Mastering Abstaction

This week I am thankful I survived middle school and don’t ever have to repeat that stage in life again. Hallelujah!  Think about it…. we should all saying a little prayer on that.  

Luckily (or not) when you’re that age you’re basically oblivious to life’s potential. I was fortunate to get a little reminder when I started volunteering in the middle school art room. Last week I got the opportunity to teach my very own art lesson to the 6th and 7th graders.  I was so excited I actually prepared for it! For this procrastinator that flies by the seat of her pants, that is a BIG deal.  I have never thought of myself as a teacher or had any desire to be a teacher so the thought of planning out a lesson was definitely odd for me.  But I was really looking forward to sharing my knowledge and lending my insight to help these kids “get out of the box” so to speak.  Overall the lesson went good.  I introduced them to abstraction and expressionism. I showed them some of my own work and examples of another famous expressionist  Wassily Kandinsky.  The following are the examples of mine I used for the class……  I loved hearing all the inquiring questions about them, some funny, some serious.  Kids are honest. 




I really enjoyed seeing where each kid went in their abstraction. I could see how difficult it was for them to think about painting… nothing essentially.   At that age they are all about recreating what they see and if it is good or not, by judge of their peers of course.  I have been asked multiples times, “But are you a good artist?”  So for them to just paint, that was hard to grasp.  Some of them took off, others struggled to not paint a scene. A couple ended up with a thick brown mess.  At one point I could see one little gentleman struggling, he finally asked if he could add white to his palette, I asked why he needed white.  He responded that he needed some clouds.  The look on his face after I showed him how to manipulate his paint to get the white of the paper to show through and create the look of clouds was priceless.  It’s those moments of “out of boxness” that I love about this new little venture. To top off my day in the classroom I got to work one on one with a young guy who had some special needs and he got to come work in the art room for the very first time.  He was very nervous at first but after painting for 30 minutes he was radiating with joy.  Art can change lives.  It’s true.   I have just barely dipped my toe and I am ready to dive in!

Leave a Comment

Let us know your thoughts on this post but remember to place nicely folks!