Thursday, December 13, 2012

Aesthetic Discussions

3rd and 4th graders had some interesting discussions this week. 

 - Why is it important to look closely at an artwork?

 - What influences your opinion?  What influences your opinion about an artwork?

 - What can we learn from looking at artwork?

              The token response game is a classic way to get students to think about aesthetic issues and questions.  Students assign "rewards" to different artworks and then defend their reasoning.  Which artwork is your favorite?  Which is worth the most money?  Which took the longest to make?  Which artwork would you give as a gift?

              The Art Scavenger Hunt encourages students to look closer at artworks.  What changes as we examine them further?  Does your opinion change once you know more about it?


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kindergarten Number Paintings

Jasper Johns is an American modern artist known for making prints of numbers and other common parts of pop culture.  He was born in Georgia and grew up in South Carolina. 

Kindergarten students discussed how numbers are important in our world and practiced drawing numbers and letters. 

Students looked at various artwork and discussed the principal of art, Emphasis.  What is the most important part of an artwork?  What do you see first?  How do artists create emphasis?

Can you see the sparkly part that students chose to emphasize?

1st grade Landscapes

Thanks to The Crayon Lab for the lesson, 1st graders discussed the parts of a landscape and the artwork of Wolf Kahn.  Students know vocabulary like Horizon Line and Depth.  Students understand that artists show depth by making objects smaller and higher on the page.

Wolf Kahn's landscapes are very free and loose and certainly very colorful.  1st graders used liquid watercolors to brighten their landscapes with vivid colors.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

4th grade Sculptures

Using magazine pages, 4th graders created materials to use for their sculptures.  We studied a couple abstract sculptors including Louise Nevelson and Henry Moore.  We discussed the characteristics of sculpture, materials used, and the meaning of abstract artwork.

Students were sent free as they experimented and manipulated the materials to create sculptures that were sturdy and balanced.

Students discussed why artists title their artwork.  Is it to help explain the meaning of the work?  Is it to trick the viewer into seeing the artwork with a different perspective?  Students decided on a title and signed their sculptures.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2nd grade Community Collages

What is a community?  In what communities do you belong?  Your school?  Your family?  Your sports team?

2nd graders got into an interesting discussion about these questions.  We studied the life and artwork of autobiographical artist, Romare Bearden, and students used his artwork to inspire their own personal community collages.

Monday, December 3, 2012

3rd grade Chihuly Sculptures

Dale Chihuly is an amazing, famous, glass blower.  His artwork is displayed all over the world.  Check out this digital story I made for a graduate school project to learn more about him!

3rd grade students are very familiar with the glass blowing process.  Many of them went on a small field trip earlier in the year and saw it happen!  We studied Chihuly's life and discussed the look of his artwork.

Students created a small sculpture using coffee filters, marker, and spray starch.  Thank you to Jennifer Heyser, the other art teacher at Woodland ES for this simple yet effective idea.

1st grade Clay Installations

1st graders learned about an interesting Japanese artist named Yayoi Kusuma.  She is the highest paid woman artist in the world!  She is known for being eccentric, and often creates large installations with polka dots!

1st graders learned various clay making vocabulary words like pinch pot, texture, kiln, and glaze.  Students created a pumpkin form with textured polka dots like Kusuma.  After learning about what an installation is, students also created a paper background with similar dots so that the pumpkin blends in with the installation.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kindergarten Clay Frames

I enjoy introducing a clay project to Kindergarten students.  Their excitement for the clay is contagious.  No matter what the product ends up looking like, students learn so much by just getting their hands dirty and working with a 3-dimensional sculpture material.  We discuss the many steps involved with clay making and students are always intrigued with the kiln.

Kindergarten students created clay slabs (flat, thin pancakes) and cut a hole out of the center to make a frame.  Students experimented by stamping various objects into the clay to create texture. 

Clay can sometimes be difficult and unforgiving.  There were a couple broken frames, but I only used this as a lesson in adaptability and process over product.  Students will have no problem gluing their creations together after the glaze firing.

2nd grade Clay Guitars

After last year's success, I had my 2nd graders make clay guitars this year too.  After studying Picasso's guitar and violin series, students pondered how music can inspire artwork. 

Students became very familiar with clay hand building techniques by making slabs, adding texture, and attaching pieces by slip and scoring. 

It's interesting to discuss the different types of guitars and with which genre of music they're associated.  The flying V style was very popular this year.  I think my classes were filled with some rock and roll fans!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

3rd grade Prints

After studying Gustav Klimt and his famous Tree of Life painting, 3rd graders created a symmetrical tree collograph.  We discussed positive and negative space and printed with gold ink in the spirit of Klimt's favorite color. 

After students printed, we discussed how artists know when an artwork is finished.  Some of the responses were,

 - "When all the steps are completed"

 - "When the space is filled"

 - "When the artist decides"

It was an interesting discussion as students pondered their decision making role in the creative process. 

4th grade Mandala Prints

Buddhist Tibetan monks have a tradition of creating beautiful sand mandalas.  The monks create the designs in silence and while meditating.  When they are finished, the mandala is swept up and sent down a river of water to honor the value of impermanence.  I love discussing this art form with my students.  It's difficult to imagine destroying something so beautiful, but we talk about how the important factor is the process, not the product!

4th graders created radial symmetrical, geometric mandala designs on styrofoam and printed them with gradient colors. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

5th grade Still Lifes

With a little inspiration from Wayne Thiebaud and a fellow art teacher, my 5th graders practiced using value to create form and painted candy still lifes.  Students used painting and drawing techniques to fill the space of their composition, show a 3 dimensional form on a 2d surface, and watercolor value.