Did you ever imagine yourself as an appliance, animal, or food item?
The students began by completing a worksheet that encouraged them to think about idiosyncratic aspects of their own nature. “A food worth getting up in the middle of the night to eat,” “My most useless ability,” and “An item of mine I would never loan to anyone” were among some of the ideas the students were led to ponder.
The students used these responses to generate a series of small sketches, combining some of those items with a physical trait or accessory of their own to develop several versions of self-representing “characters.” After selecting one “character” that they found the most compelling, the “most me,” they enlarged the cartoonish sketch into a large, dramatic painting.
It had been an otherwise normal day until the students received some bad news: someone had stolen all the paintbrushes! Luckily, with the techniques they picked up from Jackson Pollock and Donald Baechler, they were able to do some damage control. Listening to upbeat music to encourage them to use their whole bodies, not just their hands and wrists, the students made bold, expressionistic marks with paintbrush substitutes such as hair combs, sponges, and plastic cups with which to spatter paint. With these odd implements and the magic of painting, the students brought some odd characters to life.