Tag Archives: Australia

The Australian Mystery

Once upon a time there was a little blog. It was a humble, unpretentious little blog that aspired to document the bland little life and art of its owner. Oh, occasionally someone might wave upon passing, or even drop by for a quick visit, but it really had just a small group of friends.

But then the little blog mentioned Australia. And a few more visitors dropped by. Perhaps they told their friends. The little blog didn’t know how it happened, but suddenly it was twice as popular as before. Later it mentioned Africa, but few stopped by to check that out. It has covered many other topics. Still, searchers are obsessed with Australia. It’s a mystery.

In August I had 177 views. This was pretty typical. I also posted the Australia lesson plan models in August. In September I had 194 views. Normal. This month isn’t even over and I’ve welcomed 724 views, the vast majority of which were referred through searches for Australian aboriginal art. I find this interesting. It makes me wonder what people are really looking for, as if knowing, I could better help them find it. Maybe they would have benefited from all the research and websites I visited. Should I include more? Would they want HOW I taught the lesson? Why such an extraordinary interest in aboriginal art, and why drive it through my little blog? I tried to go back and link up all the related Australian blog pages, to make them easier to find, if they should care. I never wrote much for other folks, and this is an invisible, non-speaking audience; they’re harder to write for. I guess this is one mystery that won’t likely be solved.


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Filed under personal

Growing Perseverance

Because that is what the 5th and 6th graders’ Australia project required. It was a scene with an Australian animal done almost entirely in dots. Here they had to visualize their subject and render it pretty much as dotted line, which some of the students struggled with. They could paint with dots; but it really required seeing in dotted LINE in order to be most successful.

Some who got the concept quickly grew tired of such a slow process, and it showed in their workmanship. I really do want to grow their stamina this year. I am meditating on the best way to do that without just frustrating some very active boys. After all, my goals are just one part of art; I also want them to HAVE FUN!

The best of the upper grades in a hallway installation:

Australian-inspired artwork

Third and fourth grade art also includes a hand-stencil signature and pastel line animal. I wrapped up our unit with a quick viewing and discussion of a young artist’s interpretation of Australian creation stories: http://standingstrongart.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/god-made-not-odd-made/.

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Filed under Art, Fifth/Sixth Grade, Teaching, Third/Fourth Grade

Dots Rule!

We are wrapping up our Australian-inspired art at school, and just starting it with the homeschoolers. I am especially thankful to the art ed blog community for introducing me to this book:

book cover of the story the dot, consisting of an illustration of a girl painting a giant orange dot, with the text the dot wirtten in the middle.  author name peter h reynolds is written along the outside lower right edge of the dot. Peter Reynolds even has a website!!

What better book to accompany art lessons on the Australian aborigines’ tribal art? Kindergarten loved this book yesterday, and sat more quietly listening than I have ever seen them. Some of their attempts at Australian-inspired art:

Kinder art

First and Second grades have finished, too:

Make sure and check out their Artsonia gallery, linked to your right!

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Filed under Art, First/Second Grade, Kindergarten, Teaching

The world begins on Australia

At least, in my art class it does. We are exploring art around the world this year, and Australia seemed like a great place to start, and not just because it is the home of one of the oldest people groups in the world. Aboriginal art incorporates a lot of what I like to start with: line and shape. After a powerpoint introducing the country, its people, and its animals, we’ll look at line and shape and distinguish between a dot and circle. Aboriginal art is an excellent start for introducing how environment inspires art, and as an example of how art is an overflow of the spirit of a person. So much art throughout the world is linked to and a product of worship, and this is no exception. Also, it introduces art as storytelling, which kids really connect with.

Kindergarten’s model is simple, and will also introduce pimary colors.

kinder model

First/Second grade will review primary colors, but incorporate the contour line of the Australian animal of their choice. I am debating whether, so early in the year, to give them templates, or just show models of animal silhouettes and let them work out their own pastel contour. Probably the latter.

Third/Fourth grade adds brown. But the key in their art is an expanded lesson on the symbolism in the art, and encouragement to tell their own story, Australian style. They will mark their story with their hand. My model’s story tells of a kangaroo fleeing his watering hole because of a grassfire.

3rd/4th model

Fifth/Sixth grade will be inspired by contemporary artists, using the dot art style to depict some of the iconic Australian countryside, very reminiscently of pointillism. They can mix their own colors from the primaries, plus white and brown. My model, with room to demonstrate:

5th/6th model

Student work can be found here and here.

My inspiration, by aboriginal artist Danny Eastwood:

Danny's Uluru

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Filed under Art, Fifth/Sixth Grade, First/Second Grade, Kindergarten, Seventh/Eighth Grade, Teaching, Third/Fourth Grade