Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Finding Lines in Nature

Work by Mrs. Blundy's 2nd Graders who were finding lines in Hokusai's Great Wave
In the 2nd grade at Prescott, student artists learn about famous artists and their art.  This week, they learned about Japanese artist Hokusai.  In class, we looked at some of his waterfall pictures and his famous picture called Great Wave off Kanagawa.  The students learned that these pictures are not paintings.  They are prints!  We watched a quick demonstration that shows how a print is made, and we noticed that prints are usually full of lines the artist carved into a block to create a picture.  Then we had some fun using sumi-e materials including ink and bamboo brushes to find lines in Hokusai's work.  Students began with a teacher-led demonstration of how to use the brush to make skinny or fat lines.  They then painted lines on a copy of his picture before doing it on their own paper.  They really did a beautiful job!

Elyza, Grade 2

Jair, Grade 2

Aubry, Grade 2

Jefrey, TJ, Caleb and Matthew, Grade 2

Bella, Grade 2

Bella's finished work!

Alexis's finished work!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Showing our Colors

Grade 1 has been constructing 3-D paper chameleons inspired by Leo Lionni's illustrations.  A Color of his Own is a great story about a lonesome chameleon who finds a friend.  The students practiced making patterns, cutting tricky shapes, and following directions to make their 2-D drawings 3-D.

Caleb, Grade 1

Leyla, Grade 1

Kennedy, Grade 1

Allejandro, Grade 1

Natalia, Grade 1

Thursday, October 1, 2015

We're Going on an Architecture Tour!

Lily, Grade 6, Drafting a Template for the John Hancock Tower
        I was lucky enough to see the Hokusai exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston this summer.  Besides his famous woodblock prints, like The Great Wave off Kanagawa, they were exhibiting some of his paper dioramas.  I thought they looked like something that would be a fun project for art class, and I thought about how it was a good way for students to practice thinking spatially.  They would have to plan in 2-D to build in 3-D.  When I read about it, I learned that this Japanese art, tatebanko, is having a resurgence in popularity because you can post templates online, print them out, and build models from the templates.  When Ms. Gow told me that the middle school would be going on an architecture tour of Chicago, I decided we could collaborate by having students make dioramas of famous Chicago buildings.  As a result, the middle schoolers are researching, drafting and building models of a variety of buildings from our skyline.  I let them look at some patterns from buildyourownchicago.com , but I challenged them to just get ideas from these patterns rather than using these printed templates.  Their buildings all look different, but they are so much more interesting to see than if they all used a pre-drawn template.  They built a tatebanko box, and are creating scenes they will place their buildings in.  Here are a few "architects" at work:

Tatebanko, The Japanese Art of Paper Dioramas, Hokusai

Melanie, Grade 6, The Chicago Theater

Xithaly, Grade 6, Harold Washington Library

Manuel, Grade 6, Aqua Tower and John Hancock

Rylee, Grade 6, Federal Center
Monica, Grade 6, Willis Tower and John Hancock

Rylee added a Calder Flamingo to his Federal Center scene.

Antonio, Grade 6, Constructing a Tatebanko Box

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...