Fifth grade artists have been working with shape (geometric and organic), color (complementary), space (positive and negative) and Notan (Japanese concept of light and dark).
In exploring organic shape, we looked at a few videos about Henri Matisse. Although I personally cannot get enough of his work as a Fauvist painter, we specifically looked at the cut paper collages that he created in his later years. Here is a short video created with his shapes (Click on the photo below):
We also watched this too short video of Matisse at work “painting with scissors“. Every time I watch it I realize how lucky we are to have an actual film of the artist at work! Think of all the artists you would like to see working, but can’t because the technology did not exist during their lives (Click on the photo below):
Quote of the week: As part of the introduction to shape, we reviewed geometric shapes. I would draw them for the class as the kids suggested them. To introduce organic shapes, I asked if anyone wanted to come up and draw an organic shape. After a long pause (with everyone looking away rather than meeting my gaze), a brave child came forward to draw the shape below.
As he was drawing it, I was thrilled, because it sure looked organic to me. But then he added a stem.
“I see,” I said, “Tell me about your organic shape?”
“It’s an organic apple,” he replied earnestly, “You know, no chemicals or anything”… 🙂