Here are some images of students working so far, manipulating materials to explore the latest theme: Objects, Artifacts, and Things you leave behind:
Once students finish a theme, they are introduced to the next one through Schoology. I give them a series of questions to answer and artists to view. Once they generate ideas by taking notes, they work on sketches of what it is they would like to create. During this time, they also workshop the ideas with others in class to get feedback and adjust ideas as needed. When an idea is settled on, students work on creating a production schedule and I give them feedback on their ideas before starting. We make sure to do a lot of font-loading of information before students start getting into the actual making.
Here are some images of students working so far, manipulating materials to explore the latest theme: Objects, Artifacts, and Things you leave behind:
This past week, we finished up our latest theme in class: Environment, Space, and Place. Students really pushed themselves with a variety of media and outcomes. It was fun to see the evolving pieces over time and how students adapted their pieces based on feedback and learning new skills in class. I am excited to move onto our next theme which will deal with objects, but before we do, here are some highlights from the completed works (all of which can be seen on our Artsonia gallery):
Nate: For this project, I made a model of the silver lake sand dunes. I made this because I spend a lot of time up there in the summer and it is a really cool place to be. I made It with out any houses or building to show how it might look like without any people. To make this, first I made the shape of the sand dunes with foam. After this, I covered the whole thing in plaster. I then painted it with acrylic paint. To make the water sparkle, I mixed blue paint with sparkly silver paint. After that, I painted white in the lake to make it look like waves.
Gracie: For this piece, I chose to use pencils and experiment with different values. I think the dark values I used in the piece really made it different from other pencil drawing I’ve done before. I also used texture in my artwork. For example the bacon trees added a lot of texture to the piece and make it look different than what you would typically see. Lastly, I incorporated contrast between the elements to show my Ideas. There is definitely contrast between the smooth bone and the rough and ridged bacon trees.
Corrina: I decided to use pencil dark and light colors. These shades had started out with a simply regular pencil shade and darken the sky as the drawing continued. I also used graphite sticks to shade in the drawing. This skiing wonderland has trees, snowblowers, ski lift, and yes skiers. The darker sky and clouds made the affect that it was snowing and the snow blowers added to the snowing effect. The girl on the ski lift is stopped and looking at the beautiful snowing ski with the absence of light.
Colton: For this projects I decided to use Google Sketchup to make an architectural piece. I used the computer again because I feel a lot more confident using it instead of a pencil and paper. Using the computer helped a lot because I can create 3D pictures and sculptures and use my imagination with the tools provided on the computer. I didn't use any tutorials or help to create this. I simply played around with the different tools until I got the hang of it. I decided to make a giant tree house with a main cabin,(Middle) and two guest cabins for visitors. On the far left deck there is also a hot tub. To get in/out of the tree house you can use the stairs, elevator, slide, or zip-line. The zip-line leads to the Olympic-sized swimming pool. The stairs lead you to a large putting green.
Josh: I used pencils because I felt they were an easy material to use for an early project. They helped me show many details and shading with ease which is what I was aiming for. Elements and principles I used mainly were value and texture. The value helps communicate by adding depth and shadowing to have a good point of view. Texture like the leaves and the grass helps the viewer by showing more detail of the environment and what it is like.
Jewel: I created this artwork to signify environment, space or place. I was trying to communicate that you can only run away from things and feel safe in your home, which is your environment of where ever you feel safe, you can call home. I choose these materials because I realized I couldn't get my point across with a simple drawing. I wanted to go beyond. The contrast and the colors help make the piece stand out and show the important parts of my piece. Like how the heart is pink and one of the only colors in the piece. I used the leaves on the roof to represent that your home doesn't have to be perfect to be you're home. Its just a place where your heart may find peace.
Damien: In my piece of art, used various materials to achieve the texture and balance I did. The materials I used were construction paper, clay, temper paint, hot glue, cardboard, and markers. I tried to achieve the concept of balance with putting the pots on corners and in multiples of three. I also tried to achieve the concept of texture with the bricks I drew on the walls and the vines sort of growing out of the ground and the waterfall even having bubbles. I wanted to make my mini replica of the hanging gardens of Babylon look almost alive even though it isn’t even made of living plants.
Play is hard work.
