SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2017

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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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 37 Visual Interpretations Regardless of the materials, media, or methods used, the idea of honor- ing favorite picture books through creative representation celebrates the reciprocal relationship between read- ing and the visual arts. This picture book carpet lesson proves time and time again to be a worthwhile, pur- poseful, and meaningful experience for art students of all ages. Julia L. Hovanec is an assistant professor of art education, Department of Art Edu- cation and Crafts at Kutztown University. hovanec N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K show/623282.Emma_ s_ Rug well for all age groups, with more poi- gnant responses coming from older st udents. I share my favorite picture book from childhood, The Color Kit- tens b y Margaret Wise Brown (Little G olden Books, 1949), and reveal how that book shaped my career choice. Once favorite books are recalled, students will be anxious to share with the class, so it's important to allow time to ask the class questions about the books and the impact they had on students. Sketching a Scene I have each student sketch several images that can be associated with their story. I remind them that drawings can represent their over- all impression of the story, a sin- gle page, or even a single moment. I also remind them that drawings do not have to even remotely match the artists' illustrations and that characters are unnecessary. For example, rather than attempting to draw either the Disney or original E. H. Shepard version of Winnie-the- Pooh, students might represent the character with a simple honey pot. I've even had some fun with the suffix "-ish," encouraging students to think abstractly about ways to represent each picture book. When students are stuck on trying to make something look realistic, I suggest making it look "apple-ish" or "Winnie-the-Pooh-ish." Carpet painting can be difficult, so I walk around to make sure students' designs are fairly simple. Design Choice Before students transfer their sketched ideas to the carpets, I have them pair up with a partner to dis- cuss their designs and receive feedback. Th is encourages them to look critically at each other's work and to thoroughly consider design choice before start - ing. With peer feedback, students can de cide whether they want to use one large image or divide the carpet into sections to allow for multiple images. Painting Procedures The media will depend on the age and skill level of the class, as well as the carpet material and pile. I have found that oil pastels are the most forgiv- ing to use, and they create a beautiful effect. Permanent markers and acrylic paints work well, too. Students may want to create a masking tape border around the edges of the carpet to help keep the paint off the tables. Also, starting off with lighter colors will allow for the possi - bility of correcting any errors. Finished ca rpets may need to be sprayed with a fixative or acrylic before using them. A child's first encounters with works of art are most often those found in picture books, where words and illustrations blend together to create more than just a stor . Previous page: Patricia Loch, reading carpet. Inspired by Paul Galdone's Three Little Kittens (1986). Left: Megan O'Neill, reading carpet. Inspired by A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh (1926); right: Leah Nissley, Being, Belonging. Inspired by Janell Cannon's Stellaluna (1993).

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