Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Portraits inspired by Sandra Silberzweig

Sandra Silberzweig is a contemporary artist from Toronto. She has a condition called synesthesia, which is a crossing of the senses.  This means that she may "hear" colors or "see" music.

Here is a poem she wrote called "When you are a synesthesia goddess ...... your day dreams are always in color"
I am a synesthesia goddess
I have no fear of color
It lives in my soul, dances in my heart
Spills out of my fingers flowing down a canvas
I can see your aura
Taste the color black
Feel the chill of the green wind
Smell blue butterflies
Hear the yellow rain
Life is never boring when inspiration is always around

Click here to read more about Sandra Silberzweig, the work she has done to share her experience with synesthesia and how she has turned this condition into a driving force for her creative work.

Silberzweig's paintings are bold, colorful and imaginative.  She primarily paints stylized, patterned-filled portraits. 

I worked with the third and fourth grade classes to create an assessment rubric for this lesson. We talked about what qualities artwork would need to get into the "Wowy-Zowy Zone." Students used this rubric to inspire revisions of their work and self-evaluate.  Click here to view this rubric.

Third and fourth grade artists looked at examples of Silberzweig's artwork, then created portraits inspired by her unique style.  We used chalk pastel and oil pastel and focused on choosing warm and cool color combinations and creating patterns.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cardinal Collages inspired by Charley Harper

I've always loved Charley Harper's bright and bold images, particularly those of birds.  When the cardinals arrive against the gray winter days of December, I find myself especially drawn to Harper's images of cardinals.  

Third and fourth grade artists looked at Harper's work and identified the simple shapes he used to create his birds. We used colored paper to capture the cardinal in all four seasons.