Thomas Bland Sculpture of our Guiding Principles

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's December 21st Already!!!

Hello Maple Glen Blog Friends,

We have been extremely busy here in the art room at Maple Glen and I find myself adding this post while Mrs. Buonanno's boys and girls are watching a Raggedy Ann and Andy video titled "Snowden".  First grade has been learning about Johnny Gruelle, the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy.  These dolls have been around since 1920.  Johnny Gruelle wrote stories about them long before he and his family made the first dolls.  Did you know he was raised in Indiana and a close friend of James Whitcomb Riley's?  I would love to have been a mouse in that house!  He was also a political cartoonist for the Indianapolis Star.  His characters are great for drawing using different lines and shapes.  The children also learned how to weave using paper.  Their paper weavings allowed them to tuck Raggedy Ann and Andy into bed just like Johnny Gruelle's daughter, Marcella, used to do!

The kindergarten children created crazy lines on their paper by painting with marbles.  Yes!  Marbles!  You'll have to ask them about this experience.  We also learned a little about the dripping, drizzling, and splashing techniques used by Jackson Pollock.  We turned our marble paintings into a holiday ornament and lastly learned about Andy Warhol and his unusual use of color.  You may have recently received a very colorful picture of Satna Clause.  Andy Warhol has several wonderful renditions of our favorite elf in red!

Second grade has finished weaving in a circle.  I really believe weaving is a life skill.  I love teaching the children to weave and they love weaving!  Building on their paper weaving experience from last year they used a paper plate as their loom.  They each warped the loom and they were off weaving!!!  By weaving in a circle they just continue the "over and under" pattern.  There is no stopping at the end of their work to decide whether to start as an "over" or an "under".  It is easier and wonderfully successful!  We added tassels just for fun!

Third grade worked on their Robert Indiana project.  They used letters and numbers that were personal to them whether it be their jersey number or their birthdate, their initials or the name of a favorite relative.  I had the children work smaller this year.  In the past, coloring their paper with markers seemed like an endless exercise.  This year the project was much more managable.  They have recenlty learned about Wayne Thiebaud.  This lesson makes us all hungry right before lunch!

Fourth grade finished their self-portriats this week.  I'll hang all the self-portriats on the bulletin board so the children can find each other.  I continue to be amazed by their work.  They do an outstanding job!

Before I sign off I want to  wish everyone a wonderful holiday break.  My family and I celebrate Christmas and as of last Monday the 12th, I have a new little grandson to share Christmas with.  I am looking forward to Christmas morning when my other little grandson, who is nearly two, realizes that all those boxes under Grammy's tree actually had some pretty nice things in them!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What a great October!

Hello All!
It has been a terrific month!  I cannot believe how fast the school year is moving along!  You'll notice our sculpture, in front of the school, has some cute, little, jack-o-laterns in front of it.  Thank you Mrs. Poorman and her kindergarteners for supplying a great photo opportunity!

Kindergarten-The boys and girls have finished learning about Vincent vanGogh and the women of Gees Bend, AL.  These gals live on a very secluded island in Alabama where a ferry is their only transportation to civilization.  Living in extreme poverty, they managed to create wonderfully artistic quilts with brilliant colors and very contemporary patterns.  Their quilts have made them famous!  The children learned about the women of Gees Bend and how they saved every scrap of fabric to sew their quilts to keep their families warm.  Their quilt blocks are part of a  paper quilt currently displayed in the hallway outside the art room.

1st grade- Just finished a lesson about Wassily Kandinsky, "The Father of Modern Art".  He is called that because he was the first artist who believed that beautiful lines, shapes, and colors were all that are needed to create great artwork.  His artwork is non-objective!  They did a great job!  When I send artwork home that is more process related than product focused I will often apply a sticker to the back of the work explaining what the lesson was about.  Please check the back of their Kandinsky paper for a sticker!

We are currently learning how to weave using paper.  We'll keep our weavings to add to another project at a later date.

2nd grade-Has finished their lesson about Blue Dog by George Rodrigue.  This is one of my favorite lessons because they do such a wonderful job!  They were asked to draw Blue Dog copying the lines and shapes as they saw them.  It is always fun to see what they have Blue Dog doing or wearing in their artwork.  You know....Blue Dog doesn't have to be blue!

We are currently weaving with yarn on our handmade looms and loving it!

