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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 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!!!!!