Friday, July 30, 2010

Artists paint food .

Grade level : 3rd grade ...but as most art lessons in this blog , this project can be easily be adapted for any grade level .

Motivation : Did you notice the different fruits and vegetables at the supermarket ? Did you notice the different shape and texture they have ? Carrots are long triangles . Potatoes are lumpy ovals . Green beans are long and thin . Tomatoes are circular . What shape are pineapples ? Artichokes ? Radishes ? Pears ? Strawberries ?

Materials : * colored paper
* a variety of colored tissue paper
* white glue (or paste mixed with liquid cornstarch if dealing with small kids )
* brush for applying glue mixture (if dealing with small children )
* white manila paper
* scissors
* black felt pens

Vocabulary :

Collage : a picture made by fixing different thing onto a surface , such as a piece of cloth onto paper .

Multiple : more than one .

Arrangement : the way you place things so they look attractive , as in a flower arrangement .

Resources : this project was inspired by a lesson plan of my son's school art docent program . However I applied a few modifications .

You may want to have pictures of fruits and vegetables available (or waxed or real things .)

Here are the artists and the paintings that we are going to look at today :

(1) Walter Williams : (1920- ) He is a painter , print-maker and sculptor . He was born in Brooklyn in 1920 . Maybe he wanted to show us a place where his mom shopped when he was a little boy .
Poultry Market : This painting shows us a portion of a market . Supermarkets have now replaced a number of small stores that specialize in meat and poultry . (Poultry = chickens and turkeys .) It's a bright colorful picture . We see two figures on the right (one of them with the hair repeating the pattern of the rooster's tail .) We also see eggs for sale . The rooster is brightly colored . Can you see the scale ? Can you see several chickens hanging up ready to be sold ?

(2) George Braque : (1882-1963) He was a French artist . His father gave him his first art lesson . With Picasso he founded cubism .
Still Life With Purple Plums : Here we have to look harder to find the food because it is painted in a style called "Cubism" . It is very different from Cezanne's painting "the kitchen table" (see # 4) . It appear to have flatness . It could almost be made of pieces of paper cut and pasted down . The different pieces interlocked each other like a jigsaw puzzle . The top of the table is seen and it almost look like an object could slide off . What shapes are repeated to make a pattern ? Do you see any outlines ? What do you see in the background ?

(3) Romare Bearden : (1914 - ) He was born in North Carolina . He served in the army in WWI and began to paint very flatly . He is an African-American artist .
Summertime : The artist created this composition combining paper and fabric with painted areas to create the mood of summer in a crowded city . Does it remind you of Braque cubism style ? The figure eating ice cream is centered to attract attention . The overall arrangement is in rectangular shapes and strong vertical forms .

(4) Paul Cezanne : (1839 - 1906) he was a French artist . Cezanne was a great artist and was called the "father of modern art" because he changed the direction the painters were going . He was interested in the basic form and structure of things ...
Kitchen Table : Cezanne loved to paint food . In fact , when he did paint people he told them to "sit like an apple" . (He didn't want them to move !) He took a long time to paint his pictures . Sometimes the food would get spoiled before he was finished , so he started using waxed fruits . Here we see fruits , a sugar bowl , and a teapot , in the foreground , and a basket filled with fruits in the middle ground . The table is crooked and the teapot stand at an angle . He distorted (changed) things in order to increase the decorative aspect of his work . The colors are warm , homier , of beauty in everybody's life .

Nicholas Maes : (1632 - 1693) He was a Dutch artist . He was born in the 17th century . He was the son of a well-to-do soap manufacturer . He studied Rembrandt in Amsterdam when he was 16 .
An Old Woman Praying : This old woman is seen praying before she eats the food on the table . The light strikes the head and hands of the old woman who is so absorbed in her prayer that she is unaware of something happening . What is it ? (The kitten is pulling the tablecloth trying to reach the fish on the table .

(6) Johannes Vermeer : (1632 - 1675 ) Vermeer was a Dutch artist . He was born in Delft in 1632 .
The Milkmaid : This milkmaid is seen pouring milk . Other things that you can see are the bread , the jugs , the baskets , the brass pots . The warm yellow along with the warm of the red of her dress is balanced by the cool blues and greens . The repetition of colors helps to tie a painting together .

(7) Harold R. Stevenson : (1929 )
After School : Here we see a little girl having a snack after school . She is dressed in a blue dress with a white apron . We see her in profile . The artist painted many clear and realistic details to tell us about the room . (We see the wooden floor , rug , high-backed chair , flowers in the window , etc .) He even tells us what time it is .

(8) Pieter Brueghel the younger : ( 1564 - 1637 ) He was born in Brussels , Belgium . He liked to paint pictures with pheasants in their daily lives . His dad and his brother were also artists .
Harvest Meal : This pleasant landscape is filled with figures , some eating and some harvesting grain (which will be used to grind and make bread . Noontime . They hurry for more work to be done (no machine yet !)

Activity : 1. Select a piece of paper : white manila paper for the background .
2. Decide which fruits and/or vegetables you'll display in your collage market .Using the colored tissue paper , make multiple cuts , so that you can make a large number of tomatoes , bananas and apples , ... To do this fold the paper several times and cut through several thickness at once .
3. Use glue (or starch mixture ) to adhere neatly each pieces of tissue paper to the white paper . You'll need to plan your arrangement to include bins , racks , trays of vegetables , or baskets . You may even wish to include the grocer , the scale for weighing the fruits or vegetables and the shoppers and shopping carts . What else ?
4. Try to fill the entire space of your paper with cut pieces of paper . You can use colored paper for the bins , etc . You can also use the felt pen and the crayons to add other minor details .

Examples :
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