3rd grade-Finished their Jonathan Callicutt artwork and they look amazing!  We all loved this new lesson and I will be sure to teach it again next year.  While working on this lesson, the tenth anniversary of 911 ocurred.  This offered a great opportunity to share a little history with the children.  After all, they were born in 2001!  They know very little about the attacks.  Our Veteran's Day program in on Novemer 10th.  Their artwork will be on display for all to view! 

We are currently studying about Robert Indiana and graphin art.  He was born Robert Clark but changed his name to Robert Indiana in the 1970's.  This was a trend in some artistic circles.  His most famous piece of artwork is the LOVE image.  Did you know he could not copyrite that image because the U.S. government said he couldn't copyrite a word?  Donald Trump was able to copyrite "You're Fired!"  Just think of the royalties he has missed out on.

4th grade-Completed their batiks and they are currently hanging outside the art room.  They did a terrific job!  I hope some of you frame their work or make it inot a pillow or quilt block.  We had such a great time working on this project and the results were fascinating.  Ironing the wax out of the fabric left us with some fun surprises.  Batiking is not an exact art form.  It was an important lesson to learn.

 The kids are currently beginning a lesson about drawing the human face.  I am teaching them a formula for placing the facial features in their proper place.  Next, we will turn this generic face into a self-portrait.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Great September!

September 30,2011

Kindergarten is off to a great start! They have already learned about the many kinds of lines there are in our world.  It is important to be able to make these lines too as they  begin to observe the world with an artistic eye.  Everything we draw is composed of lines.  They have learned about the artist Jonathan Lasker whose artwork is entirely made from lines!  They are currently learning about the artist Vincent vanGogh.  (For those of you who know that  he cut his own ear off. I want you to know that I do not address this with the children.  It is not important to know this about him or his artwork. I also believe that this information is inappropriate for the elementary level.)  Vincent vanGogh is famous for painting sunflowers and other things like "Starry Night"!  The children have drawn their own sunflowers and will be turning their drawings into paintings. Learning the painting procedures of the artroom is a top priority right now.  Ask the children what people thought vanGogh's sunflowers looked like!

First grade has also been reviewing lines, the painting prodecures, their painting techniques as they learned about why Maple Glen is called Maple Glen.  This first lesson allows me to observe how their small motor skills are developing along with their cutting skills and hand preference.  There is a maple tree welcoming you into our school full of their wonderful leaves!  They experienced the wax resist process during this project.  They have also done a little cartooning just for fun.  Keep an eye out for this paper coming home today!

Second grade begins their year with a review of lines and shapes only now I want to be sure they remember how to apply the use of lines and shapes as they observe something and draw it for themselves.  George Rodrigue and his Blue Dog are our inspiration.  Blue dog is a great example of using shapes to begin a drawing and adding the appropriate lines to complete their work.  The children love the story behind Blue Dog and they find drawing him to be very successful.  Ask them to tell you the story of "loup garu"!

Third grade started their year with Bookmaking as an Art Form.  I have many "artistic" books that I share with them and then they make a book that looks like hang tags that marks the price of merchandise at the store.  They will draw and write about every art project they complete in third grade and bring the completed book home the last week of school.  This project was developed to support our 6 + 1 writing program.  Their first "page" was about their favorite summer memory and their second page was about Bookmaking as Art.  The children are currently deep in a project about patriotism.  With the ten year anniversary of 911 and the Veteran's Day Program fast approaching, this seemed like a great time to introduce this new project.   Jonathan Callicutt is the artist who has inspired this project.  I stumbled upon his artwork this summer.  He is a contempory artist out of Atlanta, GA.  He and I have been in touch via e-mail which has been so much fun!  He has been very supportive of this project.   His work is deeply layered as he paints and uses silk screening techniques to add image upon image.   Our artwork is adapted a little bit because we will not be silk screening images as he does.  Instead, our artwork will be a mixed media rendition of his work.  I am so excited to see how the children process this lesson!

Fourth grade began the year with Batik.  Batik is a textile art that originated in Bali.  Our Batik lesson is a further extension of the weaving/textile lessons the children completed in 1st through 3rd grades.  Hot wax is applied to fabric blocking the fabric from further absorption of color.  The children studied animals in art and practiced drawing their animal of choice on paper first.  Then they redrew their animal onto a 12 x 18 piece of white cotton.  This week they began the application of colored wax (melted crayons) to their fabric.  Next week they will complete all wax application, crack their Batik causing little creases in the wax, and then over dye their fabric as the last step in making the Batik is completed.  We will remove the wax by absorbing the excess wax using paper towels as we iron the fabric flat.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

As September Closes.....

