Thursday, September 11, 2014


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Friday, April 4, 2014

Kindergarten - Action Jackson

Kindergarten students learned about Jackson Pollock and his painting technique.  After setting up our paints and brushes in the room, the students began drip/splatter painting.  They thought about how they were feeling at the time.  Many students also related particular colors to their feelings.  We also focused on the movement that was necessary to create drip lines.  Here are some student examples:

Digital Drip Paintings

Before the kindergartners created their own drip paintings, we went to Jackson Pollock's website to create digital versions.  Each class collaborated to create one drip painting.  Here are some examples:

Kindergarten - Stuart Davis Collages

We learned about Stuart Davis and how he was an early American Modernist painter. He created proto-pop art paintings that were colorful and influenced by jazz music. The students noticed that he used geometric and organic shapes in many of his paintings. We then focused a little bit more on his painting "Ready-to-Wear" (1955).
"Throughout his lengthy career as one of the preeminent American Modernists, Stuart Davis looked to the sights and sounds of the United States for his subject matter. In this vibrant painting, Davis explored the American invention of ready-to-wear clothing, a term first employed in an 1895 Montgomery Ward catalog. The broad, flattened areas of red, white, black, and blue may represent leftover pieces of fabric, while the angular white shape in the upper-right corner suggests a pair of scissors. With its bright palette and energetic composition, the painting celebrates not only the vitality of the ready-to-wear clothing industry but also America itself."
Kindergarten students worked on black construction paper and cut our a variety of shapes from red, white, and blue construction paper. We made sure that we used organic and geometric. We also made sure that we were overlapping the shapes.
Here are some kindergarten examples below:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kindergarten - Klee Fish

We began this project by reading a book on the artist Paul Klee.  After learning about Klee and the style of his work, we observed the painting "The Goldfish".  We noticed how the colors contrast each other because of the dark, black water and the bright, bold colors of the fish.  The students began with pencil by drawing all sorts of underwater sea creatures and plants.  Once their drawings were completed, they used oil pastels to color them in.  Lastly, a black wash was used over the pastels to create a dark background.  We learned how water resists the oil pastel and slides right off!

Kindergarten - Cave Paintings

Recently our kindergarten students went on a virtual tour through the Lascaux caves.  The paintings in the original caves date back over 17,000 years!!!  We began our project by making our paper look like the cave walls.  We took a white sheet and crumpled it into a ball.  The paper ball was opened and then flattened on the table.  We then used a black crayon to rub over the paper which enhanced the textures created by the crumpling.  The students then used a brown wash to cover the entire sheet.
In September 1940, the entrance to Lascaux Cave was discovered by 18-year-old Marcel Ravidat. Ravidat returned to the scene with three comrades, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas, and entered the cave via a long shaft. The four teenagers discovered that the cave walls were covered with depictions of animals.  The cave complex was opened to the public in 1948.  By 1955, the carbon dioxide produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings. The cave was closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the art. After the cave was closed, the paintings were restored to their original state, and were monitored on a daily basis. Rooms in the cave include The Hall of the Bulls, the Passageway, the Shaft, the Nave, the Apse, and the Chamber of Felines.

Since 1998 the cave has been beset with a fungus, variously blamed on a new air conditioning system that was installed in the caves, the use of high-powered lights, and the presence of too many visitors.
  As of 2008, the cave contained black mold which scientists were and still are trying to keep away from the paintings. In January 2008, authorities closed the cave for three months even to scientists and preservationists. A single individual was allowed to enter the cave for 20 minutes once a week to monitor climatic conditions. Now only a few scientific experts are allowed to work inside the cave and just for a few days a month but the efforts to remove the mold have taken a toll, leaving dark patches and damaging the pigments on the walls.

Lascaux II, a replica of two of the cave halls (the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery) was opened in 1983, 200 meters from the original.  Reproductions of other Lascaux artwork can be seen at the Centre of Prehistoric Art at Le Thot, France.

To take the tour, click the image below.

After learning all about Lascaux, the kindergarten students created their own cave paintings.  We crumpled and painted our plain white paper to look like cave walls.  The students then painted animals and human figures on their cave walls.  Each student had a story behind their painting as well.  Great job kindergartners!

Kindergarten - Flying Saucers

Before winter break, the kindergartners were learning about space and the moon.  In art we read the book, "Dogs In Space" and then began our own outer space artwork.  We used simple shapes and lines to create our own flying sauces.  The students then chose what would be flying that saucer (animal, alien, human, etc.)  Once the students were finished with their pencil drawings, they used a variety of tempera paints to finish their work.  Great job!

1st Grade - Heart Paintings

These paintings were inspired by the artist Jim Dine.  Jim Dine is closely associated with the development of Pop Art in the early 1960's.  The 1st graders focused on Jim Dine's series of heart paintings.  We observed numerous paintings and discussed how he used color, line, texture, and balance.  Those principles and elements were then applied to our paintings.  Great job first graders!

1st Grade - Pinch Pot Characters

We took our knowledge of how to create a pinch pot and expanded.  The students began their characters by forming their pinch pot.  With extra clay, the students created eyes, arms, hands, legs, feet, hair etc.  We learned that in order to properly attach clay, you must score and slip the pieces.  Scoring is when you scratch up both pieces where they will attach.  Slip is clay that has been watered down and become mushy.  After the pieces were bisque fired, the students used low fire gloss glazes to finish them.

1st Grade - Wild Turkeys Inspired by John James Audubon

John James Audubon (Jean-Jacques Audubon) (April 26, 1785 – January 27, 1851) was a French-American ornithologistnaturalist, and painter. He was notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon identified 25 new species.
As a class, we observed the wild turkey created by John James Audubon.  We started our drawing by visualizing the turkey in shapes (ovals, circles, triangles, etc.)  Once the turkey was shaped out, the students then added more detail, such as the feather designs, facial features, and overall texture.  The students used color pencils to finish their turkeys.