Saturday, October 31, 2015

SJS Impressionists: En Plein Air

Seventh graders enter in a flurry of buzzing activity, quickly collect brushes, paint, paper, boards, water, and cups.   They know time is of the essence.  Items in hand, we move through the halls and main entrance into the soft breeze of a warm fall day.  Still abuzz, everyone quickly fills water cups, and excitedly wanders off to locate the perfect spot.   Within minutes, here's what I see: 
SJS artists experiencing firsthand what it might feel like to be 19th century French Impressionist painters. 
Twenty-five short minutes later,  each artist has captured a "quick impression" of the effects of light on their chosen subject.  Students tried to paint with short, choppy brushstrokes, lay pure colors next to each other, avoid using black or brown, and capture a moment in time. 

So many students appreciated making art "en plein air", as did the impressionists, that we hope to draw outside again in spring!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Day At The Museum

There's nothing like being in front of REAL ART!   
Seeing the art's actual size and scale, viewing brush strokes, reacting to the real colors and textures..... 
While Google Art Project works great to show students paint globs and brushstrokes, 
leading third graders into an art gallery brings spontaneous choruses of "WOW!" , delighted gasps, and pure amazement. 

Last week their teacher and I brought third graders to The James A. Michener Art Museum in nearby Doylestown.   Friendly and knowledgeable docents, Miss Carol and Miss Maureen, led our excited kids through the large gallery spaces.   These patient docents asked questions and listened to MANY responses, leading kids through the process of discovery and response to various forms of art.  We were able to view exhibits such as the"Bucks County Impressionists", the "George Nakashima Reading Room", and "Veils of Color": Recent Work by Elizabeth Osborne.  

During the last half hour of our visit, children had the opportunity to observe and sketch artworks of their choice. 
Would you and your child would like to view some of the art we saw?  click here.

After lunch, third graders and chaperones walked a few short steps across the street to the Mercer Museum.  I can't tell you how much they anticipated what lie ahead: LEGO® CASTLE ADVENTURE.

As their art teacher, I felt excited to revisit castle architecture studied last year (Click here to view). And yes, that happened. There were multiple lego castle models illustrating medieval life and architectural details. 
 But the true attraction here was in pretend play opportunities, medieval dress up, and LEGOS! 

Designing a castle
Trying our hand at jousting

All in all, children, chaperones, and teachers declared this a very successful class trip!  Thank you to the parent chaperones and to all parents who made this day possible.

NOTE: While walking through the school hallway today, I came upon written descriptions of our trip. Parents, prepare to be amazed at all your children learned, and at their skillfully written pieces! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Seasonal Walk/ Seasonal Art

Our school's focus this year is on sustainability and caring for the environment.   Oh my gosh, we could investigate this topic for an entire year in the art room!

Fall colors automatically turn our attention to nature and I REALLY wanted to take the first grade outside to explore and collect natural materials.  Then I learned their teacher had planned a "seasonal walk" outside to observe and collect their findings.  Bingo!  She kindly agreed to save the collected natural objects for use in art.
In the art studio, children began by exploring, investigating, and discovering.  I asked questions like "What shapes make up that seed pod?"  Children observed shapes, lines,textures, and colors. 
After that, I demonstrated how to stamp print objects onto paper and asked, "What other ways could we use these natural materials to make marks on paper?" The only rule: paintbrushes could NOT be used on paper, only to paint the objects themselves for stamp printing.

 Kids could no longer contain their excitement and began delving into their own investigative, creative world : )

Friday, September 25, 2015

Family Selfies!

It seems only fitting to begin this school year by creating family selfies.  What's more important to a child than his/her family? Children visually express something they care deeply about, and I learn so much about each and every student!  

But why this year, you ask?  Because the World Meeting of Families is being held at this very moment, nearby in Philadelphia. 
In honor of the gift of our families, we assembled our selfies and created two collaborative, school-wide murals celebrating family.