Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ode to Autumn, Week 5

Last week we experienced the Autumnal Equinox, and celebrated the occasion through fall colors and artwork. Before we get to those, however, let's take a peek at something else!

The artwork above was created by Brett, and brought into class to share. His attention to detail is particularly impressive, as is his use of perspective when drawing the cabin in the background. Great work, Brett!

In Ceramics I the students made finger puppets (photos of fired works will be posted later!). Ceramics II students started work on clay whistles. As soon as they're finished we'll get a sneak peek of the pre-fired works!

You may remember me mentioning that we'd see more dioramas from our Art From Paper class. Well, here they are! The one just above was created by Zoe, who was inspired by gardens.
Lark created the above diorama, using animals as her focus.
Jackson and Cynthia took their inspiration from nature. Jackson's diorama (above) shows a man rock climbing, while Cynthia made a collage from elements of the sea.
My photos don't do justice to the original artwork!
Explorations in Art (4th-6th) students continued their work on the Book of Kells project. Some artworks are really taking shape, so I hope to share photos with you soon!
And now, our Ode to Autumn . . .

Supplied with a collection of leaves, and an assortment of fall colored crayons, students in Explorations in Art (1st-3rd) did beautiful and creative leaf rubbings!

Above you can see a work in progress!

Students layered colors to create interest . . .

One student even did a leaf portrait (above)!

A veritable leaf landscape was created by one student, while another created a patchwork of different colored leaves all on the same stem! What amazing creativity!

Mixed Media artists began work on a two-week project that involves watercolor, paper, and weaving. That's all I'm going to tell you for now! You'll have to check back next week to see the final masterpieces! :)

Last week's web challenge involved finding information and photos about HANIWA figures. Diego, Roman, and Keith all came through, earning ATCs that were made to order! Thanks, guys! 
The haniwa featured here represent a small portion of the vast variety created since the 3rd century. One thing they all have in common,though,is personality! 

If you want your own ATC--any design you choose--be sure to do the web challenge each week. Remember, the student with the most assignment-related ATCs by the end of the semester will win a REALLY COOL PRIZE!
So, here's the challenge for 
September 29th through October 1st:
Do a search* to find the TWO TYPES of CUBISM, and bring in a picture of each! If you can name three famous Cubist artists, all the better!

*Remember: Anytime you're doing an online search, your parent or other responsible adult must be present. 
No exceptions!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dioramas, Op Art, Dreamscapes, and Pinch Pots. Week 4 was PACKED!

Before we recap the past week's projects, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the fantastic work that Avalon G. did during her "non-HSC" school days. After working on her "fill in the missing side" artwork from class, she went on to create two more! She's mastered this technique! Don't believe me? Well, then, look at the following!

Great work, Avalon! 
Thank you for the dedication you've shown to the RIGHT SIDE of your brain!

Last week in Art from Paper, we started work on dioramas--a project that we hope to finish in the coming week. In this project, students covered the outside of a small cardboard box with pictures and words. The goal is to have the outside become a "preview" for what's inside.

Each diorama will have a theme, picked out by the individual artist--the possibilities are endless! Katie I. is off to a great start with her diorama (above). Stay tuned for photos of finished works!

OP ART, and contrast was the idea behind our project in Explorations in Art (1st through 3rd). Combining what we know about line and shape, and adding contrasting colors (colors that compliment each other on the color wheel), students created wonderful works of Optical Art. 

So, you might be asking yourself, what exactly ARE complimentary (contrasting) colors? Here's a clue:
ORANGE said to BLUE, "Wow, you're really having a good hair day!"
GREEN was overheard talking to RED, saying "That color really suits you. You look fantastic!"
YELLOW and VIOLET kept going back and forth with, "YOU'RE the prettiest!" and "No, YOU are!"
Similar "compliments" took place between . . .

In other Explorations in Art classes, 4th through 6th graders continued their work on the Book of Kells project. When these highly detailed and ornamental works are finished, photos will be posted here!

