Saturday, October 26, 2013

What month is it?

This week held a new event every day. It was very busy and kept me, as well as students on their toes.  Needless to say, by the end of the week when I was helping students with Christmas cards and then decorating for the Halloween party, I was a slightly confused about what month it was!

Monday: This past Monday was a 2 o'clock dismissal. I normally do not teach on Monday, but I do try to attend as many faculty meetings as I can when we have our early dismissal days. Well, I was on my way into school when Mr. Chance's truck decided it was not going to work. I was unable to attend the meeting so he could have my car and make his way to the National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This ended up being a blessing in disguise however. I was able to create an example for the new K4 project that we will be starting next week (super excited about it!) as well as grade all of the finished projects (many of those grades will be coming home in the Tuesday folder).

Tuesday: We did not have school this past Tuesday. All of the faculty attended a technology in-service at another school in town. It was very informational and I have several ideas for the future. This coming week, the 1st and 2nd will be finishing their projects and working on critiques (pictures to come!) and the 4th and K4 will be busy working on hieroglyphs and new projects.

Wednesday: This was the only "normal" day this week. The 3rd grade started a new project about Leonardo da Vinci. I have found that many students have heard about him, as well as his works "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper". I decided to focus this project on his horse drawings and statue. Most of the class, this past week, was spent discussing Leo, as well as the requirements and options of this project. Next week, when students have their ideas sketched, I will explain what we are doing in a little more detail.
 The 6th grade worked on redoing their vases. They were able to trace their vase, as well as apply all of the oil pastel. I will be helping students this week by applying the layer of black tempera...that way next week they will be ready to etch!
The K4 listened to the book "Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes". LOVE THIS BOOK! After the conclusion of the book, we reviewed color and discussed sketching. Students spent Wednesday practicing drawing Pete. Next week, we will be starting our actual project, which will be a Pete the Cat collage!
The K5 did not attend art this week due to their program practice. They will be continuing to work on their Blue Dog artworks when they come up to the art room next week.

Thursday: Thursday started out with a lot of prep. I spent most of the morning cutting paper.

During the afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend the Hispanic Heritage Celebration program. Students did a wonderful job presenting information, dancing, singing, and sharing their talents! Good Job Everyone!

Friday: Every year around this time, I work with students to create our annual Christmas card fundraiser. For the past 3 years, we have simply drawn our ideas and colored them with colored pencils. Well, this year I decided to change things up a bit. I wanted to teach the students an art skill in addition to creating their card. Well, this year we are doing a collage, as well as a little bit of weaving! Over the next two weeks, students in grades 1-6 will be creating their card designs. This week, the 3rd grade created theirs!

The week wrapped up with our annual Halloween party. We had a blast!!! I love seeing everyone, students and parents alike, dressed up in their costumes! Mr. Chance and I went as the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen from Tim Burton's version of "Alice in Wonderland"! We had so much fun and are looking forward to next year. We have already figured out our costumes :)

Next week should return to normal. Many students will be working on critiques, which I will share a bit about during next week's post, while others will be starting new things. Hope everyone has a Happy and Safe Halloween!!!

Finished Artworks!

As promised, here are some of our finished artworks. Today, I have works from the K4, K5, 3rd, and 5th. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Mystery in the Art Room

Yeah, I decided to go ahead and post tonight instead of resting and waiting till tomorrow. I'm a geek...sorry :)

So, lots happening in the Art Room. Starting with the K4! We just finished our second project this past week. I can't believe how great these projects look! Every project I have given the K4, they have exceeded my expectations. Makes me a happy art teacher. I have one of the finished ones to show you today. I will be taking pictures of all of the students' art this coming week to share.

The K5 started a new project this week based on the work of George Rodrigue. I worked with students on Wednesday and showed them step-by-step how to draw his famous "Blue Dog". They really did a nice job! At first, there were several students that were concerned that their dog "didn't look like yours, Mrs. Chance!" I really stressed to them that the wonderful thing about art is the differences. Art shows how unique and special they are. After that, I was happy to see that students started adding some of there own touches. (Sorry about the picture quality. I do not have the best lighting in my house.)

On a side note, I did NOT forget about posting the pictures of the finished K5 ice cream cones. I PROMISE! These artworks are about 2 1/2 feet long and every picture I have taken, I have hated. I don't want to share these in a way that takes away from how well students did. I have another experiment that I will be trying out tomorrow. Cross your fingers that this one works.

