Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Inspired by Picasso's "Bouquet of Peace"

Picasso's print is variously titled "Bouquet of Peace," "Hands with Flowers," "Hands with Bouquet," "Flowers and Hands," or any other variation on those words. Originally a watercolor drawing, Picasso subsequently printed the picture as a color lithograph.  He created it for a peace demonstration in Stockholm, Sweden in 1958.

"Bouquet of Peace" shows his desire for people to join together in love and harmony.  The brightly colored flowers convey a sense of hope and rebirth, and the bouquet forms a bond between two individuals symbolized by the two hands displayed within the piece.   The simplicity of the forms not only represents Picasso's desire for childlike innocence in his art, but also symbolizes the purity and openness needed to get along with others in peace. (Read more at http://artprep.weebly.com/picasso-bouquet-of-peace.html)

Kindergarten artists looked at Picasso's famous painting noticed that the two hands belong to different people.  This means that the flowers are being passed from one person to another. 



Paper Quilling

Fifth and sixth graders are learning about paper quilling.

Paper Quilling otherwise known as paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is wound around a quill to create a basic coil shape. The paper is then glued at the tip and these shaped coils are arranged to form flowers, leaves, and various ornamental patterns similar to ironwork.During the RenaissanceFrench and Italian nuns and monks used quilling to decorate book covers and religious items. The paper most commonly used was strips of paper trimmed from the gilded edges of books. These gilded paper strips were then rolled to create the quilled shapes. Quilling often imitated the original ironwork of the day. (from Wikipedia)

We looked at several examples of paper quilling, including artwork by two artist, Yulia Brodskaya and Sena Runa.
Sena Runa
Yulia Brodskaya



Friday, December 2, 2016

Inspired by Paul Klee's "Castle and Sun"

First and second grade artists looked at "Castle and Sun" by Swiss artist Paul Klee.  Before we learned the title of this painting, we talked about what we saw- cities, villages, crayons, moon, houses, and of course a castle.  
This painting is made up of geometric shapes.  These are shapes that follow rules.  The other type of shapes are called organic shapes.  These are shapes that don't follow rules.
We used cut paper geometric shapes to build our castles or villages. We imagined that the paper shapes were building blocks and figured out how to fill the page and add details. The final step was to outline and add detial in black or white.

Portraits Inspired by Sandra Silberzweig

Sandra Silberzweig is a contemporary artist from Toronto. She has a condition called synesthesia, which is a crossing of the senses.  This means that she may "hear" colors or "see" music. 

Here is a poem she wrote called "When you are a synesthesia goddess ...... your day dreams are always in color"
I am a synesthesia goddess
I have no fear of color
It lives in my soul, dances in my heart
Spills out of my fingers flowing down a canvas
I can see your aura
Taste the color black
Feel the chill of the green wind
Smell blue butterflies
Hear the yellow rain
Life is never boring when inspiration is always around

Click here to read more about Sandra Silberzweig, the work she has done to share her experience with synesthesia and how she has turned this condition into a driving force for her creative work.

Silberzweig's paintings are bold, colorful and imaginative.  She primarily paints stylized, patterned-filled portraits.

Third and fourth grade artists looked at examples of Silberzweig's artwork, then created portraits inspired by her unique style.  We used chalk pastel and oil pastel and focused on choosing warm and cool color combinations and creating patterns. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

"Mannequin Challenge"

Students are not supposed to have iPods or phones out at recess. However, after telling a student to put his device away, I realized that nearly the entire fifth and sixth grade group was working collaboratively on something called the "Mannequin Challenge." (Click here to learn more!)  I quickly gathered that the goal was to create a video of people staying as still as mannequins while life continues around them.  I allowed them to continue their project and film several takes and I captured this video of their Mannequin Challenge. 

A video posted by Nora (@artclass_allday) on

For another version of the Mannequin Challenge, check this out! (Make sure you watch all the way to the end.)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Kindergarten Turkey Paintings

Ask me if you can draw a "Hand Turkey." Go ahead. Ask.


While telling kids that there is a right or wrong way to draw anything makes my skin crawl, I cannot stand Hand Turkeys! Since Kindergarten artists want to draw turkeys one way or another, I help them create more unique versions using simple lines and shapes. 

We drew with pencils, traced the lines with black oil pastel and then painted with tempera paint cakes.

Kindergarten Collages inspired by "Perfect Square"

Kindergarten Artists read "Perfect Square" by Michael Hall.
Last week, while learning about color mixing, we used watercolor paints to paint squares of paper. Today, Kindergarten artists were challenged to see what they could turn their painted squares into. 

Is it a bird or a plane? Grass or a tree? A garden, a mouth, a window or a ghost?

Object Names by Grade Five and Six