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!