Visual Arts Hints
1. How can we create anything when we do not have the
money for art materials? If a budget allows for the purchase of art materials
then all well and good. You do not need the very best in art materials
in order for children to create. Ask children to collect throw-away items
at home that can be used for painting, printmaking and collage. These
may include corks, cardboard packaging, fabric, beads and who knows what
wonderful bits and pieces. Ask parents if they work in places that may
be able to donate off-cuts from the factory floor. Places like Reverse
Garbage are also wonderful for a range of cheap and interesting materials.
2. What if the finished product doesnt look any good? Showing the
children the artwork of practising artists demonstrates what can be achieved.
Aspects of these works can be discussed in creating a finished work of
art such as a background that is not patchy and covers the whole of the
paper or the way a sculptor has looked at the human figure from all angles
because it is a three dimensional work. The artwork of children however
has to be accepted as a childs unique form of expression. This allows
them to develop confidence and self esteem and take further risks with
their art. Keep adult standards and expectations to the essentials and
children are very capable of producing outstanding works of art.
3. Brushes are to painting as clay is to sculpture. Brushes
and clay have their places in the visual arts. Children need to be allowed
to experiment and explore with a wide range of materials as possible.
Use Garbage! Children are encouraged to use their problem solving skills
as well as their creative abilities. Practising artists often use materials
that reflect the materials of our consumer society.
4. To create, children need to be instructed correctly. Children will
create if they are given the freedom to express their ideas and have a
sense of ownership of a project. Read Kate Harts books on art education.
She is a wonderful inspiration in teaching children in a range of alternative
5. There isnt the room, except in the art room, to create large
pieces of work. So take the children outdoors to create. Perhaps corridors
can be used at certain times of the school day. Often a corner of a classroom
can be cleared. Why not work with the art teacher to incorporate the arts
into marine studies?
6. Most importantly, encourage the children to enjoy what they are doing.
The end result does not have to be a masterpiece. The important thing
is that the children have fun learning about coastal and marine concepts
and issues through the visual arts.