Hello Maple Glen Parents,
Thanks so much for "dropping by".  If you followed my blog last year you will notice that I am only posting once a month this year.  Last year I also posted to tell parents what was happing in the week ahead.  I learned, very quickly, that my weeks rarely played out as I had anticipated.  Between convocations, large numbers of absences, a slower pace than I and anticipated, and on, and on I found myself  needing to rethink my posts.  So this year I am posting on a monthly basis and I will talk about what we have already accomplished!  As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns at or call me at 896-4745. 

Beth Siminski

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I'm looking forward to this new school year!

Hello Everyone,
What a great summer it has been! I know so many people felt as though we were given an extra two weeks this summer.   I know those two weeks seemed to make such an emotional difference in my summer.  It was just enough extra time to complete my list of "have to do's" and "want to do's" and I am so refreshed and ready to begin another great year of Maple Glen art.  I hope all of you have had a delightful summer too!  If you are a follower of my blog, I thank you so much for taking the time to read each week.  I know what life is like with a house full of children and I appreciate the fact that you add checking out this blog to your long list of activities.  Please tell other parents about the Maple Glen Art blog so our following numbers can grow.  I will continue to talk about it in our newsletters  and I added the blog address to the large bulletin board outside the artroom too!  There is so much that goes on in the art room each week that you really don't know about and this is my way of sharing as much as I can with you each week.  It was so good to visit with the children last Thursday evening and reconnect with many of our parents.  Thank you for raising the young artists you send to me every year.  I am looking forward to seeing your children again on Tuesday.

Most sincerely,
Beth Siminski

Friday, June 17, 2011

My first summer project!

I have been working on my sewing room/art studio since March.  This week I painted a small, three- drawered, chest that I purchased from Goodwill.  I have needed someplace to store my knitting and all my yarn because I have a certain kitty, Mocha, who loves to drag my yarn all over the house!  This usually occurs shortly after I have gone to bed!  Now she can forget about the yarn and I can store it in its own place.  The flowers were loosly patterned off of the rug in the room.  The pink is two shades darker than the wall color.  I learned many years ago that when painting furniture to blend with a certain room, the best way to get a matched color was to use a color from the same "color card" I selected the wall paint from.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Asher, Mommy, and Daddy visit!

My daughter, Suzanne, and her husband and my grandson visited the first week school was out.  What a wonderful start to my summer.  They stopped at my house for a week while they prepared to move to Greenville, NC.  Asher and I took several walks and learned that the fire trucks are out every Monday morning in Noblesville!  So much to see!  Asher climbed in and out of his pool many times but never sat down.  My son, Uncle Carey, Suzanne and Asher enjoyed a bath time together.  Carey is such a wonderful uncle.  These are the "pay back" years.  My children get along so well and having a new child in the family has been such a blessing!  My son is a big marshmallow when my grandson is around.  My heart swells to see them altogether.  My son-in-law worked all week long to build a beautiful table that he sold on Craig's list (a little extra cash for the move) and organize their storage unit to make the move easier.  God is opening wonderful doors for them in Greenville.  They both have new jobs (with benefits) in NC.  I am so happy for them!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Last Day of School

Hello Maple Glen Families!
Thank you so much for following my blog this year.  I have really learned so much and  I have truly enjoyed posting on this blog.  Please tell me what you'd like to see more of for next year's blog and share with your friends that there is a blog for Maple Glen parents about art at Maple Glen.  I will continue to post over the summer.  These posts will be on a more personal basis as I quilt and make things.  I hope all of you have a joyful and relaxing summer.  Fall always comes too soon!

Most sincerely,
Beth Siminski

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Check out this interractive web site featuring the artwork of Keith Haring!

April 25-29

Hello Mapleglenart Followers,
I missed blogging last week.  I have also missed school this week.  The rains brought in the spring molds and my sinus revolted once again.  No matter how I try to combat the onslaught, I never win!  Oh well, I'm on the recovering end now and here's what next week looks like in the art room.

