Friday, September 27, 2013

Chuck Close Grid self Portrait

Every year I try to do several self portraits of the kids. It is a good way to get observation as well as some art history involved. Click here for previous self portraits

This week, with my 4th-6th graders, I did a project inspired by contemporary American artist Chuck Close, who is known for his larger than life portraits using a grid and a pixelated look. He had learning disabilites and also had a medical condition that confined him to a wheelchair.

To check out all the art photos click here. 

Here are some nice videos about Chuck Close.

So, to begin with, I photographed each student and went home and applied a 12x18 grid over the photo.

With this gridded picture of themselves, they had to make a grid on a 12x18 piece of paper. This proved to be just as difficult as anything. Thankfully, the kids are learning about grids and math factors with their teacher Ms. Kinser, so this reinforced it.  Getting this right was a challenge and tested their patience and left/right brain sensibility.

Once the tears had been wiped away from the grid, we went on to transferring the major lines of their face. My goal had been to get to color the first class, but the intro, grid and starting line work took my allotted hour, so I will update next time!

I am very happy with how many of the kids really took to this. Even the ones who struggled, put in a  good fight, and the end result of the PROCESS will make their brains stronger.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Apple Stamping

Ah, the smell of apples in September and the pitter-patter of Kindergartners! A fall classic is apple stamping, but I gave it a bit of a twist this year by having them assemble it into a tree. My K-1 class only has 30 minutes and this was a non-stop lesson with three different paint stations, three different parts and three colors that had to rotate 12 kids through.

To check out all the art photos click here. 

I cut apples in half and then collected leaves (I used cherry leaves since apple leaves are not very flat)

The apple station was red, leaf station green and the bark station was paper bags that they used brushes to explore texture on. The kids really got into the stamping and art really feels like art when they a re slopping the paint around! Its amazing to see the reactions to the young kids exploring texture and printing.

In the next lesson, after paint had dried, we cut out the apples, leaves and the trunks were cut from tracings of their arm and hand.

Friday, September 6, 2013

America the Beautiful

 This year, we are having a school-wide focus on North America, and American history in several grades. In music, the kids were learning 'America the Beautiful,' so I decided to do something that tied into the song in art class.

To check out all the art photos click here. 

The K-1 class did one picture that was their choice of imagery from the first two stanzas...all the most common phrases:

O beautiful for spacious skies, 
For amber waves of grain, 
For purple mountain majesties 
Above the fruited plain! 
America! America! 
God shed his grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea! 

I showed the kids some imagery from a book that had some wonderful illustrations, and we discussed spacious, amber, grain, etc.  The technique we used was torn paper. I do this so they don't get to worked up about drawing or cutting exact shapes. 

My educational goals in this lesson were to teach the kids to use color, shape and texture. Tearing (with some cutting) is a good way to get some interesting shapes. Then the kids were to think about their arrangement before gluing and try to use layering with background and foreground objects to create depth. They did a good jobs for kids this young!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to school 2013

Its already Fall! And I still haven't posted many of my Springtime projects! Bad teacher;-( Well that will allow me to sprinkle them during the Fall when I am inevitably busy.

Our little school has about 40 kids, with a large K-2 contingent, so that allows me to do more focused projects with the older 3-6th kids and lots of fun crafty projects with the young ones! This year I'm going to focus on American artists as well as American themes. Paired with a good dose of theory and technique.

Something that inspired me, for a potential project this year, was this artist' blog about collaborating with her 4-year old daughter.  I might need to do a project where I divide a  sheet into parts and each child has like 5 minutes to draw something and then pass it along, hopefully building on each other's drawings in a  fun surreal way??


Stay turned for some fun projects coming down the pike!