Sometimes I worry that I give my students too much time when they are working on a project. There will be some straying from the assignment to chat with table-mates, go on random searches on the internet, or the occasional wandering around the classroom. However, this is a part of the process of work. When I work, I do not sit in silence from beginning to end. I take brain breaks and stretch my legs as I glean inspiration from random sources. I talk with others throughout to try and find other ideas. Sometimes I completely break from a project and work on something silly, just for fun.
Play is a part of the process.
Students are finishing up their projects this week and preparing for their unit quiz that will cover color theory, perspective drawing, and artists we used as inspiration (among other things). In addition, some students are taking the time left over before we begin something new to play, experiment and try out new ideas using a variety of media.
Here are some images of us at work:
Friday was a half day.
This made all of my students excited because they got to go home early and get a jump-start on the weekend. Before they did, though, we looked at some amazing environmental artists using the Storyboard builder on PBS LearningMedia.
Although students had a half-day, teachers had a full one. One student even said they felt sorry for me. I told them not to worry, though, because the PD planned was going to be super fun and it was!
I learned a variety of printmaking techniques from Cindi Ford, who agreed to help the BCPS Visual Arts team gain some new skills to bring back to our students.
During the three-hour session, I learned several things: I learned about using water-based media and medium extender with a screen for mono screen printing. I especially enjoyed using chalk pastel on the 300 silk screen and seeing the results when you pushed it through using the extender. I also learned about ink-jet transfers. I always thought you had to use citrasolv, but you can use a citrus fragrance spray to do it, too. And my favorite part of learning was how to create a dry point print. I had always wanted to officially learn how to do this, so I was excited for actually getting to do it.
Here is a video that highlights our learning from the day:
Because of where this project falls in the marking period, students have a little bit more time than the other themes to work through ideas. It has been fun to see the process develop over time and how ideas have evolved along the way. Here are some images to reflect the work being done this week in the art classroom.
Lewis and Clark Day at WMS is one of my favorites. It is fun to see students engage with content in active ways and we were so lucky to be outside in about 70 degree weather (in November!). Here are the highlights from the day spent outdoors:
One of the things I like about teaching art is that learning is visible. Students show you what they know through the works they make, manipulating media to say things that could never be said with words.
I used to teach Photoshop in a very traditional manner. I would be at the front of my classroom and walk students step-by-step, until we all basically had the same type of image at the end. That would then be the project and we would move onto the next thing.
Now that I have moved my classroom into a Thematic Unit structure, I was struggling with how to still teach Photoshop skills in a way that I would be able to see if students understood the skills.
That is where the Photoshop Challenges have come into play. Instead of these exercises being a specific project, I grouped together a set of similar types of mini-lessons that relate to the current theme we are working on in class. They are organized with video tutorials (usually of me) and step-by-steps for students to get a better understanding of how the tools can be used in their other theme-based images if they so choose to use this as a medium.
Students were asked to complete one from each set of three, but these two students did all six, which makes them the Photoshop Challenge Champions. Their prize is a fun eraser making kit.
Corinne: 7th grade Winner!
Virginia: 8th grade Winner!
This week we transitioned from thinking about what makes us who we are to exploring the places we inhabit. With the theme Environment, Space, or Place in mind, students examined various works by artists throughout history before coming up with their own ideas on how they wanted to tackle the topic.
One resource we used to help us along the way was this video from The Art Assignment.
In addition to this video, which explored the importance of the figure/ground relationship, we also did some demonstrations on one and two-point perspective, color mixing, as well as a few Photoshop Challenges that explored how you can create the illusion of space. It was fun to see students
Here are some of those works:
I can never thank Ian Sands enough for sharing this tutorial online. It has helped me in so many sick-day situations and I have continued to use it as a quick and easy tutorial to get kids to understand that Photoshop can be used for more than Google grabbing and pasting.
This is a very easy lesson on how to make your name on Graffiti Creator, screen shot it, and place it on something else in Photoshop.
This exercise helps students understand how they can use the pen tool in Photoshop and also demonstrates the use of perspective in a digital way.
It has been really rewarding to see students go through processes and select the materials and ideas that they want to explore with this theme in mind. I have had to do a little more conferencing with this theme, though, to get kids to dig a little deeper and go beyond the basic landscape.
Here are some images of our process so far:
To coordinate with our theme (and celebrate Halloween), I dressed up as Bob Ross today. It was fun to see the reaction of students and teachers alike!
