Friday, May 30, 2014

Hand-Building and Hand Gestures

Arely, Grade 8

Erica, Grade 8

Isabella, Grade 7

Geno, Grade 7

Kalyssa, Grade 7
After our 7th and 8th grade art show, I felt the students needed a break from painting.  We got out the clay, and we learned how to roll even slabs using slab guides.  The students cut 2 circles, a long rectangle, and the outline of a hand.  They then learned to score and slip the pieces together.  The 2 circles became the base and lid of a small cup, and the hand was attached to the lid and sculpted into a variety of hand signals.  They looked at mudras from Indian art, sign language and discussed common hand gestures.  Most students chose "I love you" or "peace".  A few students got creative and made their hand pinching an object.  I let them decide how to paint the piece, but suggested they avoid numbers or letters, and suggested choosing a color scheme of less than 4 colors.  The air-dry clay is frustrating because it is so fragile when it dries, but those students who kept theirs at least 1/4 an inch thick and smoothed it well had no problems. 

Tiny Dancers

Carlos and Aria

Enrique and Giana

Karla and Jakyla

Kevin and Justin
The second and third graders are finishing a sculpture project this week.  They began by hearing about Edgar Degas from a read-aloud, and looked at some of his sculptures.  I also showed them bronze figures by Alberto Giacometti and Pablo Picasso.  They were able to guess Picasso's work because they identified the cubist style from their previous lessons!  They built an armature from pipe cleaner, and used aluminum foil strips and modge podge to build their figures.  They painted them with black acrylic paint, and then they glazed them with a little bit of gold liquid watercolors.  A lot of the students made karate poses, so we tied belts in addition to tutus on the finished work.  Mrs. Phares's class made a connection with her Degas figure she keeps in her room, so she let us borrow it with a second read-aloud about his work Little Dancer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright Windows

I love doing this project and having it up on our classroom windows.

The colors add so much to the room.

Tracing the original design onto wax paper. 

Tracing the original shapes onto tissue paper.

Gluing the color into place.
The first graders looked at some of Frank Lloyd Wright's designs this week.  We started with a slide show of his buildings, looking for lines and tracing them with our fingers.  The students noticed the lines were mostly "side to side" or "up and down".  We discussed horizontal and vertical, and then we practiced drawing both kinds of lines on graph paper.  Then, I had them draw 3 or 4 circles inside the squares and rectangles on their paper.  They used primary colors to color a few shapes, leaving plenty of negative space.  They then compared their work to some of Frank Lloyd Wright's colorful stained glass windows.  They transformed their drawings into a window by tracing them onto wax paper and adding colorful tissue paper.  I have done this project several times, and they always seem to come out very well.  Kindergarten tried it too, but I had them color the shapes rather than adding the tissue. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Matisse Mash-ups

Kevin, Grade 3

Gianna, Grade 3

Keshawn, Grade 3

Wendy, Grade 3

Jakyla, Grade 3
The second and third graders have been comparing geometric and organic shapes.  They found both in the work of famous Fauvist painter Henri Matisse.  They compared his cut paper compositions to Picasso's cubist paintings, and learned about their friendship and rivalry.  They played with a website from the Baltimore Museum of Art that allowed them to hear about the artist and to begin to piece together various patterns in his paintings to build his compositions.  This helped as they began to build their own Matisse masterpiece.  They drew symmetrical fishbowls and stools, and organic shapes resembling fish in motion.  They created an abstract background collage with geometric and organic shapes, and experimented with balance and contrast as they arranged the pieces.  They look so colorful in the classroom!

Oil Pastel Nests

Daniel, Grade 1

Cooper, Grade 1

Daisy, Grade 1

Jesus, Grade 1

Maureen, Grade 1

Kimani, Grade 1
Ms. Brand's class layered lines this week, experimenting with oil pastels.  We practiced making a dark hole for the middle of the nest, and made hatch marks with lighter colors on top to create layers of sticks.  I love how the backgrounds and branches were all so different.  My goal for this exercise was for them to notice differences between oil pastels and crayons, and to notice how lines show up best on top of a contrasting color or value. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Form and Value Exercises

The Fifth and Sixth Graders Drawing Dafodills

Lawrence found ellipses, cylinders, light and shadows.

Sean Mixing Colors

Jadelyn made a symmetrical vase by connecting ellipses.

Finding forms in nature gave the students a break from drawing the Thiebaud desserts.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Come See the Art Show!

The 7-8th Graders are having an art show!  It is at the Lincoln Park Branch of the Chicago Public Library, and will be on display through the end of May.  The students worked hard all semester, so their notes and sketches are on display with their artwork.  Stop by to read about what dreams mean to them.  I am impressed with their willingness to share personal views.  Henri Matisse once said, "It takes courage to create."  I agree, and think it's great that the students have been so open with their thoughts.  They worked together, in some cases teaching each other, and learned about value, color theory, texture, brush techniques, art history and symbolism.  Stop by the reception on May 22nd, from 5-6pm, to meet and talk to the artists!  The kindergarten and first grade students will have a display in the entrance to the library.  The middle school work is located in the conference room near the back of the first floor. 
Kindergarten and First Grade Work at the Library's Entrance

Kinder Gardens

The kindergarten classes are planting gardens in art class!

After fan-folding a piece of construction paper to form a "plowed field", they planted patterns using beans and tissue paper.

The craft glue holds the pieces better than school glue.

ABB, AB, ABC, Lettuce and Beans

Happy Gardener, Scarlett

Laila's Veggies

Scarlett's Veggies

Emma's Veggies

Ava's Veggies

Melanie's Veggies

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...