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

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