I painted this image while listening to news reports of terrorism, wars, and general atrocities I can’t mention here. I couldn’t help but think about the quote “Evil prevails when good people do nothing”. I considered how much strength and determination it takes to stand up and do the right thing in the face of fear. Years ago, The Greatest Generation saved the world by standing up. Today, it seems we don’t have the same fortitude we once did.
I deal with these themes in my latest painting, Crossroads, and I think it makes a wonderful story starter for students to explore the idea of standing up in the face of adversity. Use this image to start a conversation about how your kids feel.
Teachers often use art in their classrooms, but I think parents can benefit from looking at art as well. Often parents want to talk to their kids about important, yet uncomfortable topics. Art can be that bridge to start and further a conversation.
Children face the same- maybe even worse- forms of anxiety and fear that adults face. I say worse because they do not have the life experience to gain perspective on the immediate situation. A six year old can’t look back to previous experiences to learn from. He or she must deal with he adversity head on and make decisions as best they can.
This writing prompt features a somewhat ominous bird in the foreground, with architecture and figures in the distance. Some people moved away and separated themselves from the group, while others run.
Take a careful look at the details, colors and textures. Use the following questions to help guide your discussion with your children.
Art can be used to discuss fear and feelings. It can also be used to inspire creative writing. For more information you can read my article on art and creative writing featured on Edutopia.org.