Botanical Prints

As a visiting artist and teacher from the Banana Factory of Bethlehem, PA, I sought to introduce the 3-5 grade students of the Hispanic Center something new and exciting: a printing press.  
Mary Margaret Briggs's botanical monoprints inspired this lesson. 
I emphasized design through shape, order and size. The students learned through experimenting with arrangements that often less is more.

This lesson was stretched into three sessions. 
Day 1: Experiment with color an test various pieces of nature for clarity of shape and texture.
Day 2: Emphasize arrangement and design, and planning ahead to incorporate more than one color. 
Day 3: Today, we talked about balance. We looked at the Yin Yang, which clearly demonstrates visual balance. I introduced collage, and showed examples of Brigg's collage prints. We noticed how balance does not always have to be symmetrical--and sometimes making something off-balance on purpose creates visual interest. 

 I demonstrated how to use a rectangular template and divide it into smaller compartments by drawing with a ruler (don't forget to number each square so it can fit back together!) The students cut the templates into smaller squares and rectangles, and used it to choose interesting sections of his or her prints (tracing it, and cutting the print). Using a template helped the students arrange the prints back into the original shape. 

Beautiful example of balance
The piece in the middle sets this collage off
Simple is good too
Some of the students had a hard time putting the images back together. My guess is that they did not number the template to keep the pieces in order. 
Beauty in repetition 
A wonderful example of clean tiling
This lesson ensured success on all levels of artistic talent. I love doing projects that emphasize experimenting!  It is good to get our hands dirty!


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