art is all around us. here i will share my personal experiences and passion for all things art! thanks for stopping by, feel free to share a post and check in again! xo

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

walk the LINE into summer


My 8th grade students just finished their final project and just in the nick of time as tomorrow is our last day of school.



They created line drawings using colored pencils inspired by French artist Sonia Delaunay. Delaunay's work is a fine balance of color, shape and line as an abstract form of art. My students were really interested in her work as they saw posters hanging on my wall and in the hall of her work so I took a cue from their interest and decided to develop a lesson around her work.




We focused on line first. I had a series of line types on the board and they looked at the different types and chose to overlap two or three of those line types in pencil using rulers, triangles and/or compasses on their paper. Then they found shapes formed within the overlapping lines.




They examined the shapes and colored them in using colored pencils. Some students chose color patterns while other students used every colored pencil in the cup, none the less, they filled in the shapes to create bright bold contrast and visual interest within the lines. This brings new meaning to the saying, "reading between the lines."




The finished products were very bold and really commanded attention. The students were very pleased with their work and they all wanted to hang them up in their bedrooms. This was a perfect way for these students to finish their middle school art career as they walk the LINE into high school.




It was a great first year for me and I look forward to a great summer of rest and lesson planning for next year!




Be Well and Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

murals that make a mark


All year I have been dying to get some color on the walls of our school and I was just granted permission to begin the Middle School's first mural project.




The Middle School is really coming to life with its two new additions, murals that is. I selected great student artists to help me paint and we spent time during the past two weeks after school and during their lunch periods painting these colorful creations.


The first addition I was charged by my Principal to create in the front entrance with a school spirit theme and the ROARing wildcat while the second mural found its new home next to the teacher's mailboxes in the cafetorium inspired by pop artist Keith Haring.



Once we decided on the subject matter I then called upon my "team" of great artists from all three grade levels to help me paint.


I sketched the murals and the students painted them with a few finished touch ups and additions by me. As the fine young artists painted, students, staff and parents all commented on their artistic ability and how this was really "brightening" up the school.


The main goal in my mind of the murals is do just that, bring some fun and school spirit to the home of education here at Warwick Valley Middle School.

I finished these murals late Friday night during a tremendous rain and hail storm and so the entire school got a bright surprise today when they came to school!

As the summer is upon us we all know that these murals will be here bright and cheery, ready to greet us in September and maybe more murals will also find homes among the school's halls to match the energy and excitement we all bring to learning here at the Middle School.

Be Well and Enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

egyptian ARTifacts


My 6th grade students finished up our final project inspired by Ancient Egyptian art. The students used manilla paper to give a great aged look and then sketched with pencil a sarcophagus with Egyptian hieroglyphics, artifacts and cartouches within the body.



The students did a great detailed job showing the Egyptian eyes, headdress and necklaces.



Then they used a wonderful gold paint to paint the background with the Sun God Ra in mind and the Egyptians love of gold.



Lastly, they went over all of their pencil lines using black sharpie markers. They colored some areas in for overall contrast.





I love these sarcophagus works as did the students because they just finished learning about the history of Ancient Egypt in their Social Studies classes.





We are getting close to the end... only a few more days here... and at this point we are all worshipping the sun!

Be Well and Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

wrapping it up with non-objective


My last 7th grade project is one inspired by Paul McCartney and non-objective art. Most students know Paul McCartney as the superstar Beatle but we take a closer, deeper look at his work and his love for doodling ever since he was a child. We then look at non-objective work and how the compositions are of an abstract nature with a harmonious balance of line and shape.

My students used collaged images from McCartney inspired books and then drew with meaningful marks all over the paper. We had a full day of sketching in their sketchbooks where they really explored lines and how to create marks with meaning instead of just scribbles on the paper and how abstract art really has meaning and a place in the art world. For even the least skilled drawing students this lesson was a HUGE success and they all really benefited from this experince.


Although these mixed media masterpieces merely have black and white they truly have a wonderful value scale including gray with great contrast!

My students really enjoyed the opportunity to be free with their drawings and get creative as well. Just looking around at shapes and other works really inspired them and they truly were excited about these works!

This was such a relaxing project that while my students worked you could have heard a pin drop in my classroom. They were so focused and I too enjoyed this lesson so I decided to create two drawings of my own. Check out the last photograph... that is a peak at one of the drawings that I was working on!

Be Well and Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a work in progress


I believe that a new space is a work in progress. It is never quite finished. As you evolve, so does the space. I love to change things up and move things around. Especially a work enviornment. As you work, things need to be altered, the work changes. As I look back on the 2010-2011 school year my classroom has certainly become a work in progress.

I spent countless hours in this room this summer to transform it into a space that I can function in. I am very neat art teacher and artist. While these two things rarely coexist it is the only existance I know.

So the room has changed as I have throughout my first year teaching middle school. I have really learend what the students need and how they can best handle and access materials.

The students have also added some color around the room which I love. I have to have color overload in my work space and this room certainly is one that excites the senses.

Most people that come through or pass by compliment me on my undertaking, overhaul and energy that I have brought to the space and so I know that it is starting to look a lot like a great art room.

I am sure I will be continuing to change more things next year but for now I am very happy and love this room more than I ever imagined.

Be Well and Enjoy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

the birds just flew in


My school year is wrapping up with only 13 days left and my 7th grade art students have finished beautiful bird paintings.


This is a project that is near and dear to my heart. I love birds and collect all things "bird." So I jumped on the opportunity to teach my students about the beautiful bird paintings of John James Audubon. He is a talented artist and I have admired his bird paintings for years. If you are unfamiliar with his work please click on the title of this blog post and you will be directed to a site about his work and life.



I worked closely with my students teaching them how to handle the watercolor medium. We also added small amounts of white tempera just to give those tints and highlights Prang watercolor palettes just don't allow.


My second semester students did as great of a job as my first semester students did! I am so pleased with the birds of Warwick! I love birds and now my students have a new appreciation for the design and detail of birds.


So take some time today to watch and enjoy these magical creatures in your own backyard!


Be Well and Enjoy!