Thursday, December 10, 2009

Inside Out (High School Art Unit Plan)

Above are ten student samples followed by two inspiration images and then by my "teacher sample" for this Creative Challenge. Please stay tuned for the complete plan in the near future.

In the three sections of my beginning studio course, we had been modeling white vessels as our first painting exercise. However, I had been struggling to decide exactly what I wanted to do that would make use of those technical skills while still challenging students on a conceptual level. Because of the latter, a monochromatic still life was out, and I rejected another one or two of my rather lame ideas as well.

Searching "white vessels" in Google "images," I found the first two artworks above. They percolated for a while and, then, something clicked in my mind. I decided to merge them so that a modeled white vessel (with shadow) would become a metaphor for our exterior and interior selves, a fabric pattern would represent the image we project, and a silhouetted object or animal the more "hidden" part of ourselves. Collaged newspaper would add another layer of texture, contrast and interest.

In my sample, I painted a piece from my collection of McCoy Floraline matte white ceramics juxtaposed against a retro pattern representing how I am seen by others, and a hummingbird silhouette symbolizing what I know about myself. The newspaper is collaged in a way that helps define the table and the wall, and I added contour-silhouette drawings of the hummingbird to create more unity and movement.

I look forward to sharing the whole enchilada with you soon.

Student Samples: (top 10 images): Beth C., Sam L., Kallie H., Julie K., Demetria W., Gilbert L., Nicole V., Audrey D., Brianna K., Nahlyanne B; Inspirational Image Credits: (second and third from bottom) "Blur Bird," by Clair Bremner and "Untitled" from The Painted Pear (I could not find an artist's name); Teacher Sample Credit: Betsy DiJulio, NBC Art Teacher, Princess Anne High School, VA Beach, VA


  1. I look forward to seeing the whole enchilada here! The inspiration pieces are wonderful, but I love yours and your whole concept! What fun being your student would be :)

  2. I don't know how you find the time to do IT ALL!!! You started it last month and its full of so many wonderful things already! I'm hoping if I'm just standing next to you long enough, some of your greatness will just pour into me!

  3. Thanks so much, Karin! Those inspiration pieces were truly "inspirational." So glad you approve of what I did with them. I hope the kids think it is as fun as you and I do. :)

    And, LB, you are a knucklehead, but thank you! If there are wonderful things here, it's because of inspiration from others, including you. You are going to be soooooo great in your new profession.

    I don't know if people believe me, but it's true: this site is designed to be a time SAVER: one place where I can collect all of my resources for myself and for others.

    Toward that end, I invite both of you to share the URL with as many art educators as you know!

  4. I love this lesson!! Have you shared "the whole enchilada"? I'd love to see it!!

  5. Great ideas!I’ll follow your blog, it’s very interesting! I’m an Italian art teacher, but now i’m living in London. Thanks!

  6. Thanks you so much, Miriam, for taking the time to let me know. I'm embarrassed because I have been very neglectful of this blog. There was a major preoccupying event in my life last year (my first book--a vegan cookbook--was published!) and, while I thought I would get back to it this year, I haven't yet and I miss it. Your feedback will hopefully encourage me to get on it!

    So, do you teach Italian art in London or are you an Italian who teaches art in London? Either way, lucky you! And lucky students!

  7. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

    jogos friv
    jogos de friv
    jogo friv


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