Matisse Artist Widget

Henri Matisse was a twentieth century French artist. His characteristic style included flat, brilliant colors and fluid lines. Later in his career, Matisse concentrated on a technique called papiers découpés (paper cutouts). Try making your own painting with Matisee-like paper cutouts:

  • Choose cutouts and drag to the canvas
  • See what changes you can make by clicking on the buttons below the canvas.
  • Print your design.
  • Have fun!

Try Action Painting Like Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) developed a unique style of abstract expressionism. He would drip paint on his canvas in order to create his paintings. His paintings used a technique called "action painting." You can create an abstract painting by clicking on the canvas above. Move your mouse to create your own action painting. Click your mouse to change colors.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Art Education

Art vs. Craft
When you consider art for kids, wording can be confusing. Check out many community education catalogs and enrichment camps descriptions, and you’ll often see “arts & crafts” listed as an option for children.

What distinguishes instruction in art vs. crafts?

Process and outcomes tend to separate a visual arts experience from making crafts. While a craft workshop entails following directions to produce a specific product, a visual arts class provides instruction and encourages an exploration of materials and ideas that do not necessarily lead to a particular outcome. Creativity in craft-making tends to be limited to individual choices in terms of using color and embellishments. Creativity in the visual arts is expansive, because children generate ideas and develop them, drawing from their experiences, knowledge and imagination.

What are the benefits of each activity?
In a craft class, children follow directions, which is a valuable skill. They may also become more adept at using tools, such as scissors. Fine motor skills can be enhanced with such activities as beading a necklace. In terms of outcome, most completed projects are similar because they result from following direction and basing their work on a sample or model. Children derive satisfaction from completing a project.

In a visual arts class, children learn about art using basic shapes and bright colors inspired by an artist, such as Sophie Harding. Students develop their technique, learn an arts vocabulary and benefit from using their imaginations to create original works that forms, techniques and styles. A lesson may focus on painting methods in a “Naïve” style reflect the discovery process. The discovery process helps children to understand cause and effect: what happens when I mix orange and green? Working with independent ideas facilitates the development of problem-solving skills. Art students explore abundant creative materials and experiment with color, line and form. Art education nurtures many transferable skills, including creativity, innovation, teamwork, lateral thinking, intuitive reasoning and thinking outside the box. Fine motor skills are enhanced, as well. Children tend to take great pride in creations that reflect their vision, emotions and sense of style. This is art education at its best!


MittenDoodle said...

Parents are condition to want a product to "show off" their children's creative side. Craft is one of the ways parents can have an artistic child stand out like an athletic child. As a society we put so much pressure on our children to win - to be the best. Thus, older children want to have a positive outcome so that their craft will be better than other children. Thus, kids who create awesome craft have really good hand eye cordination and can follow directions well. Art does not fit neatly into a set out come. Just look at the art of OKeeffe, Klee, Calder or even Haring nothing standard or craft like in their work. Craft could be viewed as a newspaper article - it contains words on a page to tell a story ; Art could be viewed as poetry - words on a page carefully, selected to invoke images and memories and feelings.

Anonymous said...

This little gem ought to be one of the top featured articles in our next newsletter- so many parents use the words interchangeably "arts AND crafts" when they talk about Abrakadoodle and this is a great yet brief outline as to how both are beneficial but how ART is what Abrakadoodle does.