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?