Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Technical Difficulties - Please Stand By!

I've got several projects to upload and some news for the Enrichment Ideas page; however, we've been experiencing some issues with our home computer. Once tech genius Mrs. O gets a long enough break from her real job to take a look, I'll be back up and running.  So stay tuned...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Second Grade Leaf Prints with Pastel Outlines

Artwork by Carly W.
Emphasizing the difference between real texture and implied texture in art, I showed the second graders how one can become the other through carefully printing with a textured object - in this case leaves.  The students carefully brushed white tempura paint onto the vein side - the side with the most texture - of different kinds and sizes of leaves, placed them on black 12x18 inch construction paper, and then transfered the print onto the paper by placing a piece of scrap over the leaf and rubbing. I asked the students to try and improve their prints with each attempt, taking into account how much paint they were using, how hard they were pressing, etc, with the goal of producing prints that really showed the texture of the leaf.  I also asked them to consider the overall balance of their compositions.  On a second day, the students outlined their leaves with thick, concentric lines of soft pastel in either a warm or cool color scheme.  I wish we'd had had more time to fully develop this second part of the lesson, but then I'm always wishing for more time with my artists.

Artwork by Rowen M.

Artwork by Lochlan M.

Artwork by Asa R.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kindergarten Bee Collage

Artwork by Joshua H.
After getting a little experience collaging on the "Starry Night Neighborhood" project (see previous post), kinders expanded their collage repertoire with this bee collage.  While this collage also employs mostly basic shapes, it was rewarding to see some students take their collage to the next level on their own by adding organic shapes to represent clouds, grass, or flowers.
Artwork by Cornelius B.
Artwork by Kate P.
Artwork by Amelia P.
Artwork by Nichole P.

Kindergarten Starry Night Neighborhood

For a first collage lesson, I had our kinders create a house using three colors and basic shapes. At the end of the week, I collected all the houses - some big, some tiny - glued them to a 40 foot long piece of black bulletin board paper and turned the whole scene into a "Starry Night Neighborhood" with some quick painting with acrylics. Although this wasn't meant to be a Halloween-themed project, a lot of the students were inspired by the time of the year to put jack-o-lanterns in front of their houses!  You can see the finished product hung in the hallway of the K-1 building.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

4th Grade African (Maasai) Necklaces

Artwork by Hannah D.

Fourth graders recently learned about the Maasai people of East Africa and the symbolism of certain colors in their culture.  We adapted the beautiful and intricate designs of their necklaces (made from tiny colored beads) to a (large) paper plate and acrylic paint format, but many of the students' successfully mimicked the pattern and color found in the real thing.

(The unpainted centers of our plates will be cut out so that the "necklaces" can actually be worn by the students.)
Artwork by Erin S.

Artwork by Chasnee T.

Artwork by Shalo S.

Artwork by Desi P.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Thank You!

As the Octrober 28 deadline for Square 1 Art orders approaches, I want to thank everyone who has supported HES Art with their purchase of gift items.  As I said before, the money from this fundraiser goes a long way toward helping the Art Room stay stocked with the kinds of supplies we use on an almost daily basis, and it enables us to purchase special items that are part of some new and unique art learning opportunities.  Thanks again for all your support!

Friday, October 18, 2013

1st Grade (Exploding) Hamburger Collages

Artwork by Tayla N.
More than anything, this lesson was simply a fun exercise in scissor and glue work - great for fine motor skills.  Just various colors of construction paper on a black background.  Students were encouraged to put anything they wanted on their burgers but to try to cut their shapes as realistically as possible and add appropriate extra details with sharpies.  Most students stuck with the basics of bun, burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and mustard and ketchup, though a few got a bit more creative, including one first grader who put hot dogs on his burger. Hey, why not?
Artwork by Rosie G.
Artwork by Chloe P.
Artwork by Chloe Jane P.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

4th Grade Cityscapes

Artwork by Desi P.
Fourth graders are finishing up these cityscapes that they began before the fall break.  The lesson offers an opportunity to learn about the art principle of contrast -- in this case between the warm and cool colors (students chose one family for the buildings and one for their sky) and between the hard angles of the skyscrapers and the soft curves of the concentric circles around their suns (or moons).  The students also get exposed to the idea of perspective, particularly the "worm's eye" view of these buildings and what that means for the shape of their windows and other details.  

Artwork by Sophie P.

Artwork by Ryan R.

Artwork by Hannah D.

Square 1 Art Fundraiser Time

By now you should have seen a packet containing a set of stickers for your child along with information about how to order your child's artwork professionally printed on a variety of gift items.  A portion of the money you spend on these items comes back to the art room, making up the most important source of funding for art supplies for the year.  Many of the items make excellent holiday gifts for grandma and grandpa, that favorite aunt or uncle, or even the child who created the artwork.

If it sounds like I'm begging, that's because I am.  As I'm sure you are all aware, times are tight for school budgets, and we are already getting word that one chunk of money we usually get as art teachers may not materialize this year.  So many thanks in advance for any Square 1 Art purchases you decide to make!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

HES Art on TV!

