Saturday, March 29, 2014

Oh Geez

Really calendar. Why must you be so mean to me? I realized yesterday that we are three short weeks, and only two more art classes away from spring break. EEK! Where has all the time gone? That means we only have 3/4 classes left before our big Art Show on May 8th! Despite the recent reportings of "spring fever" around the school, students have been really focused in Art and I am hoping that we can get a few more pieces done despite the time crunch we have now entered.

Got a big update for you today, picture heavy too...but well worth it I promise :)

K4: Big news...I have decided to change our project slightly. I was talking with Mrs. R, the K4 teacher, about how I intended for students to create necklaces which display a certain pattern (through color). As students finished busily working on creating their beads using Model Magic, Mrs. R had an epiphany...why don't we use the beads to create caterpillars? Yes! As we further collaborated on this new idea, she suggested that it be based on Eric Carle's book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and I suggested that we could display the caterpillars on a paper plate that students will paint to look like food (like a watermelon, cookie, pancake, orange...) I am very excited about this newly developed project! Students will still be fulfilling all of the objectives from the past project (creating beads from clay, creating a pattern, threading a pipe cleaner through each bead) however, I feel that this project is a little more solid and will be a ton of fun!

K5: Most students spent this week coloring a full piece a paper using as many colors as possible. Why you might ask? Well, this paper will become the stripes for our rainbow zebras. Many of the students were able to finish, however we will need to spend a few minutes finishing up next week. I am hoping that I am able to share a couple of pictures with you next week of much more colorful zebras.

1st: Tuesday was a big day for the 1st grade because they were able to come to Art twice (the second class was a make-up session since I had to miss the past Tuesday). During the first class, students were introduced to artist George Braque and Cubism. Students discussed his different artworks and loved trying to guess and find all the objects included in his Cubist paintings. After completing our discussion, I introduced the new project to students which will be to create a Cubist style artwork of a musical instrument. During the second class, students were able to begin sketching, drawing, and coloring their favorite instrument. Next week, we will start working on the background and preparing it for a big Cubism makeover!

2nd: We are still hard at work on "constructing" our Hundertwasser houses. Students are in love with this project! They are having such a good time creating their house, choosing the "paint" colors and "landscaping". After a quick demo about using markers to their fullest potential, students did have the opportunity to begin coloring, however, I wanted to wait and show you their houses once they are fully completed.

3rd: After only having a very brief period to plan out their artwork last week, I decided to give students a full class to think, prepare and plan for their Kandinsky Circle Assemblage project. Students had to have two things planned before the end of class on Wednesday, what color each layer of their circle is going to be and what materials they will be using to construct their assemblage. Beginning next week, we will be putting them all together!

4th: Students spent Tuesday planning for their photography project. I asked students to think of two different locations where they would like to take their picture and how they will alter their photography to create a fictional narrative. We are all crossing our fingers that it doesn't rain on Tuesday this upcoming week. Over half of the students want to take their picture outside. Here's hoping for a sunny day!!!

5th: I am so happy with the results of our collagraph prints! Students have worked so hard and are so pleased with the results of all of their efforts! I can't wait until we add our relief prints on top next week!

6th: With most students having completed the weather vanes, I decided to go ahead and teach students about Fauvism! After a brief discussion about key characteristics of the style and showing students several different examples, including a few by Matisse and Derain, I demonstrated how students will be painting a Fauvist inspired Palmetto Tree. Students will be creating this for not only our next project, but also as a fundraiser for the 6th grade's Washington DC trip. We will be having a silent auction during the Art Show on May 8th where these pieces will be for sale! Before creating our final paintings, students will be doing a lot of practicing. Wednesday marked the first practice day for 6th graders.

Art Club: Everyone is now working on their Paul Wacker's inspired tapestry. The older students just started this week discussing the concept of collecting and Wacker's work, while the younger students began creating their tapestries. Here's how they are looking so far...

In other cool news...I was walking around the room as the first graders finished up their instrument drawings and noticed a pretty cool free draw. "Z" started with nothing but a line, but by adding layers and a few squares here and there came up with an awesome cityscape. Nice Job!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Shout Out to Pollen

Thank you pollen for what you do to me every spring. Not fun. As soon as Christmas ends, I know a day will be coming when my allergies will go crazy. That day came this week. I woke up Monday coughing and sneezing and only was able to get 2 hours of sleep Monday night/Tuesday morning. I had to miss school. I hate missing, I really do...especially when we are starting new things or things I have been waiting to do with the kids for weeks (like printmaking). However, I am incredibly lucky. The teachers at my school are extremely flexible and are happy to reschedule any class that I miss. I was able to make up two of the four a couple of days ago.

I am happy to report that my allergies are now straightened out. I am feelin' good and am ready for next week! But first, here's this week's update...

K4: Before we start our new project next week on jewelry, I wanted to see what students knew about patterns. To begin our activity, I read students the book "A Pair of Socks" by Stuart J. Murphy (illustrated by Lois Ehlert). Students looked at each sock and we discussed if the patterns of the socks made a match. After we finished reading our book, I gave each student a handout I made. Since our project will be about jewelry, the handout I created displayed three pieces of string, two of which had beads. Students were asked to color their beads in such a way that it created a pattern. I will be reviewing patterns again with students next week and then we will be creating our own beads using model magic.

