Experimenting with new ideas and materials

20 10 2012

The theme this month is “risk it”, well at least I am.  I have jumped head into an art history lesson that involves a shallow tunnel book format and I am asking students to remix it.  Now, a tunnel book construction is not new to me, so I am comfortable with this idea but Voice Thread not so much.  I am working on sharing our threads with another school to get feedback about the progress of our works.  It is a free program and pretty easy to set up.  I am more concerned with with results from the exchange and I hope it is worthwhile.  It has great potential but it will take extra time.  I will keep you posted. 

Next is our large coffee portrait paintings…new media on the grand scale.  We are using unstretched primed canvas as our surface.  The compositional size is 3 feet by 5 or 6 feet.  I love the color of the coffee, it is so warm, and creates soft flowing edges.  My students are troopers and dive in feet first with me and work it all out.  I can’t wait to show off the final results.

My last big deal is, I feel I finally see all the hard work I have put into some of my students.  They can DRAW, really DRAW, and realistically, and also with creative expression.  I am so excited to see that my students can SEE and FEEL it too.  So empowering when the “light switch” is ON!  


First Quarter Ends

13 10 2012

I am juggling several different but similar lessons in many of my classes. I am pushing my students to increase their drawing skills from direct observation and to expose them to art history. We are working on a still life set up with very different materials and motivation. One is a traditional Cezanne style drapery, fruit, bottle, and basket arrangement. We looked at many of Cezanne’s still life paintings to try to replicate the texture, movement, and appearance with our oil pastels. We are also breaking down the still life into mulitiple views and simple shapes. So far very successful drawings and the rendering of the objects are very convincing.

My painting class is working with a still life of colorful transparent and opaque colored cups and vases, I also included some fruit and flowers. I will show them Janet Fish watercolors but since it is the first watercolor for many, I will stick to teaching them how to control the watercolor and add layers of values to create the illusion of transparency and shadows.

 My next lesson in Sculpture class is a look at The Arnolfini Marrage Portrait, specifically the symbolism in the painting.  We viewed a DVD about the different opinions about the meaning of the painting.  I am hoping my students will apply what they have viewed as motivation to be clever in their placement and ideas about symbolism in their recreations.

Next my students are to do a remix with a masterpiece and add modern symbolism into the works of art they selected to recreate different symbols in the painting.  The painting will be recreated in a tunnel book format with many layers and pieces to create the illusion of depth.

I will also introduce VoiceThread to my students so we can communicate with another art student in a different state on the process of our work and to get feedback while we are creating our pieces.  This is an opportunity to work with a peer to discuss the ideas for the lesson and propel it to be a better concept and lesson than if created only in our studio.  I am very excited about this new interaction with other students.

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