Tuesday, February 22, 2011

britto hearts

I was tired of doing Jim Dine hearts this February. While he is a wonderful artist who truly visually depicts love in his paintings, I wanted to mix it up a bit this year. My third, fourth, and fifth graders were learning about the art of Miami-based artist Romero Britto and his use of bold color and pattern in his paintings.
We used 18x24 sheets of paper, 2 9x12 colored sheets of paper, and painted four patterned pieces of paper. We traced hearts and glued them on. A little twist on all things Valentines...and the boys didn't even seem to mind!
My fifth graders did some wonderful Britto vases. You can check them out here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

hot glass!

I wrote a grant this year to the Education Foundation of Sarasota County entitled "Voice Your View: Making the Connection between Art and Life" which was to focus on art in our community. We are lucky to live in a wonderful area which supports the Arts tremendously, and has a rich artistic and cultural influence. There are an abundance of galleries, museums, art centers, art shows, and murals which adorn our little town. We are indeed lucky that our children have 55-minutes of Art per week in Elementary School.

I wanted my fifth graders to be aware of our artistic surroundings. I wanted to expose them to art that is literally around the corner from us. Last week we went to the Ringling Museum and viewed their beautiful collection of Baroque and Modern Art. This week we were lucky to have two artists from Firebug Studios (thank you Ms. Leanna and Ms. Lois!) teach us the art of glass fusing!

The students learned about glass and how it is "made", how to use glass cutting tools, and how to create these fabulous funky faces!

(Ms. Leanna helping Kristin cutting a piece of glass)

(Ready for transport for firing!)
Using local artists is a great way to advocate for your program, drum up business for their program, and to promote the Arts in general! I was so happy that the students learned about art experiences that were local, and that their excitement trickled down to their parents (I've received numerous phone calls about how much FUN they had!), how the excitement has trickled down to other grade levels ("when are WE going to do THAT?!"), and all the compliments from staff members on the beautiful display we have going in the display case.
And in case you're wondering...is this SAFE? Absolutely! Glass cutters are not sharp. I told the kids the only way they will get cut is if they misuse or mishandle the glass. We DID have some major glass carnage today, however, as one shelf in the display case crashed on top of another shelf and we "lost" 6 sculptures. They will be replaced, but always remembered!
I hope to post more pictures of the finished display very soon!

Monday, February 14, 2011

reflective monets

We're totally on a Monet kick in Kindergarten and the kids LOVE it! This week we talked about reflection and how reflections are opposites. For this project we used 12x18 turquoise paper, oil pastel, and tempera paints. There are other supplies we needed, like sponge daubers (sponges clipped into clothespins) as well as q-tips. More on that later!

Beginning with a pre-folded paper, the kids drew "water" in oil pastel below the fold. We used blue, green, purple, and white. They also drew the footbridge above the water, and then we talked about how to make it reflective below the horizon line as well.

Using my magical "sponge daubers" (cut sponge in clothespins!) the students sponge-painted bushes along the horizon line and mossy trees along the sides of the papers.

They used yellow for a little accent to blend with the green, to make it look like the sun was shining on the leaves. We also talked about how Monet would paint at different times of the day to achieve different results. The kids decided this was painted during "lunchtime because the sun is really hot then and it's bright".

The students then used q-tips to add orange and pink flowers to the bushes. We used oil pastel to reflect these, as well, in the pond.

As you can see, Monet's garden has made quite an impression on my Kindergartners!

PreK + K Sharing

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

romero britto flower vases

I was first introduced to the artwork of Romero Britto as I was hanging a bulletin board for our P.E. teacher here at school. She had a cool poster about your heart, done with funky patterns and bold black lines. She told me she got it at her P.E. Conference and I was smitten from that moment! Her daughter lived and went to school in Boca Raton, FL and was pretty familiar with Britto's work as well.
Why didn't I know about Britto?!
I have worked on Britto projects with my third, fourth and fifth grade classes. Inspired by the print above (perfect for Spring!), my fifth graders made these beautiful patterned vases with simple patterned flowers inside.
We kept it simple, painting some of the petals solids and some patterned. I'm afraid if we filled everything with patterns it might have gotten really messy!
The outlining was done with liquid black ink applied with a small paintbrush.
So in case YOU weren't familiar with the art of Romero Britto, now you can be inspired to learn more!
I will share some Britto projects from my third and fourth graders soon!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

mini monets

I found a new love this week, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Self, meet liquid watercolor. Self, why haven't you heeded the advice of others for the last 10 years and bought this stuff before?!
This week my Kindergarten and First graders are reading the book "Philippe in Monet's Garden". It's a lovely story about a frog who is being bullied and makes a safe haven in Monet's garden. We're at a crossroads here at my school with bullying and name-calling, so it fit in very nicely! (And who says Art doesn't encompass multiple disciplines?!)
We looked at the Waterlilies series pretty closely. We talked about the different animals and insects that might call waterlilies home. The kids had to draw (at least) 8 waterlilies in pink, yellow, and white oil pastels. They used green to draw some lilly pads for the flowers to sit on.
Then enter "my new love": the liquid watercolor. Oh my. It paints like buttah, without the mess of water, watercolor sets, etc. The best part is that I diluted enough for all my kids to use today and tomorrow as well...without the waste!
This project will be the first of a few focusing on Claude Monet for my little guys. They were really "impressed" with their own results!