Wednesday, January 9, 2013

paper sculpture & artist inspiration resources

I will preface this with that I did this lesson with both FIRST and FIFTH grade. 
The same artist inspirations and slide show were used. 
I added one advanced step for the fifth grade. 
Other than that it works well with any age. 

Part 1:
Paul Klee inspired oil pastel shapes 
painted with tempera
**5th grade used this as an opportunity for practicing color mixing- they learned to mix all 16 color wheel colors as they filled in the shapes. 

Part 2: Intro to Sculpture
**See my slide show that prefaced this step below.
Students cut out a "base" by cutting up their painting. 
Then they cut strips from the scraps and I had other paper strips
that they folded and curled to create an abstract sculpture. 

I tell tales of many artists, show slide shows, and lead inquiry based discussions based on works of art. I I know some teachers are more trained or more inclined to do this and for some teachers it causes anxiety. I am often asked how I lead a discussion based on an artwork. 
Many of my strategies are based on VTS and Project Zero's Artful Thinking teachings. 
Here is an example. Hope it is helpful!
(Plus if you are not familiar with Ryan McGinness's work definitely take a look!)

Intro to Sculpture Slideshow:

This was the image I started with. I know it is a public art sculpture in Florida but unfortunately I have no more information about it. 
However, it is a great image to begin with.

Questions to prompt discussion:

How big do you think this sculpture is and why? 
What does the sculpture remind you of?
What do you notice or what stands out about the sculpture?
Where do you think the artist got his/her ideas?

 General questions to be answered before continuing:
What is a sculpture?
What materials can be used to make a sculpture?

As you look at the images of art works consider different ways a sculpture can take up space.

Artist 1: Dale Chihuly
Material: Glass 
 What does the artwork remind you of? 
How does the material and/or color affect you as a viewer?


Artist 2:  Liz Miller
Material: Paper
What is similar and different about this artist's work compared with the last? 
Notice the details and repetition when you look at her paper cutting up close: 

 Artist 3: Ryan McGinness
Materials: Acrylic on acrylic
A great example of a 2-dimensional artist transforming into 3-dimensional work. 

What do you see?
What does it make you wonder?

(2-D example above and 3-D examples below)


  1. Love the end results! Love the Klee inspired paintings by themselves also! :)

  2. Great mixed media project. Thank you for alos including your reference images that you showed students!
    I have been reading your blog for awhile now and invite you to stop by mine