Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Watts Towers Field Trip - A Great Time For All!

A view of the base of the towers and decorative surrounding wall.
In November we took the 3-5 graders to see the Watts Towers. This was one of my favorite field trip destinations when I was in elementary - I think we went every year or so it seems. Since then things have gotten even better. They have added on an art gallery and a teaching studio. The tour includes a video about the artist who built them by hand, Simon Rodia, a tour of the towers, a tour of the gallery, and an art activity let by a highly qualified art educator. We had 35 kids and I was impressed at how he held their attention as he modeled each step of the printmaking process they were going to do.

On the tour.
Educator taking questions from our curious students.

Work in progress.

After the print the students wait patiently.

Here are some of the wonderful finished prints by our students:

Our art board at school.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Middle School Surrealist "Handscapes"

For this project I showed my students videos about Dalí. They learned how he was influenced by his dreams and subconscious. They learned that many of the anthropomorphic forms in his paintings that resemble large rocks are based on rocks he actually saw in the landscape where he spent much of his childhood.

For the assignment they used their hands in a similar way that Dalí used the rocks - they drew them and then changed them into something else while still allowing them to be hand like.

Here are the terrific results:

Our board!




Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Expressionist Pastel Drawings Have Feeling

Inspired by a fellow art instructor here at Ribét - thank you Mr. Impert! - I taught a mini-lesson on Expressionism to my high school art class. We looked at Van Gogh, Munch, Pollock, and other Expressionists to see how the line quality, color, and feeling differed from more constrained and realistic paintings. Then the students chose from magazine images and were instructed to make an expressionistic drawing inspired by the photo. Here are some of the amazing results: