Wednesday, September 15, 2010

one word. plants.

I remember mimicking Ellsworth Kelly's abstractions for a little while as an undergrad at Tyler School of Art. Again, as with so much other art I am attracted to, it was the simplicity and economy of his compositions that I found so engaging. Not the most original works I have done, but a lot can be said from studying and copying from the masters. It wasn't until later that I came across Kelly's plant drawings. These took my appreciation of his work to a whole new level.


I love sharing these drawings with my students.

Since the 2nd graders were working with contour line and natural shapes in their first project, I thought it would be good to revisit these elements while working from direct observation. I brought in some succulents from our garden and a couple other perennials from campus and had students draw at least 3 plants. While looking at Ellsworth's plant drawings I discussed and demonstrated how even though the leaves on a plant all have the same general shape, they will look a lot different from one another due to how they are turned.

After students drew the plants they added an "unEllsworth" color pattern  to the background to make the plants pop out from the background.
The students have done an exceptional job with this project. Interesting compositions and great details from the plants they were observing.



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