Monday, September 29, 2014

1st Grade Whimsical Flowers

I'm just now getting around to posting some of the first finished art projects of the year.  So expect to see some exciting projects--there are some I have been super anxious to share!

This was 1st grades first project of the school year.  We started out in full force to get these babies done.  The walls in the school are so long and white we needed to get something bright and colorful up ASAP.  This was a two day lesson: Day 1 was spent painting the background with neon orange and pink, students also used blue, green, and purple liquid watercolors to create the centers.
Day 2 was all about cutting and gluing.  I forgot what a challenge this could be for 1st graders.  I used leftover scraps of any type of yellow paper to create the petals.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Question that Makes All of the Hairs on the Back of Your Neck Stand Up

“This is pointless, why do we have to do art anyway?”
I know I am not the only one who hears this throughout the school year, in fact; multiple times.  In that moment those words hit your ears, the anger feelings come rushing towards you like you've discovered all of the markers in your classroom without the caps, or EVEN worse the silver sharpies you had to special order are lidless and left in the corner to shrivel and dry.  Yet, every time you hear it you have to bite your tongue and stay cool, calm, and collected as you begin your rationalized speech (that you've memorized because you've said it so many times).  At this point the class has probably stopped working, not because you told them too, but because they are either scared or just curious.  This might be the quietest the class will be all year so you know they are listening.  The speech will usually start like this:

"Do you like video games?"
Most respond yes.

"Well, that's interesting.  Now how would you play those games if someone didn't know how to draw?"

"How did you know how to pick out that color of shirt to wear with those pants?"
Someone will respond that they know what colors look good together.
But then someone will mutter under their breath that their mom picked it out.

"Well, how do you know what colors look good together?"
We've learned about color theory and the color wheel in art.

"Raise your hand if you've ever owned a shirt that has been screen printed on or has a logo."
All hands go up.
"Well get this,  someone had to design that...WHOA I know."

and the list goes on...
Graphic Designer
Animator (designing and creating drawings for cartoons, movies, and video games)
Movie Special Effects Artists
Art Gallery Owner
Art Museum Manager/Curator 
Book Illustrator
Comic Book Artist
Art Therapist
Visual Artists: Sculptor, Painter, Ceramic(Clay), Printmaker
Interior Design
Photographers (Fashion, Studio Portraits, Sports, Outdoors etc.)
Art Historian
Police Sketch Artists 
Screen printers (t-shirt design)

 By the end they get the point and they know not to ask the question that should not be asked.

Of course, I'm the art teacher so I am going to defend what I am passionate about. Still, each time it does hurt a little bit inside.  It kind of saddens me a little bit because art class should be a time for students creative minds to run wild.  Lately, I've been coming across students that want me to tell them how to think while creating their own work.  It's like all the creativity has been sucked out of the world or as a 2nd grader told me today maybe they have "so much stuff in their brain that it hurts."  

Now, don't get me wrong do I expect everyone to LOVE art--no.  However, like my 6th grade teacher always said "Life isn't fair," she hit that one right on the head.  Being life that it is, sometimes we just have to do things we don't want to do like put the silverware away from the dishwasher, or make your bed, or mow the lawn, or go to art class--that's life.

Here are some articles I encourage you to look at that may give you some art education inspiration: 

On that note, I hope your weekend has BIG things in store...
One can only hope as big as my glasses.

***Attention Muggles: I did not wand this to be Harry Potter themed, it just happened.***

Friday, September 5, 2014

That 1st Day of Kindergarten...

Oh kindergarteners, how you challenge and test me.  So what do you have them do on the first day of art class? MAKE SOMETHING REALLY AWESOME.  And of course something they can mirror you to see if they have the ability to follow instructions.  I did this lesson last year, but decided this was going to be my first project this year. Simple cutting, gluing--DON'T forget the sharpies and paint too (insert kindergarten cheers here)!!!!

So far I've seen each group of kindergarteners (7 sections) 3 times.
Here are my favorite things they have said to me:
"Are we going to talk about stranger danger today"
"This place (talking about the art room) is so awesome I'd like to take naps in here."
One student will only call me Mister.

I'm often referred to as:
"Mr. Artmaker"
and my favorite...
"Mr. Paintbrush Master"

...and then there are always a few vases that accidentally get knocked off the table.