Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mmm! Wayne Thiebaud-inspired Desserts! RES

There are few artists who inspire the sense of urgent longing in the viewer like the phenomenal Wayne Thiebaud.  His work makes the viewer drool, sometimes literally, for the things we want.

Wayne Thiebaud, "Four Ice Cream Cones," 1964, oil on canvas via
His work often seems to comment on our consumerist culture and drive to have more all of the time, but when you look at this work with third graders, that's not what most of them see- they see YUM.

Wayne Thiebaud, "Ten Candies," 2000, pastel on paper via
Which is fine.  Because I want some too.  That's what's so amazing about Thiebaud- if it is the mark of a good artist to create an intense emotional reaction in the viewer, then Thiebaud is a genius.

3rd grade painted paper collage
That was one focus of this project with third grade artists here at RES- Can you design an artwork that makes people really want something?  How can you use color, details, textures, and design elements to create that feeling in your viewer?

Lick, quick!
 Those marvelously watery backgrounds behind the collages were done with a partner. Each pair had a very wet piece of paper on top of which they collaged tissue paper pieces. After that, the tissue papers were doused in water, and another piece of paper was sandwiched on top of the tissue paper.

Toasting marshmallows?!  Take me to your s'mores!
The next part was very silly and fun. Partners put their artwork on the floor, and took off their socks and shoes to step all over their soggy paper/tissue/paper sandwiches. They stepped gently, no twisting (wet paper is fragile!) to transfer the colors to each paper.

You had me at eclairs
The two papers were carefully peeled apart, and the tissue paper, mostly relieved of its dye, was discarded.  The result is a pair of mirror image backgrounds, one for each partner. From there, the work goes in independent directions.

Those cones.
 If you try this project, buy the cheapest, crummiest tissue paper you can. If it is too well made, the color doesn't bleed and the results will be wholly disappointing.

Popsicle, doughnut, cupcake, cotton candy
After brainstorming a list of possible subjects as a class, students made painted community papers to be shared by not only the whole class, but the whole third grade.  We experimented with color mixing, textures, and patterns that can be achieved in painted papers, and the way that a paper one person envisions being perfect for a strawberry might be just as perfect for someone else's cupcake.

One out of five people is crying about their ice cream right now.
Students could choose to draw on the back of the painted papers if they needed to plan and size an object to cut, but the challenge was for the end product to not show any pencil.

Salted french fries. Who said these had to be sweet?
These have really come out pretty marvelously. 
 All of the tiny details make all of the difference. 

Life is short- now that you are drooling, go ahead and make yourself a treat!

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