Kindergarten-We just finished our cityscapes!  After reading Harold and the Purple Crayon, we used many kinds of lines and shapes to draw colorful cities.  We also learned the importance of a ground line.  The ground line keeps the images we draw from looking like they are floating on our paper!  This week we will use all kinds of lines again.  We will learn about the Japanese tradition of koi nobori.  The Japanese make wonderful fish flags that represent luck!  We will address the tsunami that recently hit Japan and how these koi nobori would be important to the Japanese as they move to recover.
     When I was teaching at Shamrock Springs, the kitchen purchased a new coffee maker.  The old coffee maker used different filters so 1000 coffee filters were donated to the art room.  What to do?  What to do?  I have slight altered the shape of the coffee filters.  The children will add lines and patterns to this coffee filter creating a fish.  Once we paint the filters, we will be able to roll the up and make a koi nobori!  My sample turned out great!  These will be coming home in the next few weeks.  Keep your eye out for them!

First Grade-The children have just finished their Alexander Calder lesson.  Their mobiles are so cute!  They really enjoyed assembling them.  Most of the children brought them home the day they made them.  One class has their mobiles hanging on display in the art room.  Please remember you are welcomed to stop by the art room at any time.  I welcome visitors!  This week the children will be introduced to Keith Haring.  Keith Haring drew cartoon-like characters with heavy, black, lines.  He used, what I call, the "crayon box colors".  His colors were nearly alwasy the colors you would find in a Crayola box of 8 crayons.  He and Alexander Calder both like for their artwork to move!  Alexander Calder's artwork really did move!  Keith Haring added "movement lines" to his artwork to create the illusion of movement.

Second Grade-The children began making their texture fish last week.  Most children have finished the shape of their fish.  This week we will be adding texture using fun foam.

Third Grade-The children have drawn some amazing Victorian homes!  They have traced their drawings with Sharpie and this week they will be accenting their drawing with oil pastes!  Lastly, they will paint their homes using water colors.  These will be such vividly colored Victorian homes!

Fourth Grade-Has finished their Ron Burns' cats and dogs.  I have never had so many wonderful pieces of artwork with this lesson as I have this year.  I am so proud of the work the kids have done!  There is a wonderful bulleltin board display of their work outside of the art room.  Please come by and take a look!  You will be impressed!!! 
     We began coiling pottery this week!    The excitement level was palpable!  Arrangments were made to add extra time to each 4th grade art class.  Many thanks to Mrs. Poorman and Ms. Gill for giving up their art time to allow the extra time for 4th grade.  Each class was introduced to the history of pottery and the ceramic techniques of coiling, scoring, and fusing.  Their goal was to create a vessel at least the height of their fist.  We will build on our pots again this coming week and then allow them to dry before firing them in the kiln.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Vacation!

Have a restful and relaxing spring vacation everyone!  For those of you who are traveling please be safe!

Ms. Siminski

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21-25, 2011

Kindergarten - After painting tissue paper like Eric Carle, the children drew animals.  It is the first time in awhile that we've talked about lines and shapes.  They will use some of their beautiful tissue papers to decorate their animals just like Eric Carle! 

First Grade will be introduced to the artist Alexander Calder.  He was an artist who studied to be an engineer but found himself working with wire most of the time.  He is known for creating the mobile, a moving piece of artwork that hangs from the ceiling.  The children will begin to trace and cut out wonderful, curving, shapes like Alexander Calder's shapes.  Next week they will cut their shapes out and assemble them into a mobile using hangers and pipe cleaners.  His work is very recognizable!  He also designed stabiles, which stay on the ground, and painted many beautiful paintings with the same kind of lines he made with his wire and his wonderful, curving shapes!  There is an Alexander Calder mobile at the IMA but you have to look up to see it!

Second grade will begin a unit reviewing the element of texture.  Fish will be the medium chosen to study texture.  They will begin creating an accordian, folded, fish to which they will apply texture using "fun foam".  I love this lesson!

Third grade is nearly finished with their pouches.  Classes that are finished will be introduced to architecture as art.  They will learn about several well know architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, I. M. Pei,  Antoni Goudi, and Frank Gehry.  They will begin to draw an American Victorian house.  They are so much fun to draw because of all of their ornate design.  They are a great study of line!

Fourth grade continues to add color to their Ron Burns' cats and dogs.  They are really coming along beautifully.  I am very proud of their work.  This is not an easy lesson.

Friday, March 11, 2011

On a personal note....

