Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kindergarten Color Mixing

For my student teacher's first lesson, she wanted to review and explore color mixing with Kindergarten students. She started by reading them the story Mouse Paint, which is always fun.
My student teacher demonstrating proper picture book reading technique. :)
Next, the students got to mix colors by shaking hands! Each student got a dollop of primary colored tempera paint squirted on the palm of their hand and found a friend with a different color. The students made a handprint on paper with their new secondary color and wrote their name on the front with crayon in a later class period.
 After making their handprint, the students finger painted on the tables which we'd covered with big pieces of paper for the rest of class. We squirted other primary colors and let them have fun mixing and experimenting.
 You can imagine how excited the students were- this was a big hit! This lesson is best carried out with at least two adults in the room. I "subbed" for my student teacher when she was sick one day and it was a challenge to be the only one squirting paint and supervising all of the activity.
 Some of the students discovered they could add texture to the paint with their finger tips.
 When the table papers dried, we cut out the blobs of color which were used in a collage lesson with Kindergarten and 1st grade the following week.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Aprendiendo del Arte- Learning from Art

After school today I drove through the beautiful snow-covered Flint Hills to Manhattan for a two hour workshop at Kansas State University, Aprendiendo del Arte- Learning from Art. The guest speakers were Agustin Cruz Prudencia (Oaxacan wood carver), Cilau Valadez (Huichol yarn painter), and Nancy Walkup (editor of SchoolArts magazine). The event was hosted by Trina Harlow and the KSU Art Ed students. 
Nancy Walkup spoke about ways to teach about multicultural art and each artist spoke about and showed images of his work.
Cilau Valdez, Huichol yarn painter- Cilia's father, the preeminent Huichol yarn painter, Mariano Valadez, passed on the tradition when Cilau was a young boy. Wood panels are covered with a layer of bees wax that the yarn is attached to. Finger nails or needles are used to push the yarn into the wax. You can see the images are drawn directly with the fine yarn. The colors were SO vibrant and have an extra cool effect with 3D glasses. The artist explained that this tradition is how they pass down stories. Each image is a symbol and the colors have meanings, too. Spirals represent the lifecycle since it is never ending. I think he said that the eyes represent the person sending up the prayer. I also think he mentioned Mother Earth and Father Sun when talking about how nature is so integral to the Huichol culture. I hope I remember what he said correctly but there was a lot going on in that classroom.
Agustin Cruz Prudencia, Oaxaca wood carver- A special wood is used for the carvings which have to be executed while the wood is still green. Agustin carves with a machete and learned the technique as a boy by watching his father. He said that the Oaxacan men often do more of the carving and the women tend to do more of the intricate painting. The carvings are SO cool! They usually represent fantastical animals.

After the talks we were given brief introductions to several art projects including yarn painting, painting precut wood shapes with a Oaxacan style (Cilau uses a machete and those would probably be frowned upon in schools), paper picado, tin panels inspired by Mexican tin ornaments, Ojos de Dios, model magic sugar skulls, and a couple other projects of which I can't remember the name. It was pretty crowded so I just walked around looking at the artist's work and watching their demonstrations for a while before I tried a couple projects. Dude, yarn painting is hard. I want to try it sometime when I can devote more time to sitting and maybe use some finer yarn. I think I started with a shape that was too complicated for my first try and I was basically just gluing yarn to my finger tips. 
I don't think I see my older students often enough to attempt actually DOING yarn painting, but I really want to just show them some photos of the yarn paintings and wood carvings to discuss. I know they would really enjoy seeing the images. I just wish they could see them in person!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

1st Grade 2nd 9 Weeks

Here are a sample of some 1st grader's choice projects from the 2nd 9 weeks of the school year. 
Wax resist was a popular technique.
 Mixed media is also popular in my classroom.
This student described a special fishing trip with his grandpa and wanted to paint the trees sticking up out of the water.
I can't remember the story with this drawing, but I think its really interesting!
We had landscapes...
Nonobjective drawings...
pop up discoveries, and more! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

3rd Grade 2nd 9 Weeks

We're taking a break from choice-based art as my student teacher has different requirements for her student teaching experience so I thought it would be nice to look back at some examples of projects my 3rd graders were working on in the 2nd 9 weeks of school. I get excited when I can see the students using concepts we practiced on their own, like when we talked about showing "space" in artwork. The student above made a wax resist painting of a mama and baby horse with patterns, depth, and shadows.
Next, we have two more examples of depth. The flag has layers in the landscape behind and the second project uses depth to create the illusion of form. I don't remember the exact story, but I'm thinking it had something to do with Minecraft.
Students reflect on choice projects with artist statements. The forms work well for most students, but some get a little repetitive.
I made... I made a self portrait.
Something I want everyone to notice is... I made a self portrait. It's a picture of myself.
I have a different form for 4th-6th grade students, but I give them the choice of using the form or writing a paragraph. Some kids want specific questions to answer, others prefer to write with a looser prompt of "tell me about your artwork". The kids who choose to write a paragraph usually finish a lot faster than those following the form. I will probably keep tweaking the form to make sure they are being thorough but try to expedite the process. 
Here's a cool layered fantasy landscape with crayons and watercolors. Love that colorful dragon!
 I'm pretty sure this painting was inspired by Big Hero 6. This student really worked to improve his craftsmanship after our first critique.
 This student practiced using a delicate touch and a tiny paintbrush to add blades of grass around her bunny and flowers.
These two artists both love to make detailed pencil drawings and add color with crayons. Their art usually tells some sort of a story, either as a freeze frame or arrows to direct the action. One usually draws animals, the other often wants to draw Godzilla. I'm anxious to see what they create with my student teacher.