Submitted by:Woody Duncan - Retired Art Teacher - Kansas (son to be New Mexico) Unit: Printmaking Native American Art - symbolism Grade level: Middle School through High School (adaptable to elementary)
Woody textured a Plexiglas plate with Acrylic Modeling Paste. Then he cut the shapes from light cardboard (like Tag board - wax paper or Acetate works well too) and rolled them and the background plate with colors of Oil Paint for ink. Soak Printmaking Paper and blot dry. Using an Etching Press, he ran the plate through the press several times moving and flipping the objects each time. This method also works rubbing the back of paper with spoon if you do not have a press (paper needs to be soaked for that method, too. Japanese Rice Paper needs to be spritzed with water for spoon printing)
Note: All three prints are the same size - top two were reduced to save server space.
A similar effect can be achieved using Createx Monotype Colors or water colors on specially treated Plexiglas or Frosted Mylar. Stencils for printing could be wax paper, Frosted Mylar or Acetate. Mylar or Acetate would both have to be treated before rolling or painting. Paper stencils will work - but tear easily when trying to do multiple printings. Instructions to come.
Rock art is language and narrative (it is not just art - it is communication). The stories are not linear (are not read from left to right - top to bottom or any predetermined manner) - all images must be considered to know the story. One must look at whole body of images to read the story. Most images are on rocks that face the southeast - facing the rising sun. Often they are about Native myths and legends - or record events. Show a video that presents the content - bringing in anthropology and archeology. Have students adapt symbols from the southwest - or create their own symbols. Animals and figures should be simplified - cut outs not too close to the outside edges. Write a story to go with the symbols that are selected. The print will involve layering the symbols and moving them about. Two mono prints will be worked on at one time to create a diptych (more capable students may even work on three)
Video: K'uu T'ahn - Rockmarkings - Stories on Stone - Are They Art Or Language? One of the few places on earth where we can study petroglyphs in the context of a living culture is the North American Southwest. It is here among the Pueblo peoples that we can link rock markings with living oral tradition and begin to learn the meaning of these stories on stone. In this video, six noted experts explore the way of knowing "K'uu T'ahn - Rock Markings". Carol Patterson, Anthropologist/Author - Edward T Hall, Anthropologist/Author - Greg Cajete ,Indigenous Educator - Alfonso Ortiz, Professor of Anthropology - La Van Martineau, Native American Historian - Alan Watchman, Archaeometrist. A very well put together documentary - Running time 40min. Excellent video for middle school and up (geared more toward high school). Ties in science, social studies, language and art (watch video yourself first and take notes - you may be able to fast forward through some parts then). Also available from Art Video World (page 34 - where you can buy 3 videos and get one free - phone 1-800-644-3429 for catalog). See some Petroglyph casts (reproductions) available to purchase - very affordable. From Petroglyphtrail.com Note: Petroglyphtrail has Sandpainting: A Navajo Tradition on sale for $19.95 - learn about symbolism and colors.
Symbols of Native America - Over 1000 illustrations show the fascinating origins and meanings of 300 symbols and signs used by North American tribes. The magnificent variety of symbols are shown as they were used in pottery, clothing, masks, shields, totems, and other settings, carved, sewn, and painted.