Friday, March 5, 2010

Superhero Cape Design




This project was about recognizing real superheroes in our community and in ourselves. I showed students work by Dulce Pinzon, a Mexican artist who photographed immigrants in their work environment dressed as superheroes. Her idea was to raise questions.. "of both our definition of heroism and our ignorance of and indifference to the workforce that fuels our ever-consuming economy." While showing students these slides we discussed what heroic traits each one possessed for their particular job and the broader question of what makes a person a superhero. Students thought of their own heroic traits and made a list of them, accompanying each one with a symbol. They sketched out their cape design, cut their symbols out of colored paper and glued them onto the cape. Lastly, students added more designs and details with oil pastel.

Special thanks to the families of these students. When I asked them to think of real superheroes in their own lives, they thought of you. I also thank my friend Megan Ellis with whom I collaborated on this project during our student teaching at RISD. Your kindess and brilliance are inspiring:-)

Monday, March 1, 2010

LE: Long live the Fauves!

Nick (kudos to this student for painting so beautifully, even with a broken arm!)




Poor Fauvists- their movement only lasted for a few years, but last week, my students paid homage to Andre Derain with their own Pont de Charing Cross paintings. Students first analyzed Derain's paintings, such as how he used brushstrokes to add texture to the landscape and unrealistic colors for the road and trees. As I demonstrated, students drew a horizon, a road in perspective, and skyscrapers in the background. I encouraged them to be daring and imaginative with their colors. Instead of using black for pavement, why not red? I hope this lesson broadened the students' expressive vocabulary. I think Derain would have been pleased to see these.

Matryoshka Dolls





I've been wanting to do a lesson on "family" and I thought Russian nesting dolls, or formerly known as, Matryoshka dolls, would be perfect. They're a collection of dolls that belong together not only by physical design but by one common element. Using this theme of belonging, students designed a group of nesting dolls that were somehow linked together, whether they were characters from a story, their actual families, or a type of food. Students drew and painted on strips of watercolor paper and glued them together. The cylinders are hollow inside so each piece stacks on top of the other.