Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Earth as Art

This week, we talked about environmental art and eco-art, and how nature influences artists and their work.  I showed a powerpoint presentation to the class to cover how different artists portray the environment in their work.  Some artists simply choose to show the beauty of nature in their work.  Others are more activist/conservation based.  (We will talk further about the conservation based art as we get towards Earth Day in the spring.) 

Within the powerpoint, were photographs from the United States Geological Survey(USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS) satellite image gallery.  For our next project, students will choose one of these photographic images to explore watercolor techniques and produce their own environmental artwork.  We also talked about four different basic types of watercolor techniques including flat wash, gradient wash, wet on wet, and dry brush.  Students got to try out professional grade watercolor paint, that comes in tubes instead of palettes, which results in highly pigmented colors and offers more versatility in mixing paints.  

Next week, we'll start drawing our compositions for our environmental art paintings.  See you then!  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Welcome to Art Enrichment in the New School!

It's the start of another great year in 4th grade art enrichment!  We had our first class this week, and did  sort of "getting to know you" exercise.  Mrs. Luker knows all of the students, but I don't.  Each student drew their name graphically and then illustrated different symbols and pictures around their name of things they are interested in.

We also talked about the expectations for art enrichment:

  • Mrs. Luker and I want it to be fun, but we also have to work too.  So, behavior in AE should be just like it is in regular art class during school hours.  
  • Students are allowed to bring a "working snack".  
  • Clean up at the end of class should be handled just like it is in regular art class.  You are expected to put away all supplies and leave the table and chairs just how you found them.  
  • We'll work on short projects that take one class period, other projects will span several weeks.  
  • If you miss a class, you can check this blog for details on what we covered.
I am really excited this year as this is the first year we'll be having art enrichment in the new building.  There's so much space in the classroom and we are hoping to take on some larger projects including eco-art, sculpture, digital work (photography and/or video) and possibly a permanent installation piece on the school grounds.  

Next week, we'll begin a watercolor project using landforms as our inspiration.  The fourth graders are learning about landforms in their science classes, so Mrs. Luker and I hope to tie in some of science along with art and watercolor technique.  This coming Tuesday, we'll talk about the different ways that watercolors can be manipulated.  See you then!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wrapping Up the School Year & The End of the Year Party

You know when you mean to do something, then days turn to weeks or in this case :gulp: months?  I've been meaning to write the last few posts for 4th grade art enrichment now since school ended in June.  I got busy with the summer classes in my masters program, which ended last week and now I'm on vacation penning the last few posts in Florida.  Better late than never!

We finished our Rothko inspired colored paper collages:

For our last class, we decided to do some computer generated art.  Mrs. Luker set up a still life from which to work from. It was neat to see everyone's interpretations on line, pattern, shape and color of the forms:

For our end of the year party, parents brought food and drinks and I brought some colored pastels to draw and paint with outside.  Here's what the students created on the school playground:

Thanks again Art Enrichment parents and students for a fabulous year!   Best of luck at Canaan Middle School!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Week 20- Beginning our Abstract Expressionism Collages

This past week, we worked began our Abstract Expressionism Collages.  We reviewed what we talked about last week by discussion feeling, emotion and expression depicted in work in an abstract way.  I did a short demo on applying the glue mixture to the tissue paper, and we were on our way...

I asked the students to think about what they want to convey in their work as far as feeling or emotion are concerned.  It's fun to play with color and shape, but we also want there to be a purpose and thought process behind it.  

This week, we'll finish up our collages and the following week we'll have our end of the year party.  See you then!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Week 19- Learning about Mark Rothko & Abstract Impressionism

First of all, Mrs. Luker wanted to let everyone know that student work is currently being displayed on the Pelatonia Blog!  As if you all weren't famous enough being on TV a few weeks ago, now you have your work published.  Great job, everyone!! 

This week, we began our last project of the year by learning about Abstract Impressionism and specifically, Mark Rothko's work.

We listed to a recording of Christopher Rothko talk about how his father painted.  I asked the students what struck them as unusual or interesting about Mark Rothko's technique.  They thought it was interesting that he laid his canvases out on blocks and used a pulley system to move it up and down. He also painted from all angles, sometimes moving the painting different ways, so that people weren't sure where the top and bottom were, as the paint drippings were going in all sorts of different directions.

We then viewed a powerpoint presentation to further discuss Rothko's work and get some insight into what Abstract Impressionism is.  Abstract Impressionism was an art movement in the 1940's and 50's, and arose after World War II.  Many people refer to Abstract Impressionism as "action painting", with artists of the movement depicting strong emotion or expression.  Mark Rothko tried to express some of his feelings and emotion in his work, by using large blocks of color, and line.

