SchoolArts Magazine

October 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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I n search of house paint for a DIY project I was working on, I ven - tured to a local hardware store and looked through the paint swatches on display. What beauti - ful colors, I thought to myself. I wondered what kind of art could be created with media such as this. There are many ways for an art teacher to acquire paint swatches. Some of the better, environmentally friendly ways include asking for obso - lete swatches or searching online for recycled paint swatch programs. These programs are great because they send old, otherwise discarded paint swatches to teachers, and to those who qualify, free of charge. Lashbrook and Huckins I began researching art that used paint swatches and I found two contemporary artists. Jennifer Lashbrook is an artist from Texas who cuts up the paint swatches and collages them to create photorealistic pieces. I also came across Shawn Huckins, who had a completely different approach. He takes the swatches, blows them up to large scale, and places his subject within the color field. These artists' abilities to take something so simple and turn it into something new really inspired me and sparked the creation of this assignment for my students. Getting Started I told my students they would make collages with paint swatches. I shared the work of the two contem - porary artists I found, and we dis- cussed how things could be reused and repurposed. Students were instructed to take an ordinary object such as a paint swatch, recycle it, and reinvent its use. Students were ener - gized by the styles and approaches of Lashbrook and Huckins. Animals, Landscapes, and Portraits After we had discussed the concept of creating a piece completely out Leigh Drake M students were energized b he st les and approaches of Lashbrook and Huckins. of paint swatches, we switched over to subject matter. "We will not be copying their work," I repeated, referring to Lashbrook and Huckins. "You are to come up with a subject matter that is new and innovative." Ying Ying. 20 OCTOBER 2017 SchoolArts

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