Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Painterly Lions

The number one question I hear from my little ones, is when are we going to paint!??!
So, this week we pulled out the temperas and got started!

We began by looking at photos of the play, The Lion King. Some of students had actually been to the play, so it was very familiar to them. Others enjoyed seeing the elaborate costumes for the first time and making connections to the Disney movie.
We drew the lion's face with pencil, traced with sharpie, and colored with crayon. Then, the fun begins.... using cake temperas (which look like bigger versions of watercolor, but with more pigment) added a mane around the face with black, brown and white paint.

Pretty ferocious, aren't they?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Welcome to the Jungle

In addition to the fabulous rainbow zebras, our second and third graders got a little taste of the jungle too. We looked at images of giraffes on the activboard, recognized shapes and colors, and became wonderful "art observers." I tell my students often, to be a great artist, you must be a good observer, looking closing at things to render what you see...
Looks like they are listening!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Add a Little Color to Your Life!

So... I'm watching Madagascar 3, with my little one and Marty appears.... one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. I think to myself, "WE HAVE TO MAKE RAINBOW ZEBRAS!"
I found a great lesson online (elementaryartfun.blogspot.com) as a inspiration and ran with it. The great thing about blogs, is it's a fantastic way to share ideas and "piggyback" on others' ideas.
My fourth and fifth graders started off by viewing images of zebras on the ActivBoard, being an "art observer" and breaking the animal down into shapes that could be easily drawn.
We drew our zebra, traced with sharpie marker and colored in with crayon. We finished our zebra by painting the background with watercolor.
and here they are!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Reflection and Perspective

So, for this lesson with my fourth and fifth graders, I decided it was time for some higher order thinking skills....the great part is, in art class, I rarely have to prompt the kids to use these skills... it naturally happens when looking at art.
To begin, we took a look at a photo of the Washington Monument.

Using this photo as inspiration, we discussed the monument...when it was built, who designed it, how big it was, why it looked like two different colors of white were used....
Then we discussed the reflecting pool in front of the monument and how reflecting pools show up time and time again in front of important memorials or monuments. Without hesitation, the students quickly figured out that there are two meanings of the word, "reflection." Using those HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS that were hear so much about in education, they analyzed and evaluated the meaning of the word, "reflection" and hypothesized that the artist may have used a refelcting pool in the design not just for the literal meaning of "creating a mirror image" of the monument, but also as a tool of "looking back, thinking about and remembering" why George Washington was important to our country. Wow.

The students also used persepctive to draw things the way they appear to the eye, making the trees "appear" to get smaller the farther away the are, and the reflecting "appear" to become more narrow as it nears the horizon.
But hey, perspective is another lesson all together...


Expressive Pumpkins

Well, these little doozies turned out a million times better than expected!
My kindergarten and first grade classes cut and glued paper into a collage to create pumpkins with expressive faces. One school had some extra time, so we made orange paper by blending red and yellow tissue paper together (SCIENCE=blending colors) and gluing it down to white construction paper. All parts of the pumpkins were cut by the kids themselves, using NO PATTERNS or pre-drawn shapes.
After we made our darling pumpkins, we practiced reciting the poem, "Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate" (LANGUAGE SKILLS!) using our pumpkins as a mask. We even made the poem a little more difficult by assigning parts to different groups of students.
My students did a wonderful job of making their pumpkins all look so very different by designing them with different expressions. Way to go my little ones!


Monday, October 8, 2012

US Symbols...and current events!

I know what you're thinking... where are the handprint turkeys and macaroni roosters? Well, we just aren't that kind of art class!
In our art class, your children learned about US Symbols; the American Flag, Liberty Bell and Statue of Liberty. We discussed the Presidential Election coming up in November, incorporated technology by watching an informative video on Brainpopjr.com, and played a memory game on the Activboard.
My second and third graders drew a Statue of Liberty surrounded by fireworks, and used both crayon and watercolor to add color to these fantastic drawings.

