Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Miro collographs

The third graders studied the abstract art of Spanish artist Joan Miro.  We had a lot of fun discussing his work.  He used his own set of symbols in most of his work and we had fun hunting them out.  Some of his work was rather calm while others was truly like a bad nightmare.  He was a surrealist artist, which means most of his inspiration came from his dreams. 
A collograph is a type of printmaking in which items are glued to the printing plate.  This is a more fragile type of printmaking (as the students found out first hand!) because of the glue!  Did you know the word come from the Greek word "kolla" which means "glue"?  We used a variety of textured materials to glue to our plate.  The students were to use their dreams or compositional skills as a basis for the creation of their plate.  Next, we printed.  Oh boy!  Then, we printed again with multiple colors!
Our last piece to finalize them will be when we get back from Thanksgiving break.  Hold your breath, I'm sure they will be stunning surrealist prints!


Clay fossils

This seems to be a popular clay lesson, but I think that's because it's just so wonderful!  How could it not be when you are dealing with kindergartners and dinosaurs and clay!  Oh my!  We started out by learning about clay.  Real clay.  Similar to play dough but this is real clay - from the Earth, made from dirt and water!  Next we discussed fossils and learned more from Annie and Moby.  Then we created a slab (thicker than a piece of paper!) and created texture and fossils using dinosaur toys, animal toys, and shells.  Oh my...there were squeals of happiness in the art room!  The clay has to dry and it becomes light gray as it dries.  Some has been fired in the kiln.  When it gets fired it turns white. 
Stay tuned to see our final clay fossils!  I'm sure you'll also see some large smiles accompanying them!

Ted Harrison landscapes

I found out about Canadian artist Ted Harrison and his whimsical, yet simple, landscapes through Pintrest.  Doing so more research, I really liked this guy and chose to use his to teach the second graders about landscapes.  He is 85 and has lived in Canada for a long time.  He was born in England and went to art school.  However, in a great interview, he said art school made the act of creating art difficult and un-fun (my word) for him.  He had to move across the pond, become surrounded in nature, let loose of the rigid formalities of his art school training and only then was able to get back to the joy of creating art.  I thought that is a great story for everyone to be reminded of. 
His landscapes are so fun to look at.  We used warm and cool colors for each part of our landscape.  The students did a great job exploring the chalk pastels.  Great job, second graders!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

5th grade Cubist Pets

The fabulous fifth graders studied the history of Cubism and then looked at contemporary artist author, George Rodrigue.  You might recognize him from his Blue Dog series.  The fifth graders choose a pet (or animal) and drew it from observation.  Next, they had to figure our how to turn it into the Cubist style.  I enjoy seeing the different methods the students took.  For color, they had to use at least two different color schemes, but many chose to use more in other areas as well.  Amazing outcomes, students!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jungle Landscapes

The first graders looked at the French artist Henri Rousseau for inspiration for this jungle landscape.  We learned how a landscape has three parts - a foreground, middle ground, and backgroud.  As they were making their landscapes, they started off by making a horizon line out of a shade of green paper.  Next, they were very careful when adding the trees, flowers and animals to put the biggest objects in front (the foreground), the medium ones in the middle (the middle ground) and the tiny ones with less detail in the back (the background).  The whole project was completed with paper (the final touches were added with marker, but that's it).  This type of art is called a collage.   Great job, smart artists!  Don't fall asleep beside a lion!


Hundertwasser paintings

The fourth graders have really put some qualitiy time and effort into their Hundertwasser paintings.  Learning about him was so cool! He was a really unique painter and architect from Austria who always used super bright colors and patterns.  Check out the student's take on his work (and notice their incredible watercolor skills!).

This was a creative writing about their Hundertwasser painting.

Torn Landscapes

Kindergartners learned that a landscape is a picture of a place.  I found this awesome project on the Dolvin art teacher's blog (http://dolvinartknight.blogspot.com) last year and I found it again to be a huge success.  Thank you, Mrs. Knight.  Our little bobcats made their horizon line with yarn and then torn green and blue paper for the grass and sky.  Some chose to add a sun or moon.  They were all very proud of their landscapes.   Me too!