Sunday, November 15, 2015

O is for Open-ended


o·pen-end·ed

(ō′pən-ĕn′dĭd)
adj.
1. Not restrained by definite limits, restrictions, or structure.
2. Allowing for or adaptable to change.
3. Allowing for a spontaneous, unstructured response: an open-ended question.

This month in my painting and drawing classes, my lessons prompts and rules are open-ended. In other words, I set some rules but leave the choice of subject or pattern or color to my students. They tell me often how much they love this freedom. An open-ended assignment means there are no wrong answers, no one way to work, and many options for expressing ideas. 

Open-ended assignments are a little daunting at first, and then an idea will hit. "Can I do this?" "I don't know ... are you able to do this?" 

They are a way to generate many ideas and explore design elements. This assignment was to create four images, on one page. Each had to follow the same "recipe": 
    3 Triangles, any size
    5 squiggly lines (squiggly to be interpreted by the artist)
    7 circles
    COLORS; red yellow and blue. White for blending if desired and sharpie for outlines.

The results that come from these instructions are strikingly unique. It is so much fun, at the end of class, to look at all the ideas that have come to life on our papers. We are going to do this again next week - but in a new medium and with a new instruction added for a fun twist.

Open-ended assignments are definitely an opportunity for my students, and for me, to discover what we want to create, to stretch our imaginations and learn new techniques - all at the same time. 

The art of this page includes mine (at the top) - I did a full page in prep for the class and then "doubled the recipe" on one to see what would appear. Then I colored it.  Notice how the sky treatment reflects the one in my H is for Hippie post.

 I loved that the kids had the time to complete their full pages. I think they are beautiful. And, they truly demonstrate the idea that Creativity is Intelligence at Play.