Sunday, June 8, 2014

Thanks for a Great 2013-2014!

I just wanted to thank all of you who helped make this a great year by supporting your child's art education and the art program here at HES.  I'm already looking forward to another year of fun lessons, including some old favorites, but also some new ideas already in the works!  In the meantime, don't forget that art is a great rainy (or too hot) day activity for your child, and it's even more fun and rewarding when mom or dad take part, too!  For lots of art-related activities to help your child explore, check out the "Enrichment Ideas" page on this blog.

I hope you all have a fun and safe summer break!

Kindergarten Monets

Artwork by Grant M. (We talked about how the lilies in front would be bigger and those in back smaller, and Grant really pulled off that sense of space.  Great work, Grant!)

For their last unit of the year, our kindergartners learned about the Impressionist painter Claude Monet and created these awesome versions of their own Waterlilies.  After talking a bit about how someone becomes famous often just by doing something in their own, different way, we read the book, The Magical Garden of Claude Monet.  The story is about a girl and her dog who visit Monet in the garden where he created his most famous works.  Then the students draw their lily pads and waterlilies using simple shapes and lines and color them in with oil pastels.  When we meet for the second day of this lesson, we watch a nicely produced kids' video featuring Monet in his garden entitled In Winter Still.  Then the kinders paint over their lilies with a wash of blue, green, and violet liquid watercolor paints.  (We make the liquid watercolors by soaking our used up markers in water.)  I think the results are really beautiful and would make Monet proud!

Artwork by Wyatt H.

Artwork by Dekayla T.

Artwork by Maci  (Another work with an added sense of space - nice work!)

Artwork by Alex B.

Fourth Grade Linocut Print Cards

Artwork by Shalo S.

Printmaking is one of my favorite activities to teach, and the students seem to love the idea of working in a medium that allows them to repeat (and improve on) the same artwork.  We begin this lesson by watching a brief video of Chapel Hill printmaker Bill Fick at work in his studio.  Linoprints, like the ones made by Mr. Fick, are technically prints made from a design carved from linoleum.  However, we use a rubber material that is softer and easier for the students to cut with our lino knives (small v-shaped blades that cut grooves into the material).  

Students draw a simple design on paper, then transfer it to a small (3" x 4") piece of the rubber material to create a printing plate.  They ink these plates with a brayer (a small, hand-held roller) and then press the plate onto a folded piece of cardstock to make a hand-printed card.  Students have an opportunity to create several cards in different colors, ideally making better prints as they get the hang of how much ink to use, how hard to press the plate, etc.  Many of the students made Mother's and Father's Day cards.  (My apologies for the lateness of the Mother's Day cards! Darn those field trips and field days that take my artists away!)
Artwork by Nick N.

Artwork by Rawlins T.

Artwork by Ryan R.

"Thinking of Summer" Self-Portraits

Artwork by Amber K.

This was a neat lesson for finishing off the school year and for teaching our first and second graders some of the basics of portraiture ("egg"-shaped heads, for example).  In fact, after several of the classes had completed the portrait part of this lesson, I showed them the self-portraits they'd done as kindergartners. Not only did the students get a big kick out of their earlier portraits; they also noticed how far they've already come as portrait artists.  

The students drew self-portraits on one sheet of 9x12 drawing paper.  Then they drew their "summer fun" thoughts on another.  These consisted of places they'd go, people they'd be with, things they'd do, foods they'd eat, etc.   The portraits (with "open minds" of course) were then glued to a 12x18 sheet of construction paper along with the summer fun drawings.  Color was added if the student had time.

Artwork by Annabeth L.

Artwork by Sadie P.