Saturday, April 19, 2014

Action Painting: Polka Dot Pet Party

Due to popular demand, my art students did some watercolor splatter painting this week.

It's one of their favorite action painting techniques. Here's how it works:

1. Load up a paintbrush with lots of loose, drippy paint. 
2. Aim your brush at a big piece of paper and let the paint fly.

As usual, we had some fabulous fun. In the past, we've used tempera paints as our weapon of choice and worked outside so we could really let the colors fly. But yesterday, since we were stuck inside on a rainy day, I opted to use watercolors which are a bit more controlled and easier to clean up. 

Before laying our hands on the paint, we chatted a bit about how modern art is used as a vehicle for expressing thoughts and feelings, and I challenged my students to reflect similar emotion in their creations. And in an unusual twist, I required that they name their finished products.

Here are some of their masterpieces:

^ Lonely In The Black Room by Myles

^ Seasons (detail) by Audra

Happy Frustration by Laney

Crazy Fun by Katie

Left Behind by Madalen

Primary Emotions by Avery

Motions by Audra

Easter (detail) by Ashlyn and Laney

Alone, Scared and Confused by Avery

My students' exuberant and expressive work inspired me to make my own watercolor splatter painting, so the next morning, when I was at home alone with some time to myself, I gathered my supplies. I decided to snap a few photos of process, starting with the blank canvases. Very quietly, so as not to disturb my slumbering puppy, I slid open the back door and tiptoed across the patio to take this shot in the grass:

Never satisfied with just one frame, I fired off a second. As my finger tapped the shutter, I noticed a swift movement in the upper left corner of the view screen:

One grey striped kitty paw. Mmhmm. I know who that belongs to. Moving stealthily, I lifted my camera to widen the shot and captured this image of the paw's sassy owner.

Hello, Cedric.

My cats are independent little fellows. Most of the time, they pay no attention to my life, caught up as they are in the comings and goings of their own. But whenever I introduce paper into their surroundings, they are captivated.

And I am using plural pronouns for a reason. Within seconds, mysterious Luna popped out of the bushes and joined Cedric in exploring my interesting devices:

At this point, we heard a set of businesslike footsteps from within the house and you'll never guess who popped his cute red head out the back door and joined us:

Ranger is not one to miss a party. And clearly this little gathering was quickly turning into an important social event, because next we heard a plaintive cry coming from....overhead??

Why are all of you down there together and why am I up here all alone? Someone help me, please!

My goodness. I went upstairs and let Sirius in through a bedroom window, then we all reunited on the patio. Good times and plentiful petting ensued. Eventually, miraculously, I managed to get my splatter painting done and later turned it into gift wrap for a pair of presents.

And in keeping with my students' challenge, I decided to name my creation Polka Dot Pet Party (In Pink and Blue). 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment...I'd love to hear from you!