About 75% of the first graders have finished their first project. We will be wrapping those up this week, so pictures will be coming soon. To hold you over til then, here is a sneak peek!

I do not have pictures of the 2nd or 3rd to share with you this week. They are so close to finishing. I will hopefully have pictures to post by the weekend of the finished artworks. (Sorry if this post is sounding like a broken record. Seems like everyone got done at the same time!)

The 4th grade has been playing with metallic markers this week. I was a little disappointed that I could not find any metallic colored pencils...ANYWHERE!!! It wasn't long ago when you could go to any store and find stacks of them. Now they are gone...poof....nothing. I was lucky to find some metallic markers. I wish that the color was a little more clear (they all look a little on the silver side), but I think that they added a lot to the students' art.

5th grade also finished their artworks this week. We will be placing them on a construction paper background this week and then they will be ready for their close up!

Now...what you all have been waiting for...drum roll please....The Art Room Mystery!

If you have been following my blog, you know that the 6th grade has been working on Greek Vases. We began by applying oil pastel to a drawn vase and covered it with acrylic paint after it had been colored solidly. The idea was to have students etch a design into the acrylic paint using a toothpick to reveal the oil pastel underneath. Essentially, scratch art.

Here's the deal, I did this project 3...YES 3...times this summer. I do not do projects with my students that I have not tried out first. I want to make sure that it works. I want to know and understand some of the problems that students could possibly have. So, I made three examples. I used the same exact materials as the students used. In fact, I didn't have any black paint, so I went to school in June and grabbed some out of the closet.

Well, students began etching their design Tuesday and pretty soon eyes were shooting up at me. Hands started appearing in the air. What I saw next absolutely stunned me. The paint was peeling off of the oil pastel like melted cheese in huge sheets. WHAT?!?!?! I apologized to students several times. I felt awful. I am still confused. How could it work so great three times for me this summer with no signs of peeling and not work at all with the students this week?

It just goes to show that you can't plan for everything. There are occasions where art has a mind of its own. After discussing it in length with students, we decided to scrap our vases and start again using tempera this time instead of acrylic. Just crazy.

Anyway, as I have pointed out throughout this post, everyone is finishing at the same time with their projects...even the Art Club. Over half of the students are finished with their Romero Britto inspired paintings. We will be starting a new project very soon (my goal is by the first week of November). The one I am sharing with you is almost done!

SCAEA Conference!

So, I literally just got home from the South Carolina Art Education Association conference. It was a blast again this year! I made sure to take some pics to share!

This year's conference was held in Beaufort, SC. It was so pretty down there in the Lowcountry. Most of the area was marsh land, which is really different than what I am use to. It seemed like there was water everywhere. This is right down the road from where the conference was held.

Mr. Chance and I arrived in Beaufort on Friday. I only had one session that afternoon, but it was well worth getting there for the beginning of the conference. I participated in a silk scarf painting session. We used the Serti technique and let me just say...I am HOOKED! It was so fun and easy and the results were amazing. After drawing my image (dachshund related of course), I outlined my marks with gutta which resisted the dye. After the gutta dried, I painted dye onto my scarf using a bamboo brush. The instructor of my session took all of our scarfs home to finish the process (which required them to sit for a lengthy amount of time for the dye to totally work). I should be getting my scarf mailed to me in the next couple of weeks. However, I did take some pictures before my scarf was loaded up.

Saturday was filled with sessions for me. My first was on paper filigree and we learned how to do paper quilling. I have always wanted to try paper quilling and it is totally addictive! For our project, we started with the letter of our first name, a nice and easy shape. I got a little carried away with experimenting and did not get to finish mine, but I think it is off to a good start. We were able to bring our supplies home, so hopefully I can finish it this week.

The rest of my sessions on Saturday were informational. I listened to a presentation on bottle cap murals. Another session discussed the use of indigo and cotton (crops grown in South Carolina) and their use in art. My last one of the day was about a mixed media project created on old windows that was inspired by German contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer. A lot of good inspiration! I was also fortunate enough to listen to artist Jonathan Green speak. I was introduced to his works the very first time I came to South Carolina. If you are not familiar with his art, they reflect life of African-Americans in South Carolina's Lowcountry. Awesome to show students! Super colorful and full of pattern!

