Fruits in the Art Classroom

Education is always an interdisciplinary process. Math, Science, Art, and English are learned in the kitchen. History, Math, and Science are often found in a laboratory science class. Math and Science often go together for nutrition.

Wikipedia defines it best, “Interdisciplinarity involves the combining of two or more academic disciplines into one activity.”

Art teachers may want to adopt a lesson that encourages their students to learn about color, value, shape, composition, and health at the same time! Here is one that I did to accomplish that goal:

In a study of abstract art we find many artists who deconstructed something to make a design. The most famous of course is Piet Mondrian and his work with trees.

Here is one with apples. The first image is an abstract painting with gouache that is inspired by deconstructed apples. I cut the apples and peeled them to find a variety of shapes and to study their colors. Then I produced the abstract image. This is all in pursuit of my Visual Art Certificate with UC Berkeley Extension as part of my commitment to keeping all of the products up to date with the most current styles in the art and graphic art world. I am brimming with ideas that will definitely come to fruition in 2018 and beyond!

But something happened in the studio – the students including myself began eating the apples I had in my bag and the entire classroom was filled with apples. Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the US and there are many interesting parts to them. So an art teacher could have a lot of fun using them along with their shapes and colors in drawing projects, abstract painting projects, and more of course. The apples did not go to waste! If you see the last photo I made a baked applesauce that consisted of 8 apples, 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I brought all to boil on the stove and then baked them for 20 minutes in a 400 degree F oven. When they were cool I mashed them with a potato masher.



Fruit: Nature’s Fast Food

I’ve got a fun new poster in the store, and today I want to share a little bit about it with you!

First things first, here’s my latest creation:

I was inspired by the fresh produce available last summer at one of my local markets, so when I got home I couldn’t resist setting up a quick still life to highlight these tasty stone fruits at their peak.

Imagine my surprise when this print won 1st place in the Open Print category of the 2016 Annual Print Competition at the Palo Alto Camera Club. Ron Herman was the judge, and I was completely floored by his decision.

Soon after this picture won, I decided to feature it in my gallery showing this past winter. The showing was titled “A Visual Feast” and took place at the Avenue 25 Gallery in San Mateo California. In fact, if you look closely, you can see this photo hanging with a few other favorites in the picture below.*

I was so proud of this original photo that I decided to turn it into a poster. But what to call it?

I wanted to steer clear of additional artistic commentary and let the image speak for itself, so I focused my brainstorming on key health lessons and nutrition topics. Then, out of the blue, it hit me. Fruit is nature’s fast food! I often grab a peach or a handful of cherries on my way out the door or to snack on as I work at my desk, and I realized that these snacking habits had — over time — gradually replaced my reliance on fast food. I’m sure that this change in my routine was great news for my health, and so now I want to share that epiphany with your clients in order to encourage them to also change their habits.

And that’s how this poster came to be. How will you use it?

* This image is copyright 2017 by Len Cook

And here are some other resources that can help make your life easier…