Friday, May 2, 2014

Artistic Pursuits -TOS Review

the Curriculum for Creativity, is written by Brenda Ellis, homeschooling Mom and artist. We've appreciated other products this company has created, including, High School Book I.

We recently reviewed Sculpture Technique: Construct. The book includes 4 units:

Unit 1: Creating Form in Papermaking
Unit 2: Creating Planes in Cardboard
Unit 3: Creating Motion with Paper Mache
Unti 4: Creating Volume with Wire.

In addition to the units, the book include an entire section on The Intersection of Art and Craft, Evaluation and Answer Sheets, Course Descriptions, Templates, a Classroom Schedule and a List of Art Supplies. Included throughout are full color pictures, line drawings of how things should or could look, points to consider, how to get started, and detailed descriptions, complete with step-by-step visuals. 

 In other words, everything you need to create a credit worthy, high school art program. This is a self-guided program, based on the students work and the demands of the materials. Included are discussions about the Elements of Sculpture and how each unit relates to how one views and understands sculpture. The units are not sequential, meaning you can do them in any order you choose, that you have the materials for, or that speak to whatever else you are studying. 

My kids both spent time pouring over this book, reading, evaluating, asking questions. I one of those people who spends time mulling over things. I like to read or write or watch and then think and ponder. Spending time mulling, is a great educational pursuit, imho, becuase it allows your brain (mine anyway) to make connections, plan and evaluate. I love watching my kids go through the same process. This is one of those books, if you have kids even remotely inclined artisitically. They'll want to take it out, look it over, think about stuff, doodle or play with wire, and take it out again. Love that. 

Both Flower and Cub are very self directed artistically and spend tons of time creating and crafting on their own. They have also had some terrific art teachers  in the past, and have developed a clear sense of what what they are interested in artistically, so I really let them take the lead with this program. While I had a clear idea of what unit I thought we'd start on, they both surprised me and picked the Creating Planes in Cardboard unit, with the goal being to create an architectural landscape.

Flower spent hours, over a several day period crafting a forest, and included many natural elements, along with the paper. I'm not sure that this was clearly part of the lesson, but the cool thing was that the lesson got her creatively thinking about how to incorporate various elements into her landscape. She used paper, boxes, natural found objects (twigs, small branches), and crafted a garden area for some of the flower fairies that she's made in the past. Cub did Create with Planes but was far more interested in how the wire sculpture could assist him in weapon and battle gear construction. Not to worry, you'll be seeing more pictures of that in the future! In addition, we have several vitamin bottles that have been amended with toilet paper rolls and duct tape waiting to be paper mached on the back counter! ARTistic Pursuits are not over here at the Gracious Heart Homeschool! Don't you love it when learning goes beyond the lesson? 
This unit got both kids thinking and they continued the creative process by creating a cool architectural type "play-ground" for the kittens. The kittens enjoyed their "crib-scape" so much, there not much left to show you! I'm really o.k. with that, because as a long-time crafter and creator, I much prefer art that is practical and to be used! In other words, using art as a means to beautify our environment and enhance how we work, worship and play.

One of our oft-used family slogans, since Dr. Dh was in the military, has been to "improvise, adapt and overcome." Which is one of the best things about this particular unit on Sculpture Technique: Construct. It  teaches the kids to think creatively about what they have, how to re-purpose, re-consider and use creatively materials found around the house and how to think in new ways- either 1-dimensionally or 3-dimensionally with items that they are familiar with. In other words, it asks the student to  consider items in a dynamic, rather than static, manner. Which I love, because that, my friends, is the key to creativity. 

You are going to want to gather your supplies before you begin any of the units. Artistic Pursuits makes this easy, as they offer art supply kits directly on their web-site. 

The Construct book we used costs $47.95 and is recommended for students ages 11 - 18. 

In addition to books for high school, ARTistic Pursuits offers art curriculum for children ages pre-school through age 18. Check out the rest of their quality art education program! 

Sculpture Technique: Construct along with ARTistic Pursuits other fine books are an excellent addition to any home-school or co-op art setting, or for anyone interested in pursuing how to think more creatively and expansively in life. Perfect for those intimidated by incorporating art into their life and a terrific boost for those who have done a lot of art but are looking for more inspiration.  Highly recommended. 

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