Think of a habitat and animal that you wish to protect; the habitat and animal could be close to your own home or from somewhere far away. Using painting, collaging, and drawing techniques, the following activity will help you create a mixed-media collage that shows your chosen habitat and animal in a healthy, nourished state.
Ronald Lockett, Poison River, 1988. Wood, tin, nails, stones, industrial sealing compound, and enamel on wood, 48 1/2 x 61 1/4 in. (123.2 x 155.6 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, American Art Trust Fund, and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2017.1.35. © 2020 Estate of Ronald Lockett / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Process photographs by Jennie Smith
Like the artist Ronald Lockett, many of us have concerns for the environment. In Lockett’s Poison River (1988), enamel paint—red, white, and black, with hints of blue—whirl around the surface in a way that is reminiscent of an oil spill. The title of the piece is Poison River, but can you see a river? The poison from the oil spill may make it challenging to see the life within the water. If you look very carefully, you may be able to make out a tree, deer, or fish.
- Large sheet of paper, such as watercolor paper
- Large brush
- Various papers for collage elements, such as newspaper, tracing paper, magazines, rice paper, paper bags, construction paper, or old maps/book pages
- Drawing tools of your choice, such as pencils, color pencils, pens, pastels, markers, or crayons
Questions to Consider
- What habitat will you create?
- What animal(s) will call that habitat home?
- Once you know what you’re going to create, what colors and shapes will you collage to create your habitat and animal(s)?
- What time of day will you show in your habitat? Early morning? Midday? Late evening?
- Where will your animal be in the composition? Flying high in the sky? Burrowing under a pile of leaves?