Sunday, October 23, 2016

Inspiring Painted Garden Stones

At our school, we're trying to be good stewards of our earth and think more about sustainability. How can we take care of the gifts God has given us? How can we show kindness to earth's creatures?  One way to do this, we've decided, is to create an Animal Habitat Garden. Working through phases, our goal is to have a welcoming garden space by Spring.   

Phase one began by outlining the garden area with colorful, hand-painted garden stones. As a school community, students came together to paint stones with inspirational messages and nature themes. Stay tuned as we watch our garden grow! 

Every child selected his or her special stone.
Sorted and cleansed, stones await their fate! 
Buddies came together to paint a base color...
...and plan designs. 
Hundreds of blank "canvases" lined the hallways.


Students and faculty gathered together for the opening ceremony.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Inspiration: Changing Seasons/Changing Lessons

So I'm not sure what just happened, but I am sure awesomeness was involved. 
Second graders just finished inventing free-form shapes in an abstract design on scratch art paper.  We like to call it "magic paper" :)  They mounted their art on a color of their choice, glued on a name tag, and prepared for the next lesson. 

Every student received a large maple leaf and looked at me expectantly. What now?  I planned to begin this beautiful, quick-ish lesson: trace the leaf, add waxy color, then learn to experiment with pattern and crayon resist. Yep, all ready. Results would surely dazzle all viewers.

So what happened?  Each individual artist's face looked up at me expectantly. And I couldn't do it.  I just couldn't ask them to create MY plan, where in the end they'd all have a beautiful, colorful artwork.  
According to my vision, that is. 

So , instead, I asked these questions: Artists, what kind of art would you create with this leaf?  What does it make you want to do?
Eyes glistened.  Hands jolted up.  We listened to every artist's unique ideas.  And next week, we explore, question, innovate, and create.  Stay tuned!  

Meanwhile, enjoy some of today's fished creations. 
Questions: What kind of free form shapes can I invent? How can I include size variety to make my art more interesting?  How can images of cells under a microscope inspire me to design a background? How do artists incorporate pattern?








Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SJS Tree of Kindness

Presenting the Tree of Kindness! 

All boys and girls in grades K-8 participated in creating this gorgeous tree of life. 
It reminds us that we are one tree, one school, branching out to all we meet in kind thoughts, words, and actions

Students designed circles to represent themselves and the gifts they share with others. Thanks to my fifth grade helpers who so kindly assisted me in gluing the circle "leaves".  (You can find this mural near the car line entrance and cafeteria steps). 

And so we begin the 2016 school year with our first collaborative artwork! 












Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Opening the Art Studio!

 Welcome back blog followers, students, and families to the new school year 
and the SJS Art Studio Blog. 
September brings the promise of new starts,
 new ideas, and new goals to pursue- isn't that refreshing?  It sure is for me! 

As you can imagine, while students and families have been reveling in their last moments of summer adventures,  many teacher elves busily designed new bulletin boards and classroom displays to help inspire our learners. 

So student artists- 
here's a sneak peak at our first collaborative school wide art piece! 
 I love to begin the year where every single student from kindergarten through eighth grade comes together to create one unifying vision.  Can you guess what we might create with this giant "Tree of Life"?  HINT: It will have something to do with our school theme, "Kindness starts with me. At SJS, we pay it forward." 


 You'll find out when we meet in art class next week!  Until then, I'll continue to prepare our art studio and get our lessons ready for your arrival! 
Can't wait to see you and begin our art adventures! 



Friday, June 10, 2016

Class of 2016: Year in Review


Congratulations to the SJS 
Class of 2016

(Cue the confetti: if I knew how to make it happen, I would)


What a whirlwind of a year we had. I feel like I merely blinked, and it's over. 
Remember kicking off your eighth grade year by collaborating in this school wide "family selfie" mural uniting our SJS family? 





Then we moved outside to explore Andy Goldsworthy and Environmental art. Ephemeral became our new vocabulary word.





Back in the art studio, we delved into the art and life of Pablo Picasso, settling on cubism, and embarking on the (seemingly never ending) cubist still life.  We learn something from every experience in life, even our least favorite, right? 

With Christmas fast approaching,we put on our crafty hats and stitched mini stuffed sculptures. They made perfect gifts for your families, but were just a bit different than Claus Oldenburg's giant stuffed sculpture hamburger!



 A new year began a new lesson: Pop Art and Andy Warhol. Memories of exploring and innovating in block printmaking...






Demonstrating your new found skills at the Visual Arts Festival.... 

 And finally, one more foray outside to experience for yourselves what the Abstract Expressionist art style and Jackson Pollock's action painting are all about. Finding out that the act of creating can be as important as the completed artwork.....




And thank you to the dedicated 8th grade Scenic Designers- you made it happen! 




Some of you I've taught since Kindergarten, and others I've met only this year - it's been my honor and pleasure to watch you each of you grow and develop as creators and as individuals. 


May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back. 

May the sun shine warm upon your face; 

the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.