Thursday, September 29, 2016

Earth Patterns Too!

Every year, our fabulous art department creates a parish-wide art exhibit for our students.  So all teachers, at all levels teach all of their students this lesson and then we get to pick some student art to put in the exhibit.  As an art teacher, I love it.  Every year I get a new project idea to use in class- it keeps me from getting bored.

This years exhibit is called Earth Patterns Too.  The purpose of the exhibit is to raise awareness for our Earth and all the living things on it.  After all, if we don't take care of it, who will?  We also had a heavy focus on the use of pattern- inspired by all of the amazing adult coloring books out there these days.  By the way, did you know that they are the number one selling book out on the market today?  Adult coloring books in general that is.

So, I had my students choose an animal they wanted to paint.  We then used the grid method to enlarge it and redraw it on a 10x10 board.  After the students drew the animals, we began painting them.  They had the choice to paint them in realistic colors or crazy colors.  The last step was to add patterns to our animals.  Patterns could be added to the animal itself, the background, or both.  Overall, the students did great!!  Very proud of all of their hardwork :)

Here are some examples

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fine Art Survey and Aboriginal Art

One of the most exciting things about this new school year is my new class- Fine Art Survey!  It is offered to 8th grade students only and they get to earn high school credit for the class.  And I get to teach some more in depth art history, some theater, dance, and music too!!  Some of those things I'm really excited about, some I'm really nervous.  Music is not really my strong suit, let's just say my piano teacher asked me to please not come back when I was in middle school...

We started off with prehistoric art, including everything from cave paintings, to Stonehenge, to Australian Aboriginal art.  Super cool stuff!  After we discussed all of these exciting things. we moved on to some more hands on learning- in the form of abstract Aboriginal style sculptures!!

I saw this amazing picture online (here), and just knew I had to do this with one of my classes.  As it happened, I felt it really fit perfectly in with my Fine Art Survey curriculum!  We started off with some wood blocks pre-drilled with two holes, some sculpture wire, and some hot glue.  We hot glued the two ends of the wire into the two holes in the wood blocks, and then the kids started bending and twisting the wire into an interesting shape.

Now the fun part.... we stretch knee-high panty hose over the entire piece and started painting our background colors


To finish it off, the students used Aboriginal symbols and the over-dotting technique to add a truly beautiful design to their pieces.  Amazing!!




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Smile!!! It's a Photo Booth!!

My art club and I are taking on an exciting new endeavor to raise funds for our art program.  First and foremost, we are raising money for our class field trip- I would like to take all of my art club students on a field trip to Houston's Museum of Modern Art and then lunch at It'z, and I would like it not to cost them anything.  So, we have to make sure that we keep money in our account for that purpose.  I am also interested in getting a potter's wheel for our classroom.  I think it would add some really fantastic opportunities for my art students.  However, they are a bit on the pricey side.  Say, somewhere in the $1,000 range give or take a little bit...  So, that's going to take us a little while to build up to.  But that's my ultimate goal!

So, I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with some neat ideas that we could do as a fundraiser.  One that wouldn't require too much additional time out of school to do (like a dance for example).  After talking with a few of the other teachers, we came up with the idea of a photo booth!  I spent a little time researching it, and I think it's going to be great!

First, we had to make some props....

Then come up with a cool backdrop....

After trying a few different ideas, I found this app on the App store for my iPad- best of all, it's free!!!  It makes everything easy breezy!  All I have to do is export the pictures and have them printed up.  Thank you SAMS Club!!

We spend some time sorting pictures for delivery....

And bam!  The students get their pictures Monday afternoon :)  Like I said, easy peasy!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Audubon Exhibit Update and Fins and Feathers Update

I am so happy to share with you that 3 of our students artwork was selected to be in the Audubon exhibit at the Stark Museum of Art!!  I am so proud of all of my students!  The museum had over 420 submissions that were narrowed down to 100!  And 3 of those are ours!!

In addition to that wonderful news, ALL of the artworks that were submitted will be on a digital display in the museum lobby.

Just a reminder, the exhibit opens March 28 and runs through July.  Please make an effort to go check out our beautiful student artwork!!


And here's a link to the museum's website for all other information.

And I would also like to congratulate another one of my students for making the Annual Calcasieu Parish Public School K-12 Juried Art Show "Feathers and Fins".  Her catfish will be on display at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum from March 17- April 30.

Yay!!!  My students are the best!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Matisse Wild Beast Collage

My 7th hour students just finished up working on a multimedia painting project inspired by Henri Matisse and the Fauvist movement.  I found the inspiration for this project here- the Art at Becker Middle School blog is absolutely incredible.  Such wonderful ideas for lessons and projects!!

We started off by discussing Henri Matisse and the Fauvist movement.  We looked at several of Matisse's paintings focusing on his love for bright color.  Then we began drawing.

Students chose a wild animal to draw- there were no limits on the animal.  It could be any real or imaginary animal of their choosing.  The only requirement was that the drawing had to fill the page.  Then we outlined the drawings with black marker and colored them in using crayons.

Next we painted our backgrounds using liquid watercolors.  We went through a little bit of color theory, focusing on blending and mixing our watercolors.  The results are just beautiful!

Next we used some painted papers to cut out strange "matisse-style" organic shapes which we glued onto our painted backgrounds.

The final step was to cut out our animal and glue it down.  And of course we sealed it with Mod Podge.  Wonderful stuff :)  Here's some finished examples!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Elements and Principles of Design

Normally this is the first thing I do with my students.  This semester we had a museum exhibit deadline that took precedence, but that's what being flexible is all about!!  Anyways...

I like to go over the elements and principles of design with every grade level, every year.  I feel like its a great review and introduction to the basics of art.  It's the foundation- everyone needs to know this stuff to create beautiful art!!  And it also helps you sound extremely well educated to be able to talk about art in an intelligent manner :)

So, we started off by taking notes on the elements and principles.  And because I am so nice, I created some handouts (based off of some ones I saw on teachers pay teachers.  I am too cheap to buy them though, so I made my own!).  The students used the handouts to take their notes on while I lectured.

After completing their notes we made accordian books (I found the inspiration for this project here).  First we cut long strips of watercolor paper (you could use any heavy weight paper- I just happened to have really large sheets lying around perfect for cutting into strips).  My strips were about 39 x 4".

We then accordion folded them into little booklets with 8 "pages".

First we folded the strips in half

Then we folded the ends into the middle 

Next we folded each section in half 

Then we made sure they folded like an accordion! 

We started with the elements- they decorated a cover page.  The only requirement was that it had to say "Elements of Art" and include their name.  They then went along one page at a time creating a page for each element.  Each page had to list the element, it's definition, and then it had to be illustrated in some way.  Here's some examples

Once we finished the elements, we flipped the book over to the back and did the same thing for the principles.

Here's some finished examples!

I think they turned out great :)