One of the best parts of teaching Art, especially at the middle school, is the amount of time dedicated to discovery. Students worked through media today to figure out what could happen when different scenarios arose. Here are the results from another day of work.
7th grade students primarily worked with paint to start this week as we filled in the space of their knots. I showed them basic methods and color theory before challenging them to explore color and media in their own way. The results have been exciting, as you can see from close up images below.
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8th grade students are still working on their environmental works today. 

The image to the right was created through the use of a print block that was carved out. 

I encouraged the student to create the slab print before moving onto more traditional means of printmaking with ink. 

The student below was inspired by Fiddle Oak, the teenaged Photoshop sensation. He took pictures of his classmates and decided to use the power of Photoshop to shrink them down like the movie, "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids."

I think the bottom image says it all for today - you know it has been a good day in the Art room when your hands end up looking like this. It means you were in the mess and a part of the making. No sitting on the sidelines when it comes to making discoveries or art - you must get your hands dirty at some point.
 
 
7th grade students worked on knots this week in many ways. We will be finishing up this work next week with paint and some reading as we look to the Celts and their use of line and shape in their work. 
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First we made knots and loops with string and drew from observation.
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Then we created symmetrical knots by using overlapping lines and mirroring them across horizontal and vertical lines of symmetry.
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We used the power of the sun to transfer our designs onto nicer drawing paper.
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And applied various color pencil techniques to fill in the space. Next week will be spent adding watercolor and other designs.
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Students finished out the week with a quick digital project to help reinforce concepts being covered this week and compare processes between methods.
 
 
Happy Scone Day, boys and girls - more specifically, Happy International Bring a Scone to Art Class Day! With our pretty strict "no food" policy this year, I did not make scones to share with students, nor did I organize students to make these delicious treats to share with the class. Instead, one student decided to celebrate the day with a simple scone drawing that you can see below. I think she is going to earn a Scone Day Participation badge for this effort! 
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Claire's scone is symbolic of all of the fluffy goodness happening in the art classroom right now and will continue to happen for the rest of the year!
Now, onto some more work as we wrap up the week. 8th grade students are continuing to work on their projects as we also participated in a mid-way critique. It was fun to look around the room and have students respond to each other's work and ask the tough questions like, "What does a decorated duck have to do with environments?" 

I look forward to finding out the answer to this question and more as students start submitting work to Artsonia and writing out their statements to explain. Here are some of the process photos of our work from today. 

Update:

The Scone Fairy visited my classroom this afternoon and left some lovely lemon poppyseed scones on my desk (thank you whoever you are, they were delicious!). 
I was also delighted to find an email from a student that included this illustration and recipe, which was a perfect way to finish out this super fun celebratory day! Thanks, Eli! 
Here's My Drawing and below is a recipe:


Simple Scones

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 8 scones Change Servings

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen

1/2 cup of dried blueberries

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large egg



Directions


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in blueberries.

In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.

Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)

Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

 
 
8th grade students took up the challenge earlier in the week to work with environments, spaces, and places for this next project. We finished up planning mid-week and it has been fun to see the diverse choice of materials (yet again) that students selected for enact their vision when exploring the topic. From paint, to paper, to clay, and cardboard, these students are utilizing many mediums to engage with the concept and share their ideas. 
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Andrew is creating a shelter of sorts using a repeated origami element that is stacked.
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Olivia is working with the Grand Rapids' skyline and paint effects for her project.
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Kenzie is working with cardboard as the base for her 3D painting.
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Logan is creating a stop-motion animation that explores the idea of impacting environments through action.
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Harrison is creating a landscape using a clay mold of his face as the base.
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Payton is creating a globe vessel and plans to store additional items inside to tell a bigger story.
 
 
When you look at a work of art, can you see the amount of thinking or prep work that goes into it? This is something we are working through as students move from the planning stages of their assignments and into applying their ideas to their projects. 
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This student is working on a sketch after viewing the clay demo today that explained the difference between building with plastic or leather-hard clay.
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The student in the back is working with foil pieces to create a mosaic image, while the other student works with creating a slab form.
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This student is creating a time-lapse video of his drawing and planning to use both works for his environment themes projects.
 
