Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sculpture, Watercolor, and Mandala

I tried to cram as much in before the school year ended as possible and thought I'd share a few assignments that my visually impaired students enjoyed the most.

Wooden Sculptures. My friends, Heather and Drue McCroan make elaborate wooden monograms for people to hang on their door or put over their mantel. They offered me the wood scraps and I, in turn, offered them to my students. They played, balanced, re-arranged, sanded, glued and painted these wooden pieces with some interesting results.

Our beautiful campus and our spring weather made for a perfect landscape opportunity. We started with an exercise to explore what watercolors can do. Students tried wet-on-dry, wet-on-wet, blotting, wax resist, and blending techniques before they could begin their landscape project.

The better the vision, the more accurate the images, but I also love the energy that comes from the marks of those who can see almost nothing.

Nothing says wholeness and perfection more than the circle. As a class we explored Native American medicine wheels, rosary windows found in many cathedrals, and we watched videos of  Bhuddist monks making amazing sand art creations before sweeping them away as a symbol of impermanence. Each student made their own mandala with the help of a light box, and a basic knowledge of fractions and balance.

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