Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - A Perspective on Art Education - Activities for Children - Themes & Topics

Drawing & Painting -- Modeling & Sculpting

Fingerpainting -- Mural Making -- Paper-Mâché -- Puppets -- Mask-Making -- Crayon Encaustics -- Crayon Resist Drawing -- Crayon Sgraffito -- Collage -- Mobiles -- Watercolor -- Common Earth Clay -- Salt Ceramic [recipe] -- Clay / plasticene Non-hardening -- Carving in the Round -- Newspaper Modeling -- Paraffin or Wax Sculpture -- Plaster Plaques or Reliefs -- Relief in Plaster -- Relief in Soft Wood -- Concret or Zonolite Sculpting -- Repoussé -- Sandcasting -- Working With the Coping Saw or Jigsaw -- Straw/Toothpick Sculpting -- Painting on Window Glass -- Diorama -- Peep Shows -- Whittling -- Wire Sculpture

[From: [Meaning in Crafts. Mattil,, Edward L. Chairman, Dept. of Art, North Texas State University. Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1971.]

Drawing and Painting

Drawing and painting certainly are among the most natural ways in which the child, or man for that matter, expresses his ideas and feelings. This is because they are direct, often immediate, ways of making a tangible record of the images the person perceives and his interpretations of them. What individuals perceive is reported in the visual arts in many ways. It seems quite clear that no two individuals ever perceive in exactly the same way: that is what makes art exciting. The differences among individuals become evident through their personal interpretations, techniques, and responses. It is obvious that there is no single "right" response. It may well be that things are "right" only when they are personal interpretations, not dependent on the concepts of others.

Man has apparently always had a need to express what he feels, for as early as there is any record of man, there is some evidence of his interpretation of his environment through pictures. The earliest examples are found inside caves, protected for thousands of years from the elements. These tell the same story that modern man's paintings tell, the story of man and his relationship to his environment. The diversity of ways in which this theme has been handled over the thousands of years that man has expressed himself is almost beyond description. It would indeed require a lifetime of study to comprehend even a small segment of it. In these records of man--his drawings and paintings--the history of civilization is recorded, for the highest aspirations, deepest feelings, most dramatic actions, strongest external forces, mysteries of life and death, religious beliefs, joys and sorrows, good and bad, all make up this recorded, continuous story.

Man is still expressing these very same things, often in a visual language that seems remote and unclear to the viewer, and sometimes in forms that are obvious, trite, and shallow. The artist does not follow the mainstream of man's perception; he moves ahead, in directions that often seem hard to follow. We either place value on children's moving, thinking, and acting in divergent ways or we block the potential of children who seek to develop in divergent ways. Drawing and painting, like the crafts, offer a most unusual educational opportunity for this kind of development.

What do artists and children express in drawing and painting? First, they paint about themselves: what they look like, what they do, and how they feel. Then they paint about themselves and others: what we look like, and what we do together. They paint and draw about games and sports, their social activities, their schools, their families; about the places where they live and work and play. Their pictures tell where they have been or where they would like to go, imaginary places far away. They tell us who is important--the policeman, politician, minister, teacher, neighbor--and what it is like to be rich or poor, frightened, hungry, loving or hating, rejoicing or despairing. They draw in a style of precise visual reality or in the vaguest of abstractions. But always the basic theme is the same--man and his relation to his environment.....

Drawing is the basis for practically every pictorial activity; the techniques of drawing vary with each child and with the child's intention. Before the child reaches school age he makes many attempts at drawing, commonly referred to as scribbles. When he reaches school this urge to express, to record, to communicate, to experience should be broadened and deepened. Although there is no simple formula to help the teacher meet this basic need, he should recognize that art education may contribute uniquely to its fulfillment. Human experience is expressed in the visual forms of art in ways unparalleled in life and other forms of education....

[Meaning in Crafts. Mattil,, Edward L. Chairman, Dept. of Art, North Texas State University. Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1971.]



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