Friday, October 17, 2014

Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Drawings




What a colorful holiday! Day of the Dead is celebrated in the art studio because of all colorful creative design that comes from all the decorations.  Dominated with skeletons and colors of vibrant red and marigold, Day of the Dead celebrates the memory of loved ones that have passed in Mexico and Latin American countries.  I came across this lesson on Deep Space Sparkle by Patty Palmer, and students were excited to try it. It is a great lesson on symmetry and I love the creative, personal designs they came up with. I can't wait to see the end product.

Frank Stella inspired Collaborative Art Project builds Artistic Behaviors with Recycled Cardboard: Part 1



"Oh my goodness, look at this color I made!" "Wow, this is what I got!" Color mixing is quite the hit with our Wildcat artists. Their exploration with paint, different brush types and working with a "canvas" has been fun to observe and guide students through.  Students in grades 2 through 5 are working on building Painting Skill Sets as we work on a collaborative art project inspired by Frank Stella's shaped canvases.

Students looked at how the art of Frank Stella evolved from Minimalist to his mixed media and shaped canvases. We studied organic shapes, geometric shapes, shading, tinting and pattern and texture with lines.

The students created plans and sketched possible ideas for their shaped canvases, along with adding patterns and texture.

Once they chose one of their sketches they were ready for their cardboard. First they drew their shape on the cardboard, then I carefully cut them out.  We were lucky to have sheets of cardboard from the Promethean boards that were installed in our classrooms.  Next, students were given a tour of our Painting Studio. We went over procedures, getting paint, working and cleaning up our space.

We will soon be ready to put the canvases together to create our Frank Stella inspired installations. They will be throughout our school building.









Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Follow us on Facebook!

Wildcats Create is on Facebook. Follow our art adventures in the Willow Brook art studio and beyond.  Find postings on our everyday artists at work, museum exhibitions, fun links, places to find artistic inspiration and art in the news! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kindergarten Colors, Color Mixing and Procedures

Kindergarten is a busy group, but so much fun! There is so much to learn the first few weeks of school! As a mommy of 4, I can see my own children settling into their school routines and getting comfortable.  In the art studio, our new friends are learning a lot.  We began the year with modeling clay and working on Ceramics Studio, where we focus on building coils (snakes) and working with our hands. We had tons of long coils!

Now we are talking about primary colors, secondary colors and even tertiary colors!  We focused on the book White Rabbit's Color Book.  A sweet story of a curious little rabbit that jumps into bowls of paint. It opened discussion for color mixing! Each child was given three pieces of clay, red, yellow and blue. It is so great to see the children explore with the clay and see what their experiments of colors created. The sounds in the room were magnificent with "I got green", "look at my purple",  "I made brown!"

We experimented with a little bit of blue, and a lot of yellow, then a lot of yellow and a little blue, then even amounts and saw that all made different shades of GREEN! After the students achieved one piece of green, orange and purple, they were free to create whatever they wanted. Many children were hard at work, excited about their discoveries and diligently creating. I LOVE seeing children create.  These kindergarten hands amaze me!





Drawing Studio Skill Sets and Skill Builders

Grades 1-5 have been working on Drawing skills. Each mini studio in Choice Art has a checklist of skills we call Skill Builders. Some skills are simple, such as getting into the habit of putting your name on your work, and others are how to use tools. Specifically we have been working on creating value with hatching, cross hatching, scumbling, and stippling. In the process, we have looked at many samples and artist's work from Rembrandt and Seurat.  Skill set handouts remain in the student's portfolios that are organized in the studio.  Portfolios will document your child's growth as an artist and demonstrate mastery of our skill builders. If you want to see your child's progress, please come visit!
2nd grade Value Scale Skill handout

All class portfolios are easily accessible and organized.  Each child has their own hanging file folder with hand drawn self portrait on the cover. At the end of the year we will draw another self portrait and compare the two to compare, contrast and observe growth in our skills.

