Showing posts with label Peter H. Reynolds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter H. Reynolds. Show all posts

Thursday, October 2, 2014

In the Art Room: Reversible Dot Paintings

Okay, I know what you're thinking: Holy crap, Stephens, Dot Day ended, like, a month ago! 

Y'all. I know. But I never did tell ya the whys and hows and who's-its of these here Reversible Dot Paintings. So don't gimme none of that "holy crap" biznatch, ya hear?
Way back when I started dreaming up ideas for Dot Day, I knew I wanted to use some cardboard pizza rounds. I dunno why. You know how it is when you get an idea stuck in your head for no reasonable reason and you just can't get rid of it. Kinda like herpes. Well that was me with this cardboard pizza round thing. So I ordered a hundred of 'em from School Specialty and got the notion that we'd make some reversible abstract paintings out of 'em. 
What gave me that thought was the movie Six Degrees of Separation (if you've heard me tell this tale before, sorry for the repeat. I'm a repeat-asaurus, it's what I do). I knew I wanted the kids to learn about Kandinsky because he's got a big fat showing at our local art museum. And then I recalled this movie clip and was all: YES! REVERSIBLE KANDINSKY PAINTINGS. I'M. A. GENIUS.

That is until I found out that Kandinsky never actually did paint any reversible painting. Which could only lead me to one conclusion: The Prince of Bel Air is a LIAR (okay, so it was Donald Sutherland in the clip, whateves).
I still thought the idea was a good one and a fun way to start the school year so I went with it any ole way. Whatcha see above is one child's reversible painting. I love how different one side is from the other. Lemme tell you how we did it. It all started on the first day of school...
Yeah, I know. You've prolly seen this thing too. Told ya I'm a repeat-asaurus. Just ask my students. 


On our first days of art class, after our chats about Kandinsky and his painting to music, we tackled our own abstract paintings. We listened to music and musical instruments to inspire a variety of lines. Our first Word of the Week was "artist" which we all decided we most definitely are.
The following classes were spent painting and our word of the week was "unique". I really wanted to emphasize that our paintings are all going to be different, no one better than the other. We also talked about how color could evoke mood and that was the focus behind our color choices. This wasn't a color mixing lesson, per se (gah, I've always wanted to say "per se" on this blog. Today's my lucky day, I dare per se!). If the kids created new colors, HURRAY!, we celebrated that. But our focus was on using colors to show emotion.

And by the looks of things we were all pretty happy. By the way, the paint we were using was whatever-was-left-over-from-last-school-year. My art supply order hadn't arrived yet (because, um, I forgot to place it. Der.) so we may have been scraping the bottom of some bottles. I do have to tell you that upon YOUR recommendations, I ordered VersaTemp from Sax and, y'all. I LOVE IT. Best paint I've used with the kids yet. I can't wait for you to see their new paintings! But, um, back to this.
I think a kid's personality really shines in an abstract painting. This dude is very meticulous, organized and precise. 
And this little girl is very free and comfortable with her sense of expression. She's already decided she's an artist now and when she grows up (gotta love that!).
I see a landscape painter every time I look at this painting.
Because I thought the boards should be the opposite on the back, I did go ahead and paint them all black. Which really didn't take as long as it sounds...but I didn't want the kids to use one of their precious art classes painting something black. We looked at a couple of Kandinsky's circle paintings and I gave the kids a "creative challenge" ("creative" being our Word of the Week): Create a painting using only circles. 
Because the surface was black, the kids did have to paint the circles white first and then add color. Which was great because then we could learn all about tints and value.
I see a budding Edvard Munch, don't you?
So clever, I love it!
The week of Dot Day, our word was "inspire". This was because our beautiful reversible paintings were to inspire the school just as Peter H. Reynolds had inspired our dot theme. To hang, I simply punched a super small hole in the top and bottom of each painting and paper clipped them together. 
And the serve as this super colorful reminder of the unique and creative artists that made them. They're so happy, I think I'll leave 'em up for a while. 

By the way, I now have a thing for cardboard pizza rounds. I gotta know, what have y'all ever used 'em for? 

Until next time!
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #114 and INTERNATIONAL DOT DAY!

Happy International Dot Day, y'all!

I thought I'd share with you what my students created for International Dot Day in this here What I Wore post because I'm so stinkin' excited! My lil artist friends have worked so hard for weeks on these masterpieces (I've shared a sneak peak here and last year's Dot Day here)...and their art teacher (um, that'd be me, speaking in third person like a true crazy) just barely got everything up in time for Thursday's Open House. Over the next coupla weeks, I'll post the complete dotty lessons starting with that Dots-turned-Flower-Garden mural that my sweet first grade artist created as it's my personal fave. Or was it the stitched dots by fourth grade? Maybe the metal dots by third...? Oh, I can't decide, I just loves 'em all!

