Monday, September 27, 2010

The Shape of Art

We had a lot of fun in our ATC class this past week. Following are some fine examples of miniature, tradable art . . .
Morgan and Anais collaborated to create the ATCs featured above. Pretty clever, huh?
Valencia made this beautifully detailed ATC featuring a woman in a long dress. It reminds me of a sari. 
And the trading card below was made by Cameron. He put lots of detail into his card, which was the main assignment!
In Explorations in Art, we continued building on our knowledge of the principles and elements of art. This past week we discussed shape. Students took a tour through Miss Robin's Art Gallery to view and discuss a number of famous works. We identified the prominent shapes in each work.
For instance, we noted that Grant Wood's Stone City, Iowa (above) is mostly made up of circles and ovals! Several students also pointed out Wood's use of organic shapes.
Paul Gauguin's The Vision After the Sermon was also found to be composed of many organic shapes, which is in sharp contrast to the following, highly geometric work by Shaikh-zada of Khurasan, titled Bahrom Gur in the Turquoise Pavilion.
In addition to shape, we discussed perspective. Students critiqued the use (and non-use!) of perspective in all the works featured in the gallery. And, for good measure, I threw in this brain-teasing work by Salvador Dali. The young artists enjoyed picking out the hidden images, and shifting their gaze between objects which appeared to change before their eyes!
Ceramics I students began work on spirit balls, while the advanced ceramics students continued work on their independent art projects.

Monday, September 13, 2010

ATCs, Color, and Pinch Pots

In ATC class, students used the full class period to create one-of-a-kind Artist Trading Cards. At the end of class, the tiny masterpieces were traded with fellow artists. 

Color was the lesson of the day in Explorations in Art! We discussed Primary colors, Secondary colors, and Tertiary colors. We talked about the qualities of Warm colors vs. Cool colors, and the meanings of Tone and Shade.
Pinata by Diego Rivera
And because this class is all about Exploration, we explored some very famous paintings, three of which are featured here. Our journey around the "gallery" was full of discussion about the palette of the painting, its title, and observations about the colors used by the artist. We spent some time exercising the 3 Cs of Art Class:
  • Compare (how are they alike?)
  • Contrast (how are they different?)
  • Critique (what do we like/dislike about the work?)
Arrangement in Black and Gray by James McNeill Whistler
(This is commonly called Whistler's Mother)
We talked about the artists and their influences. Students learned about the use of color in works characterized as: Impressionist, Minimalist, Fauvist, Cubist, Primitive, and Naive. We talked about the relationships between such artists as Picasso & Matisse, how Cezanne influenced the artists who followed him, and how many artists were heavily inspired by Japanese woodblock prints.
Tulips in Holland by Claude Monet
We looked at color from many angles, and through the eyes of a great number & variety of artists. Next week our focus will be on LINE :)

Ceramics I students learned how to make the most basic of pottery forms: The humble little Pinch Pot. Next week we're going to learn all about wedging clay, which makes it "workable and plastic."
Ceramics II students began work on their independent pieces, each using a method appropriate for the project (pinch, slab, or coil).
Reminder to ALL Ceramics Students:
If you haven't already brought in your work shirt, please remember to bring it with you next week. Clay can and DOES permanently stain clothing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Week of School

We had a very successful first week of school. It was nice to see so many familiar faces from last year, and meet quite a few new ones!

This week, in recap:

ATCs, ACEOs, and Art in Miniature
Students made mini-portfolios to store this semester's artwork. Afterward, we had time to make a few ATCs and then trade them at the end of class. Remember: ATCs & ACEOs are ALWAYS 2-1/2" x 3-1/2". It's the law :)

 Explorations in Art (6-9 and 9+)
Our first project this week was creating portfolios (medium size!) to store the semester's artwork. Once this was done, each student completed a Color Wheel by filling in the Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, and Teritary Colors.

Afterward, students used color paddles to experiment with some good old fashioned Color Theory!

This was all in preparation for next week's lesson on COLOR. We'll be discussing (critiquing, comparing, contrasting) several famous works of art, with the focus being on color.
Ceramics I
In the beginning Ceramics class, we took a field trip to check out the clay traps in the bathroom, learned all about the tools we'll be using, and assigned work boards and board storage for each student. 
  • Remember kids: Bring your work shirt to school next week. You'll need it to protect your clothes!

Ceramics II
In Ceramics II, students helped to organize our materials, were assigned work boards & storage, and then we spent some time talking about our goals for this semester. 

Students in Ceramics II have a weekend assignment:
  • Do some serious thinking about what you want to create. Find or sketch a picture of your idea, and bring it to class with you next week for our first "wet clay day."
  • Bring your work shirt to school next week. You'll need it to protect your clothes!