I often wonder what individual art teachers do when they are feeling artistic.  I am a textile artist.  I am a quilter.  I have been quilting with the same gals, The Quilting Fans, for 23 years.  Our hobby brought us together but our lives are sewn together with many shared experiences.  We watched our youngest member bring twins into the world.  We've all experienced the angst of watching our children graduate from high school, select colleges, and leave home for the first time, knowing that they wouldn't be returning home much ever again.    Two of our members had children who graduated from academies.  Go Navy!  Go Airforce!  Oh!  I cannot forget all the beginning drivers and our graying hairs!  We've buried mothers and fathers and one sister.  We've survived breast cancer, and held one of us up through a divorce.  Penny said, "We've loved each other through the good, the bad, and the ugly!"  So true...  We've attended many weddings and now we are becomming grandmothers.  Lot's of baby quilts are in the works!  I thought I would share some of my quilts from time to time.  I will post my grandson's quilt that I made for my daughter's first baby shower.  I also made the sock monkey.  I recently finished two quilt tops that I will have quilted by a professional quilter.  I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my artistic life.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 14-18, 2011

Kindergarten-The children will be painting tissue paper just like Eric Carle!  The tissue paper will be used during our next class time to add color to some of Eric Carle's characters.

First grade learned how artists make pictures move.  Claymation artists actually call their characters puppets.  This week the children will begin learning about the texture of turtles and they will practice their clay modeling techniques using paly dough.

Second grade has been glazing their African masks.  I have to fire them one more time before the children can add hair and whiskers. 

Third grade will finish their weavings this week!  You'll see them coming home soon.  Many thanks to Mrs. England for helping with Mrs. Stephan's class.

Fourth grade has begun to add color to their Ron Burns' cats and dogs.  They will be using oil pastels to make their animals in vibrant colors.  They also wrote the Guiding Principles using acrylic paints to create textures.  Their Guiding Principles will be used by Mrs. Sofiya, our guest artist, to complete the Maple Glen art installation.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 7-11, 2011

Kindergarten will be viewing a video about how Eric Carle paints his tissue paper that he uses in his illustrations.  This lesson ties in with their field trip to see The Very Hungry Catepillar and two other plays developed by Eric Carle.

First Grade has finished their puppets.  Many of the children brought them home on Friday.  There are about twenty on display just outside the art room.  Please come and see them!  Each class wrote a play using every puppet created by their classmates.  Their play will come home with their puppet.  Next, the children will be revisiting the topic of texture.  They will soon be making "texture turtles" out of ceramic clay but first they have to practice manipulating the clay.  This week they will practice and develope clay techniques using Play Dough.  They will use a rolling pin to roll their clay out flat, learn how to roll coils, and use a variety of stamps and tools to add texture to their clay.  Life just doesn't get any better than this!

Second grade will be glazing their Bembe' masks.  They will choose between four colors and apply the glaze to their masks.  The masks have to be fired again and then the children will add rafia as a finishing touch (if they chose to add hair or wiskers to their masks).  Their masks look wonderful!

Third grade will (hopefully) complete their woven pouches this week.  This is a labor intensive project but they love their pouches!  I do not display them because the kids are so excited to  finish and they want to take them home right away. They'll be coming home soon!

Fourth grade has nearly finished copying their Ron Burns cat or dog.  They will begin adding color using oil pastels.  The children love the intensity of color that oil pastels deliver.  I will encourage them to use their oil pastels in a "painterly manner", blending colors and applying the color without the benefit of lines to stay within.  This is a mature project for the kids and they always make me proud!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 28-March 4, 2011

Kindergarten-The children are finishing their paper quilt blocks after learning about the ladies of Gees Bend, AL.  They have also been learning about Eric Carle in their classroom.  Mrs. Beyer followed up with a lesson about him and they will be working on an activity in the art room using painted tissue paper like Eric Carle uses.  This is called cross curricular learning when teachers support each other's lessons as the children learn about a particular subject matter, in this case, Eric Carle. 

First Grade- The children have finished their puppets and the excitement in the art room could be heard and felt!  Not only were the children excited to be finished but they began to play with each other using their puppets.  They turned out so well and some of children were so creative.  Their artwork always surprises me!  What a fun project!  Each class with take an inventory of the puppets they made and write a puppet play featuring their puppets!

Second Grade- The children are in process of making their Bembe' masks using red, ceramic, clay.  While I'm firing their masks they will watch a video showing what I do with their masks from the time they hand them to me cold and wet until I return their masks to them as a piece of ceramic clay.  They find this video wonderfully interesting.  After making this video I had a new respect for Martha Stewart!