A few of our kindergarteners cupcakes ended up on WNCN's "Cool School of the Day" segment this morning.  Even Mr. O got a mention, albeit with the usual butchering of his name (no problem, Bill -- I'm used to it!)  Click on the pic above to link to the clip.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

HES Art on Display at the OCS Central Office

Just a note to let parents know that the month of September will feature art by Dolphin artists in the School Board Meeting Room at the OCS Central Office.  Some of the students were a little disappointed to find out they wouldn't be taking their art home until after the upcoming break, but they understand that I think highly enough of their work to want to show it off to as much of Orange County as possible!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade Poetry about Paintings

Using an easy-to-formulate cinquain or diamante structure, Ms. Richmond's third grade class, Ms. Lovingood's fourth graders, and Ms. Russell's fifth grade class tried their hand at poems about famous artworks this week.  This is a great lesson for letting students look a little more deeply at some artworks they may not have been exposed to, as well as for reinforcing the parts of speech (nouns, verbs, and adjectives).  Here are a few samples along with the artworks that inspired them.

 The Gulf Stream, Winslow Homer
Cinquain by Michael A.
Broken, small.
Tired marooned slave,
Lonely, tired, sad, mad.

The Dance Class, Edgar Degas

Diamante by Elizabeth P.
Serious, tall.
Waiting, standing, relevaing.
Reflection, point, shoes, tutus.
Tying, watching, talking.
White, satin

Room at Arles, Vincent Van Gogh
Diamante by Tabitha M.
Still, empty.
Waiting, breathing, reflecting.
Pictures, window, bed, blanket.
Sleeping, comforting, remembering.
Blue, full
Freedom from Want, Norman Rockwell
Diamante by Gavin C.
Happy, loud
Smiling, waiting, serving.
Table, plate, family, food.
Speaking, placing, dining.
Joyful, wealthy

Sunday, August 25, 2013

"Merman O."

I keep a jar full of drawing ideas for students to use during free drawing time if they are stuck for a subject or just feel like taking a chance and seeing what they pull out.  This summer, I had my very creative daughter, Sarah, supplementing the jar with some of her own subject ideas.  I didn't realize until one of the students drew this...
...that one of Sarah's drawing ideas was "draw Mr. O as a merman."  Yikes.  (Artwork by 5th grader Irma N.)

HES Art on TV!

 TV clip art

I received an email this week from WNCN Meteorologist Bill Reh informing me that he will be highlighting artwork from this blog, as well as HES in general, on the station's "Cool School of the Day" segment!  I'll be sure to let you know more specifics when I find them out, but for now, set your DVRs to catch the segment at around 6:18AM on Tuesday, September 10!

Fundraiser Time

Students have begun creating their artwork for our annual Square One Art fundraiser.  For those new to the school, this is the Art Room's primary means of funding for all the supplies we need to carry out an enriching art program at HES.  Students create art that can be professionally and permanently printed on a huge variety of gift items, and a portion of the price charged to parents goes back to the Art Room budget.  Many parents have found these items to be great stocking stuffers for relatives and even the students themselves.   

The hard part for me, aside from using lesson time for this kind of art creation, is convincing the students to create art that will appeal to their parent and grandparents, not just to them.  I usually have to explain that while they may like to draw graphic war battles or video game characters, this doesn't necessarily mean that Mom and Dad would appreciate a coffee mug, holiday ornament, or tote bag with explosions or Minecraft on it!  Start looking in early October for more information on ordering, and thanks in advance for your support of this important fundraiser.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Did You Know...

That HES is a Great Place to Teach and Learn?
Click the link to find out why...

Legos as Fine Art: "The Art of the Brick" at the Alamance County Arts Council

This weekend I traveled to Graham and the museum of the Alamance County Arts Council to see the traveling exhibit, The Art of the Brick, featuring the "Lego artistry" of Nathan Sawaya.  I highly recommend this free exhibit for your dolphin, especially if they already have an interest in creating with Legos!  The exhibit and others like it are currently showing up in art museums around the globe, and Mr. Sawaya and his art have appeared on many national television shows, making this is a rare opportunity to see the work of a popular contemporary artist in our own backyard. Not to mention, he works in a medium that nearly every child can appreciate!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

3rd Grade Silhouettes

Artwork by Rowan P.
    Third graders spent some time the past couple sessions learning about how the negative space (often the area of an artwork surrounding the main subject) in an artwork can often be just as important as the positive space (ofen the subject itself).  After also learning how silhouettes must be recognizable from their shape alone, they created these collages of black construction paper silhouettes against a vivid watercolor sunset as examples of this principle of equal emphasis on both positive and negative space.  Some of them got extremely creative with their silhouette subjects!

Artwork by Jack P.

Artwork by Maddie W.
Artwork by Isaac A.
Artwork by Sarah F.
 Artwork by Shannon D.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Few Photos from the First Day of Photo Club

I'm very grateful for the support I received last year to purchase eight digital cameras for the art room.  As a result I'll be able to incorporate photography into lessons this year for the upper grades.  In the meantime, we kicked off our 5th grade Photography Club yesterday with an introduction to exposure basics and a primer on the cameras themselves.  The club participants were obviously very excited to have the cameras in hand!  We'll continue learning about the do's and don't's of photo composition and the in's and out's of our cameras in the coming weeks, while hopefully providing some good shots for this year's yearbook, Mr. Weber's blog, the 5th grade graduation, and as material for learning about photo editing.  In the meantime, here are a few shots from yesterday's club.