Students finished their first major theme last week, which involved how artists portray identity in their work. Students were given wide perimeters to create and they took advantage of that using all kinds of materials, even ice! After much planning, playing, and creating, here are some examples of their first finished works:
Ana H.: I took a photograph of myself on the standing by the window, through a reflection of a glassed framed door next to the front door of my house. Giving my photograph the illusion of a fading girl looking out towards the light behind the locked door, as if she has a dream to be in that place behind the door, yet she fading and see-through as if she were to be a locked up ghost. That's why I named it "A Fading Dream". I used photography instead of a drawn picture, because I wanted the illusion of a fading girl to look as realistic as possible, so a photograph would be best to do that. In addition in my photograph, it only presents half of the girl's face, not fully seeing who she is, what she looks like, but showing that she is a girl with a passionate dream.
Virginia D.: I used crayon and pencil to create the hands. At first I used had the skin peach and then I decided to add more depth and dimension to my work by using red, blue, and purple because your skin isn’t just one color. I thought it would be cool to make my face appear on my hands because all of our features are different and that is part of our identity. Then I thought it would make the picture look different and unique if I make hair come out of the fingernails and have a few strands wrap around it. You can use other artist’s work to inspire you or help you when dealing with identity. I think this piece turned out really cool and abstract. And when I first started I never thought it would turn out looking like this.
Clay L.: In my art piece I did print making and it is me doing the three pointer sign. Why I chose to do that for my art is because I like to play basketball so that is kind of symbolizing that I like basketball. I did this with the color green because I am a big Michigan State fan. I had the tint of the green go from darkest to lightest to give my art some detail. I had fun making this art and I think I did petty well on it too.
Alexis W.: by caution tape. I made this because I want to share who I am to the world, but there are things in life that act as caution tape that hold you back. I was very inspired by the artist do ho son, because he uses the theme identity by making many things put together to make a bigger picture, and I feel like I feel like I incorporated this theme in my art. To make this piece I mainly used watercolor. For the background, I painted the background with watercolor and put strips of duct tape over it and painted it black. I then peeled off the duct tape it revealed beautiful lines of color. For the thoughts around the head, I painted my hands, and put them on the paper, which made a beautiful background for the thought, and I then took sharpie and drew things that I had a connection to, and then cut them out and glued them on the paper. I then made the caution tape and painted it yellow. For the head, I purposely drew a straight face with no color to represent how I may look on the outside, but then, the background is beautiful and this represents what is inside of my mind. In my drawing of the face, I used a pen and I made single dots, which made a face when put together. My finished artwork is how I feel about who I am. This is my identity.
Zach F: The art work of my Ice Face shows my identity because Ice sometimes is transparent and thats how I want people to look at me not because of freckles but transparent so people don't not like me or like me because of my looks. I got inspired by Phil Hansen and how he did the frozen wine out of Amy Winehouse because I thought it would be a good idea to create a frozen portrait of me.
Sarah K,: My artwork applies to the theme of identity because I did three images; this one is of a girl shattering like glass, she represents the emotion of sadness. I used watercolor and salt on the background to make a crystalized look, and the glass on the left side of her face shows that she is a fragile person and she is falling apart because of her sadness. My artwork applies to the theme of identity because this is the second image I did, which is of peace and tranquility. She does not have negative emotions and thoughts, so she is growing and thriving, unlike sadness and anger. I chose the earth look because I find earth and nature to be calming and peaceful and I felt that the idea of thriving and growing as a person fit with nature. My artwork fits in with the theme of identity because this image is the emotion of anger. Her anger is burning her alive and causing ash to lift off from her skin. I chose the fire look because i felt that it fit best for the idea of anger and the negative emotion burning her apart.
Nick F.: My materials (pictures) represent my identity and the pictures mean something to me. I made my piece a collage with different parts of the human body and two pictures of me playing sports. The pictures represent my identity because it shows that my brain, heart, and stuff like that is filled with sports. All of my main internal body parts are and are filled with sports. That represents me because I love sports. Sports are my passion and my life. I probably couldn't live without sports. Sports are a main part of my identity. My piece is kind of like that of Frida Kahlo. It's like her work because in her work, she focuses on the concept of personal identity. In this piece, I am focusing on my personal identity. This represents my identity because I'm trying to show that my brain, heart, lungs, etc. are all about sports. Frida Kahlo makes different pieces centered around herself. Usually she's in all of the pieces. The pictures don't show me, but rather my insides.
