Henri Rousseau

One of the things I discuss in my paper is the value of self-taught art, primitive art, and naieve art in the classroom. My students love hearing about artists who taught themselves; I think it somehow makes those artists more accessible to them. Because, hey, a self-taught artist has a lot in common with one of my students. They have talent, excitement, and drive. . .And that is enough.

Recently, we studied Henri Rousseau (a kid told me “another guy from France?? which made me realize I should diversify the curriculum perhaps for that grade). The kids really, really, really loved this unit. They loved that Henri had never been to a jungle, but still painted the jungle. The sorts of concepts used by self-taught artists are SO accessible to students -especially in the elementary classroom.

My 3rd graders used markers, collage, paint, chalk and oil pastels to make these pieces. We focused on foreground/background, a higher picture plane, and overlapping.