The Age of Brain Fog

True confessions: I am so glad my art classes stop at 6th grade now. Something just happens around 12 or 13 to kids that appears to others around them as if huge segments of their neural networks have been posted “road closed.” Sometimes there are detours that leave bystanders scratching their heads in wonder and confusion, and sometimes it seems as if traffic has shut down altogether.

My youngest son is, well, over 12 and a half. He isn’t much for sticking to the well-worn path when his neural network is a beehive of smoothly operating roads. But now… let’s just say he isn’t always tracking with me. And guess what? He is one of my art students! He has created a number of fun art pieces for me, mostly as my student, and often only loosely guided by the project goals. (Some kids are just scouts, you know?) One of them is currently in the Gathering of the Talents in Nebraska, waiting to see if the judges there are as excited by it as they were the one I sent for him last year. But sometimes his unique spin on a project is more the result of working while “road closed.”

Remember the student brush art roosters? From a reference photo? My son was zoned for the description of brush art capturing the idea of the subject, lines suggesting wings and tail feathers. He seemed to pay attention as we walked through an observation of our subject together, yet he ended up asking me and his neighbors, “What am I supposed to do? I don’t get it. What am I painting?” He didn’t even follow what his fellow students tried to tell him. And this is his brush art rooster:

Essence of Rooster

Honestly, I love this rooster. I love how he blends color into color, yet maintains control of his overall figure. He still has no idea what we are looking for in a sample of this era of brush art, but he has so little fear of any medium. He rarely likes his own artwork, and I rarely see anything to dislike. I wish I could get more out of him.

His fellow 6th grader:

Definitely strutting his stuff.

Two views, one chicken.

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Filed under Art, Fifth/Sixth Grade, Teaching

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