Kindergarten and first graders made cut paper American flags, (inspired a little by Jasper Johns) and then added a cut paper liberty bell colored with gold metallic crayon and brown construction paper stand. A lot of steps and a lot of work for little hands!
Doesn't that make you proud to be an American?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dali's Bird Legged Elephants

Well, we're out of the gates running with fourth and fifth grade. We started with a two-part lesson inspired by Salvador Dali's Elephants:

We watched a hysterical video about Dali;

discussed his life and Surrealism, and drew two very long-legged elephants. The main idea I wanted the students to take from this lesson is that Surrealism takes real things and makes them impossible.
We used marker for the elephants, cut them out, used chalk pastels from the sunset and construction paper for the horizon line.
All in all, very successful and a little creepy...pretty much just like Salvador Dali!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Audubon's Flamingos

Kindergarten and First grade started off the year warming up their fingers with cutting and gluing. We took a look at John James Audubon's "Flamingo" from his Birds of America series.

We then cut and glued construction paper by using paper folding and crimping techniques (FINE MOTOR SKILLS-BAM!), talking about shapes (GEOMETRY-BAM!) and created a wonderful, silly-looking and very pink flamingo.

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to a wonderful year of learning!

My students came back refreshed and ready to create. Our first lesson was a simple self portrait...with a twist! We made COLLABORATIVE self portraits. The students shared talents with each other and worked together to make a drawing of each other. These should have come home to you last week.

My 2nd and 3rd graders continued with a lesson I've been dying to do for a while now. We looked at Klee's "Golden Fish,"

and started with an oil pastel background concentrating on line. Squiggly lines, zig zag lines, dotted lines were used to decorate around the edges of the paper.
Then, using a Japanese printmaking technique called, Gyotaku, the students painted and printed a rubber fish on the center of the paper.
Oil pastels were then used to enhance the print and finish up the work.
Pretty cool, huh?


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Talk to your kids about ART!

So, I'm taking a moment to brag about my sweet four-year-old's artwork... As a teacher, I tend to be a little judgemental about his "skills."
I worry that he can't write his name too well, I worry that he still confuses W and L sounds when speaking, but after talking to him about this doozy of a drawing, I'm NOT worried about his creativity!
Talking about art is one of the four main components of Art Education. Being able to talk about how art makes you feel and what the artist is trying to say through his work, makes appreciating art easy!
Take a look.... and here is my son's explaination.
The two main subjects are Black beard (left) and Jack Sparrow (with the green braids on right) fighting with swords. In the background in black marker, you'll see a large ship, anchored by a shark fin, and cave with large orange rocks....On the right side background, you'll see footprints in the sand and gold that fell out of Jack Sparrow's pocket. Yep. That's right. A four year old came up with this.
So my advice?Throw away your coloring books, give your kid a marker and blank piece of paper and have them TALK about what's there. You'll be amazed.
Enjoy your Summer and Make art.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Finishing Up the Year!

David Hockney, Portrait of the Artist

Well Friends, we're officially finishing our last art lesson of the year. Students are working on Modigliani-inspired portraits, making origami butterflies, drawing sheep and completing any unfinshed projects from the year. I have enjoyed teaching this year and can't wait to use my Summer break to re-fuel and come up with some wonderful lessons for next year! Have a wonderful Summer and we'll see ya back in the Fall.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Boom, Boom, POW!

This week my Second and Third graders did a fun Pop Art lesson inspired by Roy Lichtenstein. These amazing primary colored pieces definitely caught the eye of our passers by!

The students enjoyed writing a word that sounds like the noise it makes, and example of Onomonepeia... a big word used in English class.

Brandon, Grade 3

Jason, Grade 3

Even my Fourth and Fifth graders got into the "action" (ha ha...)
Making pop up Word Bubbles also inspired by Lichtenstein.

Darvin, Grade 5

Connor, Grade 5

Anna Kate, Grade 5

Caleb, Grade 5

BIG THANKS to Theresa Miller, for an awesome art lesson!

