Friday, February 28, 2014

1st Grade Monet Frogs

This quarter, first-graders focused on two key art projects. First, we read "Philippe In Monet's Garden" by Lisa Jobe Carmack and learned about our inspirational artist, Claude Monet. Then we sketched frogs and discussed how we could transfer our 2D drawings into 3D clay frogs!

While our frogs "cooked" in the kiln, we discussed Monet's artistic style of impressionism and applied these concepts into painting impressionistic water and water lilies.

Check out our hard work! :) 

The much anticipated Monet Frogs all put together!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

KDG: Wayne Thiebaud's Gumball Machines

This week, kindergarteners critiqued Wayne Thiebaud's Gumball Machines and got to take finger painting to a whole new level (check out Let Your Hands Do The Talking blog post to see our little creative hands!). 

Our two day project was delicious! Here is the poem we read in conclusion:

25 cents is all I need; I beg of you, I plead!
Oh how yummy in my tummy;
Oh how delicious and non-nutitritious!
Can I please have a gumball, please!?

Wayne Thiebaud's Gumball Machines inspired our artwork image from

We practiced folding in half, following 1-step directions, and cutting out a symmetrical oval.


Add those gum balls!

Notice how our artists "filled the space"? We want full gum ball machines!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Color Mixing & Glazing!

The Patriot Life Skills artists are working hard on glazing their clay pinch pots! We are using red and yellow glazes to mix for orange and are practicing counting to 30 in order to let our glaze dry and painting our pinch pots 3 times to make it more shinier once it goes into the kiln! 

….And our final products! (We added "complimentary" blue pebbles at the bottom).

Let Your Hands Do The Talking

"A CREATIVE mess is better than tidy idleness."

I have never been known to be a clean artist. When it comes to making art, my paint palette colors always seem to blend into each other, brushstroke marks somehow make their way onto my apron, and always--I mean ALWAYS-- if something messy is involved in making art, without fail, I can expect to find a paint spot somewhere on my clothes, shoe, or hair by the end of the day! 

For me, there is a distinct difference between a sloppy mess and a creative mess. I tell our artists that I LOVE to get messy (after all, I wear an apron every day!) but we must do it in a soaring way. It is important that in the midst of our creative "messiness" that we are still following safety precautions, procedures, and being respectful of materials, our clothes, and others as we work. We ask ourselves, is the messiness the result of an accident? Playing around? Not following directions? Being so involved in our creative ideas that we don't realize our messes?

If we are getting creatively "messy" because we are so engaged in our projects and are learning each messy time to express ourselves, then by all means, let your hands do the talking!

Disclaimer: We use washable paints! (I don't know if that is more for the kids' sakes or my own!) :) 

Life Skills: Pete The Cat

Life Skills Artists are working on "P" this week and they love the book character Pete the Cat so we just had to do a project in honor of his groovy character! :)

Check out the audio book!Pete The Cat and His 4 Groovy Buttons

Art Club: Silhouette African Sunsets

The Patriot Art Club just finished creating African sunsets with giraffe silhouettes. They really got into using the expressionistic style of painting with warm colors and NOT having to "swish and tap" their paintbrushes between colors.

First, we outlined giraffe silhouettes.
Then, we painted inside the giraffe.

Then, we added a simple pattern around the exterior.

An example of our final results! Great job, art club!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

#TBT: "Our City, Indianapolis" and "Celebrating Our Roots"

#TBT (Throwback Thursday)

Today, I thought we should highlight a Liberty Park "landmark" mural that is on display in our front lobby! As an art teacher, this has been one of my proudest moments for my artists! We got a grant through the Warren Arts and Education Foundation and the fourth-graders engaged in this legacy project in order to leave an everlasting artwork for our community to appreciate!

With interdisciplinary connections to social studies, mathematics, and geography, students learned more about why Indianapolis is a great place to live! Students learned about their community and gained a sense of pride in both their city and their collaborative art. This installation hangs in our school lobby to welcome students, parents, and visitors for years to come! Even though the fourth-graders have now moved onto the intermediate school, they have no idea how impacting their mural has been just within this new school year. Our younger artists really look up to the artistic leadership of our older students!

For the sketching phase, we discussed the geography of Indianapolis and general placements of different Indianapolis landmarks. We learned about grid drawings and the importance of how to set one up. Students got to choose a few post-it landmarks to practice sketching as well as the tile that they ended up painting.

Students working together in the early stages of tile preparations. Students had to ensure the tiles matched up correctly.

We spent an entire week of classes in each fourth-grade classes practicing landmark sketches, learning about their significances, and learning how to collaborate to bring our ideas together to create a unified mural.
Students worked in tile teams to make sure their tiles matched their buddy tiles and had to make sure that they matched colors as well. 

Work in progress. 

Fourth-grade's final product, "Our City, Indianapolis"; it is a collaborative tile mural. This project was graciously  funded by the Warren Arts and Education Foundation.  This mural proved to be a huge undertaking with even greater results and an everlasting impact for our students and our school lobby!

The Patriot Art Club engaged in this enrichment mural and focused on celebrating  the wonderful diversity that Indianapolis has to offer through different cultural landmarks as well as celebrate famous Hoosiers!