Vintage Still Life Painting

Despite attempting to be a minimalist of sorts, I am so thankful I have saved my best inherited and collected vintage objects because selfishly, I can watch my students paint my belongings. On my way to the classroom, I just grabbed a box and loaded it with odds and ends. The kids were really excited for this display of weird old things. They loved the objects I chose and they worked so hard we had to take two days to work on our paintings. I was impressed with their dedication and even some of the rowdier boys displayed amazing attention spans and really excellent drawing skills. I directed the children to draw big so we didn't have teensy objects on such a large page. They were encouraged to choose what objects they wanted to focus on in their paintings, imagine their own patterns and add their own personal touch otherwise. We used an odd type of tempera paint that dries shiny, small-to-medium brushes and a medium-weight paper. I thought the results were incredible!

 Orange flowers in a mason jar, a bowl of lemons and 1960's plastic flowers on a floral-patterned shawl, along with a globe and a metal pitcher from my grandmother, make up the objects the kids observed.

Orange flowers in a mason jar, a bowl of lemons and 1960's plastic flowers on a floral-patterned shawl, along with a globe and a metal pitcher from my grandmother, make up the objects the kids observed.

 This student wanted to include all of the objects, but she rearranged them in her own way. Note, she put the flowers in the pitcher, rather than the jar. 

This student wanted to include all of the objects, but she rearranged them in her own way. Note, she put the flowers in the pitcher, rather than the jar. 

 This student is from Australia. She always wears Aussie T's and talks about the region, so of course she had to highlight the continent in red. She drew a flower pattern into the pitcher with the back end of her brush.

This student is from Australia. She always wears Aussie T's and talks about the region, so of course she had to highlight the continent in red. She drew a flower pattern into the pitcher with the back end of her brush.

 These girls are hard at work creating patterns and painting flowers.  

These girls are hard at work creating patterns and painting flowers.  

 This student attentively detailed this vase of flowers. The final results were delicate and varied flower petals and stems.

This student attentively detailed this vase of flowers. The final results were delicate and varied flower petals and stems.

 The first painting in this post is now nearly finished. She wants to add a background and more depth next week, so that means she will be working a  third  day. I love their dedication!

The first painting in this post is now nearly finished. She wants to add a background and more depth next week, so that means she will be working a third day. I love their dedication!

 Lots of primary colors here. This student was very specific with her vision, so I just let her do her thing. I just love this painting.

Lots of primary colors here. This student was very specific with her vision, so I just let her do her thing. I just love this painting.

 This student was really creative with her background. I was really impressed with that rainbow roll (a printmaking term). She imagined her own carrier for her flowers.  

This student was really creative with her background. I was really impressed with that rainbow roll (a printmaking term). She imagined her own carrier for her flowers.  

Kids work so intuitively between how they compose their paintings, to their color choices. It's really helpful for me to witness that for my own practice. During the last few weeks, my paintings have been so much more intuitive and serendipitous and I'll thank the kids for that.