Boundaries: The boys had to represent a boundary somehow. Cameron kicked the door to show breaking down boundaries (he wanted to actually kick the door down, but I vetoed that). Fritz connected the boundary between the floor and the guinea pig cage with Duplos. Adrian showed himself refusing an orange because eating one is a boundary he is not willing to cross (he is allergic to oranges).
Imaginary Friend: The boys had to create an imaginary friend and give it a back story. Cameron’s friend is an unnamed Asian owl that does not speak English and is an unemployed vagrant. As this owl is imaginary, Cameron chose not to represent him in physical form. Fritz drew a rattlesnake named Jerald. This rattlesnake is always paying attention and reminds him that dreams are not real. Adrian adamantly refused to come up with anything, though he stood on his head on the couch for quite some time thinking about the fact that he wasn’t going to even try to come up with an imaginary friend.
The Muster: The boys had to create a uniform for whatever cause they would fight for. Cameron would fight for the right to sleep all day and Adrian would fight for the right to watch YouTube videos all day. Fritz, however, actually took the assignment seriously and made a badge for his uniform. He said he would fight for the rights of all people no matter what their gender or race.
Collaborate With Son Lux: The boys had to listen to a song by musician and composer Son Lux (Ryan Lott) and use it for inspiration to collaborate with him. They chose to make a stop motion animation, Boom Goes the Dynamite, with 7 seconds of the song as the soundtrack. The little guys made the backdrop and Cameron made the clay characters.
Whitescapes: The boys had to find two white objects and compare the colors. Then they had to change the light source and compare them again and name the colors they saw.
Surface Test: The boys each chose a bit of ground that appealed to them and made a rubbing of it.
Embarrassing Object: The boys had to create something that made them uncomfortable. Cameron’s represents anxiety in social situations. Fritz sculpted a pile of poop. Adrian said he couldn’t think of anything that makes him uncomfortable.
Become a Sci-Fi Character: The boys had to create something that they could pretend would make them a sci-fi character. They all decided to use aluminum foil. Cameron made a helmet that protected him from craziness. Fritz made a super powerful armband with an antenna so he could pick up on long distance transmissions. Adrian made super sunglasses that made it so he could see all the way around the earth and back to the back of his head.
Paper Weavings: The boys selected the colors and pattern and made woven paper mats. Adrian named Cameron’s weaving Pie. Fritz called his Randomness. Adrian said his had no name and he literally meant that there was no name for it. So Unnamed it is!
Self-Shape: They drew a shape that represented their bodies and then added color and patterns to it. Adrian really, really disliked this one so he barely completed the assignment.
Object Empathy: The boys each found an object that they felt sorry for and then changed it somehow to make it better. Cameron noticed a little crack in our windshield and place a band-aid over it. Fritz found a broken piece of slate and taped it back together. Adrian found a pencil he got at a birthday party and sharpened it so it could be used.
Make It Break It: The boys each created something and then had a brother break it. The ruined object or the act of ruining it became part of their work of art. Cameron and Adrian built cardboard creations. Fritz stabbed Cameron’s and Cameron burned Adrian’s. Fritz built a Magna-Tile building and Adrian smashed it. The pictures above are pre-destruction.
Breaking Cameron’s creation:
Breaking Fritz’s creation:
Breaking Adrian’s creation:
It took a bit to get it to catch fire. It was pretty windy out.
Once it caught fire it was quite a roaring one.
Fake Flyer: For this one the boys had to create a flyer for something that doesn’t exist. They decided to make one for when Donald Trump makes good on his (also fake) campaign promise to blow up the moon so he can sell the cheese for $199 per ounce. They all pitched in to make up the content and design of the flyer.
Blow Up: We took a picture from our deck and then spent three minutes looking at the picture. Then we went back and identified something we had not noticed the billions of times we’d been out there and took a picture of just that specific thing.
Caption Contest: We printed a picture provided by The Art Assignment and added a caption to it. Cameron wrote “Missing Man” in the shape of a man standing in the boots. Fritz wrote “Lonely boots that got lost in time.” Adrian just wrote “Hi.”
Constructed Landscape: We considered what sorts of things could be considered a landscape and then created some. Cameron used our dog and called it Dog Mountain. Fritz drew a picture and set it against the wall and then photographed it from several angles and picked the one he liked best. Adrian set up some Wii figures against a pillow, took a bunch of pictures, and picked the angle he liked best.
Present Perimeter: We learned about the Present Perimeter System (1 hexagon, 3 half hexagons, 3 rhombuses, and 3 triangles) and created works using those shapes. Cameron used paper while Fritz and Adrian chose clay.
For at this year we are doing The Art Assignment. Here are some of the assignments we did in August and September.
Vehicular Palette: After discussing the makes, models, and colors of the cars and minivans I have owned since I was 17, Cameron and Adrian both chose to draw a vehicle using all the colors. Cameron’s colored his in while Adrian just did the outline. Fritz took a more abstract view of the assignment and drew sidewalks and roads in the colors of the cars I have owned and said that as there get to be more and more cars, more roads and fewer sidewalks are needed.
Conjure a Studio: For this assignment, they were told to create their ideal art studio in a real place, model, or drawing. Adrian drew his studio freefloating in space. Fritz drew his in the middle of a forest. Cameron decided to use clay to create a model of his studio complete with a flower in a vase on the desk.
Measuring Histories: The assignment was to create some sort of art that could be measured in some way that spoke to them about history (their own or general). Adrian glued corks together to the length he thought his fingernails will grow in his lifetime. Fritz built a Duplo tower taller than himself (over 4 1/2 feet tall!) because he has always loved building very tall towers. Cameron dripped candle wax in lines on a piece of paper. He didn’t know exactly why, but it’s what made sense to him after watching the video.
Never Seen, Never Will: For this assignment, they had to select something that is real, but they have never seen and probably never will in their lifetime. Adrian chose to draw another galaxy. Fritz drew a kracken (he is convinced they really do exist). Cameron drew the inner workings of a power plant.
The final artist we studied this year was Edgar Degas. The boys painted their own (and rather very abstract) version of The Bellelli Family.
They raced to put together a puzzle of The Ballet Rehearsal on Stage. Cameron won as is typical.
They created works of art in the style of Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Cameron and Fritz completed theirs with clay, but Adrian gave up and painted instead.
That completes our art study for the year. We’ve really learned a lot (and Cameron’s art skills have improved quite a bit) over the last two years with Confessions of a Homeschooler World’s Greatest Artists.