An additional awesome thing happened to me, which has absolutely nothing to do with the conference. I saw a wood stork. They are endangered and apparently are a rare find in South Carolina. Let me tell you, it was huge! An average adult usually stands 3 feet tall and has a 7 foot wingspan. They are the largest wading bird in North America. This guy sure was!

Today, I attended three sessions before coming back home. I had two informational sessions first. One was presented by my friend Sara who has recently written a book called "The Carolina Theatre: A Cinematic Treasure in Allendale, South Carolina". Super cool! The second session discussed five lessons that highlight an artist from South Carolina. I also got to participate in one hands-on session about collages inspired by Jonathan Green's paintings. Apparently, he illustrated a book called "Amadeus: The Leghorn Rooster". Our projects were inspired by this book. Because we discussed a lot of information before we began working, I was unable to finish. This project is only in the first couple of steps. I will make sure to do a follow-up post to show you the finished result.

Another very successful year! So happy I got to go :)

For those of you looking for my normal art room update, if time allows, I may try to post tonight. If all else fails, I will definitely update everyone tomorrow. There's a lot happening, including an art room mystery! Details in my next post!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall has Arrived

I know fall has officially arrived here in South Carolina when I look outside and my yard is completely orange with pine needles. That's what I'll be doing this weekend, creating Mt. Pine Needle right by my driveway. Other changes have been a little less noticeable. The weather has gotten somewhat cooler and the mornings have stayed dark fact, I had to check my clock repeatedly Tuesday. I could have sworn that it was way earlier than it really was!

As for things in the Art room...they have remained pretty much the same. Great! Students are steadily finishing their first projects and are getting excited about things to come. I just can't believe how quickly this year is flying by! Before too long, I will be posting about the Art Show!

Anyway, here are the updates for this week...

K4: Still working on Warm and Cool color drawings. Should have a few finished examples by next week.

K5: Don't be mad...I totally forgot about taking pictures of our finished projects! Yesterday, I had about 100 things on my mind when I was trying to leave school and forgot to bring their projects home. :( I will tell you though, they look great! This week, students outlined their ice cream scoops...really making them POP! They also added a few doodles and details to their black backgrounds using a white crayon. Sadly the school is closed on Monday for Columbus Day, but I will try my best to get these posted on Tuesday.

1st: I am trying to teach students this year, that there is a huge variety of ways that art can be created. Just because we are creating a painting does not mean that the only materials we can use are paints and a brush, or if we are creating a drawing, its pencils only. As I posted last week, we tried out some tea staining. This week, students tried spray painting, using a spray bottle. Before we used the spray bottle, we discussed the rock walls that cave paintings are commonly found on. Students described the rocks noting that they display a variety of color. This helped students understand why we would be spray hint at the natural color variations in rocks. They loved the process! They loved seeing the little drips splat all over their artworks!

2nd: Talk about excited, you should have seen the 2nd graders this week! Most students began coloring their stained glass windows. Even though they knew what the process was going to be like (coloring their transparency with Sharpies), they were just blown away with their work at the end of class! The remainder of the 2nd grade applied their black glue this week and is anxiously awaiting their turn to add color.

3rd: Let me start off by saying, I am the kind of art teacher that usually stays away from glitter and rhinestones. I find that students often overly use them to the point that it takes away from what they originally created. However, after looking at several actual examples of Medieval jewelry (the Crown of Charlamagne for example) I knew that rhinestones were a must. For this project, I did restrict the amount of rhinestones that students could use...however, it was mainly because I wanted to make sure that every student had access to what they wanted. I love how these have turned out! The rhinestones have added a lot to the metallic plate sections we created last week.

4th: Another success story this week...students were able to add color to their hieroglyphics! I would have taken more photos, but the aluminum foil that students used for this project presented a new photography challenge that I need to figure out. They are great though! The colors the students chose and the designs that they used for their border blew me away. Several students explained their ideas to me and by the end of class, I was almost to the point of tears. They were being "Art Smart" for sure!!!

5th: Our Sumi-e landscapes are nearing completion. This week, all students created their final landscape. We will be adding Japanese Kanji to them next week as a final touch.

6th: We had a catch up day this week. There were several students that had not finalized their sketches for our Greek Vases and others, who had missed last week, needed to apply their acrylic paint in order to participate in the etching process we will do next week. However, everyone was able to catch up and we are now totally ready for next week!

Art Club: Bet you can guess :) If you guessed, would be right! I had a few students finish this week and I am so happy with the results! Can't wait to share!

