Monday, October 1, 2012

Koru Spiral Plant Paintings inspired by Raewyn Harris

Fourth graders at Wood End and Birch Meadow are learning about artist Raewyn  Harris from New Zealand and her paintings inspired by the Maori people of New Zealand.  Props to Mrs. Brown-Hemenway Art Teacher in Framingham, MA for this lesson.View the lesson at this link.  Thanks Mrs. Brown for sharing your lessons!

We began by talking about what a "koru" was.  We learned that it is a type of fern and the "koru" is actually the spiral in which a new fern grows in.  The Maori people of New Zealand believe that the spiral is significant because it means the unfolding of new life or a new beginning. 

We also talked about artist Raewyn Harris.  She is an art teacher and artist in New Zealand. She loves the land she lives in and is inspired by the people and the things around her to create art.  Read her bio here

He took all of these things we learned and applied it to creating artwork inspired by "koru" plants, the Maori people, and Raewyn Harris.  Here is what we've come up with so far....

By: Joanna C. (BMS)

By: Gavin P.  (BMS)
We started by drawing in pencil and then we are outlining in India ink.  We then will paint with watercolor.  We are using 90lb. drawing paper cut at 11x16 inches. Before we paint, we will learn about some watercolor techniques, like wet on wet, gradient washes, resist, applying salt, color mixing and learning how to pick up paint with a dry brush.  I'l post when finished!



  1. Applying salt? Explain please

    1. When you sprinkle salt on the watercolor paint, it creates a starburst effect when it is dry. The paint is drawn to the salt which also creates texture. Unfortunately, it is not archival, but stil fun to do! See this image: