Wednesday, December 2, 2015

what they noticed 11 - bridge

This is the final portion of sharing painted panels with art students at Carrollton Elementary School, in Carrollton, MO.  The dialog comes from one class period on Tuesday, Nov.17th. (Students are unnamed) Double click on images to enlarge.

Karl Marxhausen (KM): Okay, okay, I've got something, I've got a whopper here to tackle. Something to figure out. Who wants to tear apart and figure something out? Like what we have BEEN DOING ALREADY. Yeah. This group? Great. It is a painting and a drawing. What do they have in common? Go!!! Make sure you check the back of stuff.

Discussion ensues. Chatter and pointing to both images. Students eyes peering, heads thinking, checking it all out. Two minutes pass and they are ready.

Two students present their findings. One with Short Hair and Blue Pants (SHBP) holds an 8 x 42 inch panel with both hands. The one beside him with Brown shoes and a Striped Sweater (BSS) holds an 8 x 11 3/4 inch card stock with pen ink drawings on both sides.

SHBP: Okay, this is the old Waverly Bridge.

KM: Hold it up so people can see it.

SHBP: Okay, this is the old Waverly bridge. It used to go across the Missouri River. Didn't it used to go straight to Waverly?

Ms. Jan, art teacher (MJ): Yes, it goes more into town. Yes.

SHBP: Okay. And we were guessing that THIS (pointing to green areas with his hand) is THE TIMBER AND BRUSH and stuff that is along the side of the Missouri River. And THIS (pointing to the right side) is some more of the old really nice bridge. And this over here is probably like some trees. And probably the shore of it. And this is the sky.

MJ: When you guys go across the new bridge now and you see the lines over to the right. There are some wires that go across. There is some balls on it so airplanes don't fly into it. That's where the old bridge used to be.

KM: (pointing to second student and card) Now what's, now you need to say something about that. Because it had something to do with this. Speak up.

BSS: Okay we thought that this was kind of like your ROUGH DRAFT, all the different colors, like WHERE YOU WANTED THEM TO BE.

KM: And what are some of the words written on there? Can you read them?

BSS: Like the colors?

KM: Yeah.

BSS: You have red and lavender, lavender-blue, cream, um. (BSS flips drawing over to examine the drawing on the other side) Pink, peach, maroon, um, and green.

KM: And POINT TO THE DRAWING and FIND IT on the painting.

BSS: Okay.  Well this part is right there (above).

KM: Okay, so there are markings on there for RED. So, does the red on THERE line up on HERE? (BSS points to the red on the bridge)
BSS: Yes.
KM: Yes, the bridge lights are RED. So, I MADE A NOTATION TO MYSELF that's red. What's on the back?  (BSS flips over the drawing)

BSS: We thought THIS (on card)....
KM: Now point to it.

BSS: was over HERE (on painting).
KM: YES!! And hold that up (the card), THERE IS A LOT OF INFORMATION THERE. And I was hoping to paint more on this (pointing to the right side of the painting). And that had all my information. Unfortunately, the time that I was doing this, I would SEE SOMETHING and then I would either DRAW IT RIGHT ON THE BOARD. 

KM: If you look really close there is a pen drawn right on the board. DRIVE HOME, PAINT IT, WHILE IT'S FRESH IN MY HEAD.  And if I WAITED A DAY OR TWO, too bad, I"D FIND SOMETHING ELSE.

MJ: Where did you look to see that view point?  Where were you at? Were you down..
KM: Uh. I don't know. Can anyone figure out where I was at?
Voices all at once.
MJ: Were you on the old bridge?
Student Near Me (SNM): Were you, like, where they go into their boats, where they have that ramp, and it goes down?

KM (nodding my head yes) (getting up and pointing to the drawing on the card) So the reason I am pointing this out is that there's all, there are buildings back there, and it tells all that (pointing to the right side of the painting) SOME OF THAT PAINT IS HERE!! But DO YOU THINK that THIS PART (on painting).......

KM:......... COMPARED to this (where the rest of the bridge is painted). (pointing to right side) Is this "FINISHED"????
Student voices: No no no.
KM: (nodding head in agreement) No.

MJ: Wrap it up!

KM: (to SHBP and BSS) Thank you. (to the whole class) You guys are so smart. I really appreciate it.

MJ:  You guys, you guys. I am proud of you. How engaged, how respectful you were. Not that yesterday's class wasn't. You guys were in to it. Good job. Let's put chairs up, please.

KM: Awesome job. Very good.

Conclusion:                                                                                These portions give you an idea of how the grade school art students rose to the occasion when they were listened to, and their ideas respected. Even restless students appreciated being listened to. I could see it in their eyes. The four-days eight-classes were a blessing to me as an artist. It helped me see that each piece I have done has a uniqueness that I have overlooked. Students also can relate to the "disappointment of how a work turns out." I find, if I can just set it aside and ignore it, and then sneak peeks at it over time, I can grow into it. Students are the same way.  KM

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