Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sketchbooks and Portfolios

You probably already know this, but the fourth, fifth and sixth grades students all have their own sketchbooks.  We keep them in the studio bookcase and they're available to work in when the students finish their assigned projects.  Next week the students will be working directly in their sketchbooks as we take a critical look at artwork held in the collections of important museums.  After comparing and contrasting some of these major works, the upper grades will respond to the work directly in their sketchbooks, while the lower grades will work on paper to be filed in their portfolios.   And in case you haven't been down to the studio, here are some photos of  sketchbooks and  student's portfolios that I took earlier in the year.

Thank you to the PTA for these wonderful sketch books

This is a shot of our wall of portfolios before they started filling up with our weekly art projects!

By the way, we'll  be taking down the cave walls.  But the work won't be gone for good, it'll be set aside for a later date for student's to incorporate in assemblage and collage projects.

This last week offered a time to reflect on what each and everyone of us holds to be dear and then offer our thanksgiving.  I am truly thankful to have the opportunity to make art each week with your children.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shhhh! Listen!

Step into the East End Studio and the only sound you'll hear is the sound of happy voices making art!

Oh, you may hear the occasional sound of the boiler clanking away and footsteps on the stairs.  You might hear the sound of the paper cutter slicing construction paper, or the Ellison cutter stamping out alphabet letters.  You might even hear the sound of the broom sweeping up scraps off the floor at the end of a lesson.  If you come in the middle of the lesson, you could hear the sound of small scissors snipping away or the intermittent splash of water if brushes are being dipped into yogurt containers full of water.   Maybe even the sounds of thirty hands rushing in the air to signal the sharing of an answer to a provocative art question.  But, I can assure you, you'll not hear the sounds of the metal stools on concrete floors that USED to drive parents and teachers to distraction.  Nope, they'll be silent.  Thanks to the generous parent that supplied bags of tennis balls to slip on our classroom's stool legs and Suzanne Seigneur who managed to pierce an "X" in to each and every ball and slide it on a roomful of stools!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time for the Turkey Trot!

The East End Studio was busy all week  preparing turkeys for the annual luncheon! These turkeys are headed for the table, but not in the usual way.  They'll be decorating our tables, so make sure to find the one with your child's name and grab that gobbler and take him home.

We started the project by stuffing disposable gloves with a delicious assortment of colored crepe paper.

The children stuffed the thumb and fingers of the glove to create the turkey's head and feathers.  They then went to the tubs of shredded paper to fill the body and mounted the "bird" on a stand.  Eyes and beaks and an occasional waddle and hat were the final touches.  One kindergartner exclaimed "I was born ready to make these turkeys!"

But what would a harvest table be without a cornucopia?  The upper grades were busy making turkeys and harvesting hand made vegetables, too.   They started with apples.  Or are they tomatoes?  They could even be pomegranates!  Your call.

And then they moved to eggplants!

The harvest grew to include some carrots:

And then there were demands for fresh greens, so the lettuce and cabbage began filling the bushel, or was it a peck??  Oh, the peck was the sound of this little turkey who kept turning up in every crate.

Again and again

and again!

Oh, don't miss the nearly two dozen ears of corn made by Mr. Downey's class that will also fill the cornucopia centerpieces on the luncheon tables.   It will be a delicious feast, as well as a  feast for your eyes and a reminder to be thankful and to continue to count our blessings.

Happy, happy thanksgiving from the East End Studio and all the children and fabulous art moms who worked so hard to make your feast so enjoyable!

Bon Appetit!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A School of Turkeys!

I know, it's supposed to be a flock of turkeys, isn't it?  Or is it a gaggle of turkeys, or a swarm of turkeys, . . .  maybe it's a team of turkeys?   All I know is we have  a school and studio plum full of turkeys, so we'll settle for a "school of turkeys".  They'll be pecking their way through the Thanksgiving luncheon and gobbling their way into your hearts.   You're invited to help your student find his or her gobbler before leaving the luncheon and then take them home and put them in a prominent place  on your holiday table.  Each student stuffed his or her bird with recycled newspapers and colored crepe paper, so their brightly colored versions put these pale creatures to shame.

Just wait until you see our fine feathered friends!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What side of the turkey has the most feathers?

The outside!

And we'll be busy stuffing feathers to decorate the tables for the Roosevelt Cafe Thanksgiving Lunch on Thursday!  So how do you stuff a feather?  Just ask your favorite student because they'll be busy stuffing feathers,  turkeys and cornucopias this week in preparation for this popular event.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Starlight, Sunlight

     To celebrate next week's Leonid Meteor Shower, the  third, fourth, fifth, sixth and GATE classes designed 12 point shooting stars.   Starting with a piece of white paper, students placed two large points anywhere within the borders of their paper.  They then randomly added 12 smaller points and connected each of the 12 small points to the two larger points to create a geometric design.  Choosing either a warm or cool palette, students filled in the interior shapes with colored pencil and used a black sharpie pen to outline the colored shapes.  Once the "stars" were complete, students cut them out and glued them to black paper.  The final touch included an option for the addition of glitter for sparkle!  You'll find many of the stars shining in the classrooms and hallways. 
     Check out the meteor project done by Mrs. Heusser's class:

Here's the work of Mr. Socia's class:

 Students in grades K - 2 were inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's Enclosed Field with Rising Sun 27-2/3" x 35-1/2" oil painting and created an impressionist landscape of field, fence, mountains and a bright ball of sunshine. 

     Using colors similar to those found in the original VanGoh oil painting, students dipped only their index finger in tempera to paint a textured, foreground, middle ground and background.  Our portfolios are filling up with wonderful works of art!

     Here's the work of Mrs. Engel's class:

Your students are shining like the stars and the sun!  And we're having a great time, too!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Scratch Foam Arborglyph Prints

This week we learned about arborglyphs (tree carvings) made by immigrant shepherds in the mountains of Idaho. Students looked at photos of aspen trees and identified the various marks that appear on the bark.   


Each student was then given a sheet of scratch foam to carve their own names with the marks they witnessed to make their own arborglyph prints.  After etching in the foam with a small stick, the foam plate was rolled up with light gray ink and placed on the center of a black strip of paper and run through an etching press.  

Here's a close up of an etching:

Students then rolled light gray ink over their foam plate and brought it to the etching press.

They carefully placed their foam plate in the center of the black paper and covered their inked foam with the printing blanket.

When the blanket was in place, the students turned the handle on the etching press to produce their prints.

After moving the print through the press, the blanket was lifted and the foam plate was removed to reveal the fresh print.

The prints were then taken to their work stations and students sponged on color to represent autumn leaves on their aspen arborglyphs.

Enjoy the beautfiul arborglyph prints made by our students!  Be sure to click on the individual images to enlarge each photo.