Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

1st Grade Sunflower Still-Life Paintings

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As part of first grades Van Gogh unit, I put together this simple still-life and discussed with the students that for this project they would have to use their observational skills to replicate the group of sunflowers.  I tried the project a few different ways, with a few different media (all on 16x20" white paper).   In some classes I had the students outline their drawings in black acrylic paint, and in some I had them outline their drawing with black sharpie. I also had a few classes use tempera for the whole picture and some used crayons for their background. At first I liked the crayon background better, but on second thought, I think I like the tempera the best, it has more 'pop'!
 Here are the results.

Aztec Meets Modern Masks

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
As a culminating project to end our (very long) Aztec art unit, my fifth graders created decorative clay masks that integrate Aztec features with the modern masks of mask maker Kimmy Cantrell. 

I showed students images of Aztec masks, and then images of masks by Kimmy Cantrell.


 We discussed how by manipulating the features of the face, an artist can elicit certain emotions.  We also discussed the idea of asymmetrical versus symmetrical face forms and how shape, size, and texture can change the overall appearance of the mask. Students were challenged to design an mask digitally, using the Pixie program and then create their mask in clay.  As they worked, they had the option of changing their mask from their sketch or keeping it the same or similar.  Here are a few examples:

First Grade Sunflowers Display Case

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in ,,

As I was putting up the display case today at work everyone that passed by said "Oh, how lovely...It reminds me of Spring...I wish it was Spring"  (considering that the weather forecast was calling for a BLIZZARD TONIGHT) lol.  Oh well, here's a display case to remind us of the warm and sunny days soon to come! :) If you would like to see the original post on how the sunflowers were created you can click HeRe

Art Bytes-Sites to checkout

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
Here are some great websites I found from the "tech4arted" article of the January 2013 edition of school arts: This months theme was 'Place'

Imaging walking into M.C. Escher's Ascending and Descending...Better yet, have your students imagine it, and then show it to them!

'Tribute to Escher'

The website 360Cities is a pretty cool site in and of itself and is worth checking out

Next up is the site Build Your Wild Self , sponsored by the New York Zoo's and Aquariums, which I LOVED! The best part for me is that at the very end when you are finished it tells you a little about the features you have chosen to create your 'wild self' This would be a fantastic jumping off point for a surreal project or a science collaboration!

 Third is the American Visionary Art Museum Website.  A treasure trove of unique folksy art.

Lastly we have the Washington Post's First Ever "Peep" Show- a contest of creative dioramas inspired by everyone's favorite yellow marshmellows: Peeps.  These are toooooo cute! (Side note: not every image is 'child-appropriate)