This was a collaborative project between 12th grade Art and English classes where students chose a piece of art to reproduce and then wrote the 1000 word story that emerged from the painting as they studied it. Although the story didn’t have to be biographical, students (and teachers) researched their artist, asking the following essential question: How does an artist’s life show up in his/her art, and what kinds of stories might emerge from a close reading of the artist’s art, life, and environment? After multiple workshops and revisions, the finished products were collected in a book that is available for purchase through Amazon.
By linking a creative writing assignment to an introductory painting exercise, we noticed the students’ efforts become deeper and more purposeful, giving greater significance to the experience and effectiveness of reproducing a work of art. The writing informed the reproduction of the painting and vice versa. Researching the artist, the time, the history behind the work and the era, helped students to become more familiar with the context in which the artist worked, thus allowing students to make use of the stories that naturally emerge after spending a significant amount of time with an image. Very few students had trouble coming up with an original story based on their painting.
It was hard to get 1000 words but it challenged us to develop a story within those limits and tested our writing skills.
I enjoyed the freedom to write about and create my own world around a piece of art that I found interesting.
The fact that I had to keep my story at a thousand words challenged me to figure out what was actually crucial to my story.
To buy the book on Amazon visit: http://goo.gl/kOYNoU