Friday, April 23, 2010

Walking Field Trip

On this fabulous spring day, sixth graders took a walking field trip to the Silas Griffith Inn in Danby, Vermont where we viewed Kevin Keeler's first art exhibit. Kevin's show officially opens on Saturday, March 24th, but he kindly invited our art students to the inn to preview his work.
Kevin Keeler is a Danby artist who is passionate about painting. His work, mostly landscapes, captures the beauty of our local farms, barns, ponds, and views.  Kevin shared his enthusiasm and expertise with our young artists,  and after viewing the show we gathered outside in the sunshine for a wonderful demonstration of painting en pleine aire.
For many of our students this was their first encounter with oil painting.  Kevin demonstrated putting down an under painting, laying in the sky, color mixing, and adding details into the landscape.  
Kevin's work is a source of inspiration for young and old.  He is largely a self-taught artist whose love of art and our local beauty come together with a whole lot of charm.
Students were asked to consider the idea of style in viewing Keven Keeler's work.  Sixth graders, complete your worksheets and be ready to discuss style on Thursday.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good Luck!

Third graders learned about Chinese New Year and made these good luck banners.  The banners are traditionally hung in the home, or on the door, as part of the celebration.  I know we're a little late, but spring is exploding all around us, and I just couldn't help myself.  This is students' first attempt using the Chinese brush.  They wrote their characters and assembled their banner all in one class.  I wish I had more to show, but they couldn't wait to hang them in their own homes.  The glue had barely dried when they packed them up and took them home. 

Understand the meaning and traditions surrounding Chinese New Year Celebration.
Recognize calligraphy as an art form.
Be able to create a piece of calligraphy using traditional brush and ink.

Calligraphy: literally, beautiful writing.
Chinese New Year:  most important Chinese celebration also known as Spring Festival.
Pi: brush.
Mo: ink.

There a lots of good resources on the net.  This is the source I used for the banners whose characters mean "good fortune".

We're moving on to Chinese brush painting and will post the pictures soon.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Aren't Field Trips Fun? and a Quick Printmaking Activity

On Thursday April 8th, we took 57 students from Danby, Vermont for a long ride over the mountain to visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass.  While there, the group learned about reading pictures in the museum library.  In the gallery we viewed some really great art by Eric Carle. We learned about printmaking and saw woodblock prints in a special exhibit by artist and picture book illustrator Antonio Frasconi.  His prints are beautiful.  Now I'm on a mission to locate his books.  After breaking for lunch in the sunbathed courtyard, students visited the art studio to try their hand at making some prints of their own.  
We'd like to give very special thanks to our teachers and paraprofessionals whose willingness to come in early and leave late made our visit possible.  Thanks to parents who joined us on our trip! Thanks to the Target field trip grant for providing the bus. 
This was a cute make-and-take for any age.  To make the stamp, students glued pre-cut, sticky-back foam pieces onto a cardboard base.  The stamps were inked on homemade ink pads.  These looked super easy to make.  They were nothing more than a thin foam sponge glued onto a Styrofoam tray (looked like a section of a super market meat tray).  Thinned black tempera paint was squeezed out of an old dish detergent bottle onto the ink pads as needed by our instructor.  Each child was given an accordion book to stamp.  Those who finished early were given colored pencils to embellish or write in their books.