Thursday, March 4, 2010
I was inspired after the Fall NYSATA Conference and a visit to the Monet Waterlily exhibit at the MOMA (09) to teach my 2nd graders about Monet and Giverny. I debated, tempera or watercolors and settled on a standing accordion Waterlily book with the covers tempera and the body watercolor paint over oil pastels. Some chose to depict the Japanese bridge, weeping willows and lily-pads. They all had the option of collaging lily-pads and flowers onto the paintings. The kids loved Monet's work and will never forget his interest in capturing the same subject at different times of the day and year.
The first graders used their knowledge of shapes, colors and lines to create unique mandalas that reflect each of their personalities and aesthetic sensibilities. Mandalas are circular geometric designs intended to symbolize the universe. The basis of the mandala is the center from which shapes, lines and patterns emanate. Early mandalas were created in sand and stones and have origins in ancient Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism. The Star of David symbol, adopted by Judaism in the middle ages, is a common motif found in mandalas.
The 6th graders chose a photograph of a landscape and then drew a simple pencil drawing of the vista. They traced the drawing onto water color paper and then painted a watercolor version. Next they traced onto tag board and then used 1 color, white and the complement to paint a version. Next they used chalk pastel on black paper and finally they collaged tissue paper, construction paper and or magazine scraps onto a traced tag board. All four versions were hung together. You can see how some are more abstacted and others more realistic.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The 4th graders learned about the bright wooden animals carved in the Oaxacan region of Mexico. Since we dont have the tools or first aid kits for wood carving, the children drew the animal outlines on canvas. They used tempera paint to paint solid colors on both sides and then added patterns in paint and or craypas. The animals were stuffed slightly and sewn together. The students then created a striped "rug" as a colorful backdrop also inspired by the crafts of Mexico.
The 6th graders looked at real flowers and drew them LARGE in oil pastel. Some watercolored the background on top of the craypas. We encouraged them to start in the middle and have some of the flower go off the edge. They are hung in the main lunchroom throughout Winter bringing bright Spring and Summer thoughts to our snowy campus.