Third Grade-The children are still weaving!  Many of them have past the half way point.  I think a couple of children may finish their pouches this week.  Then they'll begin to finish like crazy!

Fourth Grade- Ron Burns is the topic of the week.  The children are learning several things with this lesson.  They are learning how to enlarge an image by using a graphing technique.  There's math involved with getting their graph drawn out to enlarge the pictures they are drawing from.  After graphing their papers they will begin copying one of Ron Burns' cats and dogs square by square.  It is a week of proportion and measuring.  They'll work very hard to duplicate their image.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 21-25

Kindergarten- The kindergarten children have been constructing their quilt blocks like the ladies of Gees Bend, AL.  This week we will put some of those blocks together to create a large paper quilt bulletin board!  this lesson is about lines, patterns, and creativity.

First Grade-The children have finished painting the faces on their stick puppets.  This week they will finish their puppets by adding ears, tails, and clothing.  (All those items that are added on to complete their puppet.)  Each class will write a play that includes all the puppets that were created.  These plays have a crazy mixture of puppets but they make sense!  I am always surprised by the children's ideas!

Second Grade-Second grade has been learning about masks from around the world.  We are specifically talking about the Bembe' masks of Africa.  We have drawn an image of our mask that we want to make and we have practiced some clay techniques using Play Dough.  This week is the week we will model our mask out of red, ceramic, clay.  It is almost more excitement than we can handle!  While we are waiting for our masks to dry, the children will watch a video about the kiln and what happens between the time they hand me their wet, cold, masks until I return their mask to them a light orange and nice and hard.  I hope this helps them to understand so much of the process they do not get to see.

Third Grade is weaving, weaving, weaving.  Their goal each day is to weave as much as possible!  Some children are nearly half finished!  Their finished pouch will be large enough to hold the new DSI-XL.  Not to mention many other treasures!  Very cool!!!

Fourth Grade has completed their self-portraits and they turned out wonderful!  I am so proud of their work!  They will be displayed soon!  We are currently working on a brief lesson involving the art of building a beautiful building, architecture!  They saw a short film about Frank Lloyd Wright and leanred about his famous "Falling Waters".  They were introduced to I.M. Pei, Frank Gehry, and Antoni Goudi.  Their assignment is to draw an image of our school which is built in Frank Lloyd Wright's craftsman style.  Mrs. Sofiya Inger, our guest artist, will use their renderings to create an image of Maple Glen in her completed piece of art.  This is so exciting and the children's drawings have been amazing!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January 31-February 4

Hello Maple Glen Families!
I apologize for the delay but my Google account sent me a suspicious message and I was forced to change my password.  After talking with our tech-man Mr. Grogan, he told me that someone was probably fishing....phishing? intrude into my computer space.  I was not able to access my blog from school but I am able to access here from home today!  Yeah!  I thought it was completely gone!  I'm home today because of the weather so already our week is changing.  Here's what our week has the potential of looking!

Kindergarten-The children have been introduced to the women of Gees Bend, AL.  They will be starting their own paper quilt block using fat lines and many of their scraps.  Their goal is to create a pattern as they assemble their block. The women of Gees Bend saved every scrap they had to make their quilts.

First Grade- The children prepared their puppets for being a person or an animal by having arms and legs glued to their puppets.  They also drew the faces on their puppets.  They will start painting and applying the hair, ears, tails, etc. this week.  I can hardly contain their excitement as they enter the art room!

Second Grade-The second grade has finished their tropical birds on Amate' paper.  They are currently displayed on the bulletin boards by the cafeteria.  This week they will review texture in art and begin making an accordian folded fish.  They will add a dorsal fin and a tail along with a breast fin to their fish.

Third Grade-We have started weaving on our pouches!  The first day of weaving is always the most difficult.  Many children still want to weave without paying attention to that first warp thread however, they will work all the "bugs" out of their weaving and it will be "smooth cruising"  from here on out!

Fourth Grade-Our self-portraits are finished and they are amazing!  They will be displayed very soon.  I had planned on moving right into the Ron Burns' lesson however, the fourth grade is responsible for drawing the school on our all school art project with Sofiya Inger.  To prepare for that task, we will be working on a very short lesson about architecture, as an art form, learning about Frank Lloyd Wright and his "craftsman" style.  After all, Maple Glen is a craftsman style school!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Our students have been busy working with Mrs. Sofiya Inger, our guest artist.

