Saturday, May 5, 2012

A is for Art 2012 - Colours

A is for Art 2012 - Colours 

Suggested ArtChallenge for the theme on colours:
"Think of one colour that represents your emotion right now. Draw yourself and fill in your heart with that colour, write a speech bubble to let everybody know how you feel."

"So not interesting" was my first thought after reading it... =P ... Then I recalled that one of the art lessons which i had created for the P2 art curriculum was on "Rectangles of Emotions". In this lesson, Mark Rothko and his works were introduced to the pupils to teach them about colours and their meanings. 

Some basic info of Mark Rothko and his works:

"Rothko was born in Russia in 1903 and died in 1970. At the end of the 1940s, he decided that simple shapes were the best for showing complicated feelings. 

His signature style, “multiforms”, of using  2, 3 or 4 rectangular blocks lined up one on top of the other in opposing or contrasting colors started in 1948 when his mum died. He felt that the blurred blocks of various colours contained a "breath of life" he found lacking in most paintings during his time. 

He painted on huge canvases in order to make the viewer feel "enveloped within" the painting. He wanted viewers to become a part of the artwork and wanted them to feel the emotion he had painted. He would recommend viewers to stand as little as 50cm away from the canvas so that one can experience a sense of closeness.

In the beginning, many of the "multiforms" were painted in bright, vibrant colors, particularly reds and yellows, expressing energy and ecstasy. However, Rothko began to employ dark blues and greens towards the end of his life. It was a representative of a growing darkness within Rothko’s personal life." 

so for this art challenge, we decided to just introduce Mark Rothko and his works, focusing on one that is titled 'White Centre' (1950) 

Pupils briefly shared what emotions they thought each of the above colour could represent. We did not want to have too deep a discussion as we were afraid the pupils would fix a particular emotion to any of the colours. 

Our instructions to the pupils were as follows: 
"Create an artwork inspired by Mark Rothko. Recall the different emotions from the the time you wake up till now (the time when they were creating their art work). Look at your box of oil pastel in front of you and decide which colour best represents each of your emotion. The width of each colour can be based on the intensity or duration of each emotion."

As we walked around to view the kids at work, I became more and more worried. 
"Did the pupils keep the aim of the activity in mind or were they just creating an artwork with all the colours they like?" I asked myself. 

After which, pupils were encouraged to share the stories/events behind their emotions but were also given the option to just tell us what emotion did each of the colour they used represent if they felt that some of their stories/events were too personally or they did not feel comfortable in sharing them. 

(5 minutes of preparation time before the round robin) 

Mandy sharing on her artwork

Two of the pupils' work:

(Artist : Susan Khoo - 10 years old) 

Dark blue --> very annoyed with my mum for trying to wake me up repeatedly

Light blue --> a little annoyed as I dun like what I am having for breakfast

Pink --> cheerful as I am hanging out with my best friend

Green --> worried (cannot share the reason)

Dark green --> guilty (cannot share the reason)

Orange --> confused over best friend's problem and trying to help her think of a solution

Red --> angry as we still have not figure out a solution to the problem

Gold --> excited as I can't wait for the A is for Art lesson to start

(Artist : Chai Li Qi - 10 years old)

I felt angry (red) for having to wake up at 7.20am for my tuition lesson. I was happy (yellow) when my tuition teacher said that I had passed my test. I was sad (blue) when I was informed that I would be late for A is for Art and got really grumpy (green) while waiting for the bus as it took a very long time to arrive. I am kind of sleepy (purple) now as I woke up early this morning.
From the sharing, it was very obvious that for different pupils, the same colour could be associated with different emotions. I used the colour 'blue' as follows to consolidate the lesson objective (one colour can have many meanings attached to it).

For the colour 'blue', 
  • Susan associated it with being 'annoyed'  
  • Wen Xin associated it with being 'lonely' 
  • Mandy associated it with being 'happy'
  • Daniel associated it with being 'shy' 
  • Bao Ping associated it with being 'sleepy
  • Maleha associated it with being 'sad'  

We played the game 'Blow Wind Blow a Colour' to consolidate the theme on colours. We improved on the conduct of this game by incorporating some of the suggestions provided by the teachers in the aesthetic department

Instead of a blue, red or yellow coloured stickers, pupils got to design a "visual card" in any one of the 3 colours. The pupils drew items that were associated with the colour they chose. And for this activity, markers were used. 

We had a quick round of round robin to share what they had drawn and proceeded on with the game. 

We played the game in two levels. Level one was on primary colours to get the pupils familiarised with the rules of the games before we introduced secondary colours. The kids had lots of fun. 

And with this game, we concluded the theme on colours and moved on to the third theme on shapes & patterns. 

Reflection template for this theme: (pupils' responds in blue)

    (1) What did you learn about colours during the two activities?

     (a) Colours and Emotions ~ Mark Rothko
  • we can use colours to describe our feelings. Amazing! 
  • different colours can represent different emotions. 
  • the same colour can show different emotions. eg: red can be angry, grumpy, hungry and sad

     (b) Blow Wind Blow a Colour 
  • it was a fun way to learn about primary and secondary colours 
  • when every colour is mixed together, it forms brown

(2) What is one area which you had done well today?
  • i could draw more than 10 items associated with the colour of my marker 
  • my colouring skills 

(3) Which area do you think you can improve upon? 
  • remembering secondary colours at my fingertips
  • use a more matching colour to my feelings 
  • my sharing 

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