Magazine article Arts & Activities

Lines Exploding into Flowers

Magazine article Arts & Activities

Lines Exploding into Flowers

Article excerpt

My search for new ways to teach art elements is ongoing. I want the kids to be excited about a project that is introduced. One answer to this was to connect the use of line with the lines found in nature.

Our town, Bayard, is located in southwestern New Mexico. Here, there's plenty of natural flora to see and appreciate, and to use as inspiration. Since sunflowers grow prolifically in our area, we focused on them, carefully studying their seeds, stems, petals and leaves.

Being in New Mexico, it was also appropriate to use Georgia O'Keeffe's big, beautiful flowers as inspiration. An added plus is that it's rather easy for children to find the lines within the flowers in her paintings.

I began the project by telling students that it would involve their listening skills and following directions--something all students need to practice in all their subjects. Many of my projects start this way, but students have lots of opportunity for self-expression as things progress.

We discussed different types of lines. The kindergarteners were surprised to learn that, in art, lines don't always have to be straight--they can do whatever they want them to.

We practiced wavy, zigzag, bumpy, diagonal, horizontal, vertical and as many different lines as we could think up.

Using whichever lines they chose, students drew a series of concentric shapes with black permanent markers, "growing" their flowers from the center of the page out toward the edges, until there was no more room. …

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