Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Art Contests

Although I have mixed feelings about art contests, students seems to love them!  I shared two opportunities with some students today.

The first is from Vermont Safe Routes to School. The prompt is: What did you see on your way to school?
Click here for more information about how to enter.

The second is "Doodle for Google."  The prompt is: What makes me... Me?
Click here for more information.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Monster Draw!

First and second grade artists loved drawing MONSTERS! We used the game Monster Draw as our inspiration and we read "Jeremy Draws a Monster," by Peter McCarty.  We used Gel markers on black paper and colored pencils on white cardstock.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Taking a Dot for a Walk : Artwork Inspired by Paul Klee's "Groom'sArrival"

First and second grade artists looked at Paul Klee's painting "Groom's Arrival."  Students pointed out how the shapes made a figure and shared what this figure made them think of.     Paul Klee was a Swiss-German artist who was most influenced by the Expressionist, Cubist and Surrealist art movements. 

We discussed Klee's quote "A drawing is simply a line going for a walk" and that "A line is a dot going for a walk."  
Here's a video of more of Paul Klee's paintings.  What words come to mind as you observe his work?

Students created their own pieces by taking a line for a walk across red construction paper, then looking for closed shapes to fill in with construction paper crayons.  Some students found faces, figures or animals in their shapes.  This lesson provided us with an opportunity to discuss what high quality work looks like when coloring with crayons. 

Check out our work inspired by Paul Klee's "Groom's Arrival!"

Vermont Art Teacher's Association Conference at Shelburne Museum

This year's keynote speaker was Nacy Walkup. She is the editor of SchoolArts magazine and leader of art teacher professional development that focuses on social justice and international folk art. She shared several examples of humanitarian based art projects, some of which I have explored with students in the past.  I feel strongly that art is an effective medium for helping students feel connected to their world and feel that they can make a difference, so this presentation spoke to my passion for this. Click here to see Nancy's write-up of the conference on the SchoolArts Blog.

The first workshop I attended connected nicely with the work that Katie Babic and I are doing with a small group fifth and sixth graders around mindfulness.   This workshop was lead by artist Gowri Savoor.  She taught about the Indian art of Rangoli, which is traditionally a mandala-type pattern created from chalk dust on the ground during the holiday of Diwali.  We created our own Rangoli designs using colored rice.  The process is meditative and calming and the art is ephemeral- it only lasts for a short period of time.  I enjoyed working with other people to create a group Rangoli design. Click here for more examples of Rangoli art.
The second workshop I attended was about the Panamanian art of Molas.  Click here for more information about Molas. During this workshop, we used colored felt to create our own Molas. 
Spending a day at Shelburne Museum in the fall in such a treat!  In addition to enjoying the beautiful grounds and exhibits, I visited the European Art collection to see paintings by Monet, Cassatt, Manet and Degas. It is quite an experience to be up close and personal with such famous works of art!

 I also enjoyed an exhibit of contemporary and mostly local art called "Eyes on the Land." This is a collection of works that explore how our landscape can be viewed using a variety of arts media. This display is a collaboration between the Vermont Land Trust and the Shelburne Museum. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

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Kindergarten Leaf Rubbing Collages

Kindergarten Artists made leaf rubbings in our Outdoor Classroom last week.  We painted over the crayon rubbings and observed the magic of watercolor resist, when the wax in the crayon pushes away the water in the paint.  Today we used our painted leaves to create beautiful fall collages. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Chalk Pastel Landscapes inspired by Wolf Kahn

"The horizon, though in actuality a dividing line, must become, in a painting, a place where sky and land meet and mesh and become seamless." 

Wolf Kahn's artwork makes me feel calm and centered.  If I can't go out for a walk in the woods, looking at his paintings and pastels of forest and mountain landscapes is the next best thing.  Although Kahn primarily lives and works in New York City, when looking at his work it is obvious that he also spends time in Vermont.  Kahn has a part-time residence in Brattleboro!

Wolf Kahn is a German-born artist who combines realism with an art style called "color field."  Color field painting is when the color is the main subject of the piece of artwork. 

First and second graders looked at examples of Wolf Kahn's trees and landscapes.  We used chalk pastels to create color field backgrounds, then add trees and other landscape elements.  

Here are some examples of first and second grade art inspired by Wolf Kahn.  In addition to the peaceful subject matter of these landscapes, many students noticed the effect that blending the chalk pastels had on them. Don't you feel calmer already?

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