K5: When students were sketching their zebras last week, I asked all of them to choose two papers that will become the background of the art. We put both of those papers together when students arrived and spent the remainder of the class period creating the bodies of our zebras. They look at little more like little white horses right now, but we will be adding our rainbow stripes in a couple of weeks.

1st: Sadly, I was not able to see the 1st grade students this week. Good thing is, I will be seeing them twice this coming Tuesday!

2nd: His name is fun to say, his artworks are even more fun to look at...Hundertwasser! Students started learning about this artist/architect yesterday. After looking at many examples of both his paintings, stamps, flags and the buildings, students started sketching ideas for their own artworks. To start this project, students will be designing their own Hundertwasser inspired houses. I love how fun they are, how almost Dr. Seuss-like they are in their design. The kids had a blast making them!

3rd: Students in third grade also started a new project this week about the works of Wassily Kandinsky. There are a lot of Kandinsky inspired projects out there on the Internet, mainly those with circles. Now don't get me wrong, I think this is a great project for the little ones (K4-5) but for third graders...not so much. A little too easy, I think, just to paint some circles. So, instead of painting, we are going to be using found objects to create our circles. I have been saving marker caps, boxes, wrapping paper and several other materials since about Christmas for students to use for this project. Students also have the option of bringing in their own materials to use...of course with parent permission. To plan this week, I asked students to think about what colors they would like to use and what materials they believe will make an interesting artwork.

4th: I am also sad to report that I didn't get to see the 4th grade this week either. Next week, we will start planning out our photographs before taking them during the first week of April.

5th: Students finally got to start printmaking this week!!! Things are looking great so far! Can't wait to pull more prints on Tuesday :)

6th: Most students have finished their weather vanes now. Things have been a little interesting due to a number of absences because of events at school. Due to students missing classes, its pushing them further behind. I will be starting a new project with them next week, but those that are not finished with their weather vanes will be using half of the class period to work on finishing up. I am hoping that in a couple of weeks, I can post the finished artworks. They look so cool!

Art Club: Younger students were introduced to the works of Paul Wackers this week. His modern still life artworks display a number of objects often arranged on shelves. Really cool. If you haven't heard of him, check his work out. I love it! For our projects, students will be making a tapestry inspired by Wackers' works. As I explained to students, we will be making a self-portrait without using a picture of ourselves. We will instead use items/objects we enjoy to represent ourselves. Here are some of their sketches...

The older students have almost finished their Palissy Ware. They will be joining the younger group next week by starting their tapestries. Here are some of their finished artworks...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I'm Done Mrs. Chance

The phrase above was said by numerous students throughout this week....and by numerous, I mean around 90. Many of my Art classes, including the K4, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and Art Club Littles, are all finished with their current projects. All of them, with the exception of the 4th grade, will be starting new projects next week. The 4th grade started their new project this past Tuesday. So what are they doing now? What is everyone else up to? Check up this week's update below...

K4: All done with our Wayne Thiebaud Gumball Machines. Look for pics tomorrow! Next week we will be starting a unit on jewelry and pattern.

K5: After our yarn activity last week, students were ready to make a project full of lines. When trying to decide on a project this past summer,  I thought there would be no better animal to study and create than a zebra! Students this week, decided on what two colors will make up their background and also practiced drawing zebras.

1st: All done with our American Realism Drawings (pics in post below)! Next week, students will be starting on a project involving George Braque and Cubism.

2nd: All done with our Scream Sculptures (again, pics below)! Next week, we will be starting a project on Hundertwasser.

3rd: All done with our Impressionistic Landscapes (you know the drill). Next week, we will be starting circle collages and looking at the works of Wassily Kandinsky.

4th: 4th graders finished up their Ming Vases last week. This week, we started studying photography. After a great discussion and lecture on the history, changes, uses, and mechanics of photography, students spent the last few minutes of class discussing ideas for their projects. Students have been given the challenge of taking a photograph of a specific location around the school and will be drawing something that does not belong or would seem funny in their chosen location.

5th: After finishing up their collagraphs, students used our class time this week to create their matrix for our cat relief prints. I cannot wait until these are finished. I am sooooo excited about seeing the finished results!!!

6th: Students are still working hard on their Colonial era inspired weather vanes. We are almost finished though. Most students applied their last coat of copper acrylic paint this week!

Art Club: Well as the beginning of this post implied, the younger members have all finished their Palissy Ware sculptures and have written their letters to Geoffrey Luff. Since these students are all finished, we will be starting a new project next week about the art of Paul Wackers. This is going to be a really cool project! Students will have a lot of options and many different materials to choose from. To start thinking about this project, I asked students to draw something that they collect or would like to start collecting.

The older students will start this project when they finish their Palissy Ware. As it stands right now, I think we have (maybe) two more weeks before they will join the Littles members on the new project.

Mosaic: Almost there!!!

Wow...that was a lot of pictures I took this week! No wonder my sweet girl was looking at me like this yesterday...

I know it is a little intimidating seeing all of those finished projects posted below. Yes, it will take a little while to look through all of them, but I highly encourage anyone reading this post to do so! I am very proud of how they turned out! Congrats to all of my students who created these great artworks :)