Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Learning as I Go!

I tried something completely different today and learned a lot of "don'ts"! Up to this point, I've only had them paint with watercolors on paper, while "copying"an image from a postcard. (Landscapes, still lives, trees) Today, I gave them each a 6 x 9 piece of white bristol board, various colored construction paper, and glue sticks. The idea was to have them the tear the paper into odd shapes, then glue them on the paper in a pattern or picture to express the idea of spring. It didn't turn out as planned.  

Without a reference to kick them off, they were stymied as to where to start. 
And, the concept of putting odd shapes together to "say" something 
is way too abstract for them 
There was a lot of:
"If my kids saw this, they'd think there was something wrong with me!"
"Why aren't we painting?"
"Now What Do I Do?" 
"Please put this in the trash"

This eager and happy patient, did this all by herself. 
This is what I had hoped would happen!  
I should have given them pictures of gardens! 
This woman hated the "tearing" so much she asked for scissors 
and then came up with this. 
Then she loved it.
Don, who is not a resident there, came in with his wife to sit with her. 
He held her hand and talked to her the whole time 
She was happy to just sit there and watch.  
He made this for her then wrote, 
 "For Ro" above his name. 

Stay with familiar materials.
Give them an idea or an image for direction. 
Stay with concrete identifiable subject matter. 
Don't give them too many options.
Glue sticks are not a good idea 

Also; I'm afraid some of them thought this was a project 
more suited for children and that may have offended them. 
I didn't think of that.  

Thank you to ALL the helpers and volunteers today! 
I needed you! 


  1. No matter what we are doing, we ALL learn as we go! Good job!!

  2. This is fascinating. What a journey for you and the people you are working with. Great job Nance