5th grade Heather Hansen Kinetic Mirrored Partner Drawings

Never did we ever (in the art classes I’ve taught or attended)…

• draw with chalk pastel in both hands at the same time • draw where one hand mirrors the other hand • draw where one artist mirrors another artist’s movements • use triple or quadruple sized drawing paper

…until this project.

I was intrigued with this drawing process when I saw Don Masse, Bethany Thiele, @mizzz_lee and other art teachers posting about it. And it’s always a bonus to find an artist to study who is alive and well.

Heather Hansen is a New Orleans based dancer and performance artist who creates art using her arms, legs, shoulders, wrists, waist and her whole body as a graceful, dance powered paintbrush.

On a gigantic canvas or sheet of paper, Heather Hansen rotates and rolls her body in yoga inspired movements to “Spirograph” her coordinated movements into gestural charcoal drawings.

Sometimes she creates her performance art in an art gallery as a live event. Her drawing resulting from her performance art serves as a poetic kinesthetic journal entry of events.

We had a class discussion connecting making snow angels to Heather Hansen’s drawing process. We looked at and discussed her drawings, then we watched some video clips of her drawing in action.

We exercised our new double handed drawing skills by students mirroring my hand movements as a class, with their hands copying my hand movements in the air.

We then broke into partner air hand movement mirroring.

After that, we taped paper down and practiced wrapping our brains around the unusual sensation of synchronizing your right hand with your left hand and drawing with both hands at the same time with a pencil, first by yourself then with a partner.

Once we felt more comfortable with the process, we taped down large black sheets of paper and created a partner mirrored chalk pastel drawing.

Each set of drawing artists had a leader and a follower, then they traded roles with a new set of chalk pastels layered over each other.

This project is a keeper. So glad others shared it.

I love how this project gave us new ways to explore. This creative artist experimented to discover a new way to hold her chalk pastels as she drew.

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