Friday, January 28, 2011
My 6th grade artists have been learning about Vincent van Gogh and other Impressionist artists. We examined all of the textures, lines, and layers that the Impressionist artists used.
The students then looked at their own unique Impressionist images and copied them.
I have to admit to taking this idea from the past Middle School art teachers. When I first was moving to the Middle School this summer I talked with a lot of students about lessons they did in Middle School and many of them said this was one of their favorites so I decided to use it in my curriculum because it was one that they felt confident about with their drawing abilities.
First I had them draw a large plus sign on the laminated image and then I had them use white colored pencil and make the same four quarters to divide their paper. This was a great tool to help them really observe within the four parts and use correct proportions.
They did a great job observing and recreating these wonderful works of art! See if you can find a replica that you know!
Be Well and Enjoy!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
My 8th grade artists have been learning about Georgia O'Keeffe, my absolute favorite artist of all time.
Her work has so much to offer. She is full of wisdom with great quotes like one of my favorites, "Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time." This is so true and I had my busy students stop and take time to paint flowers.
In the style of O'Keeffe we blew up the flowers larger than life to make them obscure and abstract in a way but to focus on colors and shapes. O'Keeffe said "I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty." Which is true. No one can ignore the beauty of these flowers. I have had many compliments from viewers and passers by of the advanced level of these works of art.
We used watercolors and observed carefully real flowers. The watercolors are a little tricky but they got a handle of them quickly and learned to build and blend the colors and did a great job at that.
The petals began to overlap and become real almost as if were were looking at real flowers painted by Georgia O'Keeffe. I am so pleased with the work my students completed.
During our dreary winter months here in Warwick, NY it is nice to see the colors of flowers and with these flower paintings in full bloom it was almost as if we could smell the wonderful spring aromas right around the corner!
Be Well and Enjoy!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Joseph Ryan is an up and coming young artist. He is a senior at Minisink Valley High School, NY. He has been creating his own characters and art since he was a young boy. He cannot get enough sketching time in each day and I have had the pleasure to know and been teaching him art for over two years now.
When I first met him he had binders upon binders and notebooks upon notebooks filled and bursting at the seams quite frankly, of his creations to share with me and I knew then that he had something special; a love and passion for art.
Joseph is clever and quick-witted. His humor really shows through in some of his work while he loves a great love story and blood and gore all at the same time to be portrayed through his work. He creates series, movie ideas and narrates them from titles like "Dah Stupids" to "The Whatever Girls" they always have something to appeal to the masses and that is exactly where he wants to take his work next.
In our lessons, I have pushed him to transform his 2-D drawings into real-life 3-D sculptures and he has succeeded and continues to challenge himself in each task I give him. He has created small books, comic strips, prints, paintings, mosaics, collages and many more amazing works of art! I am so proud of him!
His biggest inspiration is Tim Burton who is also one of my personal favorites and you can really see Burton shining through in some of his work. Each and every piece is always unique and filled with things that only Joseph could think up.
Joseph has traveled to many places with his parents and cute little dog, who often makes appearances in his work, across the United States in search of inspiration and information about art.
His yearning and interest in art are contagious and I am glad to have had the opportunity to teach him private art lessons for so long now. He is truly a talented young artist and excited about the opportunities ahead of him. No matter what path Joseph chooses I know he will continue to make art and do great things!
Be Well and Enjoy!
Monday, January 10, 2011
My 7th grade artists have been "bird watching."
It is no secret that birds are truly one of my most favorite things. I have bird themed decor all over my home and three large bird tattoos. I just love birds so this project was a natural evolution for me to teach my students about the beauty of birds and to carefully observe and appreciate these delicate beauties.
First the students carefully observed birds and created bird sketches in colored pencil using interesting compositions and considering habitats.
We talked a lot about the different habitats and seasons that birds can be seen in and how the sky behind the bird can make it either fade away or contrastingly pop out.
We also talked about color theory including values, warm/cool and complimentary colors of birds. It was a good refreshing lesson about how the male birds are more colorful than the females and the students enjoyed hearing some fun facts about one of my favorite feathered creatures.
The students then used watercolors and white tempera to paint in these beautiful birds. The students really learned to control and layer the watercolors to create bird textures and feathers on a 2-D surface. This is no easy feat and I think they handled the challenge well. I gave them white tempera to help add highlights and for some birds that needed white.
Take a quick look because these birds are ready to take flight.
Be Well and Enjoy!
Monday, January 3, 2011
As the years pass I am constantly evolving and learning new things about art. I love painting but I appreciate all forms of art and jump on the opportunity to try new things and just have fun with my work.
I recently began doing a small works series that run roughly 2" x 3." Each one is a combination of mixed media (painting, drawing, collage and printmaking) and lots of layers.
I was inspired by some collage work my 5th grade students started making last year in my class and began collecting and saving as much "junk" as I could find.
I started to see all types of shapes and forms in things I would ordinarily throw away and found new life and a way of making them "pretty" again. It was also a great way to recycle.
So I have been working on a small collection when I get a chance and here they are. I am still uncertain of how I will mount them.
As of right now I am envisioning some sort of shadow boxes to hold them but without glass so you can really see them.
I guess they are still a work in progress but I am really enjoying making them and a big thanks to my students for inspiring me. Teaching art is really a give and take and I am happy to take this idea from them!
Be Well and Enjoy!