Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunny St. George and Cherry Blossoms

 Last week I spent most of the week in Sunny St. George at the Utah Art Education Conference.  I was asked to share one of my favorite kindergarten lessons with the other teachers.  In Japanese culture they say that if you study a cherry blossom closely enough you can find the answer to all of the questions of life.  Every year in May I like to do an entire unit on Japanese art and culture in the entire school.  I created this finger paint lesson for kindergarten students, but it is fun for any age... including adults!  As I started to teach the lesson, some of the teachers looked hesitant when I told them that this is a finger-paint activity!  We started by creating beautiful bumpy branches and then we added blended flowers with white and red paint, and a few little green accents.  We used baby wipes to clean up.  The mess is very minimal and it is fun to get your hands a little dirty.

The results are beautiful!  I often say that the kindergarten pictures are prettier than the adults, but these teachers had wonderful time and created some very lovely works of art!

The palette was simple... just brown, white, red and green tempera paint on a foam plate. I used Crayola creamy tempera paint.  I have used other brands in the past, but this is my favorite.

It took a bit of encouragement, but everyone jumped in and started painting.  It was interesting to see how every painter interpreted the project just a little differently.

This artist made heavier branches than most, creating a very bold look to her painting.

Here are a few pictures as they are drying.  It was fun to see different interpretations and it gave me a lot of ideas for my own art.  This art project would be great for any age and would be a good inspiration piece for writing poetry.  We will doing this project in our kindergarten classes about the first week of May. I try to do it when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom!  I also have silk blossoms to show them and we study the picture "Almond Blossoms" by Van Gogh as inspiration for the bumpy branches!

After enjoying the warm weather in St. George and painting cherry blossoms, it was difficult to come back to the frigid weather of the Uintah Basin!

No comments: