Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hooray Normal

This week was one of the first normal weeks we have had since we returned to school from Christmas break. Needless to say, we were all relieved! Students were able to come in to the Art room knowing that we were going to be able to work and get a lot accomplished...and we did just that. I am once again happy to share with you this week's full, complete update!

K4: Students have now finished their glue resist paintings. I had three students this week that needed to complete the painting portion of the project. Since all three were able to finish on Wednesday, we are now ready to start a new project this upcoming week. I am excited about this one...printmaking!!!

K5: After carefully creating each component of their still life artworks, K5 students were finally able to assemble their creations. Students began by cutting out a bowl shape from their brown painted paper. This was then glued to their background and the food was arranged last. I love how these have turned out. I am so happy you can see all of the wonderful highlights and shadows that students included while creating their fruits with oil pastels. There is still one student that has not finished, so I will not be posting a full slide show of all the finished works until next week, but here are a few that finished up this week.

1st: Students are continuing to color their Realism drawings. We are inching closer to being done. I am so proud of how students are taking their time with this project. It is really paying off and their artworks look great!

2nd: Most of the 2nd grade students began painting their "What Would Make You Scream" sculptures this week. We created what I call the base layer. Next week, I will be showing students how to paint smaller details and how to add additional layers of color. I also had a few students start to create their sculptures this week, due to being absent when we originally did our sculpting.

3rd: Students began creating their final Impressionist landscapes this week by finger painting. We practiced a few weeks ago, so students were totally ready and excited about creating their final artworks. Many students were able to get quite a bit done. We still have several more days of painting ahead of us and it will be fun to see how these artworks progress.

This does not have much to do with the 3rd grade project, but it did result from the paint that they used. As the 3rd grade students were cleaning up on Wednesday, I asked them to drop their palettes into a large bin I have in my sink that contained warm water. I clean the palettes for students after they leave each day. I know that they can clean and I had rather them have 5 or 10 extra minutes to work than to have to stop super early and clean. Anyway, after they left I began to clean all of the palettes. Once I was finished, I had a bin full of dark, muddy looking water...nothing pretty to look at. I dumped it out and waited for all the liquid to drain so I could rinse out my bin a couple of times before setting it aside to dry. When I returned to the sink, I saw this amazing kaleidoscope of color. The 6th graders, who had just come in for Art, did not want me to clean the paint out of the sink. So, I preserved this moment and awesome sink art through photography.

4th: Last week, the fourth grade had just started creating their cherry blossom branches when school was dismissed early. So, we spent this week finishing what we started. I love how these look. I have seen this process done before on several different blogs and we did something very similar to this when I was in school. The results are fabulous every time!

5th: Sadly again this week, the 5th graders were unable to come to Art. This week they were on a field trip. Hopefully, I will see them next week so we can start working on our collagraphs :)

6th: Students resumed work on their weather vanes this week. Most students are still in the decoupaging stage, but a few are beginning to paint their weather vanes copper. Here's how they are looking...

Art Club: We are continuing work on our Palissy Ware. Students are at different levels with this project currently. Most of the younger students were able to start painting this week, while a majority of the older students are still hard at work sculpting. Our current goal is that by the end of next week, all students will be able to start painting their sculptures.

Mosaic News: We are progressing right along. In fact, it is surprising each week to step back and see how much we have accomplished in such a short time. I am so pleased with how it is looking so far and I love seeing how enthusiastic students are when working on it!

Last but not least, you may be wondering "Mrs. Chance...why didn't you post yesterday?" I try to post every Saturday and have since I started this blog at the beginning of 2012, but not yesterday. In addition to a baby shower that I attended (sooooo cute!), I also attended the school's annual auction. I have to say that this year was wonderful! The night started out with food and the beginning of the silent auction. A live auction was held at 8 PM, followed by the end of the silent auction at 9 PM. For various reasons, I have not been able to attend an auction for the past couple of years, so I was determined that this year I would be taking something home. I am happy to report that not only did I have some delicious shrimp and grits for dinner, but I won a Lowcountry cookbook along with an awesome glass chip and dip set, although it is so pretty it will probably be more of a decorative item in my house. Don't want salsa covering up how cool it is :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

For Real?

I woke up on Monday morning to weather reports saying that we were in for a major ice storm. Really??? I could hardly believe it.

I went to school Tuesday where we had two very successful classes, 1st and 2nd. The 1st graders worked on coloring their American Realism drawings. After a short demonstration on using colored pencils, I asked the 1st graders to focus on coloring their drawing solidly and neatly. I believe they are off to a very good start! I love all the details they have incorporated, like "No Parking" signs and several different types of buildings!!

The 2nd grade is also off to a very good start. They began working on their "What would make you scream?" sculptures. Very funny and very creative!

However, as the 4th grade had just started working on the cherry blossom branches for their Ming Vases, our principal announced over the intercom that school would be dismissing early because of the winter weather. If you will remember from a post earlier in the year, I covered my window with faux stained glass. I was unable to see what was happening outside. As I went downstairs, it became obvious why school was dismissing...there was a heavy "winter mix" of sleet and snow. This "winter mix" lasted until all of the students had left the building and then it stopped.

Not much happened throughout the remained of the day, which was true to the weather forecast. The main weather system came around 2 AM. We were lucky. The original forecast called for all freezing rain and mass power outages. We got sleet. 4 inches of sleet. It was crazy. You could go out and scoop up a hand-full of sleet and it resembled clear Skittles.

