SchoolArts Magazine

May 2016

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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CONTINUED ON PAGE 37. CANVASES couch with two slightly thinned lay- ers of gesso. I waited a full two days between applications to make sure that the inner stuffing was dry. I then sat on the couch to see if the primer would crack with movement and weight. When it did not, I decided to give the idea a try. I asked each student to pick a sec- tion of the couch he or she liked. One student chose an arm, another the seat, and another wanted the top. I wanted my fifth-grade gifted and talented students to experience the act of painting with acrylic on can- vas, and to interpret the artworks of famous artists (an essential part of the curriculum) in a new and innova- tive way. Inspired by some modestly priced upholstered furniture I came across at a local thrift shop, I decided that students would use furniture as their canvas. The shape and design of the couch reminded us of Claude Monet's Water Lilies, and the wing- back chair reminded us of Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night. The Couch I had never attempted this project before but decided that the basic concept of painting on primed fabric might be similar to primed stretched canvas. To save time, I prepared the Emily Moll We discussed foreground, middle ground, and background, and how Monet attempted to create a sense of depth with the size and shape of the imagery. One very ambitious and excited student lightly sketched an overall outline on the couch with a few simple pencil marks. Students began to paint using both tube and student-grade acrylic paint. I encouraged them to use undiluted paint in thin layers. We discovered that the paint dried quickly and would flex without cracking. Students observed as each area of the couch started to evolve. The process of painting became more collaborative as they discussed how Photography by Blake Hendrickson. 34 MAY 2016 SchoolArts A L L L E V E L S The shape and design of the couch reminded us of Claude Monet's Water Lilies, and the wingback chair reminded us of Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night.

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