Oh, Oh, Oh!

ooo by bluerabbit
card at Zazzle
This is one of three large acrylic paintings on canvas done to fit the theme of a contemporary art show in a local gallery. The theme was "Text."

At the time, I had just finished the manuscript for my phonics book, "ABC, Follow Me!" The book concerns itself with the shapes of letters as well as the sounds they represent. It also includes a number of craft projects to teach these shapes. In short, I had letters on my mind.

I started the first painting with an elaborate concept, but it just wasn't working, so I let it dry and moved to another. The same thing happened. The deadline was approaching, and I didn't know what to do.

Then, I decided to use letters as English words. I painted each of the large canvases with a different pure hue. I started with I, I, I, I; moved to three U's ("Oh lucky You"), which add another layer, as they suggest horseshoes. The one shown here is "Oh, Oh, Oh". It calls to mind the famous joke:

A first grade teacher comes out to the parking lot and sees her bumper dented. Then she fumes, "Oh, oh, oh! Look, look, look! Darn, darn, darn!

Recently, I used the concept I developed with these paintings in a demonstration for school children. We made paintings on bright hues if single letters.

Still Life

Orange by bluerabbit
Other posters from zazzle.com
I did this painting as a demonstration for school children. Betty Edwards has a great recommendation in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. She says to create a one-object still life. She uses potatoes and bits of ribbon. I like fruit. I had a bag of oranges at home, so this orange is what I used.

This is a great painting problem for artists of all ages and stages. There is a lot of room for stylistic interpretation.

Paint Some Sunflowers

Everybody loves sunflowers. They are bold, simple, and colorful. Inspire students by showing them a reproduction of a sunflower painting by Vincent Van Gogh (he did several), and then set up a couple of vases with real, or artificial blooms for your students to draw. They can work in tissue collage, tempera, or crayon. It is a winning project for artists of all ages.

Something Fishy

Kindergarteners took turns painting colorful fish on a green background, which I modified into this abstract pond. Show a print of this picture as a sample and invite primary students to create a fish painting in tempera. (This one is acrylic on canvas.) Limit the colors to three or, at most, four.

Almost Like Mondrian

I did this acrylic on canvas painting with school children at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts during Spring Art Week.

Based on the style of Mondrian, the piece provides an opportunity to review rectangles vs squares, large vs small, and color vs black and white. I used the color scheme to review the three primary colors. I also pointed out the fact that the addition of black lines and white rectangles makes the colors seem even brighter and more pure.

I encouraged students to make their own versions of this work in tempera on paper and to search for actual works by Mondrian either online, or in books of reproductions.

Overlay

To produce this demonstration painting, I started with a work I created during Spring Art Week last year.
It had a lot of beautiful blues and some interesting shapes, but it was flat, and I didn’t know where to take it next.  I put it on my easel when one of the first groups of children came in this year.
Class members were wearing wonderful hats with antennas on them. Inspired, I invited them to come up one at a time. I handed each of my volunteers a brush loaded with orange.
At my urging, students painted the creatures they were wearing. I ended up with some great orange shapes on top of the orignal blue abstract. Between sessions, I added glazes of rich blue-green to tone down the orange in spots and pull the work together.
What fun!

Night Clouds

To create this demonstration painting for school children at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, I began by reading the poem “Night Clouds” by Amy Lowell. I asked the students to name their favorite images (word pictures) from the work. This particular group chose the “vermillion tongue” of the rising sun. Students took turns painting red tongues on the blank canvas. Between sessions, I added more color to the images and layered them with glazes that included various shades of reds and orange. The kids loved the poem and I enjoyed sharing the experience.