Deceptively simple in its objective, create a work of art that emphasizes an element of art. We're talking the basics here; line, texture, space, shape, form, value, color.
Of course many works of art demonstrate more than one element but the point here is to make it apparent which element the artists was emphasizing.
After that, anything goes as far as media or scope of the project. here are some of the finished pieces. Are the emphasized elements obvious?
Most of our units are based on how artists think and work so it shouldn't be too surprising to see a unit on observation. Artist observe all the time to learn, to react and to capture images for their work.
For this unit, we explore several different ways artists observe including still life, scientific illustration and urban sketching. We also worked with a few different media including pastels and watercolors. For the final project, the students could choose any media they wanted. All I asked was that the piece be created from observation... that is to say, actually looking at the thing you are making art about.
It tuns out not everyone enjoys creating observational art. I think this fact was captured beautify in the story of the painting above. What follows is an excerpt from Sadie's blog, the artist who created the piece..
"I did may more layers and touched up somethings and when I thought I was done i stepped back and realized i really hated it. Sure it was the project and I could turn it in, but it was painfully boring, it had nothing interesting about it. I started to talk to my classmates about how I didn't like the project because there is nothing interesting to observe here and it takes talent and not creativity. The events to follow were an unexpected turn of events but in my opinion made the piece.
I grabbed a paintbrush and dipped it into the red watercolor and mixed it with lots of water to dull the bright red down. What started out as just a little blush turned into black and red running down her face. I liked the way it turned out but then I wanted to name it. The classmate wanted to paint a giraffe for her project but since there wasn't a giraffe in the classroom she couldn't do it. In the painting it looked like she was sad while painting so I named it "I just want to paint a giraffe""
nWe're kicking off the year with the straight forward, yet challenging unit. The learning objective is theory is simple, execute a work of art that emphasizes a traditional element of art.. you know the type, line, shape, form, value, etc... The tricky part is deciding which element to feature and how to go about presenting that element without over emphasizing a secondary element.
meanwhile, we started the year by introducing journaling. Each student received a book which they will be able to alter throughout the year. Many students are using their journals to experiment with different ideas for their Emphasis project. Some are even creating their final piece inside their journal books. Here's a look at some of the works in progress...
We hung the beginner art class first art show in the display case today. I say we are off to an outstanding start! Pieces include This Is Flat, Origami, Rocky and Graphic Design to name a few. The display case is right across from the from office so stop by and check it out!
At South B, we like to jump right into the art making. With that idea in mind, we took a look at the Tantamounter Project. The project was created by a group of artists in NYC who would collect objects from the public and in about 45 minutes, they would return the object with a work of art that was tantamount to the original. View the project here.
Today's Challenge: I set out a wide range of interesting object... a pumpkin in a cauldron, a cornucopia, and old telephone. Next, I explained where art supplies and various other materials could be located in the room. Then I said, "Form teams, pick an item, and create something tantamount to it. You have less than an hour to complete the task."
That's not a lot of direction and at first everyone sort of waited to hear if there would be more. A few students whispered their questions.. "How big did he say the teams should be?" Can we use the paint?"
After the realization that instruction time was over, a few students got up and headed towards the items. Then everyone jumped up. They grabbed tape and markers, cardboard and paint. They went right to work creating their tantamounters.
Not a bad first day of art.
Just because its summer doesn't mean we can take a break. Besides getting ready for the upcoming school year, planning units and ordering supplies, we'll also spend some time selecting art work that will be featured in SchoolArts Magazine.
In the upcoming months, SchoolArts Magazine will be publishing a series of articles written by Sands and featuring art work created by our artists at South B. The first article in the series appears in the September issue and is titled What to Expect when you Change to Choice. You can read the article online here.
For our last project of the 15/16 school year, we decided to create some interactive murals for the courtyard. First we created our designs on paper. Next, we moved into the courtyard to fill in color. We were on and off a few days due to a few rain drops (all my students are made of sugar and would melt if they went out in the drizzle, but luckily the rain it didn't affect the murals).
Here is a look at some of the finished murals...
Thanks to a technology grant, we were able to purchase a Makerbot Replicator Mini 3D printer. It arrived today and we spent no time getting it out of the box and set up to print. Our first print, a penguin that one of the students made on the iPad in class last week.
Here is a photo journey of the process from box to 3D penguin. it took about an hour and a half to print. Next, we need to get a few more apps on the iPads to really get the ball rolling.
We have moved on to step two of our interactive murals, blocking in color. Currently we are using rather large, Prang sidewalk chalk. still, we are going through them rather quickly. Some of the students got the bright idea to mix the chalk with water and turned it into paint. this worked really well for covering large areas.
Next step will be to move to the details. We have smaller chalk pastels for that. Stay tuned!
For our last project of the 15/16 school year, we decided to create some interactive murals for the courtyard. What's an interactive mural you ask? Well simply put, its a mural, created in chalk, that leaves out the person. This way the person can step into the art and become one with the art. Then, the person who takes a photo really creates the art. The photo becomes the art, the photographer becomes the artist.. it's mind bowing, I know.
We started by planning out ideas on printed photographs of the courtyard wall. This helped the students decide how big things should be and how thing will be placed on the space on the wall. Today, we started with simple outlines. We want to make sure the idea will look how we want it to look before we start the laborious task of coloring.
OK hopefully it won't rain... ever