This week our Word of the Week was inspire and our Artist Inspiration was the author of The Dot, Peter H. Reynolds. We chatted about how The Dot has inspired artists all over the world to "create a mark and see where it takes you". The kids and I talked about how their dots can now inspire others throughout our school. It was so fun to hear them encourage each other and drop the "i" bomb (that'd be "inspire") as they know that anytime anyone says the Word of the Week, everyone says "Whoop! Whoop!" 


In other non-dotty news, I've got a ton of beautiful ladies who've made beautiful aprons to share with you this week! The Apron Sew-Along was so fun that I've come up with another sewing project for those interested...so stay tuned, y'all. 

Until then, lemme show you something Dot-tastic!
Lemme introduce to you the Kindergarten dot! With kindergarten, I always start the school year with a construction paper line sculpture (you can read all about my kindergarten unit on line here, if you wanna). Instead of giving the kids rectangular construction paper, I simply gave them either a black or white pre-cut (shutter if you like, it was our first day in art. We'll cut more later.) dot and let 'em have at it. 
Our Word of the Week that first week of school was artist. So after our 45 minute art class, we hoped on the Art Train (um, just a long line of kids that chugga-chugga-chuggas to each table). I held up each kid-created sculpture and would say, "Wow! Morgan is an artist!" to which everyone gave her a Whoop! Whoop! There wasn't a single kid not beaming before they left the art room.
Now, you know, kindergarten is notorious for touching the walls. These have stayed unharmed...and I do believe it's because they created them! 
Totally Dotty Tuesday: Lookin' back on What I Wore for Dot Week last year...I gotta say I did several repeats. Tis okay. Don't nobody need to know...unless I tell em in a blog post. Der. sweater: thrifted; dress: vintage; belt: Target; sandals: Anthro
My first graders are so proud of their mural! They've seen the fourth grader's Warhol Soup Cans and the third grader's Magritte mural so they were ready to create one of their own. So I took down The Great Wave that was still hanging outside my door from last school year's Asian adventure and replaced it with these lovelies. I feel like I'm taking a trip down Candy Cane Lane every day when walking in the art room door!
Y'all might recall from my previous posts that the kids were learning about Kandinsky's concentric circles. After being inspired by that piece, we turned our attention to his other paintings that involve line like Composition VIII. The following art class, we made textured and stamped papers...
and used those to create our flower petals! Like I said, more details to come this upcoming week! Not trying to be vague...but I don't wanna spoil all the fun.
The kids also painted many sheets of line and shape patterned papers for the mural. They informed me that they loved painting on those big sheets o' paper the very best.
Squiggly Lines and Dots Wednesday: The temps here have been slowly dropping so much so that I'm currently sitting in a sweater and wearing tights. TIGHTS! I'm so afraid to pack up summer duds this early because it was only a week ago that we were still trapped in the 90's. Not the decade, the temps. Did I really need to clarify for you? Sorry. sweater: Forever 21, old; dress and belt: Target
So last year, all the kids had a coffee filter dot hanging in the window. It was the first time I'd hung art in the window (what took me so long?!) and it was a huge hit. This year, I picked up a buncha pizza rounds that were white on one side. I painted the other side black (to remove one useless step for my mere 30 minute classes)...
And we talked about Kandinsky again. Which is totes perfect for my second grade friends as they are the grade level I'm taking to see the big ole Kandinsky exhibit that's coming to our local art museum The Frist. We looked at Kandinsky's painting Several Circles  and our word of the week was creative. I challenged the kids to only paint dots or circles on this side of the board. We chatted how we'd have to be super creative with such a constraint and they totally nailed it. I love this dotty painting.



On the reverse, we chatted about line and went crazy creating a line design in black ink. The following art classes we added color. I love how they rotate in the window so both sides of the painting are visible. These kids had Double Dot Duty!
Open House Thursday: I still can't believe it's all up -- all 400 plus kids works of art. I really liked having a deadline to get all the work up and I think I might set that as a goal in the future. It forced me and the kids to really hop to it. AND I also snapped photos of (most) works of art and a super mom uploaded 'em all onto Artsonia for me! Yay, I'm thrilled! You can see them here. art supply blouse: DIY here; pencil skirt: DIY here; pencil shoes: DIY here
My super third graders created these foil relief sculpture dots. I'm currently obsessed with Sharpie on aluminum foil (we've seen it before...and yet it never gets old!). I'm plotting a project for my fourth grade using a similar technique.
But we couldn't just leave 'em be. Oh no, we had to dot-afy the frame as well. ESPECIALLY when metallic markers are thrown into the mix. Then the kids were unstoppable. Or, rather, undotable!
They even wanted to sign their name like "Peter H. Reynolds" which totally cracked me up.
Exhausted but Standing, Friday: Not gonna lie, after a long day (and night) at school on Thursday, I was super pooped. But it was a good, big-sigh-of-relief kind of tired. This weekend is gonna involve lots of chill-axing. And not much else. top, skirt, shoes: thrifted
Here's a peak at what the final display of all my fourth grades stitched art looked like together. I paper clip chained them like I did the second grade paintings. I like the way the look all together like some sort of groovy stitched string art quilt. You can see the complete lesson on this string artiness here. 
I had one class finish their's off the very day of Open House. That didn't stress me out. Oh nooooooo. Not. At. Alllllll. 
And there you have it! 

