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Last March on my way to the National Art Education Convention in San Diego, California I had the opportunity to stop in Los Angeles to find inspiration at the Getty Museum.
The Getty Museum and organization has long served as inspiration for my teaching career. Visiting the art collection still inspires lessons months later. One unit recently completed in the Capitol of Creativity was inspired by a book I picked up in the museum book store, Art & Science: A Curriculum for k-12 Teachers. Many of the resources are available online including resource imagery.
My students looked at the Reproduction of Butterfly, Caterpillar, Moth, Insects, and Currants by Jan van Kessel and the work of John James Audubon. After discussing the art, the observation and documentation in the pieces students were challenged to observe and document insects, plants or birds of their choice. In a perfect experience it would be wonderful to bring animals in for life observation but we chose to research and use resources found online. Students chose animals/insects that they were interested in learning more about and completed a basic informational profile before starting their drawings. Students were encouraged to look closely at multiple images and captured the colors using watercolor pencils. Students gained observational skills and they all finished with a great sense of pride in their artistic creations. Check out some of our works on Artsonia.