Sunday, February 21, 2021

Surrealist Self Portrait

This week, we will continue our lessons on identity in art by exploring images in our dreams.  We will: 

  • Analyze the history and meaning of surrealism and utilize these characteristics in a self-portrait.
  • Investigate past and present surrealist artists for inspiration.
  • Develop a surrealism-inspired self-portrait using mixed media and fantasy images.
  • Learn the importance of balancing freedom and responsibility in the use of images and materials.
Start by watching this video that asks:  What is Surrealism?

Next, watch this video to brainstorm and make art with Ms. Ammons.  You will be asked to analyze some images from a dream or dreams you have had, and you will:

  1. Prepare your surface. (Canvas Panels, Canvas, Cardboard)
  2. Layer design elements. (Get creative with your supplies!)
  3. Create a self portrait. (Draw your face from different angles or draw parts of your face.)
  4. Assemble the layers and portrait(s). (Arrange your designs and drawings)
  5. Add final elements. (Found objects or decorative elements.)
Get creative!  If you have lots of art supplies at home, think of ways to use your favorites.  If not, just use what you have.  Make it FUN.  Don't just do the minimum.

Project Goals: (4=A, 3=B, 2=C, 1=D)
  • Self portrait sketches show proportions of the face and shading
  • Images from the dream give some clues about the dream.
  • There are at least three 4 layers of collage, paint, or found objects.
  • The color scheme and mark-making create a mood that matches the mood of the dream.

To turn in work, copy this code:  WCCP-WSTF

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Layering Stories With Aaron Douglas

This portrait of Aaron Douglas, by Betsy Graves Reyneau, hangs in our National Portrait Gallery!

Begin this week by reviewing what the HARLEM RENAISSANCE was.  
Listen to a story HERE.
Watch HERE.

Aaron Douglas was an African American painter and graphic artist who played a leading role in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s.  Arriving in 1925, Douglas quickly got involved in Harlem's cultural life. He made illustrations for magazines. Douglas created powerful images of African American life and struggles and won awards for the work he created for these magazines, and was then asked to illustrate some books. 

In 1926, Douglas married teacher Alta Sawyer, and the couple's Harlem home became a meeting place for many famous writers like Langston Hughes and W.E.B. Du Bois, among other powerful African Americans of the early 1900s. 

Douglas had a unique artistic style that combined his interests in modern art and African art. He incorporated parts of Art Deco along with elements of Egyptian wall paintings in his work. Look at these images of Douglas's work, and see if you notice some common images.

Click HERE for an Aaron Douglas Video

In class, we will talk about 
found in his work.  We will also talk about the layers in the painting.  Notice here that the front layers are dark, and the back layers are very light.  

Look for these things three "S"s in the paintings below, made by Prescott 5th Graders.  Also, try to guess what their paintings are about.  Aaron Douglas made art about his experiences as an African American and African American history, because he felt strongly about representing these stories in his art.  These artists chose to paint about things they feel strongly about...

Now, think about what you would like to choose as your theme, and watch this video by Ms. Ammons to make your own!

To turn in work, copy this code:  WCCP-WSTF

Tales from Totems

This week, we will learn about the Native Americans of the Northwest.  These natives live near the coast, and in the mountains.  A lot of their art shows ocean or forest animals.  What animals do you see here? What shapes and colors do you see?

Tribes like the Haida tribe make animal art that is made of simple shapes, patterns and colors.  The animals often represent people, and they are used as characters in stories.  

If you were an animal, what animal would you be?  Why?

Some artists carve totems.  These tall poles include animal designs stacked one over the other.  They can tell a story of an important event, they can show the members of a family, or they can represent a tribe.  Have you ever seen a totem pole in Chicago?  There is one on the Lakefront Trail!  

Let's learn about totem poles, read about totem poles and MAKE a totem pole!  

Learn about totem poles HERE.

Hear a story about totems HERE.

Hear a story of a raven HERE.

Now let's watch Ms. Ammons and make our own totem pole!

Totems Made by Prescott First Graders

To turn in work, copy this code:  WCCP-WSTF

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Honoring Heroes with Charles White


Gideon, by Charles White

Charles White is a masterful artist from the south side of Chicago.  He is most well known for showing the lives of African Americans throughout American history.  Many of his drawings, prints and and paintings show African American heroes.  These heroes include famous freedom fighters like Harriet Tubman, but they also highlight the heroes that often go unnoticed:  laborers.  

He was a master at using light and shadow to capture expression on the faces and in the body postures of people he drew, and he was able to show people who spent their lives doing hard work as heroes.  He raised them into the light rather than letting them be looked down on.  

General Moses (Harriet Tubman), by Charles White

Ye Shall Inherit the Earth, by Charles White

In this project, you will review value and the proportions of the face, and you will use Charles White as your inspiration as you highlight a modern day hero.  Think of the frontline workers who have worked hard to help us through 2020 and the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Think of people you notice who work hard every day but are not necessarily recognized for the importance of their work.  

Look at these works by Charles White.  What do you notice?  What do you think?  What do you wonder?  Spend some time discussing them with someone you know.  Do they notice things you don't?

Harvest Talk, by Charles White

Work, by Charles White

Follow along with Ms. Ammons in this video to learn more about Charles White and to draw a picture that honors a hero.  

Check your work!

Project Goals: (4=A, 3=B, 2=C, 1=D)

1.  My proportions of the face are accurate.

2.  My shading is smooth and has dark, medium and light values.

3.  I added details to show what work my person does.

4.  I thought about the overall drawing and how I filled the page.

To turn in work, copy this code:  WCCP-WSTF

Adobe Architecture and Kachina Dolls


This week, we will learn about the Native Americans of the Southwest.  

We will begin by looking at where they live, how they build their homes and what their buildings look like.  After we talk in class and watch a background video, we will become adobe architects!  

You will be designing your own pueblo with lines and shapes.  Watch this background video, and then follow along with Ms. Ammons in the second video to make your own picture.

Pueblo: Native Americans of the Southwest

Next, we will hear a Native American story, and we will learn about Kachina Dolls.  Kachinas were used to teach children stories of the gods who brought rain, lightning and other events of nature.  They were not toys, but they made it easier for children to learn all of the different stories.  

Let's hear a story:  Arrow to the Sun

Then, let's hear more about Kachinas!  What is a Kachina Doll?

Now, you will make your own Kachina.  In your art packet, you will find a cardboard tube, and a coloring sheet of a Kachina.  Color the sheet with bright colors, wrap it around the tube, secure it with glue, and then DECORATE!  You can use the feathers I gave you or other craft materials at your house.  

On FRIDAY, your work should be photographed and uploaded to Artsonia.  

To turn in work, copy this code:  WCCP-WSTF

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...