Sunday, May 19, 2013

Some Aha Moments

Aside from working with my core group of 5th graders we are also making a project with the 3rd graders based on several Dr. Seuss stories.  Our goal in using only recycled elements has been both appealing and exciting for the students.  Their unbridled enthusiasm is so refreshing and actually helps energize both Ms. Huwar and myself.

With the 5th graders, we have broken down on occasion into teams to brainstorm and start our projects.  One "leader" of the group approached me and commented "  I don't know how you teachers do one listens and that is frustrating."  I laughed and told him calmly to just keep trying and that eventually communication would prevail.

So, far we have a beach scene using books as the base and a variety of elements to create their scene.  We also have some wonderful trees emerging made from papertowel holders and another group making a sand castle with undersea creatures.  We have also written some poems about recycling and nature that will be in our book format.

We have so much to get accomplished this week but it will not be impossible......the art room looks like an art room for sure!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Here I am at CL...Clarion Limestone Elementary School

I am happily back at CL for a second tour of duty in the last two years.  I am working with the friendly and super energetic Liz Huwar and a also a faculty and staff that makes me feel so at home.  I am staying during the week at The Clarion House B and B located in the heart of town.  It has been like a mine vacation and I have read 3 books after school in 3 days!

We are working diligently with the concept of recycling and upcycling books to create our artwork.  I am working with a core group of 5th graders along with the rest of school that runs from K-6th grade.  It is a super busy day with non stop classes but also non stop enthusiasm.  We will eventually make a Shutterfly book as one of the results of our hard work......stay tuned for photos and poems!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Last day at Latrobe High School

This 10 day residency at Greater Latrobe High School was sponsored by the McFeely-Rogers Foundation and also The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.  I am happy to say I think this is my 6th year with this painting project.

The outcome is difficult to assess as the students had not finished their works on my last day.  I am always excited though to see the quick progress and the pride and enthusiasm of the students.  I had too many to count who would have happily painted all day in the art room.

One set of boys selected a most difficult piece to render using the old Rock, Paper, Scissors approach.  I also overhead them saying it would be an easy pieces because "it is just a bunch of brush strokes....:"  It was fun to see them struggle and after much effort finally realizing how difficult the piece actually was to copy.

Others found that working beside a partner can be inspiring and a help with ideas on color mixing and compositions.  Daily I made my own efforts to get through the classroom and offer constructive insight on how to progress on their pieces.  I will be thrilled to see the final results of these pieces.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Latrobe High School Spring 2013

I am back at Latrobe High School.  It is a school that continues to amaze me each year that I am asked to return.  The walls are covered with incredible paintings and the entry way still hosts a previous sculpture project of silk scarves hanging as a mobile.

This year, I am working with three classes.  One class I see every day and the other classes I see every other day.  My primary goals are always that the students learns about color mixing and the concepts of Impressionism.  As always, we have only primary colors with our ranges being cool and warm palettes.  We create a sort of cheat sheet with the color mixing while the students learn to tint their colors with white.

The goal of the Impressionists was to find a way to focus on light to help create a mood.  We as the viewer then allow our eyes to focus these small points of light with strokes of color and brush stroke movement to pull that piece together.  With the students, they are allowed their own interpretation of the master pieces that they are using to paint from and to also understand the concepts of composition.

I often refer to to the movement and rhythm of the brush strokes.  In many cases, I have the students do an under painting and encourage their drawing and painting skills by having them work upside down on their pieces.  This allows them to focus more on positive and negative shapes and the colors and brush strokes.

During my down time at school I have been working on some recycled pallet lumber pieces and also working with the student teacher on some painting as well.