Tell Me A Story

Article excerpt

So begins the telling. Narrative, or storytelling, is one of the most expressive forms of art. The process of telling, drawing from the past, is a part of every culture. Stories are our way of remaining connected with our past, our beliefs, our values, our communities, and with each other. Cooperation, respect, and the nature of all beings are among the lessons we learn from stories.

Objectives

* To enable students to gain a more in-depth understanding of the meaning and nature of narrative art.

* For students to create a unique painting based on a personal childhood memory of an event, occasion, experience, or family tradition.

Motivation for Work

The art of Faith Ringgold, particularly her story quilts, was the subject of research and study for my eleventh grade class. I showed the video entitled Faith Ringgold: The Last Story Quilt to students to begin our discussion of narrative art.

Our discussion led us to lively descriptions about special memories that would lend themselves to illustration. We emphasized the following elements of design: composition, color, and shape. We also highlighted the design principles of balance, harmony, and unity. Students kept these concepts in mind as they worked on their paintings.

Supplies

pieces of unprimed, unstretched canvas cut into 22 x 22" (56 x 56 cm) squares gesso and white glue assorted fabrics acrylic paint black permanent marker

Studio Inquiry

I asked students to write a short story about a childhood experience and to work out a composition in their research workbooks that was based on their story. …