Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snowy Owls and a Lesson in Contrast

Why would it be good for some owls to have white feathers?  How could we make white owls show up in the snow?  What color would be the easiest to see in the snow?  These questions helped our Kindergarten students begin to think about contrasting colors in art.  They began with a snowy background, and they added a white owl to the foreground.  Using a contrasting black paint, they outlined their owls so that they would be easier to see.  They reviewed shapes and lines as they composed their cute pictures.  They are excited to take them home!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Aboriginal X-Ray Paintings

Platypus by Isaac, Grade 2
Koala by Noah, Grade 2
Goana by Karla, Grade 2
Platypus by Ivana, Grade 2
Emu by Ella, Grade 1

Aboriginal x-ray art is a traditional style used by the people of Australia to depict local animals and stories. Many of the animals are painted showing their bones and organs, that is, painted in x-ray.  X-ray art has been painted by Aboriginal people for countless generations. The origins of this ancient Australian art are in the Aboriginal rock art which was painted by the very first people in this country thousands of years ago. 

The first and second graders have had fun making their own versions of these paintings.  They got to learn about Australian animals like emu, koalas, kangaroos and the platypus.  They practiced using lines and shapes to draw these animals.  When they had a good outline, they drew organs and bones inside the animal.  Finally, they used paint to create dot paintings and Aboriginal symbols around their animals.  These symbols were learned in the previous project. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Framing Night

Thank you to all the parents who came out to help frame artwork on Friday night!  Thanks to the time they donated, we have enough pieces framed to fill the hallway and extras to display in the community or other parts of the school.  Having the support of the school community means a lot, and I am excited to see the accomplishments of our students on display. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

An Artistic Celebration of Learning

Middle School Girls with their Completed Project
Today our students will have a Celebration of Learning assembly at 3:00.  The middle school girls have put together a presentation of their work and will perform for the school.  They used the grid method to make large pieces of Grant Wood's American Gothic.  They put together a list of facts about the artist and his famous painting.  They will build the puzzle on stage as they read the facts to the audience.  This project gave them a chance to work as a group to learn some art history and to get comfortable using paint.  I think they did a great job, and I look forward to seeing them perform today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Jim Dine is our Valentine

A painting by Jim Dine, our inspiration for this project...

Dylan, Room 104

Jack V.  Room 104

Felipe, Room 104
Jim Dine is an artist affiliated with the Pop Art movement of the early 1960s.  Unlike pop artists like Andy Warhol, he prefers to emphasize the hands-on, gestural, and expressive in his work.  This means he does a lot of experimenting with paint application techniques.  He is known for creating mixed-media works and assemblages.  This is lots of fun for young artists too, as they learn to try various kinds of art tools and mediums.  Our Kindergarten classes looked at some of his work, and have been making some colorful paintings inspired by his heart compositions. 

He often added personal items, such as his own clothing, shoes, and tools to his canvases. The artist also began to develop a strong interest in his own memories and the construction of identity, leading him to create works with objects possessing particular significance to him, such as hearts.  I feel like this makes him a fun artist to study around Valentine's Day, when we can talk about what the image of a heart makes us think about.

I really love the colorful compositions that Ms. Lindsey and Ms. Downing's classes are coming up with.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Aboriginal Art

This is an example of one Aboriginal painting the students analyzed and used as inspiration in their work.
The first and second graders have been learning about the art of Australia.  They began by comparing the histories of Australia and the United States, discussing native people and colonists.  They then reflected on their knowledge of Native American symbols to try and decipher some Aboriginal symbols.  They then used these Aboriginal symbols to make a painting that tells a story.  They tried to design a map of an area, and they were asked to write about what is happening in their painting.  Next, they will be creating some x-ray paintings of 5 fun Australian animals!

Aria, Room 205

Ella, Room 106
Wendy, Room 205
Jakyla, Room 106

This painting shows two meeting places on either side of a river, some hunters and some animal tracks.

Ella, from Mrs. Kirshner's class, is beginning to paint a river.

Jakyla is painting a watering hole surrounded by humans and animal tracks.

Prescott's First Annual Fundraiser and Auction

The parents of Prescott have organized a fundraiser and auction to benefit our school and students. In art class, each classroom worked on a large canvas that was generously donated by Blick.  They brainstormed ideas, and came up with a wide variety of compositions.  Some were based on famous paintings, and some were collections of individual works.  All of them are colorful, creative, and show how much talent we have at our school!  If you would like to come bid on a painting, or if you would like to donate to the fundraiser, visit the parent's website:

Middle School Auction Piece based on Van Gogh

Ms. OrRico's 4th and 5th Graders

Middle School Auction Piece based on Hokusai

Ms. Lindsey's Kindergarten Class

Mrs. Kirshner's 1st and 2nd Grade Class

Mrs. Walsh's 1st Grade Class

Ms. Estin's 2nd Grade Class

Mrs. Phares's 3rd Grade Class

American Sculpture: Martin Puryear

Martin Puryear is a 79 year old sculptor who lives in New York.  He has traveled the world to study art and craft traditions, and he has rec...