There is still time to visit the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The Keith Haring exhibit will be on display until October 11, 2021. Meanwhile, on the walls of Chittenango Middle School, my students’ artwork is currently on display. It took a lot of heavy-duty stickies to get them to stay up – the tile was not particularly cooperative.
Here are some of the celebrity portraits my 8th grade Studio in Art students (from Chittenango Middle School) finished back in March. I didn’t display them because I was saving them for the school fair, which never happened.
I allow students to pick almost anyone – meaning anyone “appropriate”, and this year you will see a variety from sports, performing arts, the art world and social media (and one grand-dad). Two Steve Harveys, lol. He wins as most popular this time.
They are pencil drawings on Canton paper.
Two of my classes used hand-building skills to create these adorable clay lizards. We used the Sax Colorburst glazes. I love the colors, especially the Firecracker!!! The projects remain in the glass case in the Chittenango Middle School atrium.
We looked at the work of the Aboriginals of Australia for inspiration. Different patterns were added to the body, head, limbs and tail using a variety of techniques.
My B-day Art-8 students (Chittenango Middle School) created these clay masks. We used Sax Colorburst glazes. They have silica flakes that pop in the kiln creating confetti-like effects.
I offered students thirteen different colors and asked that they use at least six, making sure to place three coats of glaze on the mask for each color. It was tricky because the glazes transform in the kiln – there is that allowance for serendipity that doesn’t work if you are a control freak, but totally does if you are experimental.
I added a wire to the back so they can hang on the wall. Students took them home today. I miss them already!
A trip to Vince’s Gourmet Imports (440 N. Main Street, North Syracuse, New York 13212) inspired my new still life painting project. The Studio in Art students completed the course with these epic 16″ x 20″ acrylic paintings.
I have paired them here with their inspiration photograph. Students selected the picture then began with the contour line drawing. These were transferred to canvas with the magical help of graphite paper, placed onto gessoed and burnt sienna-stained canvas panels.
My main educational tip – begin with white in your mixing tray. Add raw sienna and whatever main color to the mix (blue, yellow, etc). This will insure that you don’t make too much of a color by starting too dark and adding crap-loads of white, lol. The other thing to keep in mind is to not homogenize the mixture so that you can utilize dark and light variations of the color while painting with one brush.
I am an advocate for students developing and maintaining their own styles as artists. We looked at the work of Alice Neel and Janet Fish. Some students went with the black outlines à la Neel. And Fish’s representation of glass was helpful to their decision making.
They took the paintings home today, but their images are on display in the counseling offices and will remain there throughout the summer months. I made 8″ x 10″ color copies of the paintings, mounted them to black construction paper and placed them in frames. I love this new gallery space!
I feel incredibly blessed to have shared this artistic adventure with these very talented fourteen-year-olds. Studio in Art is an accelerated high school level class that I teach to 8th graders at Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.
It takes my entire lunch period to prep for the class of twenty-three 5th graders – they are here every “A” day during 8th period. This was yesterday. Their clay slab/hand-built fish were ready to go home. I placed an empty Wegman’s bag, along with their sculptures, grade sheets and the packets for the invention project at their seats. It is organized mayhem, lol.
I say that in case you think the room is messy, because it is not really mayhem at all. They are a wonderful group of eleven-year-olds – smart, talented, happy people-pleasers. I love spending time with them. I give them a different assigned seat every class, so that they sit with different people each time. They have to hunt for their seat. It’s actually kind of fun.
I love how busy they all are in these pictures. Everyone is completely on task. The two students looking at the I-pad are checking the spelling of a word (above). Only three students did not finish their invention drawings, which I will eventually combine to be sent to the high school print department to be made into a coloring book – hopefully by the end of next class.
They recently finished a landscape illustration using Grant Wood and Grandma Moses as references, and a wood sculpture using Louise Nevelson and Yayoi Kusama as references, as well as the clay fish and the Leonardo daVinci-esque invention.
Next up is a mixed-media lesson referencing Faith Ringgold. We will add a quilted border to a dreamy drawing.
Students meet every other day for one semester, which is different than elementary school where students meet once every six day rotation for the entire school year.
