Friday, December 12, 2014

The week of 1500 works!

It seems that around 1500 pieces of art were printed or glazed in my room this week - whew! Grades 3-5 were printing and K-2 were glazing, and I'm not sure how it all ended up in the same week - I certainly didn't plan it that way. I realized mid-week last week that something in my time frame had gone awry and the ultimate glazing/firing/printing mess was inevitable this week, in addition to the need for Artsonia updates. I stressed about it a good bit last weekend, but I am happy to say, now on the other end of the week, that it went remarkably well although I am Exhausted.
Here are a few more photos of our week of serious mass production.
The drying rack was filled to the top every day.

Third graders in progress with their evergreen collograph prints

Helping each other out at the quickly- filling drying rack 

Fourth graders are printing their city architecture styrofoam prints, soon to be cityscape collages

5th graders printed the second layer of their pop art reduction prints

Keeping the inking trays and brayers washed between classes was a high priority.

Some of the table mats became works of art too.

K made shoe print charms, 1 made Van Gogh inspired sunflower bowls, and 2 made thumb owls with pinch pot nests.

I will do some detailed posts on these next week and over break, but most of these lessons are on my blog from years past, just search them in the search bar to the right. Thanks for sharing in our week of 1500 works! 
Now to decorate the house and do some shopping with my own two smartest artists, Kinsey and Mak :) have a great weekend everybody - we've earned it!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Artsonia: unit 2 favorites are uploading now!

Our Artsonia site is really taking off! We started it a couple of months ago when our artroom iPads arrived and we are already ranked the #2 site in the state, thanks to parent support by sharing, creating fan clubs, and leaving comments.
Our goal for this year, as we learn the process, is for each child to upload one favorite work per nine week period. We are currently in the process of uploading works for unit 2, as we have two weeks left and most of the classes are still in the midst of lengthy clay and printmaking activities.
There are a number of wonderful products available on the site which would make great gifts for any holiday - Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mothers/Fathers day - so please keep Artsonia in mind and we receive a portion of the profit for our artroom needs. See shipping deadlines at the bottom of post.

Here are some screen shots of our Dolvin Artsonia gallery if you haven't checked it out yet!

Some examples of the student work...

And I think my favorite part of all are the comments by family members, what terrific feedback! We have over 200 comments so far.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mixed media self-portraits, 5th grade

My 5th graders began this lesson with some sketching and proportion study - did you know your eye is the same width as the widest part of your nose? And the space between your eyes? Using guide lines and mirrors, we drew self-portraits on our portfolio covers.

Next, we took photographic portraits of each other using cameras, focusing on a head and shoulder composition. After printing these photos out, we traced the contour lines onto transparency sheets (saved from the trash bin) and made a watercolor resist background using descriptive personality characteristics as our design. After all, a good self-portrait should show something of the character of the person as well as a likeness.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

VIP: Starry Night 2014

I have posted about Van Gogh's Starry Night for a number of years, and in a number of different ways. It is a painting that will always be celebrated, imitated, and gazed upon in my classroom - I call it a Very Important Painting, and it is probably my all-time favorite work of art. I was fortunate enough to experience it once in real life and can still feel the lump in my throat.

This year's first grade "odes to the magical masterpiece" are some of the best we have done, and we've tried many ways - oil pastel, watercolor resist, collage. I think the dark blue construction paper, painted with tempera and collaged with the cozy village, works really well.
Before starting the painting, and after an age-appropriate abbreviated biography of Vincent's life, we discuss the magic of this painting first and then get down to the nitty gritty of foreground, middleground, background - aka space in a landscape. We also answer the question "what is that big mountainy thing in the foreground?" with cypress tree being the answer - a pointy-topped evergreen kind of like a Christmas tree. We made a simple pencil drawing of the 3 parts and placed the moon, wind, and tree, then the students painted along with me as we learned many painting tips including proper brush washing, paintbrush holding, and brush stroking in the Van Gogh style. Songs by Beethoven accompanied us to set the mood of the moonlit night. It really is a wonderful moment in the art room, all those little hands painting away to the melody of Fur Elise... (this is where I am trying to upload an adorable video of a classroom full of highly engaged and well-behaved first graders at work with the song in the background, but Blogger is not cooperating tonight)
The following week we collaged on the little village scene and watched a fun video of the Starry Night built in collapsing dominoes, to wrap things up.

Here is a beautiful work by artist Alex Ruiz which recreates the setting of Vincent's Starry Night.

Fall landscapes, 2nd grade

Placement on the page and size changes are two ways artists create space in a landscape painting. Second graders had a good time mixing colors and mediums with our fall landscapes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Needle & Thread Club: Ojo de Dios

Monday marked our third club meeting this year and we had fun learning the Mexican weaving craft, Ojo de Dios, using sticks from my birch tree and some super soft yarn I couldn't resist at Michael's yarn blowout sale. We also started a a yarn bomb on the wooden rocker from the media center - looks like it is going to take a few more meetings to properly bomb that thing with all my scrap yarn! Club is going great so far - next week - cross stitch!