This weekend we flew up to Rhode Island for Fathers Day. In trying to be helpful, for my husbands parents, we cleared the yard. Two of my favorite spots were the Tree Family and Boomerang Garden. The Tree family are three beautiful cherry blossom trees that needed to be trimmed up. Lots of extra sprouts were clipped to expose the wiggly and diagonal legs coming out from the base. My second area to tackle was the Boomerang Garden. Two boomerang shaped garden beds with a bird bath in the middle. Both so filled with weeds, I could barely tell what was supposed to be there. After gripping, ripping and digging, I discovered a brick border that defined the shape. It felt fantastic to cruise my hands along the grass & over the cool moss to feel for bricks waiting to be exposed. At last, I had made my way all the way around the bricks and that gave me such a sense of accomplishment!
In describing the spaces I had finished, I just came up with ‘you know the far section, the boomerang shape’. This experience led me to think about how of landscapes, farms and gardens are organized in lines, colors and shapes and then thought of Artist’s connections in their works of Art. Van Gogh’s fields of flowers, tulip beds; Alma Thomas impressions of iris, tulips, jonquils & crocus. How could I incorporate this connection to nature for my students, create an awareness there is an Art to Landscaping, Farming and Gardening. How could they be given a physical experience to enhance the Visual Experience?
Lesson ideas for the Visual Arts “Art to the Core”
Have students find lines and shapes in artworks about gardens. Assign students to create a “Birds-eye-view”composition of lines and shapes that organization of color can be applied using a variety of mediums for grade levels: K/1 bits of tissue, 2/3 dashes and dots of brushstrokes, layering oil pastels, 4/5 torn paper….and oops add Monet to the List…love it coy ponds…poetry!!! Click here for 5th grade lesson Torn Paper with Alma Thomas
Connections to “Art on Campus”
Join with Science and find out what grade levels are planting. It may be Peter Rabbit’s Vegetable Garden, but that’s ok, we could easily check out Caillebottes Still Life of a Farm Stand! Beautiful organization of textures, shapes and colors. Students could base a painting off of a photograph taken from their hard work!
and after remembering Monet! Join with Writing and find out who’s doing poetry, paint that beautiful bamboo in india ink!
Service to “Art in the Community”
We are becoming more green on our campus. In Seattle, I attended a workshop about “Knowing our Place” Teachers ventured out with students to make observational sketches, take photographs and compose paintings of the valuable shared space in their community and campus. The process of documenting these spaces gave students a sense of belonging and understanding of the importance of preservation. I thought about how could we participate in our community. Perhaps we could build a garden bed for a nursing home, adopt a tree box in our neighborhood, and of course design garden beds for our campus or perhaps buddy school across the city. It was the feeling of that brick around that boomerang shape that signaled me to those learners who could use an additional outlet and a Physical experience to enhance the Visual Experience and it’s a workout for sure!
This artsaysthat there is a common language of composition, line, shape, color, texture, to be found in Landscaping, Gardening, and Farming. Students will learn the value of experiencing these connections, contributing to their space, taking pride in their work and seeing these ‘visual, colorful, organized fields’ as a potential line of work and professional path!