Friday, September 21, 2018

Tree Self Portraits Inspired by Gustav Klimt and Rebecca Rebouche... In progress

When I discovered the contemporary artist Rebecca Rebouche, I knew I would have to teach a lesson based on her work.  Her "Tree Series" paintings drew me in because of the balance of simplicity and detail and the obvious playfulness she enjoys in the process.
My art students love drawing trees and some even believe that they know How To Draw a Tree, as if there is just one right way to do it.  Here is where I introduce another favorite artist, Gustav Klimt, with his painting "Tree of Life."  In looking at this intricate, swirly, gold-tinted tree, we see that the possibilities are endless.  
Although Rebecca Rebouche and Gustav Klimt lived 100 years apart, when we compare their work we can see some similarities. 

Third and fourth graders looked at Rebouche's "Tree Series" paintings and Klimt's "Tree of Life" painting.  In addition to the symbolic meaning of the trees themselves, both artists included other objects in the branches of their trees to represent things that are important to them. Click here to learn more about the symbols in Klimt's "Tree of Life." 

We often start the year by drawing or painting self-portrait.  In planning the self-portrait process, I wanted students to focus on what truly makes them special and unique.  Rather than trying to, once again, help students show this in a traditional head and shoulders self-portrait, I decided to take a more abstract approach.  These tree drawings by grades three and four are a type of self portrait. 

Can you guess the students who created them based on what they chose to include in the branches?

Watch these beautiful videos to see Rebecca Rebouche at work and see how she draws inspiration from the natural world.

Beautiful Hands

Kindergarten artists read "Beautiful hands by Kathryn Otoshi and Bret Baumgarten.  They traced their hands and colored them with construction paper crayons, then painted with liquid watercolors in warm or cool colors.  They observed the watercolor resist technique.

Collages inspired by Alma Woodsey Thomas

"Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness..."
Alma Woodsey Thomas (1891-1978)

Friday, September 7, 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Why is ART Important?

Selfie Self Portraits

Fifth and sixth grade artists used iPads to take their "Selfies," then traced over the photo on acetate using a Sharpie marker.  This is the first step to this in progress self portrait project. 

Drawing from Nature

First and second grade artists learned about Leonardo DaVinci and looked at his observational drawings of things found in nature.  We made small art journals and took them outside to find objects to draw from observation.  

Monday, August 27, 2018

My Art-filled Summer

Welcome Back Artists!

I am excited to be back at school after a busy summer of artistic adventures!

Early in the summer, I hosted Summer Art Camp at Waitsfield School.  We explored a wide variety of arts media including clay, Shibori dying, mural painting, book making and more!

Mid-summer I traveled with my family to Italy. There I got to experience some of the most famous works of art up close and personal!  In Florence I visited Michelangelo's statue of David and several other well known works. I also took many photos in hopes of inspiring my own artwork upon my return. 

I wrapped up the summer with a course hosted by Shelburne Farms called "Climate Creative."  During this class, a group of educators discussed how we can use the arts and other creative methods to teach about climate change and help students learn about environmental issues.  It was so inspiring to be surrounded by many other arts teachers and passionate educators. This project will continue into the fall and will culminate with a final project or show. 

During the Climate Creative course, I visited Burlington City Arts and saw an exciting exhibit of work by artist Cristal Wagner. Her work included a installation made of colorful plastic woven on wire forms. It reminded me of being inside a giant technicolor coral reef.  The exhibit also included mind blowing sculptures made from cut paper. (click through the Instagram post to see all images of work from this show!)