Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Mrs. Cook..... Why do we never study WOMEN ARTISTS?!"

Good question, Miss Sarah! So here ya go....

Laurel Burch's cats are everywhere, jewelry, tshirts, tote bags, notecards... the works! We began by looking at some of her fantastic felines on her website. Since Laurel Burch was actually alive (unlike many artists we study) not too long ago, we have her official website to refer to....

See Laurel's website HERE

Since this was a multi-layered project, it wasn't easy... or fast, but the results are awesome!

First we drew the cat, and colored in with construction paper crayon.
Then filled the background with "fireworks" and metallic paper mimicking Laurels Burch's jewel tones and metal in her paintings and jewelry.
And then here comes the gold....."purr-fection."


Just Keep Swimming....

This school year was hard for me to switch gears from "swim team mom" to "full time working mom"... so I decided to incorporate a little of my summer into the art room.

We began by taking a look at David Hockney's California Series of Swimmers:

The kids discussed the rippling effect of the water in Hockney's painting and problem-solved to think of what type of art media we could use to create that "look" on our paper.
The student's started by drawing a figure (preferably themselves) swimming.... we discussed drawing bodies in motion, and proportion. After the figure was drawn, we colored in and added white crayon wiggly lines all around our swimmer.
Of course, the most fun part of all was adding the sparkling blue watercolor to the top of our drawing. My art scientists discovered that oil and water don't mix, and they crayon would repel the watercolor, creating a very cool effect on the paper.

A well-equipped swimmer.
A bathing beauty.
A very flexible fish of a guy.

Monday, October 20, 2014

You win some, you loose some.

For the this lesson, I had this wonderful idea about crayon resist mixed with etching mixed with repetition and printmaking and......well, it turned out..... "meh."

No art teacher out there will tell you they have great success with every lesson they try. Unless they are lying.

Our inspiration for this project was Andy Warhol's Flower Factory.

Seemed easy enough.....We'll start by folding our paper into QUADRANTS (math word) and by folding it SYMMETRICALLY (math word) twice.
In each QUADRANTS (see... not all is lost, we're learning math) the student will draw one flower and color it in with crayon.... (looking back, I should have used oil pastels even though they end up all over the floor and on those precious clothes mamas send their kids in).
And then, color the background space green (again, use oil pastels, NOT CRAYONS.)
And finally, cover the green areas with black tempera paint.
Now the moment of truth.... scratching off the black paint (which I probably should have used a cheaper, more watered down version) to show the green underneath and creating that wonderful depth that Warhol has in his prints.
and we win some, we lose some. Thanks for the effort little ones!


James who?

Okay, I admit it.... I don't know everything about every artist in the entire world... shocking, right? So I was thrilled to find out about a little gem from Brooklyn named James Rizzi.

My son takes an afterschool art class from an awesome teacher who introduced them to this bright, colorful, "Peter Max meets Walt Disney" kinda guy....So being a lifelong learner, I decided to study up and create some fabulous James Rizzi birds with my Kinders and First Graders.
Of course, most of the credit belongs to Deep Space Sparkle-- the (in my opinion) best art teacher's blog out there...For detailed instructions and more wonderful lessons, check it out!
Draw and outline birds with black crayon.
Paint in with liquid watercolors.
Wet background and fill with "dabs" of watercolor.
Fabulous feathered friends.


Lovely Landscapes

Let's just say it.... landscapes can be boring. Yes, they teach perspective, and can meet your requirement to teach, "genre art." but, most the time they aren't very interesting.... UNLESS you look at David Hockney's landscapes!

Hockney lived in both England and the US, and his surroundings are mirrored in his work. Both the rolling meadows of England's countryside and the Hollywood Hills show up in his landscapes.

My fourth and fifth graders started by creating a line drawing using warm and cool colors to create, foreground, middle ground and background.

 Then added construction paper stylized trees in cool colors.
The final product was a fabulous, "mess-with-your-eyes" optical illusion of movement and color.