Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Still Life Unit

This semester my 8th graders focused on observational drawings and paintings, specifically still lifes. We looked at Dutch Baroque still lifes as well Cubism still lifes by Pablo Picasso.

With the Cubist Still Life the students studied color schemes and used chalk pastels to create these amazing works of art. 

The students weren't too happy with completing two still life art works and were all bottled out by the time we were done but I have to say that I am extremely pleased with the results. 

Maybe next time I will break up the unit by putting another project in the middle.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Landscapes a la Grandma Moses

6th grade students covered landscape artist grandma moses this year and created some of the more amazing landscape paintings I have seen from my students.

They were required to have a foreground, middle ground and background along with three landforms and one body of water. Since they cover geography in social studies I thought it would be a great idea to bring it into the art room.

I have to say that I absolutely love the way all of them came out!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Decoration Crazy

This year I was very exited and lucky when I was able to get the back of my classroom back from the speech department! Now I have room to expand as well as display more stuff. 

Most of my permanent bulletin boards were derived from the Art with Mr. E blog (the one above and the no no board below). I really love the way they came out.

All of the student artwork is usually displayed outside the art room on hallway boards near the main office and cafeteria so it is very rare for me to have artwork in the art room. This year, however, I am using the yarn and laundry clips I found to display artwork around the room. I am hoping to change it often and hopefully create an environment of student pride in their work.

We are also required to create work walls for our lessons but because I teach three different grades (6,7, and 8) it was easier this year to create three boards -- one for each grade. However, instead of creating a board with just words I have added pictures to the board to help the students remember the art terms, styles, periods and technique.

This still life board is for the 8th grade. When I took the pic over a month ago, it was unfinished but I will be taking a newer photo soon to post.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fantastic Castles

The first project of the school year is finally done and hanging! -- well at least the 6th grade one is. We spent an entire class mod (about 80minutes) looking at and discussing architecture from around the world and through out time. They really liked seeing all the different buildings and even commented on how even though they are from different cultures and times they all have similar features. 

I was really impressed with their ability to figure that out as well as articulate it.

After discussing everything they began to draw their castles out. Some students focused on castles, others were really interested in the catherdals. Especally St. Basil's in Moscow Russia. They kept calling the onion domes hersey kisses. It was really cute.

The level of discussion and talent in the 6th grade never ceases to amaze me. They are a constant surprise with their vocabulary and ideas.

After they had drawn out their castles we talked about and looked at different types of patterns. They had to decorate the facade of their castle with different patterns. 

Eventually the castles were cut out and glue to a piece of watercolor paper that had been given a colorful watercolor wash background. The contrast between the black and white buildings and the backgrounds are great! I just love how they came out.

I am extremely please with the way they all came out. I cant wait to see what else theses students have in store for the rest of the year. 6th grade is always exciting for me -- new kids coming from all different elementary schools -- it is just great! 

the only bad thing is --- this is the first time most of the have art. It is horrible that the kids have to suffer no art in elementary schools because of budget reasons.

But the end of a project is both a sad and a happy time. We are going to try to stay happy!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"BEE" Art Smart

This year I have a bulletin board that I can actually use right away! I am in the old wood shop room (the building is from the late 50's) and there are no bulletin boards -- just white dry erase boards placed over old chalkboards.

In the middle of last school year however, one of my old chalkboards was replaced with an actual bulletin board!!!! I was soo happy! I have two more that will hopefully be replaced sometime this school year! (hopefully sooner then later)

This year at my middle school we are doing PBIS -- a school-wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support program. Pretty much we reward positive and good behavior. We do not ignore the bad behavior though -- the kids just dont get a reward.

As part of this program, each teacher is supposed to have a board with the school motto on it. Ours at CCMS is to be a Peaceful, Positive and Productive school.

I wanted to post images here for all to see. Maybe it will inspire you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hi Ho, Hi, Ho Its off to work I go

In less then two weeks it will be the offical start to a new school year.

All summer long I have looked foward to this time. I was excited for what I have planned. I am still excited that I am getting to use all of my classroom this year.

I just wish I had more time. But then again my students are probably wishing the same thing.

I have so many wonderful art projects planned for this first semester classes that I just cant wait to teach them as well as see the work the students will come up with. I plan to get more art projects done this time around. Last year I was only able to get 6-7 projects done with each grade level. This time around I am hoping to get 10 projects.

I dont know if this is ambitous of me but I know the students want more and it isnt fair that they cant get more cause the class is only half a year.

We will just have to see.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


This week I was writing a design unit for my 8th grade classes based on the design movement known as Art Nouveau. Artist like Gustav Klimt, Mucha and Louis Comfort Tiffany come to mind when thinking about this style in both painting and design.

I always characterized this style with the simpliest forms and shapes. The use of geometric shapes in Klimts paintings and the use of flowers and peacock feathers in Tiffany's lamps and vases. It is such a graceful style of art.

So I decided to create my own Art Nouveau inspired piece. But what colors to use? This is always the hardest part for me.

Art Nouveau Poppies
Watercolor, Ink, stamps, prisma color pencils
Art Journal c. 2011

Well... I came across another blog that I fell in love with! The Play Date Cafe does a color challenge that really spoke to me as an artist with no clue when it comes to choosing color.

The color challenge this week was for petal pink, coral and antique gold. When I heard that I automatically thought flowers.

What inspires you?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Education Wednesday

The end of the school year is always a bit depressing.
Mostly cause I hate having to take down everything in my classroom only to have to do it again in August. lol. Guess that is what happens when they use the room during summer school (no, there are no art classes in summer school)

Apparently I am a lot messier then I believe during the school year. While cleaning my room I kept finding things I thought was lost... papers I was looking for, paintbrushes, sponges, etc. I really need to stay organized better.

And my desk really needs to be neater then this. Although these pictures were taken during the last week of school when everything was being pulled apart, this is really what my desk looked like all year.

I call it creative chaos... others call it messy. I really need a maid at school and at home. Hopefully next year will be better. I am already coming up with ideas that would be helpful... hopefully.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Education Wenesday

I try to teach a very multicultural curriculum in my art room. Although I may not be completely versed in all types and forms of art history I tend to do a serious amount of research before teaching the topics to my students.

Here in Maryland, 7th grade students cover both Ancient and Modern China in Social Studies. I love the idea of matching what they are learning in their core classes to art that I had to jump on this chance.

Here I covered the history behind Chinese Calligraphy and we discussed the popularity of the Calligraphy Characters as tattoos. I gave the students a list of commonly used Chinese Characters and they had to choose three that represented parts of themselves like honesty, trustworthy, courage, etc.

The only hard part was to use the calligraphy brushes in the traditional manner. Trust me when I tell you that creating Chinese Calligraphy isnt as easy as one would think. This art form takes years and years of practice to get it right. After one afternoon of trying to do it told me that I dont have the patience to study Chinese Calligraphy.

But the students loved it!!! All my other grades wanted to do the project and didnt understand why they couldnt. My answer to them was that each grade does different projects just like in the core classes they learn different topics and study different things each year. Well, that didnt go over very well. But my 6th graders are really excited to do this project next year.