Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why I love Teaching Art- Pt. II

In one day, I looked around the art room and found so many reminders as to why I absolutely love my job.
To begin, I was playing music from a popular station through the speaker system in my class, as I usually do to boost motivation.  A techno song came on, and one of the students shouted out, "We're in Club George!".  The whole class got a kick out of it.  When I went to check on student art in the next class, I found the following pallet being used... I have a low tolerance for graffiti in the class, but I loved this!  (and it washed up easily later :)

In the next class, a student proudly showed me his unique paintbrush, created when his other one broke.  

 And finally- I got to present a great lesson on creating a colour wheel- with animal crackers and icing.  The look on the student's faces when I said that they could EAT their assignment was priceless. 

Encaustic Collage- Grade 9-10 Art AVI1O AVI2O

Here is an example of an encaustic collage that I had the grade 9-10 students create.  First, we discussed some guidelines for composition, such as layering, cutting out the backgrounds, using objects of different sizes, and placing objects off-centre, etc.  Next, the students created a collage of magazine pictures on a piece of cardboard.  Finally, they "glued" down each layer with hot wax and ironed the pieces smoothly together at the end.  The neatest thing about using the wax as opposed to glue is how it made the colours so vivid, with a dreamy quality created by the extra wax on the bottom right hand corner.  Brilliant!
The students often start the assignment thinking that it will be really easy- I mean, we're just cutting up magazines.  However, they quickly realize how difficult it can be to find images that balance with each other, and to create a brand new scene where the pictures look professionally composed.  However, they get really into it and I rarely have any complaints- it's a fun challenge for students of all abilities. 

Encaustic collage, created by grade 9 student Shelby Fortney

Community Connection- ARTicles Shadow BoxExhibition

     Our school has recently been asked to participate in the ARTicles Shadow Box Exhibition, being displayed at Victoria Jubilee Hall in Walkerton from May 11th until May 14th. After the exhibition, the shadowboxes will be sold and all proceeds will be going to the Youth Literacy Council in Hanover.
     Here is my contribution to the show. The suggested theme was Waterlife, which is what I decided to follow. This piece was created with transparent photographs mounted on broken glass, to create a 3D environment that depicts two different scenes, depending on how you place it. I ended up calling it Rush Hour.
     Two of our grade 12 students created pieces as well which I look forward to displaying as soon as I get some pictures.
     Additionally, I look forward to posting pictures of the annual Walkerton Juried Art Show, which will start on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011. About 20 of our students participated and I can't wait to share the excitement of having their art displayed in the community!
*  A special thank you to Mr. Mount who helped me construct the special shadow box *

Rush Hour, by S. George-Easton, 2011
Rush Hour, by S. George-Easton, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Grade 9-10 Soap Stone Sculpture AVI1O AVI2O

When I showed my students examples of their next project, soap stone sculptures, they got very excited and also very nervous.  They were afraid that they would never be able to make pieces that they would be proud of showing to their families- I assured them it would be really easy.  The only materials required to complete these sculptures were a piece of Brazilian soap stone, a small saw, a carving tool and some sand paper to smooth it out (I get all of my materials from from London, Ontario.  It takes patience to round out the edges of the stone, but the students find it really enjoyable to carve and socialize.  Here are some examples of their results.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Grade 11-12 Visual Arts Sketchbooks AVI3M AVI4M

Some of my favourite assignments to mark are the senior student's sketchbooks.  Each week they are asked to experiment with new materials for one hour and reflect on why or how they created their sketch.  I've recieved really innovative pieces- made of makeup, cardboard, 3D paper, nail polish, spray paint... here are some of my favourites. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Grade 9-10 Scratchboard AVI1O-AVI2O

These pieces are created on scratch-board, therefore the students have to remove the highlights (white areas) in order to create an image- sort of the opposite of drawing with pencil.  They did these pieces completely  freehand- keep in mind that you can't fix mistakes with these boards!  These are some of the most detailed from the group.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Grade 12 AVI4M Tonal Instruments

These instruments were drawn as a still-life observation with conte.  Students chose their own composition and colours. 

Grade 11 AVI3M Pattern Drawings

While this images are complicated visually, they are even more complicated because of the ideas behind them.  The students were asked to choose a theme or design that would unify the main subject along with the pattern in the back.  For example, in the piece below, Jocelyn used scans of her cousin's organs and combined images of his cancer growing in the background.  This piece forces the viewer to take a closer look at what is going on and perhaps to reflect on the preciousness of life in times of struggle.