Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jasper Johns: 0-9 for kids

I am finding that children work in abstraction very comfortably. When we try to make things look "real" they immediately start fretting over how theirs doesn't look "real" and anxiety and tears are common. (Especially if you have the wrong art teacher). They love being freed of making it real, and love being told to only think about colors, shapes, and how they feel.

My goal is to get them very comfortable in abstraction and color because I find that if you start with realism first, you can potentially have artists who think about color, shape, and relationships between those things as secondary, if they think about them at all.

For my sons kindergarten class we looked at Jasper Johns' 0-9 series. JJ drew the numbers 0-9 right on top of each other, so that the final result was a bunch of shapes, and the numbers became secondary. Then he addressed the resulting shapes with color. This seemed exactly the kind of thing that kindergarteners could tackle, and feel confident.

I also like that this project addresses many things that kindergarteners are learning about - writing numbers for example. Shapes, colors. It's all very curriculum appropriate.

Jasper Johns, 0-9 Series
My son, drawing the numbers right on top of each other. (Pardon the lightness of the photograph).
And colored in the resulting shapes with colored pencils.


John and Becky said...

Will you be my kids art teacher one day? Everything you do with your kids is so amazing and creative.

jodi said...

Have I told you how much I love you? And yes, you should be an art teacher. In all your spare time.

Abbigail said...

Great idea. I will have to "steal" this one.

Anne said...

Genius. And thanks for the art mini-lesson!

Kelsi said...

Pam..... i LOVE LOVE LOVE the little outfit you made for our baby. I looked at it last night and I can't WAIT to put it on her! I will be emailing you for tips once we move on how to make all of your amazingly cute stuff!

megadog said...

That's really neat. I love that idea and I appreciate the mini-art lesson as well.