Thursday, August 31, 2017

What Ground????

2nd Graders are learning about foreground, middle ground, and backgrounds in artworks.  We talked about what happens as things get farther away in a painting (smaller and less detail) and as things get closer to you they get larger and increase in detail.  

We are in the first stages of our 3-dimensional paper cities.  This week students worked on creating buildings out of paper in the background and middle ground of their pictures.  You will notice in the pictures below that the houses in the background are smaller and contain close to no detail.  The houses in the middle ground are slightly larger and have a little bit of detail.  Next week, we have some amazing surprises that are going to make the pictures "pop" literally!!  Stay tuned!!!!  They are going to be AMAZING!

Quiz your kids:

-What do you call the part of the picture that is farthest away from you?

-What is the part of the picture closest to you called?

-What happens to objects that are farthest away from you?  And what happens to the objects as they get closer to you?


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Here Fishy Fishy....

Gyotaku printmaking today with 3rd graders was a hit!  They were in awe when they pulled their prints today!!!!!    

We were so busy today doing our printmaking that I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the students in action but here are a few pictures of their pulled prints and some of their backgrounds in-progress.  We will finish these up next week with all of our finishing touches.  I can't wait to show you all the end results!!!

If you get the chance, have your child (3rd grader) tell you about Gyotaku printmaking. 

Questions to ask them: 

-Why did they first make Gyotaku prints?

-What does Gyotaku mean?
-How are they made?
-What was your process for making the background for your fish picture?  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Gyotaku Prints

Gyotaku literally means fish print.  An ancient form of Japanese art that started as a way for fisherman to record their record catches and to bring home proof of their large catches of the day.  From this, the art form evolved. 

3rd graders learned all about the history and the process of Gyotaku printmaking.  This week, students are going to make their own Gyotaku prints using rubber fish molds and rice paper.  It is a very delicate process.  These fish artworks will be embellished with under the sea backgrounds and bubble wrap printing to create bubbles and texture on their coral reefs. 

For a short video on Gyotaku prints:

More pics to follow this week. 

Frida Frida Frida

To start the year celebrating Hispanic Heritage month, 5th graders are learning about the art and life of artist Frida Kahlo.  I think that Frida's life is truly inspirational and that the students really gravitated to her story.  She had to overcome a lot in her young life, health wise, and if it wasn't for her horrible accident when she was 18 and spending months bedridden she may have never began painting to become the artist that the world knows today.  

From darkness, comes light.  

Students are in the brainstorming and sketching phase of this project but next week will begin to create their own Frida portraits being sure to exaggerate the features that people recognize her by:  her eyebrows, the flowers in her hair, her bright colored clothing, and her pets.  

More pics to come next week!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Connecting to the Mexican Culture Through Art

For Mexican Heritage month, we are making a few connections with a project the 8th graders are working on.  Students learned about the artist Diego Rivera and about the political and social messages that he made with his murals in Mexico and the United States.  They learned how Diego did fresco paintings and worked in plaster and they learned how fresco paintings are made.

For our project, students will be creating their own artworks in plaster.  Today, some of the 8th grade classes poured and smoothed out plaster onto burlap to create their "canvas."   While students worked in groups to complete this part of the project, while waiting, other students spent some time looking up imagery related to Mexican Amate paintings and Mexican folk art imagery.  They will use these images as references to create their own folk art design.

Students will use chalk to draw and color-in their designs on the plaster.  They will use water on q-tips to blend the chalks into the plaster to create their own Mexican-inspired frescos.

Here is a look at some of the plaster pieces drying:

If you are interested in the life of Diego Rivera or would like to see how fresco paintings are made, here are a few video links that you may find useful:

Video Biography on Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera Working on a Mural

How Frescos Are Made

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New This Year

This year students in grades 6th-8th grade will have a BLOCK period of art.  Instead of having 45 minutes of art every week, students will rotate every other week and have art for 90 minutes of art every two weeks.

The reason for this change is to allow us to have more time to do ceramic and painting projects.  Instead of coming in, getting the materials, working for 30 minutes, and then cleaning up, now students will have almost a full 90 minutes to work on projects continuously.