Kasey L.: Identity is who you are or what make you you. With the different materials I used to create this art piece effected and change the piece dramatically. I used print making to give it a textured look so then it will standout. I used pastels to give the outline of the key hole so then it wouldn't blend in with the back. This art piece represents identity because there are many different keys that are different colors. Then in the key hole the girls represent us and how some all of us are created differently. then you have the lab where she was created. Also there is an eye with clocks hanging down to represent time. Do Ho Suh represents identity by making large sculptures that have people holding up his art pieces. He likes to say we are all in this together and this represents identity because there are many different people but we can all come together. Julian Opie shows identity by making people's faces as simple as he can but they still have their identity.
I am so proud of how hard students worked to push past their potential and really stretch their creative minds to make art worth making. I am equally excited to see what happens as we tackle our next theme: Environment, Space, and Place.
Today was the first day back in my classroom since last Thursday. I was busy presenting to teachers at the MAEA Conference in Grand Rapids as well as student teachers at Aquinas College on Monday.
Even though I was away learning and sharing ideas with other educators, I knew my students would be hard at work in the classroom thanks to our use of Schoology, Camtasia, and Scholastic Art Magazine.
As I often do when a sub comes to my room, I shift art-making activities to a material that is less messy in nature: Photoshop. Since we are working with the theme of Identity, I pooled together the resources I have compiled from over the years that seemed to lend itself to exploring those ideas. I am a believer in giving students choices, which is why they had three of them: Profile Collage, Exquisite Corpse, or Making the Unseen Seen. If students wanted to, they could do all three.
Here are examples from each of the choices.
Christina: I decided to make a profile collage for my photoshop challenge. I used many tools to create this. A couple of the many tools I used were the gradient tool for the background and I also used a profile picture of myself and took the selection tool and deleted to rest of the background. The pictures that I have chosen to use for my picture are things that I like and I also added my name which was inspired from the video showing all the steps to create this. I also chose not to crop out the background to each picture because I like the lines that make it more clean.
Kolton: One basic tool that i used for this collage is the Quick selection tool. This tool allowed me to select the background of the image and therefor delete it in order save room and show the image i really wanted instead of the background. Another tool that i used in this collage is the Move tool. The Move Tool allowed my to drag and place the image after it was cropped into the spot i wanted it to be placed in. Also in a way in order to conserve room so i could fit the images i wanted into the collage. The meaning behind the images that i chose was the basketball, and football represents my passion of sports. Also the MSU, Lions, and Tigers sign shows my teams that i cheer for. Lastly the remaining pictures show the food and resteraunts that i love and love to eat at with family.
Jewel: It was very interesting using Photoshop once again. To be honest, I'm not terribly great at Photoshop but I am actually pretty proud of this piece. I used My face, Dylan O' Brien's face and Arden Cho's faces to create this girl in the photo. I had a lot of fun making this piece until my who thing deleted by accident, now I know better and need to save my artwork! My favorite part of "Drifting Slowly" is definitely the hair. I love the texture and balance of different colors I used, exploring different features in Photoshop.
Nick: To make this exquisite corpse, I used the element of color. I tried to use colors in the body to make it the most realistic. However, I created the background with many different bright colors. I also used the principle of pattern to create this piece. In the background, the different colors are in different patterns. For example, there are patterns of lines created by different colors. Finally, I used the element of shape to create this. Many different, odd shapes were used to create his head and face. I also used a few shapes in the background.
Making the Unseen Seen
Corrine: n the background photo, I took it on my way to school one day, and the focus was great, and I knew it would be a great photo for this project. Next, the bird silhouette was found on Google under "labeled for reuse" under search tools, so I am allowed to use it. In Photoshop, I made the silhouette transparent and put it on top of the farm image. This is my finished product, and I am proud of it.
Denver: created this image by placing picture of my family and things I have seen. Then I overlaid them all and it created this, a mountain of bright colors and things that are apart of me. It created something beautiful something that is in my head all the time. This shows a partial part of it. The texture is my favorite part. It makes it look ruff and emotional, but also makes it soft and sweet.
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.