The picture above was taken yesterday...when the roads finally cleared. We were out of school all day Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So needless to say, no art classes :(

I cannot believe the crazy weather we have been having lately. Snow two weeks ago that closed school for two days and ice this week that closed school for three and a half days! On top of that, we had a small earthquake last night. How weird this winter has been!!!! Thankfully, the temperatures have gotten much warmer and all of the ice and sleet has melted. I also believe that the temperatures are suppose to be in the 70's next week, much to my relief and both of my dogs' (they have both been slipping and sliding on all of the ice in the back yard!)

I do have one other update to share this week. We officially started work on the school wide mosaic! The 4th grade came in Monday before the start of all the wintery weather and started to fill in the child symbol. It looks fabulous!!! I cannot wait until it is complete next month!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Posters, Painting, and Palissy Ware

Sorry I was unable to post like I normally do yesterday. Mr. Chance and I left Friday night to go to Atlanta to my sister's graduation. She now has her master's degree! Congrats to my sis!

We didn't return home until late last night, so needless to say, posting had to wait until this morning :)

Anyway, here's this week's update...

K4: Last week, students began creating glue resist paintings. We applied the glue last week, but had to wait until this week to paint. I gave students the option of using two of the primary colors. Students were allowed to paint their canvas in any way they wanted. I wanted them to explore how the colors mix and to practice using and holding the paintbrush properly. By applying the paint to not only the canvas, but also directly on top of the glue, it allowed the glue to release itself from the canvas. Once the paint had dried several hours later, I was able to peel the dried glue off to reveal the nice white canvas underneath. I really love how these have turned out! They remind me a lot of Jackson Pollock paintings. In fact, I am planning on teaching the K4 about him next week and comparing their artworks to Pollock's.

Just for a little clarification...the first two images are the entire artworks and the bottom image is a close-up. I wanted to share all the cool little cracks and grooves. 

 K5: We are almost ready to assemble our still life artworks! This week, we created the last component...the background. Can't wait to put everything together next week!

1st-6th: Because the Art Fair was cancelled due to the snow, I wanted students to still be able to share their hard work and creativity with their classmates. Additionally, I was interested in the choices that they made, especially why they chose their artwork. So, we spent Tuesday and Wednesday discussing the Art Fair displays. I am so glad that we had a day to do this. Students and I really learned a lot! I heard many really cool stories and was proud to hear such great opinions! Great job everyone!

Art Club: We started our Palissy Ware artworks. After a fantastic discussion last week, students were ready to start sculpting their great ideas. They really considered many different aspects of the animal that they chose including its habitat and the relationship their animal has with other animals in their environment.

The two different groups will have slightly different artworks. The younger group is using "Model Magic" and larger platters, while the older group is using polymer clay and smaller platters. Here's how they are looking so far...

Some additional things to share with you...

1. This week started the new school wide mosaic project. The art teacher from the high school, Mrs. Allen, will be coming to our school several days this month to work with every student on creating the mosaic! I am really excited about this! I love how we are using the school's logo and how each student will get to play a special part in the creation of this artwork!

2. This is just cool. Mr. Chance is a chemist. I spend a lot of time at his lab while he works in the evening. I was there the other night removing the glue from the K4 resist projects. As I was peeling glue, I noticed that the paint had dried in a really interesting way on top of the glue, especially the orange for some reason. Well, I wanted to get a better look at it so I put a small piece under the microscope. Neato!!!

Things will hopefully go back to normal next week. Everyone should be resuming their current projects. Additionally, we will be beginning to put the first pieces on our mosaic!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

2nd Rococo Paintings

Art Club: Christopher Boffoli Inspired Photographs

Art Club: Red Grooms Inpired Cityscapes

Not Much of a Week

Well as the title of this post implies, I didn't have much of a week at school. Because of the snow coming in....yes, I know it is still hard to was cancelled on Tuesday. (That meant no 1st, 2nd, 4th, or 5th) I woke up Wednesday morning to three inches of snow on the ground. No school again. (No 3rd, 6th, K4, or K5). I do have to say though, I did have a great day Wednesday. Mr. Chance and I built this 4-foot tall snowman, Burt.

Truthfully, I was a little upset about missing school this week. Tuesday and Wednesday was suppose to be our Art Fair. Luckily, I was able to keep all of the projects up throughout Thursday and Friday so students, parents, and teachers could visit.

Most of the snow had melted by Thursday, and despite having a 2 hour delay to start the day, we were still able to hold Art Club. Since we have now completed our Boffoli and Grooms projects, we are on to something new. During this past summer, I worked with one of my professors on the creation of a new website, Handheld Art. Partnering with the Columbia Museum of Art, several teachers, including myself, wrote lesson plans centered around the art of the museum and enduring ideas, or "ideas that are centered on human experience and span the test time". During our workshop, where we created the different lessons and units, we were able to see many of the different artworks that are in the museum's collection. One of the artworks that I was really drawn to was a piece of Palissy ware.

Palissy ware was first created by Bernard Palissy in the 1500's. This style of ceramics often uses amphibians, reptiles, and aquatic life as the subject matter which is molded onto a large platter. Artist Geoffrey Luff, creates art in this same style today. We looked at a lot of his examples, including the process of how he creates his works. After having a great discussion on the purpose of this type of art, as well as the use of animals as subject matter in Art, students got to work creating sketches of Palissy ware that we will be creating throughout this next month.

 I cannot wait to see what Art Club will create! The sketching process went so well with so many good ideas!!!

Well, next week things will not be returning to normal quite yet. Because the Art Fair had to be cancelled due to the snow, I will be having students participate in a "show and share" about their project. I am excited to see what students have to say about their projects, especially why they chose the artwork their display is focused on.