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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!!!

And we have been! The students have been working hard on all their projects with new ones constantly going up on the walls of the "student gallery." Kindergarten has just finished their wonderful animal masks that corrilated with the tribe they studied for Pow Wow. Fun was had by all while working in clay. 1st grade is heading into the world of PORTRAIT, learning how to create shadow and light on the face. 2nd grade is finishing up their clay as well, as they formed interesting animals that will soon grace our cases. 3rd grade is finishing up breathtaking landscapes, where they have used direct painting techniques which include layering and a focus on depth. 4th grade has been doing a variety of projects, some being soap carving, found art sculpture, printmaking, and contour line paintings. 5th grade is finishing up books and working on Artist Trading Cards dealing with Color Study. AND IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THAT, THE 2ND GRADE BACKDROP IS BEING PAINTED.....LITERALLY!!!! So if you can't find me, look on the floor. Never a dull moment in the Art Lab!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Two 4th Grades are Recycling for Art

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Two of my 4th grade classes are having a blast as they use "previously used" materials to build Folk Art sculptures. Of course, we like to call them "junk" sculptures as they are made from found objects that are available around us and have usually been discarded after their initial use. Folk Artists were artists that were not formally trained and usually developed their own style by trial and error. Most were not from wealthy families, so what they used they had to find. There are many artists, especially sculptors, who look for discarded items and find new functions for them in their art. That is what our two 4th grade classes are doing, as they dig through scraps of wood, old toys, and parts and pieces of other discarded items to build their animal or robot sculptures. You will be amazed at the connections they are making between unrelated objects! Not to mention how they are helping the environment by recycling these objects into a thing of beauty!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kindergarten Cave Art Helps with LINE and SHAPE

To begin the year with a study of line and shape, the Kindergarten students and I have gone back in history, or actually before history, to the oldest known artworks found to date - The Cave Artists. Who were they? Why did they paint what they painted and how? What did it mean for them to paint these animals and scenes inside a dark cave? Interesting questions to say the least. After a brief discussion on "LINE", we looked closer at the images of these cave art masterpieces and observed the different types of lines that were used in the paintings. Then, we learned about shapes that are made when a line comes back to its starting point and encloses an area. Of course, we then had to find the many different shapes that the cave artists used when painting their scenes. Well, enough talk.....it was time to take action.....SO we used a little bit of paint on manila paper and created a cave wall texture on which to paint our animals. The students were allowed to practice an animal that they wished to put on their personal cave wall, and then to paint it on top of the cave wall texture using black and brown tempera paint. WOW!! They really look awesome. This lesson proved to be a way to begin our understanding of these two Elements of Design - shape and line.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Artist Trading Cards are the new trading frenzie!!!!

Here is a new Trading Card craze that is actually, quite creative. Artist Trading Cards(ATC)are small 2 1/2" x 3 1/3" works of art that are created by....well, whoever wants to create one! The rules are simple. They have to be the stated size and they should only be traded, not sold. They can be made with any two dimentional medium and a few textural media (Three dimensional media could, easily, be accidently pulled or torn off).

Because of the size, the cards can be kept safely in regular trading card sleeves or plastic sheets (holding about 9)allowing collectors to keep them protected for years. Kids, as well as adults, can enjoy creating these small masterpiecs, trading them, and building up a personal collection of minitures.

Fourth and Fifth grade students will be making some ATC's during art classes this year to review specific aspects of art, specifically the elements and principles of design. During free time, they are allowed to create additional cards to add to their personal stockpile. I am hoping to arrange at least one swap this year so the students can have the opportunity to trade with each other and start a desire to make and trade on their own.

Cards can be cut from posterboard or other sturdy papers (tagboard or card stock) that will hold up to handling. When a piece is created the artist should put their name and the date that it was completed on the back. With parental permission, students can include contact information as well. I encourage my students to include a brief artist statement (one or two sentances) that could tell about the art, what inspired them, or just a title. This gives the holder part of the "story" behind the card.

The following are several websites that can be visited to learn about ATC's as well as how to trade on line. Putting "Artist Trading Cards" into Google will yield many, many other sites as well. Visit some and have fun making and trading your own works of art!!!!!

LINKS:

www.artist-trading-cards.ch/
artistradingcards.meetup.com/
groups.yahoo.com/group/ArtistTradingCards

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Creativity out of the Bag

Do you want to stretch you child's imagination? Especially, when all the rain is keeping them inside? Here is an idea. Give them a bag full of interesting items (i.e. scraps of material, cotton balls, buttons, sequins, puzzle pieces, paper, and any thing else you can find), scissors, and glue and challenge them to create something new. They can come up with fantasy creatures or beautiful collages, foreign landscapes or secret gardens. Anything goes! Have them set up an Art Show and help cook or make little snacks for an "Opening" for their exhibit. You could go all out and invite neighborhood children or relatives to attend. Have fun together this summer and take pictures to commemorate the event!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Summer Art Fun with the Family

Summer is the perfect time for the family to enjoy art activities together. An inside or outside area provides a wonderful arena for creative exploration of different art mediums while enjoing the exercising of the mind. Using materials found in nature to build sculptures or castles is a perfect way to make interesting connections. Using a variety of color materials, such as markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc. can build fine motor skills and exercise line/space relationships. Paints, cutting and pasting, and collage can spark the imagination that brings to life the visions of fantasy in our minds. So DO SOME ART!!

Take the family on a visit to an art museum. The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens has a wonderful adventure awaiting kids in the Art Connections, where they can experience hands on activities and interactions with art. Take a look. The Museum of Contemporary Art is also a wonderful place for the family to explore. Try to visit one this summer!