Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Its the Final Countdown...

10 Days until the Art Show!
Well, 9 since today is over. Really 8 if you take into consideration that I won't be in school Friday.
There was a death in the family. (No worries, my great aunt lived a full life into her nineties. She has been taken care of by the Little Sisters for the last few years and is now resting peacefully with her husband, daughter and my dad. I'm looking forward to celebrating her wonderful life and memory with my family!)

Today after school I juggled between helping students with clay character bowls, cleaning up after a whirlwind of the day, and guiding my dedicated eighth graders in getting mats started for the works selected for the Show.
We will have black felted panels from the local art association, but my principal likes the look of the black rail board, and as its been done traditionally, I am taking the extra step. (He also likes the works glued, so I have been fighting the humidity and my better judgement.) This way too though, I can use any and all available wall space and still have things look professional.
After a little over an hour and a half, we have two classes done and eleven more to go!

The above image is from a PhotoShop class I took in college. I have/had limited skills with technology. The following semester though the idea of layering images flowed into my Photo Process Printmaking class and I again used these images to create metal printing plates and layered the registers. That I had a ton of fun with and even gave away and framed many works from that class. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Color Scheme and Composition Bike Painting

I love that excited feeling I get when seeing my students' work coming together. I've felt this way a lot lately, and I know the kids are feeling it too.

I found my inspiration for Eighth Grade Color Scheme Bike paintings via pinterest.
I believe the original pin was from someone's Etsy site, but I thought "Hey, 8th grade could totally do this!"

I decided to introduce students to the Rule of Thirds for this assignment. We've talked a lot this year about creating the illusion of space (perspective) but whenever there is time to "free" draw, I've noticed the sunset right in the middle of the page... you know what I'm talking about.
Having tried to introduce the concept in the past, I knew I needed help. Kids would go through the motions so to speak, but not really get it. So after scanning YouTube for what felt like hours (seriously, as soon as I thought I found a good one, there was a swear or a boob), I found a video that was short enough to keep their attention, and after a few questions, sure to drive home the point.

I brought in my own bike, and borrowed the bike the seventh grade teacher had in her classroom. I think a few years ago someone found it in the marsh behind the school. (And I thought I had weird stuff in my room!) After some observational sketches, we reviewed and were introduced to a few new color schemes, including monochromatic, analogous, triadic and split complementary. Kids could select their own schemes and were encouraged to use tints, tones and shades.
Here are a few of the first finishers:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

clay character bowls!

I am so excited to see all of these clay creations painted!
As I've said before, I never really taught clay techniques. I didn't have access to clay at my other schools. With boxes of clay ordered by the previous art teacher at my new school, I've taken the opportunity to teach a simple lesson, sure to be successful for many. We are creating character... or monster, or animal, or unknown something or others... out of pinch pot bowls. The timing has been great too. With standardized testing happening over the next two weeks, its been a nice release for the kids to be manipulating the clay. Seriously, kids have been quiet, content and very creative!

All wrapped up after class 1

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Update from Art Room 201

Ah my desk at the end of the day... this is actually pretty tame! With twenty school days until my FIRST Art Show at my new school, its crunch time! (so much for posting about Sixth Grade's Visual Music paintings and prints. Here is the link for last year's assignment. This year we used tempera paint and stuck to abstract representations of sound, using pattern and rhythm. we also made prints of contour line drawings of instruments, using styrofoam.)

As further evidence of my insanity, I have started a clay project with Sixth Grade. Right? I know, I'm nuts. Above are some of my preparations and after today's first class, it seems to be paying off! I have never really taught ceramics, so I have scoured the internet, especially art teacher's Pinterest pages, for tips and tricks. We actually don't have a functioning kiln, so that takes off a lot of pressure. And we're doing this now because after the art show, I only see students once or twice more. This school year flew!

So anyway, we are making Character Bowls based on a lesson found in March's (?) Arts & Activities Magazine. The first class we started with a Power Point about clay, some classroom rules while working with clay, and some student examples. We discussed what a character is and brainstormed as a class before making some sketches and practicing with clay.

Today's clean up after working on our final bowls went so well that I had to pinch myself! I hope I didn't just jinx it. My tables are labeled by color, so I called one or two up at a time as I passed out plastic shopping bags. In those little baskets on the counter are pieces of scrap paper, sharpies and clothespins. Students followed the directions on the bulletin board then went back to their tables to fold up the plastic table covering. Students were not allowed to use the sink until everyone was seated and plastic folded. Thankfully I have two sinks, so I called tables again by color, as others finished wrapping clay. By the end of the week, the counter will be filled with almost a hundred bowls!

This week seventh grade has been introduced to Pop Art and Roy Lichtenstein. I have done this lesson in the past and it is one of the top hits on my blog! This year I will be giving students a little more freedom to decide their topics and materials. In the past we have used markers and sharpies and stuck with food. This year students will use paint and/or markers but need to pick an everyday object or aspect of daily life that connects them to the world (so that it fits with my curriculum). We'll see what happens!

As if we didn't have enough happening, we are also trying to finish up our murals before the May 30th Show. There's rumors that the Mayor wants to come by and see them when they are done too!

During this crazy time, I am striving to stay organized. Pictured above is my Art Show counter. Listed on the board are the pieces that each student should have completed and can select from for the show. Each class has a list of names on the clip board and a corresponding envelope (see 6E) that I picked up at the recycling center. I also got a bunch of old desk calendars which is why I could make the little signs. RECYCLING! After passing out work and contemplating, students are asked to write down the name of their assignment for the show, next to their name, and place the work in the folder. Done and DONE!