Monitoring Artist Behaiors with Class Dojo!

In the art studio, as we transition to Choice Art... we will be monitoring student behaviors using ClassDojo! It is an online tool that gives students points for positive behaviors.  Points may be deducted for negative behaviors.  It is a fun tool that engages the students and keeps them aware of their actions in art.

We will build our token economy together with awards like sitting at Mrs. Lynn's table, using teacher's supplies, extra time in the studio, coming in at recess, lunch with the teacher. Parents can check in to see how their child is doing by emailing me and requesting an invite to view their child's dojo points.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

What to Look for This School Year! Transition to Choice Art in WB's Studio

Welcome Back Wildcats! I hope everyone had a great summer break! I have been researching and working on how we will transition to Choice Art this school year! The concept is from the book, "Engaging Learners Through Artmaking" and is also known as TAB or Teaching Artistic Behaviors.  This approach to teaching art is near and dear to my heart. When reflecting on how my own children learn at home and create; I don't instruct them how to make a snowman, but I do teach them how to make a circle discussing shape and form. 


The school year will begin with lessons that focus on skill sets and art processes, preparing us for Choice Art.  Grades 1-5 will transition into Choice Art later in the year, and the focus will no longer be on projects. Students will create art based on the studios they select and goals they create for themselves. Focus is placed on thinking like an artist. The art studio will be divided into 4 studio centers… We will begin with painting, drawing, collage and sculpture.  More centers will be added as we become comfortable with Choice, such as fiber arts and printmaking. TAB fosters differentiation, student responsibility, problem finding/solving, self-reflection and assessment, goal setting, ownership, and engages the students with what they are excited about!  What resonated with me most, was the mental image of a classroom filled with 8 year old versions of painter Monet, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, photographer Ansel Adams, sculptor Rodin and a young Marie Curie, Steve Jobs, and Maya Angelou!  What single lesson could I deliver that would meet the needs of these varied creative learners?


This year we will display students working in the studio, mastering our skill sets.  Time will develop art pieces that are representative of our students√≠ personal aesthetics.  I can't wait to see what our WB children create!

Learn more about TAB here or check out the organization's page here.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Willow Brook Art Installation in the Cafe Part 4 The Finished Product


Every student and staff member from the 2013-14 school year is represented in our collaborative art installation in our cafeteria.  It is colorful and playful and is a lot of fun to get lost in when looking at it.










It is a beautiful addition to our cafe and will be in the cafeteria for all to enjoy for years to come.  I love how each tile represents it's maker with patterns, texture and color.  Read about how we made our Art Installation come to life, in Part 1, part 2 and part 3!

Since our original post a year ago, I have been asked many time what is the product that I used to adhere the fish tiles to the wall. The product below is the amazing substance that worked for us. A year later, we have had six fish swim away due to curious hands.


Willow Brook Art Installation in the Cafeteria Part 3 Glazing and Painting

We used a special glaze called Stroke and Coat by Mayco which allowed us to paint directly on the greenware. Students were particularly excited about this process and were very meticulous when it came to their artwork.


Ready for a firing.  It is amazingly exciting how these will turn out!



I prepped the wall with two coats of paint.



The waves were cut with templates by our awesome district "you can do it" guys.
Each wave got 2 coats of paint... 


Collaborative Art Installation in the Willow Brook Cafe Part 2

After our students brainstormed and designed their fish tiles from the book, "Only One You"... we started to work with modeling clay.  I created bisque stamps for students to imprint patterns and fins if they chose.  We practiced and played with different ideas.



Once we practiced... we were ready for the real clay! 


Everyone started with a ball of clay.

Stamps were used to make imprints in the clay for eyes, lips and patterns on the body.



Those Wildcats make my heart soar with all those creative juices flowing!
Here is a link to the video that students and staff watched on how to decorate their tiles.

Check out the other posts on how this comes to life.