Place and Time in Spring
Often we witness spring’s emergence while we focus on the tulip
garden. When the tulips begin to grow we know the seasons are changing.
We notice that days are longer and warmer, birds are migrating through,
and change is happening everywhere. Why not capture more of this wondrous
time of year?
Leslie, an artist and Johnson State College Art professor, recently
shared some of his works of art with Journey North. Leslie’s art
takes the form of books – not your normal books, but art books that
tell many stories with the use of sequential paintings or photographs.
His books are not only delightful to hold and enjoy but each tells a story.
photograph in Ken
Leslie's Art Book, Space and Time, was taken a week
You can share
his ideas for your own classroom art books that capture something special
about spring in your neighborhood. There are many ways you can design
and make your own book arts, but here are some basics to get you started.
square piece of heavy paper, cardboard or cloth (the compass)
or journal for recording
Stand in the middle of your playground and slowly pirouette in a circle.
Now try this holding a camera. Together with your classmates you can take
turns to capture the unfolding of spring in a series of pictures taken
from the exact same spot each day. Use a large compass to stand on, and
with steady hand, aim the camera straight ahead to capture each snapshot.
A tripod for holding the camera steady and level each time will help make
the overlapping photo series fit together better in the end.
Keep a journal of the process adding entries about technical details (who
took what picture, degree, and time) and phenology details (springtime
details, like weather, insects or animals, and plants).
Make a Compass
a permanent marker draw a large circle on the heavy paper, cloth or
cardboard and place an “X” at the center point. Now draw
lines intersecting the “X.” You will need to label this
compass with degree marks from 0 to 360.
your math skills: First
divide 360 degrees by the number of students participating (example:
360 divided by 20 students = 18 degrees). In our example you would need
to have degree marks labeled every 18 degrees.
- The compass
should be placed in the same location, facing the same direction each
time you use it to capture a picture.
for Picture Capturing
Use these suggestions for your art book, or brainstorm something uniquely
yours using the basic concepts.
Photo-a-day until Spring Comes Your Way
Go outside daily around the same time and capture a picture. With each
picture turn a few more degrees around the center point until you reach
the 360 degree mark and you are back to the starting position.
Photo an Hour
At even intervals throughout the day snap a picture from the center
point. Begin early and decide how often you will capture a picture.
Use your math skills: (x hours in the school
day) divided by (# students participating) = time intervals between
Round a Circle
Try capturing a series of pictures all at the same time. Do this once
a week while spring emerges. Assemble and compare each week’s
series and look for similarities and differences in them.
the Art Book
When the film is developed, assemble the photos - overlapping to fit,
in a circle or linear design. Think creatively about how you can “publish”
or present the ideas from your pictures. Study them for details that reveal
the emerging spring. Add poetry, a story or descriptions directly from
When you have completed your projects, share them on a bulletin board,
or by inviting others to see and hear about how you captured spring this
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