Students worked in groups brainstorming emotive and expressive words that came to mind while viewing Rothko's work.  Each table in the class got a print of one of his color block paintings and a stack of Post-It Notes.  Each student was to come up with 3 or 4 descriptive words for their particular painting.
Here are some of the more notable descriptive words students came up with:

  • Yellow-y
  • Gloomy
  • Sad
  • Happy
  • Sorrowful
  • Bright
  • Smiley

Next week, we'll start a collage using tissue paper and illustration board depicting expression and emotion in an abstract manner.  See you then!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Week 18- Drawing for the Pelatonia Blog

This week we continued on our Pelatonia Blog drawings of bikes and bicycle themes.  Mrs. Luker noticed last week, that the kids were focusing more on the cancer aspect of the concept rather than the race itself.   So, we had to redirect their attention to bike race themes instead.  Mrs. Luker had multiple photographs to use as references.    Once they had a new direction, they were off and running with scenes of bike races, patterns, and even a still life of bike elements.  

Next week we'll start our last project of the year, an abstract expressionist inspired collage.  See you then!

Our Saturday Field Trip

 A couple of Saturdays ago, we had our art enrichment class field trip to Columbus Museum of Art.  Quite a few students and their families showed up, so they broke us into 3 groups with 3 different docents leading each group around the museum.  Mrs. Luker and I made suggestions on what we'd like everyone to see.  Mrs. Luker wanted the kids to see Georgia O'Keefe and I asked to see the modernism room as well as some work by Columbus artist George Bellows.

So, off we went around the museum.  Our first stop was the large glass sculpture by Dave Chihuly.  The docent asked us if we saw any insect shapes on the sculpture.  The kids saw lots of insect shapes, from wings to antlers.

Next, we ventured into the hallway to look at a sculpture made out of a book.

The artist cut the lines out of a book and rolled them into a ball, sort of like a ball of yarn.   A sculpture made from a book... the kids were fascinated!

We looked at George Bellows Riverside Drive and I told the students that Bellows was from Columbus.  The docent asked us to count all the people in the painting.  I think we got up to 36, which is amazing because when you first look at the dark night scene, it only looks like there are  few figures in it.

We looked at Fall Leaves by Georgia O'Keefe and talked about the season and how O'Keefe liked to paint from nature.

In the hallway, we looked at a recent acquisition by Jackson Pollack.  It's one of his earlier works which was done before he started painting in the dripped paint/splatter technique.  If you look closely, you can see figures in the painting.  The we went in to the moderism room.  On the wall, was a large map painting done by William Wegman.  Most people think of Wegman's Weimaraner photos.  I had no idea he was such an accomplished painter!

Mrs. Luker said that he financed this large piece with his Weimaraner photographs.  It's an amazing work and I managed to capture some closeups with few details.

After our tour, we were invited down for some hands on art activities.  The kids were making "care packages" with recycled materials, and all sorts of other art materials like air dry clay.

I'm glad we had this opportunity to visit the museum together.  Hopefully the students will want to come back to the museum with their new found in depth knowledge about the work we saw there.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Trip to Washington, DC

Last week, I went to Washington, DC as the Ohio Delegate for Parenting Magazine's Mom Congress.  It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!  There were many sessions, including early literacy, bullying, technology, school food, emotional intelligence, the STEM curriculum and arts education.  Obviously, I'm deeply passionate about the importance of arts education.  I got to ask Arne Duncan a question last Tuesday, after the delegate from Florida asked the STEM curriculum of science and math teachers.  I asked him about the emphasis of the STEM curriculum and how that seems to leave the arts out.  I said that during the renaissance, there was an explosion of technology and innovation, and that many of these scientists were also gifted in the arts.  I asked him if there were any plans for the Obama administration to expand arts education, as it's been proven to teach critical thinking and creativity, which enhance science and technology learning.  He answered me by saying that we have to stop narrowing the curriculum and that he felt arts education is important.  He said they are hoping to expand arts education and are asking congress for a billion dollars for funding.

It was inspring to hear from so many great speakers and leaders in the education field, but to me the most inspiring part of the conference was collaborating with the 50 mothers from every state including the District of Columbia.  Each of them was doing amazing things with their schools, from turning around poverty stricken schools to implementing fresh food in their cafeterias.  Each of us came from a different state in the country, had different political ideals and values, but we all agree that every child has the right to a quality education regardless of what zip code they live in.

The Mom Congress' first call to action, is to have everyone "like" our facebook page.  So, if you're on facebook please take a moment to like our page, as we are looking to get 10,000 fans by Mother's Day.

Additionally, you may want to bookmark Parenting Magazine's Mom Congress Resources page, as it has wonderful links to resources for parents regarding all aspects of education.

Thanks to all of you... Mrs. Luker, Mrs. Hicks, parents and students involved with the Art Enrichment program for making this unbelievable opportunity possible for me.  I couldn't have done any of it without all of you!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weeks 16 & 17

We wrapped up our video project during week 16's class.  It was a whole lot of fun and creativity going on in art enrichment class, with kids getting their faces painted, wearing wigs, and coming up with great concepts for our 3 words video project.  Mrs. Luker is going to put the video together using Flip Video software.  I can't wait to see the finished product!