 
Students moved from their sketchbooks and into the Scholastic Art Magazine Archives to research and interpret work cataloged there for their viewing pleasure. I cannot fully express how thankful I am for this resource as a result of the funding from our last DonorsChoose project! It was great to share the online content with students today and watch them search through the archives to find artists that spoke to their interests and then share that with the class via our Artist of the Week Schoology Discussion board. I am so thankful to those who helped make this resource available to my students! Students are also starting to think about The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and seeing past winners showcased in the magazines is very inspiring to those hoping to achieve winning works this year. 
Check out the progress of Emma's Cootie Catcher Dress that she is working on for this year's Scholastic Art Award's competition. I think she has a great chance of achieving recognition in the Fashion Design category. This will be the first time I have ever entered student work in this category during the 8 years of entering this competition! 
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7th grade students also worked on their Artist of the Week posts using Scholastic Art Magazine. Once done, they completed their knots by turning their designs into a symmetrical image after transferring the first quadrant onto the other three across the horizontal and vertical lines of symmetry. We will use these papers to transfer the image onto a heavier weighted paper and add color starting tomorrow! 

 
 
One of the points of emphasis I am trying to spend more time on in art this year is the amount of time needed to think about and plan art. When you look at a finished piece it is easy to get wrapped up on the product and notice how the finished work looks as a whole. It is harder to see that the artist probably took photos, made sketches, experimented with media, and went through a lot of research before enacting their plan. 

Today was spent working through the Design Thinking Process as students documented ideas through words and sketches in their sketchbooks. We also made sure to do a gallery walk and review what others are doing, find common themes/images/trends, and peer critique to get a fresh perspective. Tomorrow we will start working on enacting our ideas through various media. 
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We reviewed perspective last week as a way to document and explore the concept of environment and space; Kollan decided to create this sketch to explore how to transform the space with value and light.
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As a part of working out ideas in the sketchbook, students worked in smaller peer editing groups to critique each other's ideas and find the best solutions.
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7th grade students are moving into creating knots on paper, so we used today to draw some knots from observation first.
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Students then used their imagination to create a more complicated, overlapping knot design.
 
 
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Lauren is working on her entry for ArtStart, which is due on Tuesday. She decided to create ArtPrize shoes influences by the work we saw on our field trip September 25th.
This week has offered a lot of things to unfold as students worked on competitions, community projects, individual works, and class projects. Every year is the best year ever and I always wonder how my students are going to out-do the accomplishments and fun already accomplished. Even though we are only a month into this school year, this year is already becoming the best year ever and sure to blow any other experience I have had in my classroom out of the water. 
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Caiden and the other 7th grade students glazed their bowls for our Empty Bowls Fundraiser that will take place on March 19th. More details to come as we get closer to the date.
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Aleena is working on a piece in After School Art class that looks to how we interact with logos. She is using felting materials to create this composition.
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Virginia is also working on an individual project in After School Art. It will be fun to see how this mask transforms from now until it is finished.
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Olivia finished up her Identity project this week. She used printmaking and paper cutting technique to create this layered image and explore the theme.
 
 
8th grade students are finishing up their Indentity themed projects this week and posting them on Artsonia. It has been fun to see ideas emerge as students used The Design Thinking Process to investigate, plan, and execute their visions and interpretations of the theme of "Identity." I especially appreciate the artist statements included with the work to explain their ideas, choice of media, and inspiration from other Artists. 

From paint to clay to plaster to wire, students pushed themselves and others around them through the inventive use of materials and experimentation with ideas. Here are just a few examples below. I am really proud of the effort of my students as we move into a divergent classroom model where thinking differently is celebrated. 
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Emma M.
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Kat W.
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Matt P.
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Gabe H.
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Payton C.
We are moving on to the theme of "Environment: Space and Place" next. Today we watched this video from The Art Assignment to learn more about exploring and depicting landscapes. 
 
 
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Today was a fun-filled day full of Art! It was awesome to spend the day in downtown Grand Rapids and view works created for ArtPrize, the world's largest Art competition. Students met artists, viewed works, and interacted with their surroundings as we traveled to various venues around town. One of my favorite works in at the GRAM and can be seen below. As you can see in the video below, it was an awesome day! 
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