Sunday, April 5, 2020

Project #11 - Mud Painting

Hello Fratney students and friends! The sun is shining today, so I went out into the garden, then realized this would be a good day for mud painting. I decided that the subject matter for my painting would be a still life that includes plants that the 5th grade Art Club and I had been talking about growing in our greenhouse. One of those plants is milkweed to attract Monarch butterflies. Milkweed plants are not growing yet this year, but I have some milkweed seed pods collected during Project #2 - Collecting Nature. We also talked about the Three Sisters (see vocabulary below), corn, climbing string beans and squash. I found squash and green beans at the grocery story, but corn is definitely not in season. I decided to use a little ceramic pot filled with lilly flowers made from corn husks.

Materials - Dirt, water, mixing tray (I used a recyclable lid), paintbrush, pen, paper

Monochromatic- One color used with varying tones from light to dark.

Still Life- An arrangement of objects on a tabletop for purposes of representing in a drawing, painting, photograph or other art media.

Milkweed- A herbaceous prairie plant with a milky sap that attracts several species of butterflies. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves, and monarch caterpillars eat the milkweed leaf before forming into a chrysalis.

The Three Sisters- Corn, climbing string beans and squash are considered the three sisters in an agricultural practice that dates back centuries in Mesoamerica. The practice migrated to several different North American groups, including the Wampanoag and the Iriquois. Grown together, the three plants provide mutual benefits.

1.  Get a small bowl of dirt from the garden and smash up the dirt as much as you can.
2.  Set up a still life using any objects that you like.
3.  Make a sketch of your still life with a pen or pencil.
4.  Practice painting with dirt and water in varying degrees from light to dark.
5.  Use the mud paint to add tonal value to your sketch.
6.  Admire your work!

Inspiration - This project was inspired by a colleague, Margaret Fish, an art teacher at Wedgwood Middle School in MPS. Thanks for letting me share your project here, Margaret. Here are some still shots from her project:

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