If you would like to see more of Mrs. Inger's artwork she currently has a display at the Jewish Community Center Art Gallery.   Her work will be displayed through February 25th.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 24-29, 2011

Kindergarten has completed their lesson about Piet Mondrian and this week they will continue to learn about fat lines when they learn about the women of Gees Bend, Alabama.  Gees Bend is an isolated island in AL where the women made quilts out of every scrap of fabric they could save.  These quilters and their quilts were discovered about ten years ago.  Their quilts are amazingly artistic and comtemporary!  The children will learn about these ladies and how they saved every scrap they had to be creative.  They will use fat, colored, lines to create a quilt block that I will display as a large, paper, quilt.

First grade has completed covering their puppets with paper mache' and they are now painting their puppet heads white to cover up the newspaper and give their colors a nice undercoating.  This week they will draw the faces on their puppets and begin painting the face.  It will be an exciting week!

Second grade is beginning to finish their tropical birds on their Amate' paper.  The final step is adding white accent strokes and dots to their birds.  We are talking about "stroke work" when we use our brushes in small strokes rather than as a tool to fill in color.  The handle end of the brush is perfect for making small dots!  The strokes and dots add beauty to our birds.  This is one of my favorite projects I teach!

Third grade has finished warping their looms and they will begin weaving this week.  They will be weaving for several days!  You can almost feel the excitement as they enter the room.  I have found that children absolutely love to weave!  It is instant gratification.  They immediately see their progress and they end up with a usable item.  Weaving is also very relaxing.  They talk and weave and talk and weave.  Rarely does anyone get into trouble!  We love to weave!!!

Fourth grade is going in different directions right now.  I have two classes who have finished their self-portraits so they made origami boxes this week.  The other two classes will finish their self-portraits this week.  We'll begin learning about Ron Burns and his colorful cats and dogs.  Ron Burns is an artist who also acts as the spokesperson for the Humane Society.  The children will be copying one of his pieces of artwork but they have to enlarge the picture by graphing.  They will copy his artwork box by box which allows them to draft an image in an easier way than just trying to copy an imgage on their own.  This skill can be used when completing any project they may have in the future.  They will add color using oil pastels in a painterly manner.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Covered in Snow!

Hello Blog Friends,
     This week I was surprised to awaken to my alarm rather than the district "all call".  I thought for sure that we would have a two hour delay and I was very surprised by our early dismissal on Tuesday.  Then my drive in to school on Wednesday morning was during a heavily falling snow! The weather really played havoc with this week!  This was a very LOUD week in the art room.  I'm sure the snow was an influence and I think NWEA testing also left the children feeling a sense of relief after their testing sessions were completed.  They get really squirrely during their specials time. Let's add that to an approaching three day weekend!!!!  Oh my goodness!  I am really looking forward to this three day weekend.  My daughter and grandson are coming to visit and I will be celebrating my birthday with them and my son and daughter-in-law.  It should be a wonderful weekend.
     Here's what is happening in the art room next week!

Kindergarten-The kindergarten children will be completing their Piet Mondrian lesson by adding fat, black, lines to their primary colored squares and rectangles.  Their artwork will look so much like a painting by Piet Mondrian!  Their next lesson will be about collage.  I will read them a short book about snowmen and they will cut out three, white, circles to create a snow person.  They will add embellishments to create a snow person collage next week.

First Grade-Is still working on creating a stick puppet.  One class is two lessons ahead of the others.  This happens because of snow days, convocations, or absences.  When my grade levels are on more than one lesson it can become very confusing so I work very hard to keep my classes on the same lesson.  When I have a class that is ahead, I have what I call "Bandaid lessons".  These lessons are related to what I am teaching at the time and align with state standards.  This week some of the first grade classes watched The Snowman by: Raymond Briggs.  This is an Oscar award winning, short, animation film.  It tells the story of a boy who builds a snowman who then comes to life.  The movie tells the story using only pictures.  It is a feast for the eyes!  The other first grade classes will be viewing this movie after they catch up on their puppet lesson.  That means they will have applied the paper mache' to their puppet's head and prepared it for painting.

Third Grade-Third grade is beginning a weaving lesson.  The children will be making a draw-string pouch that is big enough to hold a DSL-XL.  This week they learned about Diane Itter who was a wonderful weaver from Indiana University.  They learned that weaving is a skill that has been practiced since Biblical times.  We really don't know who the first weaver was but we do know that weaving is practiced by many cultures all over the world.  The children made their looms this week!