Happy International Dot Day, everyone! I can't wait to hear all about what you and your students have created for the occasion! 
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Sunday, September 22, 2013

In the Art Room: The Dot

Hey there, long lost friends! I've finally recovered from what I dubbed The Longest Week of the Year and I'm ready to share just a bit of it with you. I'll spare you the passing-out-at-7:45pm-after-an-insane-Open-House//waking-up-in-full-makeup-and-school-clothes-at-5am-the-next-morn//consideration-of-simply-putting-on-shoes-and-going-to-school-in-aforementioned-slept-in-attire. Because that would just make me sound pathetic. 

What I've got for you today is just one of the three displays Rebecca, some super sweet volunteer moms and I prepared for Open House. This here is our The Dot display created for International Dot Day which I blerged about here, in case you need a refresher. For our contribution, we hung all of the coffee filter dots the children created (details on that shortly), hung the collaborative oil pastel dot designs created by the fourth grade and wrote out an abbreviated version of Peter H. Reynolds' story. I was so thrilled with how this all came together, I just had to show you!

This here is the long slide of a hallway to the art room. Dude, you don't even know how badly I wanna get my mitts on some skates and disco boogie down those ramps. On the right is my art room door (you might remember The Great Wave painting I created from this post). As you can see, I've got a ton of display space outside my room. Sadly, I'm kinda sucktastic when it comes to putting up art work. I tend to hoard it all until the end-of-the-year art show. This time, we took full advantage of our space.
Here you can see the backgrounds our 4th grade created. Each of the six tables in my room was covered in black bulletin board paper and prepped with a tray of oil pastels. The kids were already using the oil pastels to finish off a separate mural project (which I cannot wait to show you this upcoming week!) so this was a good transitional project. After reading The Dot, we chatted about the variety of dots Vashti created and set to creating our own unique versions.
I have two 1/2 hour 4th grade classes back to back. So when the next group of kids were seated, they were looking at the previous class' dots...which stumped them a bit. They seemed to only want to create their own dots so a chat about enhancing the dots and working collaboratively was muy importante.
This palette was a different collaborative project from last year that we had in the front lobby for the art show. Because the kids have created a new display for the lobby (soon to make an appearance on el bloggo), I moved the palette to outside my door.
By writing out the story, I thought visitors would have a better understanding of our display. I did notice several families reading the story at Open House which made me pretty happy. I've also noticed some big time hallway loiterers reading the story as well. And I just don't have the heart to holler at 'em to get to class.
I used the kids' "messy mats" as the storybook paper. At first I thought I could write out the entire story...but the cramping of my hand told me otherwise. So, sorry, Peter H. Reynolds! I did what my wimpy ole painting hand would allow.
When I was reading this story to one 4th grade class and we got to the very last page where is says, "Vashti stared at the boy's squiggle. And then she said..." one of the kids ventured a guess and said, "IT'S TERRIBLE!" Which, I ain't gonna lie, I kinda thought was funny. BUT I didn't tell him that.

In case you are wondering how these coffee filters were hung, it took some thinking. Yes, seriously. Originally, I thought we could simply just paper clip them together without putting holes in the filters. However, the weight of the chain of filters prevented that from being an option. So we resorted to puncturing them with one clip, connecting the second and puncturing that through the second filter. Easy.
If you've never done the painting-coffee-filters thing, it's simple. Because the kids are eventually going to be using these as kimonos in an upcoming project, they were using colors that reminded them of their favorite seasons. We left the center blank so we could see their name. Once colored in with water soluble markers, the students placed their filter on a styrofoam plate and painted it entirely with water. From there, they brought them to Rebecca who removed them from the plate and placed them on sheets of plastic.

Once on the plastic, the filters were sprinkled with coarse salt to give it that groovy speckled look.
Our largest display is in front of a bank of windows.
And there you have it, our Dot-tastic display!




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