Thursday, February 24, 2011

LE: Cave Paintings

When I think of cave men, the "it's so easy, even a cave man can do it" Geico commercials come to mind. But a look at cave paintings prove otherwise. They are breathtaking, anatomically precise, and there's nothing easy about it. The purpose of these mysterious paintings are yet to be discovered, but one theory is that shaman (communicators of the spirit world) painted animals in order to capture their spirit and ensure the success of the hunt. Students pretended they were shaman and started their mystical process. They first crumpled up a recycled sheet of paper and painted an animal in earthy colors. They also added a layer of soft pastels and colored the background. When they were done, they "signed" their painting with their handprint, a symbol of the shaman's identity.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thank You Aaron Meshon!!

I am so excited to show these photos. Last year, UE students created personal maps that were inspired by RISD illustrator Aaron Meshon. Aaron found the students' work online and generously mailed us his beautiful postcards!! I was speechless. He also included a wonderful letter for me to read to the class. The students were so awed and touched. They LOVED the postcards and couldn't stop looking at all the clever and fun details in them that make Aaron Meshon's maps so unique. I think they all want to go to RISD now! If you're reading this Aaron, my students and I say a big THANK YOU and we are your biggest fans!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Community Art Project

This year’s community art project was inspired by Wassily Kandinsky’s Farbstudie painting. You may remember that I did this lesson with LE at the beginning of the year for the sole purpose of experimenting with color. I've expanded that lesson to incorporate the symbolic significance behind the Circle. According to Kandinsky, the Circle is the most peaceful shape and represents the human soul. Other meanings are unity, nurturing, and infinite energy.

The goal of this project was for students to explore different expressions of the Circle and communicate it through rings of color. After discussing extensively as a class, each student from LE-MS painted their idea on a small square canvas. Some students painted cycles, such as seasons, planets revolving around the sun, human and animal life, or time. Others painted the emotional quality of the shape. Teachers will be participating in this as well so stay tuned for the final product!

Friday, February 18, 2011

MS: Optical Art

Middle school students are finishing up their optical drawings based on the work of French Hungarian artist, Victor Vasarely. Special thanks to Mrs. Smith for inspiring this lesson! The students were really invested in their drawings and they came out great.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Lower El. students learned about Pop artist, Andy Warhol, and painted his famous Campbell's soup cans. We talked about how Pop art was inspired by mass produced products and that Warhol turned them into art. Was he mocking Art? I don't know yet, but I decided to leave out the controversy for this one;-) Some of the flavors students made up are hilarious. My favorite is Zoe Free Hary Soup.... I don't even want to know what that tastes like, but I love it.