Fourth Grade-The fourth grade is learning about the art of the written word, calligraphy!  This lesson is being taught to support the efforts of our visiting artist, Mrs. Sofiya Inger.  Because our fourth graders are the first group of children who have attended Maple Glen from kindergarten through fourth grade, they are being given the task of adding the Guiding Principles to the art installation.  This means their hand writing needs to be beautiful.........or at least legible!  They have seen several examples of beautiful, American, calligraphy including John Hancock's "John Hancock"!  We talked about the history of written communication and how much the importance of handwriting has changed from the days when beautiful handwriting was a skill that was cherished till today when some schools are no longer teaching cursive writing!  The final assignment will be to copy the Guiding Principles using beautiful handwriting.

Friday, January 7, 2011

January 10-14, 2011

Kindergarten has learned about the importance of the Primary Colors, red, blue, and yellow.  They learned that white light is full of color and gives us the colors of the rainbow.  Black is absent of color.  The French artist, Piet Mondrian is best known for his simple, geometric, use of the primary colors.  The children will complete this lesson in two class times.  (I will post an image of one of Piet Mondrian's paintings at the end of this post.  It may show up at the beginning!  I am still getting the hang of this blog stuff!)

First Grade revisited Paul Klee.  Last year they studied his "Rose Garden" painting and his use of line, shape, and color.  This year they are learning that he also loved to make puppets!  The children used a paint stir and taped newspaper around one end to make an oval or circular form to create a "head".   In their next class they will use paper mache' to add a hard, paintable surface to their puppet.  (Mrs. McCool's class used plaster today to create the hard surface on their puppets.  It was marginally successful.....  I'm alwasy looking for better processes and better materials to improve our art projects.  I'm going back to paper mache'!)

Second Grade continues to work on their tropical birds.  All drawings are completed and most classes have traced over their lines with black, oil pastel.  These black lines offer wonderful contrast to the neon colors the children will be using next week to paint their birds and the tropical foliage.

Third Grade is beginning to finish their study of Wayne Thiebaud (Tee-bow).  Wayne Thiebaud is best know for his dessert paintings.  (I will post a picture of his artwork along with this post.  Again, I don't know whether it will show up on the blog before or after this written part.)  As they finish their work they add another page to their art books.  Their art books were their first art project of the school year, Book Making as an Art Form.  These books are a continuing project that the children will bring home with them at the end of the school year.

Fourth grade is beginning to finish their self-portraits.  These are "keepers" Mom and Dad.  Mrs. Fritzsche's class finished their's today and Mrs. Fritsche identified every single portrait!!!  Way to go Mrs. Fritzsche!  Of cours that means that her students did a terrific job of drawing themselves!!!  Mrs. Pate's class will finish their portraits next week and then we are interrupting the self -portrait lesson with a lesson that will support our guest artist, Sofiya Inger.  Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Capelli's students will finish their self-portraits at a later date.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year! Jan. 3-7, 2011

Kindergarten will be introduced to the Primary Colors this week.  They will learn about the "mixing colors", yellow, magenta, and cyan blue.  These colors give truer greens, oranges, and purples when mixed together.  They will begin a project, using the Primary Colors, by the French artist Piet Mondrian.

First Grade is revisiting the artist Paul Klee (Clay).  They studied his painting "The Rose Garden" last year and learned that he loves lines, shapes, and colors.  He used spiral lines to make his roses.  This year the children will learn that he also liked making puppets.  The children will shape newspaper around a paint stir to begin a stick puppet.  They will then cover the newspaper head with plaster strips to give the head a smooth, and strong form.

Second Grade is tracing their tropical birds on their Amate' paper with black oil pastel.   This really exagerates the lines and provides a beautiful contrast to their neon colors they will add later.  Art is a process.  There will be many stages to this project.

Third Grade is continuing their lesson about Wayne Thiebaud and his delightful desserts!  They will complete the addition of color this week and start to add shadows that make their pictures become 3-dimensional.  Wayne Thiebaud was known for his brilliant colors and his exagerated shadows.

Fourth Grade will continue work on their self-portraits.  They will continue to add color to their faces and begin working on their clothing and finally the shadows, again, giving their faces a more 3-dimensional look.