My November art class students are creating pieces inspired by two Portland, Oregon artists, Jesse Reno and Jennifer Mercede. Both artists have been described as primitive, outsider, free spirited, and spontaneous. I find myself increasingly drawn to this type of art.
To create our pieces, we first decided if we wanted a warm or cool palette for our background. We used cotton balls or fingers (a signature Reno technique) to create an expressive base using acrylics. While these dried the children chose between a hummingbird or giraffe to create on long black construction paper using black oil pastel and then chalk pastels. (Jennifer Mercede's giraffe and hummingbird are just two whimsical creatures that have been heavily pinned on Pinterest.) More details can be added with oil pastels. The creatures are cut out and glued on the painted backgrounds. Next week the children can decide to blend in some chalk pastel colors to their background, (which I did with my example) add doodles or words with thin Sharpies, (this is common in the works of both Reno and Mercede) or leave as is. More pieces to post from my 1st through 4th grade students.