all students must be able to define and identify each of these elements by the time they graduate fifth grade. Since the Wayne County Public School System does not provide a formal elementary school art program, this series was created to enlighten, and enable parents to build the foundation of art literacy needed for success once their students enter the Wayne County, middle school art program. In recent months we have examined lines, color, texture, value, form and space.
The elements of art are really “shaping up” this month! That’s right. This month is all about shapes in art. Everything has a shape, right? But what exactly is a shape? Shape is a flat area surrounded by edges or an outline. Artists use all kinds of shapes. Geometric shapes are precise and regular, like squares, rectangles, and triangles. They are often found in human-made things, like buildings and machines. Biomorphic shapes are found in nature, and may look like leaves, flowers, clouds—things that grow, flow, and move. Biomorphic shapes are often rounded and irregular, unlike most geometric shapes.
An artist that loved to explore the possibilities of mixing geometric and biomorphic shapes was Henri Matisse. When he became ill and was unable to leave his bed, Matisse developed a new form of art-making: the paper cut-out. Matisse was drawing shapes with scissors!
*At “MrP Studios” students will be inspired and excited by this cool art teacher when he takes them step-by-step through the process of making their very own Matisse collage with nothing more than construction paper!
*Travel through time with Mati and Dada using a magical portal to visit Henri Matisse in France.
Most children think Wassily Kandinski is a very cool artist. Kandinsky felt that he could express feelings and music through colors and shapes in his paintings. For example, he thought that yellow had the crisp sound of a brass trumpet and that certain colors placed together could harmonize like chords on a piano. The shapes he was most interested in were the circle, triangle, and the square. He thought the triangle would cause aggressive feelings, the square calm feelings, and the circle spiritual feelings.
Art teacher, Kathy Barbro in California has a fabulous collection of Kandinski inspired projects that use inexpensive and commonly found supplies here:
What's left in art when you take away anything that looks like something? Kandinsky did it---leaving color, line, shapes, and angles! At the Crayola.com site for kids learn all about shapes, angles and how they work in art:
Kandinski was a pretty incredible guy for his time; he and others like him changed the face of art forever. He broke the rules without apologies or regrets and spent his life making abstract art with shapes. The provided link is a rare video of Kandinski drawing with paint and ink creating one of his “shape” masterpieces.
Next month begins a new art series entitled; “Meet the Artist” where your student will have the opportunity to meet great artists such as; Leonardo da Vinci, Mary Cassett, Dr. Suess, Andy Warhol and even Walt Disney! See you then!