In Drawing and Painting class, we discussed the works of Remedios Varo (below, left) and Marc Chagall (below, right). After looking at many of their works and discussing the dream-like quality of their paintings, students created their own "dreamscapes."
The next time you have a really interesting (or crazy!) dream, why not write down the details, and then draw a picture of your dream. Be sure to put in lots of details! Who knows, you might become as well known as Varo or Chagall!

Ceramics students continued with their wet clay work. Below are examples of very creative pinch pots and small sculptures that were created in class. Soon we'll have a kiln load, which means we'll do our first bisque firing!

In Mixed Media class, students created a 4-in-one mixed media work. After folding their art paper into four equal parts, they flattened the paper and drew a picture over the entire page, then used a different medium on each quarter. The final works were awesome!  

While a lot of mixed media works layer the different mediums over top one another, placing them into this grid pattern allows the students to see how they compare and contrast with one another.

Mary Cassatt, The Bath, 1890-1891
Thanks so much to Zoe for bringing in the above work by American impressionist, Mary Cassatt. Zoe found this wonderful example of Cassatt's work at the National Gallery of Art (last week's web challenge), and received her made-to-order ATC. Congratulations, Zoe!

Anyone who wants to win an ATC in the coming week (Sept 22nd through 24th) will need to find out what a haniwa is! Bring some information (information with a picture is even better!) to school, and you'll receive your own ATC.
Remember: the student who collects the most ATCs during the semester, by following the web challenges posted here, will receive a 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Diego Rivera, Paper Beads, and the Book of Kells: Just a Smidgen of Week 2's Projects!

The second week of school was packed with activities and projects. You might remember last week that I challenged students to find an artist who shared their name (first or last), and to bring in a photo of the artist's work. Diego G. came through with a magnificent work by Diego Rivera:
Diego Rivera's El Hombre al Cruce, at Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City
Thanks, Diego! 
Great work! Diego earned an ATC--the beginning of his collection. Whoever has the MOST ATCs by semester's end will win an even better prize! :)
I'd also like to send out a special thank you to Celeste for the thorough paper on one of my favorite artists, Georgia O'Keeffe!  

Ram's Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills, 1935 collection:Brooklyn Museum Georgia O'Keeffe
Art from Paper
. . . was fun, and a little bit tricky, when the students made beads out of paper, and then strung them on yarn. We learned that paper can mimic other materials when rolled up. The beads, below, almost look like stone!
Explorations in Art
. . . turned into quite an adventure when the 4th through 6th students explored the Book of Kells. Over the next week or two, we will continue to create our own version of this ancient script. This work, created by Irish monks around 800 b.c., is full of intricate designs, ornamentations, and hidden pictures. 
1st through 3rd grades continued their journey of the elements of art when we discussed shape. We picked up from last week's lesson--line--and used lines to create shapes. We took turns naming the various types of shapes before creating our own, and coloring them in . . .
WOW! Look at all those SHAPES!!
Ceramics I
. . . was quite a lot of fun. While learning the pinch method, students tackled their first clay project: the "animalito" (little animal). Ever thinking outside the box, some students made BUGitos, VOLCANOitos, and a variety of other "ito" items. We certainly have a lot of talented ARTISTitos (little artists!) in our class!
The more advanced students in  
Ceramics II
spent their first "wet clay day" making artist stamps. Each student designed their own stamp, picking a shape or symbol that they identified with, artistically, and carved a stamp to use in their future ceramic works. This was quite tricky, though, because the stamps needed to be mirror images of what they wanted them to look like after pressing them into clay! 