Fifth graders started attending Chittenango Middle School (instead of the elementary schools) four years ago. I teach the seventh section of 5th grade (Mrs. Samsel’s class) while my colleague, Joyce Backus, teaches the other six sections (in her own classroom), in addition to teaching all of the Bridgeport Elementary School students.
So fun! <3
Once again, my 8th grade Studio in Art students created illustrations for the Oz-stravaganza coloring contest! Eight drawings were selected for 2019. They are available on-line and at various stores on Route 5 in the village of Chittenango, New York.
Students used Sharpie marker to outline their pencil drawings. This was one of the six sketchbook homework projects I assigned last quarter. I have eighteen students in my class – eight of the drawings were printed to be used in the contest. Organizer Judy Waite told me it was very difficult to narrow it down to just eight. They were all wonderful! Coloring contest drawings from previous years have been bound into a coloring book for sale at the event. Win-win!
It is truly an honor for all of us to participate in this community event. Several of these artists won the coloring contest when they were elementary students! My 5th graders are coloring the illustrations now. Entries were sent to all eligible students at Chittenango Middle School and the two elementary schools in the district. Entries are due on May 8th, 2019. They will be judged by members of the Oz-stravaganza committee and winners will be awarded at a ceremony on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 at 11:00 am in Oak Park in the village.
Chittenango, New York is the birthplace of L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz. Each year there is a festival to honor him. This year’s theme is “The Magic of Oz”. There will be all sorts of events including a parade. For more information go to the committee’s web page – here. <3
Teaching watercolor to my 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art students was probably the most significantly beautiful thing I have done at school all year. I gave them each their own palettes and set of Koi brand watercolors. They began by painting on small sheets, practicing four techniques: saving the white of the paper, glazing, wet-in-wet and dry brush.
Then I gave them Arches 300# watercolor paper. They drew landscapes with barns.
Paintings took weeks to create. Many, many days of thin coats of glazing culminating in dry brush details. These kids are extraordinarily talented. I guided them, but really, they were on auto-pilot for much of the lesson. My job was to remind them to utilize formal principles consciously – rhythm, balance, emphasis…and to insist that they trust their own hand and intuition, so that their style could emerge. My goal and hope for them, as they mature as artists in high school and beyond, is for them to stay true to who they are and what they want to evoke in their artwork.
I am beyond blessed to know these talented über-amazing young people!!!!
Paintings are currently on display on the hallway walls at Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, New York.
These are some of my Art-8 and 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art student entries. My 5th graders also took part in the contest. The deadline is March 16th so there is still time to mail in the stragglers’ art after winter break, thank goodness.
Among the recurring themes – ending world hunger, space exploration, and fun with animals. Other ideas included fashion, graduating from high school/college and cheating death.
One of my favorites was this one above – solving mysteries with the Scooby Doo gang. Who doesn’t dream about this from time-to-time? Really, I know you do!
The prize is $30,000 for the individual student, $50,000 in technology for their school and their google doodle will be on a T-shirt. It will also grace the web-site for twenty-four hours (and proclaim the winner the title of Chief Doodler for the day). So cool.
What a huge and most amazing thing it would be if one of my students wins the whole shebang?! It will be the greatest thing that would and could ever happen in my career, lol, except…this was the assignment I gave as lesson plans for the substitute when I was absent on family leave the week of my father’s passing. So, technically, I guess … no – oh, come on now, this is crazy talk…I will still take pride in a win. Making art that helps a student visualize their dreams? – now that is a win-win! <3
I thought it would be fun to create trompe l’oeil donuts. We made them from an armature of aluminum foil, paper towels and masking tape.
Students then applied Mod Podge with a brush to paper towel bits, adhering them to the armature. They really looked like glazed donuts – so cool!
Cell-u-clay was next. It is a paper pulp that is applied wet in a sort of oatmeal consistency. This was the frosting.
Each student (in two of my 8th grade art classes) created a dozen donuts. Because I didn’t think six was enough, lol. They painted the Cell-u-clay with acrylics and added decorative details.
Some students glued their finished pieces to foamboard and others placed them in boxes provided by the local Dunkin’ Donuts. The projects are currently on display in the library at Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, New York.
I just loved this project. I think everyone loved it! Students in the 9th period B day class even came in during their study hall to become “donut fairies” – they helped the A day group! Everyone helped each other and it was truly magical. So fun! <3