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Showers bring... PANOPLY!

It's that time of year again... I'm looking forward to Huntsville's biggest and brightest Arts Festival, Panoply!
All public and private schools in the Huntsville/Madison County area can partipate by sharing artwork in the Student Art Tent. I'm in the process now of chosing 10-12 great pieces from both Blossomwood and Highlands Elementary to show off on our frames.
The festival will be held April 27-29 in Big Spring Park. There will be tons of activities for children, music, dancing, drama, food and lots of ART!
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact The Arts Council. It is a wonderful opportunity to volunteer and have some fun.
I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Who doesn't like a little bling?

Now THIS was a cool lesson.... using metallic gold wrapping paper, Fourth and Fifth Grade students created collages inspired by Gustav Klimt's gold-leafed paintings.
This lesson also learned listening skills, math (parallel lines, geometry, vertical vs. horizontal, and congruent vs. similar shapes) and of course, art history.
They're are ready to rock the Geometry portion of the ARMT+ test now.... Thanks Mr. Klimt!

Hanes, Grade 5

Lizzie, Grade 5 

Monday, March 12, 2012

"I'm Yertle the Turtle, oh marvelous me!"

Of course... every lesson I teach, I think the kids do a MARVELOUS job, but this one really takes the cake!

In honor of Dr. Seuss' Birthday week, we read "Yertle the Turtle" as an introduction to our lesson. If you haven't read the book, it is a wonderful story written in rhyme (like only Dr. Seuss can) about a power-hungry turtle king, who is not-so-nice to his subjects.

You check it out here, read by John Lithgow:


After the story, we practiced drawing a turtle by breaking it into shapes (SYNTHESIS-a higher order thinking skill) on regular paper. When we were ready, we embossed our design in gold tooling foil by using dull pencils and magazine padding.

Aren't these fabulous?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hippity Hoppity...

This week, Kindergarten and First Grade took a look at a five hundred year old piece of artwork by Albrecht Durer.

We "drew with our scissors" to create one of our own "Chocolate Bunnies!"

While the kids were concentrating on cutting and gluing, I snuck in LOTS of geometry... vertical and horizontal lines, symmetry, rectangles, circles, squares, octagons....

...isn't it awesome how you can teach ANY subject in art class and make it fun? I'm so sneaky...


Enjoy Art, Culture, and M&M's this Sunday!

So the Weathermen call for rain this weekend... so instead of moping around your house waiting on the sun to come out, swing by the Huntsville Museum of Art and take a look at the Youth Art Month exhibition. Two students from each school in our area have artwork framed and hung in this wonderful, colorful, creative exhibit! The opening reception starts at 1:30 complete with punch and snacks.

Congratulations to Jasmine, (Highlands, Grade 1) Ulysses (Highlands, Grade K), Grace (Blossomwood, Grade 5) and Nancy Kate (Blossomwood, Grade K)! You make me proud.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Let the Sun Shine...

Happy Spring!... well almost.
I took this small window of warmness to do a bright, sunny painting with our Kindergarteners and First Graders inspired by Alma Thomas, and African American abstract painter from Columbus, Georgia.
Alma Thomas' artwork is greatly influenced by nature, especially her painting, "The Eclipse, " which features a near-total solar eclipse that she witnessed in 1970.

Using, construction paper, tempera paints and sponge brushes, we created this:

and this!

SPECIAL THANKS to Deena Sisk, art teacher extraordinaire, at Whitesburg, Williams, and Farley Elementary Schools for sharing this lesson!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Love is in the air....


So, for totally selfish reasons I decided to teach our Kindergarteners and First Graders a lesson about Jim Dine. I LOVE JIM DINE! Big, wonderful, hearts of love for Jim Dine!

They did a wonderful job creating a crayon resist painting of hearts in the style of Jim Dine. We divided our paper into QUADRANTS (Math buzz word!) and drew four hearts, colored them in and watercolored on top of them.
The result was fantastic and fun....