Drawing and Painting
. . . young artists really had to stretch their imaginations, when they were challenged to create their own imaginary creature, and to use COLOR to convey the creature's personality!
And in Mixed Media class
students combined collage, pencil drawing, and crayon (or colored pencils) to create "fill in the missing half" artworks! If you're not in Mixed Media class, and want to try this at home, here's what you do:
1. Find a picture that you like in a magazine, and tear it out.
2. Cut the picture down the middle, lengthwise.
3. Glue one of the halves to plain white paper, leaving room on the "missing side" of the paper for drawing.
4. Save the unglued side for reference.
5. Using a pencil, and the missing side for reference, draw in the missing elements of the picture.
6. Use crayons or colored pencils to finish your artwork!
7. Amaze your friends and family with your extraordinary 
Do you want to win a PRIZE (an original ATC) in the coming week?
If so, then go to the National Gallery of Art's website and start looking through their permanent collection (or the current exhibit!) to find a work of art that really appeals to you. It can be from any genre you choose, and from any year in art history: prehistory through contemporary works. Print out your choice and bring it to class. Be prepared to tell me what you like about it!

I'm particularly fond of the works in the Philip Guston exhibit that is currently on view through October 18th in the East Buiding's Tower Gallery. He has such a playful style. It reminds me of outsider art, and has a distinctive "self taught" edge to it. 
Philip  Guston, Rug, 1976.  Oil on canvas

Friday, September 4, 2009

Beginning Week of Classes

Before we recount the first week's classes, I'd like to give a virtual "high five" to KYLER S. Congratulations, Kyler! You correctly identified the mystery photo. You'll receive a real "high five" from me in class!  :)
We may not have gotten much done this week, but it was certainly busy! As a refresher for existing students, and a learning experience for new ones, we went over behavior guidelines and introduced ourselves. Old friends happily greeted each other and shared stories about summer activities, and new friendships were made and solidified on the first day of class. It's so nice to be back!
In some classes, we discussed the color wheel. We learned about primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors. We also talked about value, intensity, hue, shade, tint, warm v. cool colors, etc. In today's post, I've included a variety of color wheels. They come in many different styles, and you may want to try designing your own at some point. The one I handed out in class was designed by me, and if you'd like additional copies, I'll make them available for printing from your own computer in the near future.
SO, by now, many students would successfully survive the following ART EMERGENCY
You're stranded on an island, and have found a cave to live in. The walls are surprisingly smooth, white, and perfect for your very own cave art. You want to do a mural using the full spectrum of colors. However, you ONLY have 5 large bottles of paint. The paint colors are red, yellow, blue, white, and black. You are an artist, and (thankfully!) you remember the color wheel, so you'll be just fine. The creativity (and color mixing!) begins . . .
In other art classes, we discussed one of the elements of art: the mighty LINE______________________________________ 
We learned what linear means, and talked about the linear style of working. We talked about how lines can be straight or curvilinear. They can be different shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, and we can use lines to convey emotion or mood. Lines can be excited, sleepy, happy, angry, funny, thoughtful, curious, heavy, light, precise, messy, ____________, ____________, and even _______________! Think of some descriptive words, and imagine them sitting atop those LINES!

Paul Klee (pronounced like clay!) said, 
"A line is a dot that went for a walk." 
Can you visualize that? If you go to the library, or search the internet, to find images of his work, you'll understand why he was so fascinated by line. He had a wonderful linear style!
And speaking of Klee . . . oops! I meant to say CLAY! In ceramics class we assigned work boards and found each class' storage cabinet. We also talked about the importance of bringing the necessary personal materials to the second week of class (old shirt or smock, hand lotion, etc--check the notice that went home with you). Remember: clay will stain your clothes.

If you're in Ceramics I, you'll learn all about clay in the weeks to come! If you're in Ceramics II, remember to start work on you Inspiration Notebook. I'm already familiar with your artistic abilities, so I know that you'll come up with some really cool ideas! In fact, SARAH  Z. has already created (yes, CREATED!) her own Inspiration Notebook, and just looking at her notebook inspires me to create great art! High five to Sarah!

 (Hey! "All Students" is done in complimentary colors!)

If you'd like to win a PRIZE in the week of Sept 7th, then here's your assignment:
Search the web* to find an artist who shares your name. It can be either your first name or your last name. Print out a page that shows an example of their art, along with their name. They don't have to be a famous artist, just an artist of any caliber whose art is found online.

*ANY TIME you're doing an online search for my classes, be sure to have your parent, or another responsible (and older) person present. No exceptions.