During week 17, I was in Washington, DC for Parenting Magazine's Mom Congress.  Mrs. Luker started a new project, involving Pelotonia.  Students were asked to being drawings for the Pelotonia blog.  Pelotonia is a 180 mile bike race that starts at Ohio State University, goes down to Athens, the back up to OSU.  Riders raise funds which are all donated to cancer research at The Arthur G. James Cancer Center.

A friend of Mrs. Luker writes the blog for Pelotonia and has asked for student artwork to include in the site.   We viewed the blog and images from last year's race.  Then, we brainstormed ideas for sketches of bikes, riders, helmets, the finish line, etc.  All of the finished drawings will be featured on the Pelotonia blog.  What a great opportunity for our students!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 15- Working on our Video, while being filmed!

This week, we continued making props for our Three Words Video and some of us were ready to start filming.  The concepts are really coming together and Mrs. Luker and I are really pleased with what the kids are coming up with!  T-shirts, posters, face and body painting, all sorts of creative ideas will come to fruition in our video.

Also, we had Channel 4 in class taking video for a story Mikaela Hunt was doing about me going to Parenting Magazine's Mom Congress.  It was exciting enough to film our own video and it was even more exciting to have a Channel 4 cameraman in class filming it all!

Click HERE to view the interview that aired on Thursday of the art enrichment kids.  Good job students!!

This Wednesday we'll wrap up our video project.  See you then!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Week 14-Formulating Ideas and Concepts

This week, we continued working on our three words video project.  Students further developed ideas around their three words.  Most of us are working in groups, or we are coming up with concepts that involve other students or teachers.  Some ideas involve sports such as basketball.  Mrs. Luker pointed out that we should be thinking about how the camera will show our concept.  Will it pan across you, or zoom in?  How will you be standing? What will you be doing?  Consider these questions as we move forward.

Students:  If your concept involves props, please bring them in for art enrichment class after the break.  I know I've told some of you that I'll be bringing in some props too.  Some of you have said that you plan to bring in t-shirts.  I'll send out a reminder email to bring these props in after the break.

By the way, we are all booked for our class field trip on Saturday, April 16th at Columbus Museum of Art!    Have a wonderful spring break and be ready to continue working on our video project when you get back!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Our Three Words Video Project

This week, Mrs. Luker told the students about our next project, which will be a video of student memories at Plain City Elementary.  She showed the students a video, which will be our inspiration for creating our own "three words" about PCES.  Since we are in the brainstorming phase, we are considering ALL ideas regardless of whether or not we think we might be able to pull them off.  The only limitation is that the three words have to do with the students' experiences at the school.  Beyond that, the sky is the limit!  Kids were getting creative coming up with concepts such as sports themes and friends they'd like in the video.  It looks like some teachers will be making some cameo appearances in the video as well.  Next week we'll start developing concepts and building props.  We'll also practice our concepts in front of the camera.  

Also, we are planning a fun class field trip to the Columbus Museum of Art on Saturday, April 16th at 1pm.  We'll have a 50 minute interactive tour and then we have the option of staying for another hour for Doodles, a hands on artmaking experience for kids.  The cost of the tour is $4 for students and siblings.  Parents accompanying their children get in free.  Mrs. Luker and I are really looking forward to meeting you all down at the museum for an afternoon of art, creativity and most of all, fun!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Week 13- Catching Up and Starting to Brainstorm

As often happens this time of year, some students have missed a class or two so this week we had those students finish up their Giacometti sculptures.  Those who were done, did some more work on their charcoal portraits and began to brainstorm for our next project.  So, basically we had 3 or 4 different things going on at once today in art enrichment class.  Some kids were just painting the black layer on their sculptures, some were finishing up the gold/bronze layer of paint, and others were adding shading and highlights to their charcoal portraits.

Mrs. Luker and I didn't want to reveal too much about this next project, but we did tell the students that it will be a video to be shown during the Spring Arts Show.  We asked students to come up with their favorite memories of Plain City Elementary and write them down on a large piece of paper taped to the chalkboard.  

Next week we'll talk  more about the direction and content of the video and do some more brainstorming.  See you next Wednesday!!

Week 12- Gold and Bronze Figures

This week, we completed the final step in our Giacometti inspired sculptures.  We dabbed a thin layer of either bronze or gold acrylic paint on top of the black layer.  The result, is something that looks like brushed metal.  Mrs. Luker and I have already heard many compliments on how great these sculptures look.  Just wait until we have them on display in the glass cases in the front of the school, where everyone can see them!

Week 11 Painting the Black Layer

This week, we painted the black layer of our figure sculptures.  This is the first step in making our sculptures look like bronze or gold.  Some students thought they really looked like the long skinny shadows we looked at during the PowerPoint presentation.

The next step is painting bronze or gold to really make the sculptures look like solid metal.  See you then!