Next week, there is a pretty good chance that you will not find my normal post on Saturday. Next week is the annual South Carolina Art Education Association conference. I will be posting Saturday, but it will be late in the evening and it will cover what I have been up to at the conference...BTW super excited about the sessions I will be attending! I will be posting an update of what we will be doing in the art room, but it will probably be Sunday night or Monday morning after I get back from the conference. Lots of awesome things to come!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Art and the Beach

As you will see in a few more sentences, this week was very busy for me in class. Because I was constantly running around this week, I don't have as many pictures as I typically do to share of our progress, but I will happily try to explain what we did. I also have a few extra things to share with you this week!

The K4 students moved on to warm vs. cool colors this week. They are creating a drawing of a swimming pool on a hot summer day. This week we drew and colored the sky using the warm colors (red, yellow, and orange).

The K5 students are wrapping up their ice cream cone artworks. This week, students cut out their primary and secondary colored scoops and glued them onto a long piece of black construction paper. After looking at them, I am considering adding a little something to the background...I haven't decided exactly what yet. I have a few different ideas which I will discuss with the K5 next week. Ultimately it is their artwork, so I would like them to decide the finishing touches.

The 1st grade participated in something that had mixed reviews this week. We tea stained their artworks. I explained to students that tea (like we drink) has a natural dye that will turn paper a beautiful brown. Some students were extremely excited to dunk their cave art into the tea, but others looked at me like I was crazy. They asked me over and over about the tea and how the tea worked like that. May of them asked me after they became more comfortable with the idea if we could drink the tea after we finished putting all of our papers in it! The were also very concerned that I had not put any sugar in the tea!

While we were tea staining our papers, the 1st grade created a border that their cave art will be placed on in the next couple of weeks after we finish everything up.

The 2nd grade was extremely busy this week. After drawing their chosen sketch on a larger scale on 9 x 12" paper, some students began tracing their design on a transparency using "black glue" or glue that has been mixed with acrylic paint. They did a fabulous job carefully tracing the lines and controlling the amount of glue that they used! Because I only had enough of this special glue for half of the class, the rest of the students will be tracing theirs next week.

The 3rd grade spent some time creating something to accompany their medallion. I gave students the option to paint either a section of a paper plate (which will become a necklace for their medallion) or to paint a piece of mat board to mount their medallion onto. Because of the metallic nature of our medallions, I gave students the choice of silver or gold paint. Due to the amount of paint that students used, we had to wait to let their items dry. We will be adding decorations and details to these objects next week.

The 4th grade had, probably, the busiest day this week. When students entered, they immediately started constructing the base layers of their project. Using aluminum foil, students wrapped mat board and newspaper to create their "canvas". Students then received a cartouche handout and began drawing their hieroglyphics inside. After they had successfully drawn their name, nickname or initials, students transferred their hieroglyphics to their canvas by tracing their drawing while it lay on top of the aluminum foil. With all of that work completed, I think that we will be able to start adding some color next week.

The 5th grade is still busy working on their Sumi-e landscapes. I think I may be able to share some finished ones next week!

The 6th grade finished coloring their vases with oil pastels as soon as they came into art. They spent the rest of class evenly applying a layer of black acrylic paint over their entire vase. Hopefully next week we will begin etching our designs.

As you can guess, Art Club is still working on our Romero Britto inspired paintings. I was telling them this past week, I am guessing that we have maybe another two or three weeks before they are finished. They are looking so awesome though! Some students this week began tracing some of their smaller details with black paint. So cool!

Other topics to share... First, most students have finished their transparency swirl that I discussed here during the first week of school. I got all but about 15 or so hung up on Friday. They make the hallway look so colorful and festive!

Last but not least, the beach. If you read my post last week, I shared that I would be going to Folly Beach this weekend, hence the reason I did not post anything yesterday. Well, it was a great trip again! The weather was beautiful...not a cloud in the sky and very little wind compared to what it normally is. What surprised Mr. Chance and I was how different it was than in the summer. The normal things, or what we considered to be normal, where not there. We typically look for large whelk shells and their was only one of these shells on the whole beach to be found. We have never ever seen a star fish there and this trip we saw about 30. We also saw an eagle, TWO horseshoe crabs, and the find of the trip...a SAND DOLLAR!!! Hooray!!! We had a great time and are trying to plan another trip in the spring! Here are some of our finds...