Thursday, June 5, 2014

Teaching Children to work with Watercolors - Project Inspired by artist: Joan Miro

Summer is finally here and I've began teaching weekend art classes to children in my area. I thought what would be a fun way to introduce the kids to myself and art? I started looking through my art books and reading about different artist and wanted to have a project inspired by artist that was colorful, interesting and fun. So right away artist Joan Miro caught my eye!

My aim was to teach children about the artist Joan Miro, his life and his works. I spoke about how he was a spanish painter born in 1893 in Spain near a city in Barcelona. His father was a goldsmith and watchmaker. He traveled to France and was friends with many surrealist and abstract artist like Pablo Picasso.

I ask them if them if they knew what a surrealist artist is? And I explained  that surrealists paint dreams, it was a way for them to see their dreams even if they were awake. The paintings were of familiar objects which were painted to look odd. The artists wanted people look at things in a different way, like how everything is so different and strange in our dreams. The painters wanted us to wonder what these pictures might mean, so that we might then wonder what our own dreams might mean. Making art that is based on fanstasy or magic ( a dream or idea).

But most of all I wanted to get them excited about his whimsical paintings in the 1930's. Whimsical as in playful, amusing or fanciful. Miro created art only using shapes them adding lines and dots. My motivation was to teach the children about creative drawing and how to paint using watercolors. And to teach children when you bend and curve lines they form shapes.
To create a picture or draw an idea of anything you like. Example: A animal, person, place or thing. It can even be a dream. Using a marker to draw a picture using only shapes, lines then adding a shape after their line. (A basic line technique that teaches children that when you bend and curve lines they form shapes.)  Later painting the different shapes with watercolors. Creating your own Miro!

Five of my students were 6 year olds and I had an extra student which was 12. The children had a lot of ideas and even started getting excited about what they would draw. As you see they had alot of fun and after drawing their ideas and dreams. I walked around and ask about each childs picture what inspired them, the colors they choose and how it made them feel? Giving them more ideas and helping them to paint and fill in with watercolors. After writing a description on what their picture is about. Some children understood the project more then others but it was fine. In each picture they pointed out a star, moon or shape that was Miro inspired and that satisfied me.

The most rewarding thing of course was seeing how much they enjoyed the project. Especially the 12 year old girl named Elizabeth who at first really wasn't interested of excited about painting. But by the end of the class she gave me a hug and told me how much fun she had! And wanted me to have her painting as a gift. It really touched me and made my day. Until next time!


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