Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Lorax

Beautiful composition Daniella(3rd grade). I particularly like your happy Swomee-Swans!
I love your take on the Lorax with the added chopped down Truffula tree Harrison(4th grade)!
Alexis, 8
Savannah, 9
Lacey, 6

Kindergarten and 1st Grade Loraxes in Progress

In honor of Dr. Seuss' Birthday on March 2nd, all my students are working on a piece inspired by his beloved book, The Lorax. Written in 1971, the book almost parallels the plight of the Amazon Rainforest. The Lorax is a small creature who details the story of the greedy Once-ler who has chopped down all of the Truffula Trees to create a useless item known as a Thneed. As a consequence, many of the creatures that depended on the Truffula tree for survival have been driven out. One could swap the Amazon's Kapok Tree for the Truffula, Toucans for the Swomee- Swans, and The Sloth for Bar-ba-loots.
The children followed a direct line drawing lesson to create their Lorax as he sits on his tree trunk perch. I love his quote, "I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues." They could then decide to create his surrounding environment with tree stumps, beautiful Truffulas, Swomee-Swans, Humming-Fish ect.. They used a combination of marker, tempera and watercolor.
(I discovered that The Lorax will be an animated motion picture in March 2012)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Moonlit Fireflies

phase 1

We just started our new art class session this week. All my students (K-5th) are creating a moonlit tree landscape with fireflies. I haven't seen a firefly since I lived in Atlanta 0ver 13 years ago. What a treat to look out and see the tiny glows in a summertime sky.
We learned that there are over 1900 species of fireflies in the world, 170 in North America. Antarctica is the only continent without them. The chemical that makes the fireflies glow produces no heat. It is meant to attract mates and warn predators.

We created the base of our pieces on black construction paper (they could choose between horizontal or vertical). We used a dry brush method with acrylic paint, no water necessary. They were given blues, greens and purple and were encouraged to use broad horizontal strokes. A moon was painted with circular motions to give a glowing effect. Some children will create their trees using oil pastel and the older children will have the option of using paint. They can add other dry brush effects with metallic paint to mimic the firefly glow. And finally they will dot their sky with the end of their paint brush dipped in white and yellow for added glow.
On a small strip of poster board the children draw their fireflies. They can add color with colored pencil or markers. (Some of my older elementary children chose to make realistic fireflies versus cartoon ones.) Once these are cut out, I have flower wire to create some antennae that is taped to the underside and can manipulated to their liking. The fireflies are then arranged and glued to their base. Many more to post.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Ally and Kobe

What a nice little treat to receive a Stylish Blogger Award!

1.) Thank and link back to the person who awarded you:

Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade Tidbits - Thanks so much Megan!

2.) Share 7 things about yourself

  • I'm a Food Network junkie. Love Giada, Ina, The Neely's, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives ect...
  • Despite my present occupation, I can't bring myself to wear an apron or smock.(Much to my daughter's disappointment) I might as well be in a bee-keeper suit. So consequently, many of my clothes have acrylic paint stains.
  • I met my husband 22 years ago tomorrow (on his birthday, February 22)
  • No one can make me laugh harder than my kids (9 and 15)
  • I am a big dog lover, especially my 2 rescue wonder-mutts, Ally and Kobe
  • The sight of chewed gum almost sends me into dry heaves. Of course my family loves to have a little fun with this weakness.
  • I am a sporadic Facebook user and never tweet, but I love the blog world :)
3.) Pass the award onto 5 other favorite bloggers (I have SO MANY. Here are a few I haven't mentioned before.)

smART Class Natalie has so many inspiring ideas. Recently, I love her Hip Hop Kandinksy Murals and Rodeo Art

Fine Lines Christie has some innovative "out of the box" projects. Recently, I love her Japanese Notan pieces and explorations of color and composition. And her students' Wayne Thiebaud treats are exceptionally good!

Pamela Holderman Pamela's blog has such lovely and serene feeling with frosted photos, some beautiful poetry (and of course pictures of her beloved pets.) Her students' art has a wonderful joy, humor and spirit about it, clearly influenced by their teacher.

Briargrove Elementary Art Katie has some terrific "green" art projects. Her recent Nature Observation: Complimentary Color Resist Paintings are fantastic!

This Little Class of Mine Nellie does some great art lessons based on children's books. (a favorite of mine as well) She recently posted some over-sized vintage cameras in vibrant colors that are fabulous! (some of them have a Hundertwasser vibe)

Enjoy your holiday everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hockney Experiment

If you've been following my blog for a while you know I'm a big fan of David Hockney and have done several projects based on his photo collages. This time I decided to let my 3rd thru 5th graders take charge of the whole process. Each student had the opportunity to be the photographer. They divided into pairs and took pictures of different facial features at varied perspectives and ranges. (They were given a max of 10 shots). Some children chose to change facial expressions during their shoot to add another dimension. Yesterday they were given the photos of their own face to manipulate and create a cubist photo collage. Some children chose to keep their faces very coherent while others liked more of a disjointed collage. As you can imagine, there was a lot of laughter with this project(our final project of the 6 week art session).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Indian Elephants

This project was inspired by the wonderful Ink Elephants at Fun Art 4 Kids and Deep Space Sparkle and Indian Elephants at Painted Paper. All my classes created multi-media Indian Elephants. We learned a few facts about these animals on the endangered species list who have been a common subject in Indian art for ages. They are a symbols of wealth and royalty. During the Elephant Festival in Jaipur rows of painted and decorated elephants parade up and down though the crowd.
To create their own Indian Elephant the children followed a lesson using a combination of circles and ovals to create the large volume of the animal combined with a contour drawing lesson to capture the details. Washable makers and water create the inky, watercolor effect. While drying a decorative border was created on a colored piece of construction paper. The children created a printed pattern using the backs of paint brushes and sometimes fingerprints. Scrapbook paper and markers were used to adorn their elephant.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Weather Themed ATC Swap

Taken last week from outside our window

Considering the terrible weather that is effecting much of the nation right now, I hope no one will resent the timing of this post. A big thanks to Mrs. Hahn (Nichole) from Mini Matisse for inviting our 3rd-5th grade after school class to participate in her weather themed ATC swap. A couple weeks ago I told my students that since our weather in Orange County, CA is so different from Minnesota, the theme was ideal. On this particular day the fog had rolled in (as often happens near the coast) and the temperature dropped to a chilly 55-60* (tongue firmly placed in cheek :) One of the girls said that our weather was probably not that different. I told Nichole this and she wanted me to share with my kids that the temps at that time were well below zero. I think they have a better picture now. They especially enjoyed the slide show of her family's ice fishing excursion on her blog.

So each of my children received an adorable one of a kind printed snowman. On there way to Minnesota are our sunset with palm tree silhouettes. We created the sunsets with watercolors and used fine black markers to create the palm trees and ocean (in some cases).

Thanks again for the opportunity Mrs. Hahn!