Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

"Abstract Jacks" was one of my favorite lessons from last year, so I brought it my new school. I realized Friday afternoon that today is Halloween, so I quickly pulled a few designs from each class and hung them outside of the cafeteria. Two teachers stopped by while hanging up the work, one to say I need to go home, its Friday afternoon, the other to say she loved these, how did we do it?

Well, first we drew a few carved pumpkin designs. Then I told the kids the legend of Stingy Jack (or at least the History Channel version) who is reported to be walking around with a lantern made from a hollowed out turnip until Judgement day, hence Jack o'lantern. We tied in some social studies talking about how Irish immigrants brought the legend and the tradition to the US. However here, pumpkins are more plentiful than turnips.
From there, we talked about creating emphasis through placement and how to turn our designs into something abstract by zooming in. We drew right over or pumpkin designs to find something interesting, then began outlining with chalk on the black paper.

The next class, we did an observational drawing of a real little pumpkin, under 15 minutes, using contour line and calling attention to using value and intermediate color to create the illusion of form. We reviewed some of the goals and did a "sandwich critique" with a partner (I got that idea from Artful Artsy Amy) Finally, we took out the pastels and finished!

of course there was a mustache!

The photos are not the best... I am not in practice using my new-ish camera, but you get the idea.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Multi-Media Fall Tree Landscapes

I originally saw this activity on Art Projects for Kids where it was geared towards upper elementary. I felt like it would be a good fit for seventh grade because I have such a wide range of abilities in each class. I definitely think I will do this lesson again, but I would like to find a way for more students to bring it to a higher level and perhaps take more pride in their work.

Students first started with an introduction to "multi-media." From there, we painted a simple landscape and were encouraged to blend and mix colors, taking advantage of watercolor crayons and paper towel as tools. We reviewed "abstract" and "warm colors" to create a second painting of nonobjective colors.

I am not a huge fan of the black outline in this, but this student was absent during the last step, so this is what was left to take a photo of.

The next class we reviewed "multi-media" and created a list of what we had used thus far, adding what else we would/ could use that day. Students were encouraged to use any idea he or she had that utilized the particular materials at their table.
First, trees

then, leaves
and maybe some stuff from the scrap box
success for students with special needs.

these two are twins in two different classes... very interesting

Where Did October Go?

This week I really started to feel the craziness...
Monday was the seconding meeting of the Sketchbook Project Club.
Tuesday was pretty awesome. My job for our fundraiser was to sit outside, on a beautiful fall day, and keep track of how many laps kids did on their bicycles. Each student asked sponsors for a flat donation or so much money per lap walking, running, roller blade-ing, scooter-ing or biking. The money goes to the PTO who in turn purchase equipment, like ceiling mounted projectors, for the teachers this year. I really hope I get one! -- I also had a city wide mentor meeting in the afternoon! The rest of the school week went per usual... feeling all over the place with classes and students at so many different places.
Meanwhile, its a little after mid-term graduate school wise and I feel like I will be holding my breath for a few more weeks. I spent the majority of this weekend working on the book I am self publishing for my Critical and Multicultural Analysis in Children's Literature and the Arts class. Above is an illustration I did of the two characters in the book. The girl on the left is me, circa eighth grade, and the girl on the right is my best friend. The story goes back and forth between our points of view while experiencing a tragedy. I find it really rewarding to be publishing this story but right now, I can't wait to be done!

Thankfully, I found time to relax this afternoon and carve my pumpkin for Halloween tomorrow! I really couldn't tell you the last time I actually carved a pumpkin. I think its been years. It was fun and I am happy with my little, silly kitty.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

another latte please!

taken @ the Brattleboro Art Museum (VT) the day before hurricane Irene
Wow! graduate school + teaching part time + life = busy, busy, busy!
I am in the middle of grading our first assignments. Its crazy that some of you are finishing your first nine weeks and are getting ready for new kiddos while I am just finishing the first assignment! To be fair, its a new schedule for me. I see the kids once every four days for the most part and, not thinking, I picked some time consuming activities. This week we will be moving on to some one or two day fall themed stuff to rejuvenate our creativity. I for one am looking forward to using watercolor crayons and pencils, oil pastels and black paper!

Tomorrow is also the first meeting of the first ever Sketchbook Project Club! I just put together a quick slide show of rules (boo!) and my book from last year (yea!) as I only used materials I had in my classroom i.e. watercolor cakes, sharpie, colored pencil, magazines and glue. I also bought some Citra- Solv so I can teach them how to do some image transfers. I am really wicked excited! I even got myself a sketchbook so we can all work together. :)