Thomas Bland Sculpture of our Guiding Principles

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