Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kindergarten Night Pictures

Kindergarten artists took themselves on an imaginary nighttime walk outside. Here's what they saw. 


First and second grade artists turned their monsters from Monster Draw into large, colorful creatures with moving arms and legs. 


Fifth and sixth grade artists are slowly finishing their mandalas, which we started in celebration of International Dot Day.  Click here to learn more about mandalas.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Matisse Goldfish Collage by Grades Three and Four

Third and fourth graders looked at Henri Matisse's Goldfish painting as inspiration for their Original Works Fundraiser collages.  We started by painting a variety of colored paper using different watercolor techniques.  Then we used crayons to create a patterned background using watercolor resist.  We looked at several examples of Matisse's paintings and collages for inspiration for the patterns and colors of the background and shapes to include in our collages.  

Painted paper using liquid watercolor paint, salt, plastic wrap, bubble wrap and other techniques:

Collages inspired by Matisse's Goldfish:

Kindergarten Butterflies inspired by Eric Carle's Collages

Kindergartners are quite familiar with Eric Carle's book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."  It is a favorite moment in this story when the caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly.  Inspired by this transformation and the colorful collage art in Carle's books, Kindergarten artists used tissue paper collage to create their own beautiful butterflies.  These pieces will be used for our Original Works PTO fundraiser.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (360p) from Nasim Bobat on Vimeo.

Monster Draw Dice Game

First and second graders had a blast playing "Monster Draw" when they finished their flowers inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe.

Tissue collage flowers inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe

For this year's Original Works fundraiser, first and second graders created flowers in the style of Georgia O'Keeffe.  We looked at examples of O'Keeffe's work and close up photographs of different flowers.  Artists imagined themselves as bugs on the flowers to create make sure they filled the page with their creation.  They chose warm or cool colors of tissue paper to fill their flowers, then painted background with tempera in the opposite set of colors.

Here are some examples of Georgia O'Keeffe's flower paintings and pastel drawings.  Notice how she blends colors and captures the details of each flower. 

This color wheel shows warm and cool colors:  

Here are the flowers made by first and second grade artists: 


Today in art we filled a student request to make pumkin faces. Kindergarten artists worked on these Jack O'Lantern collages when they finished their tissue paper butterfly collages inspired by Eric Carle.

Monday, October 20, 2014

New National Visual Art Standards

The new National Core Art Standards were officially launched at 9 am today.  I think that there is a lot to like about this new set of standards.

According to the NCCAS, the revised standards are meant to “affirm the place of arts education in a balanced core curriculum, support the 21st-century needs of students and teachers, and help ensure that all students are college and career ready. The arts standards emphasize “big ideas,” philosophical foundations, enduring understandings/essential questions, and anchor/performance standards, all of which are intended to guide the curriculum development and instructional practices that leads to arts literacy for all students.”

I found this list of 10 things you should know about the new Art Standards  on the Art of Education.

Vermont Art Teachers' Association Conference

Last Friday I was fortunate to be able to attend the 2014 VATA Conference at Shelburne Museum.  There were many aspects of this day that were inspiring and rejuvenating.  It was really exciting to be in a room full of art educators from around the state, knowing that we share many interests, passions and challenges.  The keynote speaker, Jessica Balsley of, is a noted art educator, blogger and leader in art education professional development.  She spoke about how to be an "Empowered Art Teacher."  I appreciated how she acknowledged the challenges that many art teachers face, while giving tools and suggestions for how to build successful, meaningful art programs.  Overall, this day served to remind me about why I love my job and why I feel that art is an essential element of education.  I am excited to bring some of Jessica's ideas for empowerment into my classroom and my practice and I look forward to continuing to empower students through the arts.  

The Shelburne Museum was the perfect location for this conference, and we were lucky enough to have some time to explore the exhibits and observe school children on field trips in action.  I visited the printing factory to watch as the Shelburne Museum alphabet was printed on an old printing press.