The reception from students today was almost unanimous.  Almost everyone LOVED the new block period of Art.  The flow was much more relaxed and we were able to dive a bit deeper into the projects as we had more time to do so.

Students that are not in Art will be in Spanish class where they will use the block period for conversational Spanish and language lab.

So hopefully, this will work out for the best and if not, we can reassess at the end of the school year.  But so far, so good!!!!!!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mexican History Month Celebrated Cross-Curricularly (Art and Spanish classes)

For the month of September, students in grades 5th-8th grade will be working on projects and learning about Hispanic artists in both Spanish class and in Art class.

5th graders will start the year learning about the artist Frida Kahlo.
6th graders will study Pablo Picasso and his Spanish roots.
7th graders will focus on Mexican folk art and learning the different styles of folk art found in Mexico.
8th graders will study the artist Diego Rivera and his political and socially inspired murals and students will be creating a fresco of their own.

Each of these grades will complete a project based on that artist or their style.  More will be posted about each project as they start them. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Creative Compassion Enrichment Class

For students in grades 6th-8th, they will have the choice to sign up for enrichment classes that will be on Monday afternoons during the school day.  This year, I will be offering a Creative Compassion Enrichment Class each trimester.  

The goal of the Creative Compassion enrichment is to come up with creative and/or artistic ways to serve the community, from those in convalescent hospitals, children's hospitals, or even selling what we make to then donate that money to a charity organization.  

This first trimester, we will be focusing on making projects that will help those in children's hospitals.  
We are working with Lucille Packard Children's Hospital and they will be the recipients of our creations.  

In order to get started, I am asking if any of you or the businesses that you work for (with permission of course), have any extra 1" three-ring binders (hard or soft) and/or sheet protectors, and/or dry erase markers with attached erasers.  I, of course, will be checking local businesses for donations as well.  

We will be using these materials to put together activity binders for the patients.  They will include a variety of games and activities that can be done in the hospital or hospital room.  This is only one of the projects that I have planned.  

If you have any leads on the donation of these materials, please shoot me an email:  Thanks so much!!!  I am looking forward to working with the students in doing good for our community!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Welcome Back!!!!!

Welcome back to the new school year 2017-2018!!!  After a few years teaching art part-time (grades 4th-8th), I am now back full-time, teaching all students in grades 1st-8th Art!  A huge huge thank you to Mrs. Mifsud for teaching art for grades 1st-3rd for the past few years which allowed me to stay home a few days each week while my son was a baby and toddler.  I know the students appreciated her but not more than I appreciated her!!!!   I thank her for being such a creative inspiration for the students!  Luckily, Mrs. Mifsud will continue to be the Kinder-3rd grade science teacher so the students will still get to enjoy being with Mrs. Mifsud each week!!!

I have posted the art newsletters/syllabus on both the blog ( right hand column) and on each classes' announcement page on Schoolspeak.  The newsletter is pretty cut and paste.  I assure you the kids will have much more fun in art than you did reading the boring Art newsletter :)  It really just has all of the grading policies and expectations for the year.  I do ask that you take a gander and skim through it to get the basics of what the policies are.

Starting next week, all of the classes will have their first art class.  The first class of the year goes over the basic classroom rules, and prizes, location of materials, overview of sketchbook (grades 6th-8th), secret agents, creative compassion corner, etc.  It's possible we may get to start our first project of the year, but most will start the following week.

I am really excited for the year ahead.  I have a lot of new projects planned and am hoping to dive a bit deeper into the projects this year with a bit more time spent on art history and giving students the tools to give positive critiques incorporating art vocabulary.

Early finishers in grades 4th-8th will have the opportunity to work on projects in the Creative Compassion Corner.  More on that later.

I have been busy getting the art room ready and adding a few touches to the room this year!  Looking forward to seeing all of those excited faces and creative souls next week!

Creative Compassion Corner (4th-8th)

Free Draw Station (1st-3rd)

Prizes for Secret Agents

Teacher Desk Tchotchke's 

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  This area was already splattered with paint, I may as well hide it with more purposeful splattered paint.