Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Quilling With Art Club

Paper quilling also known as paper filigree, is the art of shaping paper into intricate and interesting shapes. This is achieved by rolling strips of paper and pinching or curving them into various forms. These forms are then arranged together to create a composition.  A completed quilled project may look complicated, but the basics of this medium are actually not hard to master.  The Art Club has been experimenting with quilling!  They all agree that it is more tricky than it first looked, but they are catching on quickly.

Some of our first practice shapes!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Contour Lines and Creative Thinking

Albrecht Durer
The 7th and 8th grade students have been practicing their drawing skills in art class.  We have talked about how, to draw something from observation, it is important to practice drawing what you see rather than what you know.  We all know what a hand looks like, and most kids have done drawings from traced hands since they were very young.  The challenge is to look at a hand in terms of lines, shapes, angles and spaces.  The students were challenged at first, but their work improved quickly.  We talked about how drawing from observation uses a part of your brain that requires exercise just like your body.  This tied in well with our growth mindset lessons because they can see improvement in their work, proving that drawing skill is not innate but developed!  By creating an interesting background, they were challenged to use creative thinking skills rather than observation skills.  Many of them found this more difficult!  I love their results.  Each one is so different.

Zithlaly, Grade 7

Quin and Lily, Grade 7

Amir, Grade 8

Mason, Grade 8

Nate, Grade 7

Leo, Grade 7

Danny and Gabe, Grade 8

Cain, Grade 8

Alex, Grade 7

Amanda and Melanie, Grade 8/7

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Marbling Magic

Finished Patterns

The second session of Art Club began last week, and we have started with some new projects.  I saw this activity online in a few different blogs, and I thought we could give it a try.  The students loved it, and I think the prints turned out beautifully.  We used shaving cream to cover the bottom of some pans, and dribbled liquid watercolors over the cream.  I showed them a few ways to swirl the paint, but also encouraged them to experiment.  After swirling the paint, paper could be placed right on top, pressed into the cream, and then the print could be pulled.  They used popsicle sticks to stir and scrape.  I made sure to provide gloves and to cover the tables because the watercolors can stain skin and tables.  I have read that this can be done with food coloring too.  Here are some photos of the process and the happy artists!

Ethan Filling His Pan

Javier With His Pan

Swirled Paint

Esteban With His Pan

Elyza Dribbles Paint
Sheridan and Jair Pull a Print
Javier and His Work
Artists at Work

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Practicing Process

I had the 7th and 8th graders do some exercises this week in mindset, creative thought and art process.  Each day, we began class with a short video about growth and fixed mindsets.  We worked on quick, one-day projects that challenged them to think of creative ideas and that enabled me to check on their work daily.  My hope is that we can begin with longer projects next week referencing these lessons when we hit roadblocks with closed minds or apathy.  We have concrete examples going into the quarter of how students came up with new ideas while they were working, how they were able to build on each others' ideas and how practice can improve creativity.  The images below show examples from a  progressive drawing activity we did yesterday.  Students drew what home means to them.  They then had to pass their paper around the table while each student was given a task to change or re-draw the original.  It was fun to see the changes that took place and ideas that formed through the process!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

3-D City Sunsets

Using card stock and oil pastels, the third graders built cities in layers.

Alyssa G's sunset is a good example of the background layer.
Here you can see the cardboard squares used as spacers between layers.
Alissa S.

Rhea K.


Elyza G.

Cortney M.

Isabella and Yaquelin 
Greg R.

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...