The class will observe and discuss the work of contemporary American painter Wayne Thiebaud, focusing especially on his dessert paintings. Using similar characteristics as seen on Thiebaud’s paintings, students will create their own dessert composition in oil and chalk pastels.
Activity statement –
According to the Jim Kempner Fine Art website, “Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) is an American painter best known for his still life paintings of edible treats and everyday objects in his singular illustrative style” (https://jimkempnerfineart.com/wayne-thiebaud.php ). His most popular subject matter includes cakes in colorful pastel hues, slices of pie, candies such as lollipops, cupcakes, and interestingly, the streets of San Francisco. His paintings generally include thick, bold applications of stylized color, highly defined shadows, and cartoon-like line. His approach to painting gives his desserts a tactile, textured feel. Students will consider using these same characteristics to create the composition of one sweet treat (or treats) of their own, while also considering the placement of the light source in their design, so as to properly express a form and cast shadow.
Integrated with a science unit on ecosystems, students will create an Eric Carle-inspired collage of an ecosystem.
Activity statement –
In kindergarten science students explore an entire unit devoted to ecosystems. They learn about earth’s many ecosystems: climate, flora, fauna and so forth. Each student is assigned a specific ecosystem to research and present to the class. This collage will be one of the visual elements used in their reports.
To inspire the collage-making process, we will look at different Eric Carle books and notice his painted paper collages. Using his techniques as a guide, we will focus on color and texture as students first paint large pieces of paper in single colors and then add texture with the brushes, combs, forks, rollers and other tools provided. These pieces of paper will be used communally among the students for their collages, therefore no one piece belongs to one student.
Activity statement – If “sad” had a color, what color would that be? If “confused” were expressed in lines, what kind of lines would those be? By exploring the associations of color and lines to certain feelings, students will imagine little creatures that personify those feelings, much in the style of Mies Van Hout’s book “Happy”.
Description of the Unit – Together in class we explored and discussed Mies Van Hout’s picture book “Happy”. In this book Van Hout has colorfully illustrated a number of different fish, each with clearly gestural lines personifying a different emotion (also helped by the expression on each fish’s face). In this book, each emotion is represented in the fish through use of color and line. The students discussed why they thought a particular fish was represented by certain colors or lines to describe a particular feeling. Students shared their own synesthesia around feelings, conveying what colors and types of lines they associate with a certain feeling.