Thursday, September 18, 2008

Inspired by Stuart Davis

Mr. Malloy is a student teacher from Mansfield University. He is the eighth student teacher that I have worked with from there. The first question I ask the student teacher is, "Who's your favorite artist?" Then I ask them to design a unit of instruction around that artist. Every student teacher has had a different answer so far, and I have obtained eight new lesson plans!

Mr. Malloy chose Stuart Davis -- an American artist who was very inspired by Jazz. Coincidentally, this worked out great since our theme for Living History this year is the 1930's and I had wanted to cover artists who worked during that period this year. Davis was one who did, and was a Pennsylvania artist as well, so that satisfies another essential learning.

Students walked into the classroom to the sounds of Jazz music playing on the stereo. They heard Louis Armstrong and thought it was Yoda of Star Wars. After we set them straight, they began the lesson in which they learned the difference between geometric and organic shapes, and created abstract marker designs inspired by Stuart Davis.

The instructions were to make a design following these directions:
1. Draw a large organic shape somewhere on your paper.
2. Draw two small organic shapes within that shape.
3. Draw a large geometric shape.
4. Use block or bubble letters to write your name.
5. Fill the remaining space with symbols and shapes that interest you.
6. Break large shapes into smaller shapes.
7. Fill in shapes with solid flat colors.

The marker drawings we're working on this week will be the plan for an acrylic painting we'll start next week. One of the things we learned from Mr. Malloy's Powerpoint slide show is that like every artist, Stuart Davis knew to "Plan before you Paint!"

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