Tag Archives: 8th grade art

Pigs for Sale

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You may have noticed the development of pig sculptures – I’ve had them on the counter as background in my #ootd pictures.  The project had a couple of components.  Students created armature with paper towels, masking tape, aluminum foil and a recycled bottle of juice or iced coffee (I have tons!).  The sculptures were engulfed in Pariscraft then painted.  Once they were done, the artists took their pigs to a secret location somewhere in the school and using their I-Pads, photographed them in a composition.  It was a really fun project.

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My Facebook friends inquired if the sculptures would be auctioned off.  I mentioned that to the students and a few got the professional artist bug, lol.  So, some of the pigs are for sale.  Proceeds will teach students a valuable lesson about their time and effort.  All pigs are priced at $50 each.

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These eight pigs are available.  Artwork can be collected at Chittenango Middle School.  Email me at ktashkovski@chittenangoschools.org to make arrangements to purchase.  All proceeds will go to the budding artists.

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American Gothic-eee

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This lesson is inspired by Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

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Students had to conceive an idea for the composition.  I had planned to have them draw thumbnail sketches, as well as lists of what props they would need – but after showing my  accelerated Studio in Art kids the ones done by my students in 2012 and 2013 via my school web-site, they just knew what they were going to do.  It was the craziest thing and really phenomenal the way they all collaborated with one another.

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Each student planned the day for their picture – we had two weeks before Christmas break and it was a tight schedule for the twelve of them.  They all brought their costumes, props and their A games with them, lol!

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I just loved how they were able to count on each other and how responsible everyone was for their respective part in both their own work and that of their friend(s).  Models allowed the artist to direct them.  The poses replicated the ones in Wood’s painting with the person on the right looking straight into the camera and the other one gazing in the distance.  I placed the school’s green screen against a wall for the photo shoots, printed the pictures then cut and pasted them to foamboard.

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They created the backgrounds using a variety of mixed-media including tissue and decorative papers, toothpicks, beads, glitter and more.  The border was done in metallic paint to act as a frame.  A picture from the internet chosen to convey a theme was selected as reference and they attacked the canvas panels with vigor.  It was so exciting to see them work.  There was so much confidence amidst the chaos of all the materials.

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Once the background was finished and dry (everything attached with Mod-Podge and/or hot glue), we placed 3-D Os on the back of the foamboard and poppped the pics on top.  The result – twelve very different, very cool mixed-media pieces that are currently on display in a glass case in the atrium of Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.

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Going Greek

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This was a fun lesson – another one of my inventions:  Greek urns.  They are made of Pariscraft, not clay.  We used the plastic water bowls as molds, so it was a stagger start since I don’t have very many of them.

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Students placed 4 layers of plaster of Paris on the bowl.  In the following class, they were in a déja vu re-run because we needed two bowl molds for the armature.  Next, they added plastic cups (from Subway, Wendy’s, and various cottage cheese varieties).  I cut the hole at the bottom of the top cup and at the top of one of the plaster bowls.  They added plaster to the separate pieces then taped the bowls together with masking tape and went back to the plaster station to complete the step.  (Aluminum foil for the handles.)

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This was followed by painting the urn one solid color and then applying Greek patterns – and more color.

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They are stunning.  I love them!  Really substantial two and three feet sculptures.  I want them to write a note to their future selves and store it inside the vessels.  I am always thinking about my thirteen-year-old self.  Is she proud of who I have become? (I know she is!)  The note would serve as an artifact, the way Ancient Greek urns found in an archeological dig teach us about the culture that once was.  So fun!

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Cows & Bulls

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Penny Santy’s bull paintings are currently hanging on the walls of the Chittenango Middle School library.  She will be visiting us on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 for an artist talk during 10th period!  In honor of her visit, four of my Art-8 classes created cows and bulls in both acrylic paint and oil pastels.

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I have them hanging on the walls of the hallway outside of my art classroom.

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The oil pastels are done on black Strathmore paper.  Students created the drawings on white paper, transferred them onto the black using graphite paper (which introduces a bit of magic, and you all know I love magic!).  Then they painted out the lines in black acrylic and went to town with the pastels – creating rhythm and texture via their own individual styles.

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The acrylic paintings went through the same initial process – drawn on white paper, transferred with magic .  Students were also encouraged to create their own styles, although I did have a handout to give what I call Ms. Tash Pearls of Wisdom.  These are pointers to mixing colors so that one color ends up permeating throughout the canvas.  Raw Sienna is that color.

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Black outlining was an option.  Penny Santy utilizes complimentary color schemes.  Most of the pieces she is exhibiting have an orange/blue color scheme.  I was pleased to see so many colorful animals, purple cows and red bulls, lol, as well as the rest of the rainbow.

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I wonder which ones I should enter into the Scholastic Art Awards competition?  I like them all!  Thank you, Penny Santy, for being such a marvelous inspiration to my kids!

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Something’s Fishy!

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My 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art students created these clay fish sculptures.  We used Sax under-glazes with Amaco gloss glaze on top.

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I think this is one of my favorite lessons of all time.  I just loved how much care the students took to build their sculptures and then to glaze them.  We had twelve colors.  They had to use at least six (two to three coats each).

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Roll the clay out with a rolling pin (each piece was approximately 3″ x 6″).   Then place crumpled up paper towel in the center.  Close up one side.  It will look like a waffle cone.  Add clay to the top to smooth out the head then add fins, a tail, eyes, gills and other details.  This is done using slip (clay and water) as the glue/mortar that seals clay to clay.

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They took about four classes to create and four classes to glaze.  I let the sculptures dry for two weeks before the bisque fire.

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Love them!

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New Year for the New Year

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My Studio in Art students just finished these mugs.  So – it was a glazing project.  They were ready-made bisque-fired cappuccino mugs.  Students used Mayco and Amaco glazes to create an animal of the Chinese Zodiac in honor of Chinese New Year.

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Nobody picked the monkey though!

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I took these images to post here.  Their response?

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“Oh, you and that blog!” with an eye roll, lol.

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Max-imum Effort

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I introduced the work of Peter Max to students in two of my classes. I still encouraged them to create their own style on their Statue of Liberty paintings.  Some did respond to the energy in his brush strokes.

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These are acrylic paintings on 16″ x 20″ canvas panels.

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I really love teaching students about a contemporary artist who is still alive.  They could potentially meet Peter Max, as he visits galleries that represent him all over the country – all the time.

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Max will be in Short Hills, NJ on November 14, 2015, Ft. Worth, TX on Nov. 21 and 22, and King of Prussia, PA on Nov. 28.

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Here is a link to his website – http://www.petermax.com/

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I was looking for rhythm and texture.  These paintings were part of my SLO tests.  New York State art teachers are required to give tests that are authentic assessments.  These were graded by my colleague.  I then grade her tests, so that we retain a more objective result.  Detail and composition were also assessed.

The only problem with this type of grading system is emotion is thrown under the bus.  The other teacher does not see the commitment, the emotional journey a student takes when learning to paint.  She doesn’t see the eureka moments and the process to create the product.  Oh well.  In the attempt to standardize, we roll with those punches.  Can’t fight to liberate ourselves from the standardization of public school.

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Can you see the Max in them?