Thomas Bland Sculpture of our Guiding Principles

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.