Remote learning. The novelty has well and truly worn off. Turning up to a computer screen in the morning is not what I signed up for when I became a teacher. But I guess, what many of us are going through at the moment isn’t exactly what we signed up for!
And so it’s been hard. Teaching ART online is hard. Hard for me. Hard for my students. Hard for parents. Just hard.. and we are all just over it. We want our classrooms back. We want to get our hands dirty and we want everything to go back to normal.. *sigh*
My year 11 studio arts class has been having trouble getting inspired. And frankly, I don’t blame them. I feel so uninspired lately too. Being at home day in, day out doesn’t really offer much in the way of spark generation. I honestly didn’t know what I could do to help them.
They had questions.
- I have my theme, but what do I draw?
- My theme is climate change but besides images of the sun and the earth, what do I paint?
- My pages are blank, how do I start a new page and make it interesting?
- What if I only have pencils?
- I’ve run out of ideas. How do I take my theme further?
They needed something in the form of prompts. The internet gave me nothing apart from collections of random words that meant nothing really, when the students already had a theme!
Once the student has done all their research, collected inspiration and annotated their ideas. How should they then progress into exploring THEIR OWN ideas and CREATING their OWN FINAL ARTWORK?
I put together a list of 20 art making prompts that could be applied to an existing theme that would hopefully get some ideas flowing.
- With your theme in mind, draw what’s at the end of this string.
2. Find a poem related to your theme. Draw an image that connects with this poem using grey led pencil.
3. Find an inspirational quote. Use pastel to create an image related to the meaning.
4. Choose ONE WORD related to your theme. Create a decorative design using only the letters.
5. Create a STYLISED INK (pen only) drawing of a powerful word from your theme brainstorm.
The word here is TRAPPED.
6. Choose an influential person related to your theme. Create a cut out paper portrait of them.
7. Choose 4 words related to your theme. Create a DOODLE inspired by these words using only TEXTA.
8. Create an artwork using only LEAVES, related to your theme.
9. Fill each picture frame with an important image related to your theme.
10. Depict a short story related to your theme with visuals in each box. The visuals can be abstract or figurative, up to you. Describe in words, what each ‘scene’ is about.
11. Find an old magazine or newspaper. Fill a page in your sketchbook with words that mean something to you and your theme.
12. Imagine and create a MAP of a world related to your theme.
13. Find an image of a painting related to your theme and re-create it using a handmade paint brush and coffee paint (or any other handmade ink/paint etc).
14. Use a sheet of aluminium foil and paint or use pastel to create a visual representation a word from your brainstorm
15. With your theme in mind, finish the picture below.
16. Imagine your theme has a super hero. What would they be wearing??
17. With your theme in mind, turn the scribbles below into something that reflects your theme.
18. Make a list of names of 10 people (they can be ANYONE) that have a connection with your theme. E.g. Climate change: Al Gore, Depression: Vincent van Gogh. Create an artwork made up of doodling their names and linking them all together.
The images from 16-18 are from a book entitled:
19. Create a predominantly VISUAL brainstorm of a THEME power word! The example below is based on music.
20. If your theme required a book cover, what could it look like? Create your design using water paint or paper cut out.
The book below is about CLIMATE CHANGE.
It’s now time to start thinking about what the final artwork might look like.
Using one or more of the 20 artworks just created, students can do one or more of the following.
CREATE A SYMBOL= DRAW A SYMBOL OF SOMETHING THAT IS MEANINGFUL TO YOU
TRANSFORM = TAKE AN ARTWORK AND MAKE IT (TRANSFORM IT) INTO SOMETHING ELSE
VARY = TAKE AN ARTWORK AND SEE HOW MANY WAYS YOU CAN CHANGE IT, ADD TO IT, DO IT DIFFERENTLY
FRAGMENT = TAKE ONE OF YOUR ARTWORKS AND RECREATE ONLY A PART OF IT
HYBRIDIZE IT = TAKE TWO DIFFERENT ARTWORKS OR TWO DIFFERENT IDEAS AND FUSE THEM TOGETHER
REPEAT = TAKE AN ARTWORK AND REPEAT IT OVER AND OVER
DISTORT = TAKE AN ARTWORK AND MAKE PART OF IT MUCH SMALLER OR MUCH LARGER OR MUCH FATTER OR MUCH SKINNIER OR MUCH ???
FANTASIZE = USE IMAGINATION BUT ADD SOMETHING REALLY UNREALISTIC OR UNUSUAL TO ONE OF YOUR ARTWORKS
ANALYZE = REDO SOMETHING YOU HAVE DONE BEFORE BUT MAKE IT BETTER BY RETHINKING IT
After all this, HOPEFULLY there’s an idea for a final artwork! Good luck everyone! Let’s hope we’re all back in our classrooms as soon as it’s safe. xx