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It’s week five of the Virtual Curriculum Fair. This week.. it’s all about art and beauty. See in artistic forms of music, art, dance and whatever form that takes in your household.
The VCF is hosted by Susan.
Today my topic is: What to do with the reluctant artist?
I would never say that I am an artist, but I have birthed a lad who has creativity tied into his bones. I’ve worked to bring that creativity into our schooling…and this year and finding myself tying it in however I can.
BUT in all his creativity he’s a rather deliberate lad. He hates, absolutely HATES to waste his time. Despises it with a passion… which sometimes creates a reluctant artist.. What’s a teacher to do?
1. Talk to your student. You are looking for what is causing the reluctance.
a). The Style – realism vs abstract, 3-D vs 2-D etc.
b). The Medium – painting vs drawing, colouring vs pastels, oils vs acrylics etc
c). The Topic – A river vs. mountains, a building vs a landscape etc
2. Discover what about the reluctance causes concern.
a). Lack of confidence – has never used this medium/style/topic before and has no idea about how to use, approach or even if likes the idea.
b). Medium not correct for the type of project – topic of discussion sometimes the student is correct! And then changes can be made. Or change the topic or style and suddenly the medium isn’t so bad.
c). Fear of wasting time – This one is hard to get past, but I have a method that is proving to at least raise more curiousity and help!
d). Dislike of style and not seeing the point of it – often a matter of showing the student a wide variety in the style until something appeals. I saw this recently in my class on cubism… one student could not get a handle on it until he thought about doing shades of black! It worked and turned out well.
e). Wants a different topic – Let them choose the topic if possible, it’s their art. You can set the parameters and then let them choose what they can fit within that.
f). Page size – could be too small, large, wide, narrow etc. This is so easy to change, some students do their best work in miniature and other need to express themselves in wide open spaces. It’s relative.
3. Take Action.
a). Remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder
b). Learning new things is sometimes difficult.
c). Sometimes helping someone with a new form of art takes away the pressure of wasting one’s time if it doesn’t work out.
Let me expand on the latter idea.
My son and I were going to create an abstract mountain art work but okay… it was MY idea to do an abstract mountain art work and my son stopped dead in his tracks. All he could see was the potential of failure.
So after talking with him through all the different steps, it’s still all he could see was “it’s not going to turn out and I’ll have wasted all my time.”.
We decided that he could do his own thing (he wanted very much to do a pencil sketch with shading) and that I could do the abstract art. We work side by side so he can see me work and I can see him. It’s a great time to chat, provide encouragement and ask questions.
So I sit beside him and I modge-podgy tissue paper to my page and I talk about how I am not sure if this colour goes there, or what do you think if I do this for the mountains, do you think making sticky-up flowers will work? He starts off very hesitant at first, so I show him how to make flowers that can stick up off the page and how if I crinkle the tissue paper I give it more texture, and he watches and thinks.. and the next time I come back and talk he tears off a piece and says, “I think this colour would work there mom”.
And after some time we get this:
It’s not done yet, the lad and I are currently discussing if I should cut out a picture of a canoe for the lake or do abstract drops of colour. We’ve talked about the pros and cons off adding birds, or how to add texture to a tree trunk and how to make clouds seem more real. And through it all we look at pictures of the Canadian Rockies and see what they are like and the animals that live on them and what not. We learn, we talk and we complete “what might be a waste of time”. Over time you see, tissue paper art, of an abstract nature is not as weird or unknown and just maybe someday a lad might take a chance on doing something different with his art that’s a bit out of his way of thinking… and that’s a good thing. For now.. he’s helping, he’s talking art and helping me see what works and what doesn’t. The fluffy clouds…. I started…he finished. The tree trunk I did.. but he made the branches. We discussed how to give the tree trunk texture and depth…our first method didn’t work, so we tried another.
Is it great, out of this world art? I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. What matters is this… it’s fun, and we’re both learning a ton! 🙂
Now I invite you to visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about seeking beauty in their homeschools:
Links will all be live by Monday at 12 noon EST.
- Living & Loving Art by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
- Putting the Fun in School by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
- Art Fun In Our Homeschool by Amanda @Hopkins Homeschool
- Fine Arts Is The Fun Part by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
- Washing Dust Off Our Souls by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
- Bringing Beauty Into Your Homeschool Through Poetry by Dana @ Roscommon Acres
- Seeking out the beauty… by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
- Joy in Home Education by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
- Teaching Drawing (When You Can’t Draw) by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
- Homeschool Art for the Artistically Challenged by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart
- Jesus, Peace, Freedom & Our Homeshool by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos
- Fine Arts Options in High School by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
- Reluctant Artist? What do you do? by Annette @ A Net in Time
- Making Fine Arts a Priority by Lisa @ McClanahan 7
- Creative Pursuits by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
- Arts and Crafts in Our Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
- Where Do You Find Beauty? by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
- Looping our Beauty Topics Saved our Homeschool by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully