Amate Resources

"Bark Painting"

At Lava Ridge, we try to celebrate the talents of all of our students. In a recent class, several students joined me in the Computer Lab where we explored the joys of "bark painting." Here are some of the drawings:

Brittany, Carolyn, Carissa, Cassie, Erin, Jaimason, and Josh

Rather than have the students reproduce the image I had created (see bird above), I asked the children to draw fanciful images of their own choosing, hopefully, highlighting the world in which they live. OK, ok, so that was the idea. Actually, according to an article I found on the web "much of the amate paper goes to villages in the state of Guerrero where artisans who once decorate pottery, now paint imaginative scenes of everyday life, fanciful birds, animals, and flowers on this special paper." Gee, I figured I'd never seen a bird like the one I created, why should I expect them to duplicate mine?

Students exploring "bark painting" in a fourth grade art room in Highland Park Elementary School in Austin, Texas displayed their drawings on their school's web site. Their teacher had a couple of different ways to create their drawings...if only we had more hours in a day!

Budding artists might want to take a look at these images created by students. Also, the first couple of images on this page, though a little out of focus, are still good examples teachers might want to share with their students.

Our lesson was adapted from a plan I found in an old Instructor many years ago ( I'm bad...I can't find the article or the copy of the magazine! ). However, I found a pretty slick lesson plan by Raanel Steel although the one bibliographical web link is old ( I was able to use some of the key words to do a search at that site that did come up though I didn't have enough time to dig that deep.).

And finally, I discovered some interesting facts about bark paper and a different way in which amate paper can be used to create artwork. Please check out the "amate picado" at this site.

Posted: 30 May 1997
Revised: 29 June 1999
Send Mail To: John Aubry
Electronic Technician