Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tiger symmetry prints in 2nd grade

Asian art is a subject we explore each year in second grade - this year we started with one of the world's most beautiful and amazing creatures - the tiger! Several types of tigers live in Asia and many artists from this region show the beauty of the animal in their art. Here are some of the examples we viewed, and an illustration of the symmetrical nature of the tiger's face.


The symmetry lends itself well to a special type of monoprint, or single print, called symmetry printing - the artist paints on half the paper, and folds the other half over and rubs the top to transfer the paint, creating a mirror image.  Because the tempera dries quickly on the construction paper, we used a quick rhythm of painting just a few strokes and then printing - “paint a little, print a little.” The students followed me in a guided drawing of half the tiger face, as seen above, and then we began painting with orange, white and black. I love the way each tiger has a unique face and expression!


Monday, January 29, 2018

Anansi the Spider, 1st grade

First graders explore art of Africa each year in my class -we always begin with the mischievous and lovable Anansi the Spider, who appears in many folk tales. I always share the story by Gerald McDermott which includes beautiful illustrations based on the art of the Ashanti people. This year I found an animated reading of the story online, which really brought the book to life.

 After the story, we stamp printed shapes for our background to resemble the ones we saw in the story. Many African artworks involve repeating patterns, and we will continue to explore this in our unit. The following week, we cut out our moon, our hill, and the spider himself using shapes we drew, cut, and combined.


Friday, January 26, 2018

Matching pairs in kindergarten

Every year we read the book A Pair of Socks and then do an activity about patterns and matching shapes. This year we folded a paper and drew a single sock or mitten, then cut through both layers of the folded paper and voila! - a matching pair! We made matching patterns using collage and stamp printed snowflakes in our background. Brrrr.... it's getting cold out there!


Marcus Oakley inspired collage, 1st grade

Marcus Oakley is an American artist whose work I follow on Instagram - he has a bold and colorful style that makes me feel happy and upbeat. We looked at some of his shape collages and made our own compositions with a variety of textured materials like burlap, cardboard, and foam, then we enhanced with line patterns.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Memory Quilts in 4th grade

Fourth graders did some reflecting on their year and turned their memories into colorful shapes and symbols in their memory quilts, which were inspired in design by traditional American quilt patterns and the contemporary whimsical style of illustrator Lisa Congdon. Using a grid, students filled each square to represent a month from last year.