Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #82

Monday: I wore my new necklace! And totally felt like I was wearing a chain of Gobstoppers all day. It's a lotta balls but can you really have too many? necklace: DIY here; dress: thrifted, vintage; belt: from another dress; pink fishnets and blue tights: Target, maybe?; shoes: Anthro; shoe clips: thrifted
Whilst doing bus duty this afternoon, I had two interesting conversations with the under-10 set. My first was with a second grade girl. It went a little something like this:

Second Grade Gurl: Mrs. Stephens, look at me! 

Me: Okay. I'm looking. What?

SGG: This is Thee Cutest I've been all year! (said with a flourish of the hand from her head to her feet) I NEVER get to wear cute things because, you know, I have brothers (eye roll and sigh).

I had to give the poor kid a knowing nod. Say no more, sister. I taught those brothers.

After she boarded the bus, a fourth grade girl stopped dead in her tracks and said:

I'm not getting on that bus.

Me: Uh, yeah you are. 

FGG: No! I'm going home with you!

Me: Really? And what do you think we'd do at my house?

FGG: Watch t.v.!

Me: Sorry. I don't have a t.v. 

FGG: Really? That's gross.

The kids is crazy. And with the full moon, the crazy weather we've been having and the fact that we are a breath away from Thanksgiving Break, the kids are even crazier. Which I didn't even think was possible.
If you scroll down a pinch, you'll see the Rene Magritte-inspired mural that my third grade students have been working on. What I didn't realize until I posted that photo on Facebook and it was pointed out to me, but their mural also bears a striking resemblance to some of the work by M.C. Escher. So I thought I'd share his work with you in this here post.
So Maurits Cornelis Escher (is it any wonder why he went by M.C.? Duh, because Master of Ceremonies, yo!) was a Dutch artist who lived from 1898 to 1972. Can you imagine living thru that time in history?! Wow, the changes he must have seen. Escher was a not considered a good student in elementary school and repeated the second grade. I can't imagine how he'd far in schools these days what with the constant testing and hoops to jump through. His genius would have been given a label. I wonder how many genius kids among us are going through that very thing right now. Okay, stepping off El Soap Box.
Star Wars Tuesday: So the Star Wars soundtrack I ordered for the kids came in and we blasted it in the art room. The only prob is that opening song is loud and proud which got the kids all ramped up. I had to switch back to Harry Potter for a couple classes (ya'll, that CD is THE BEST at calming the kids down) but we did listen to the Cantina Band song for clean up. Star Wars dress: made by me, DIY here; jacket: old, Modcloth; tights and boots: Marshall's
Totally Escher-esque, right? The third grade have been learning all about Rene Magritte (you can see my artist outfit here) creating these night and day birds and painting clouds for the mural. I'm hoping to have it up and ready to share with you soon. It actually looks a lot different now, this was just the kids laying out their birds.

Seriously. How did I need see the connection? So it turns out that after spending some time in Italy (which just sounds lovely. Let's go, shall we?), Escher was influenced by some intricate and geometrical designs he saw sculpted into the walls and ceiling of a castle. This sparked an interest in repetitive and interlocking patterns that would become his signature style.

Wednesday: I don't remember anything about this day. It must have been a wild one. I bet I had kindergarten on that day...which is why I remember nothing. sweater: thrifted; dress and shoes: Anthro; tights: Marshall's
Now, I'm not much of a fan of math but it appears that those that dig math, also dig Escher. And while he wasn't trained in math, Escher had a great understanding of it visually which is best seen in his tessellations. I've always been amazed by his drawing skills and the magic of his work.

Hot Pink Thursday: This dress required that hair. It was a prerequisite. dress: vintage; tight: Target; shoes: dunno, I can't see 'em and I can't remember. That's pretty bad.
I think introducing Escher to the kids will be fun. And while Escher's work appears surreal, I don't know if he really falls into that movement being that he came upon the scene later. What do you think? It will definitely be a fun follow up to our unit on Magritte. Have you art teachers taught Escher? Do you happen to have a favorite lesson that you could share because that would be totally rad.

Show Your Tats Friday: It never fails, when I wear these tights, I get the constant question: Are your legs tattooed?! Naw, kid. It's just sharpie. I got bored when the last class was in my room. sweater: vintage, thrifted; top: gift from a friend; skirt: Marshall's; tights and necklace: Target; shoes and belt: Anthro
I love Escher's work. I really dug it in high school and then went through this seriously snobby phase in college because every other dip in my dorm had either an Escher or Klimt's The Kiss hanging in their room. However, after doing some digging (and uprooting my dorm room posters, ahem), I've got a new appreciation for the dude. I'm excited to dream up a lesson based on the work of this incredible artist.


  1. One of my favorite Paul Simon songs is "Rene and Georgette Magritte with their Dog after the War." That might be fun to share with your kids during your Magritte unit. Mural's looking good!

    1. Oh, I've never heard that song! Thank you, will look it up and share with them! I gotta be honest, after introducing them to the word "surreal" suddenly EVERYTHING is "soooo surreal". Oh boy. What have I started. Thank you!!

  2. Anonymous11/20/2013

    Ahh, you rock. Not that you didn't know this. I am on my last work day of an Escher project and hadn't even looked for a picture of him holding the glass ball. Just what I needed. Many thanks!!

    Also, I am anonymous only because I can't figure out how to use my name and email. hmm, duh. Is it Friday yet?

    1. I'm just glad you commented ;) No, sadly, it's not Friday but you do sound a bit under the weather, maybe you need a sick day tomorrow ;)


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