October 3

ART SHOW POSTER

My students had an opportunity to draw up a poster for the Cambridge Primary School Art Show which will be on the 23rd ad 24th October – yes, just a few weeks away!!!!!

Here are the finalists!

I love the dotty lettering style on this one.

Art show poster drawing 8 2015

Art show poster drawing 8 2015

This one was huge and made by a beautiful pair of sisters showing off all their art skills. This photo just doesn’t do it justice.

Art show poster drawing 7 2015

Art show poster drawing 7 2015

More lovely lettering.

Art show poster drawing 6 2015

Art show poster drawing 6 2015

I love how this one has used the school logo.

Art show poster drawing 5 2015

Art show poster drawing 5 2015

And who doesn’t love glitter??? I certainly do! Well, I suppose Lucy, our wonderful cleaner, doesn’t like it much. And, as you can see, lot’s of it did end up on the hallway floor under where the posters were hanging on display.

Art show poster drawing 4 2015

Art show poster drawing 4 2015

And another with lovely lettering.

Art show poster drawing 3 2015

Art show poster drawing 3 2015

And how gorgeous is this parrot???

Art show poster drawing 1 2015

Art show poster drawing 1 2015And here is the

Drumroll please!

And the winner is, as decided by myself in conjunction with Ms Nadia Bettio, our Principal – Crystal!

Congratulations Crystal and Ms Bettio and I both thought your art show poster was amazing. And the fact that you drew ME so beautifully at the bottom of your poster was just the icing on the cake. It is a stunning drawing – well done!

Art show poster drawing 2 2015

Art show poster drawing 2 2015

I am looking forward to seeing your poster up around school and on the front of the art show program. And, apparently, your poster is going to be put on a giant sized board at the front of our school – whoo hoo1

I’ll take some extra photos and upload them when I get the chance! Well done everybody!

September 29

BRILLIANT IDEA PHYL !!!

paint bottles on window ledge 3 2015

I first saw this idea on There’s a dragon in my art room which is a fantastic art teacher blog created by Phyl . She has now retired from teaching art full time in elementary school but she is still teaching, is incredibly creative, and her blog is still very active and full of great inspirational stuff.

screen shot there's a dragon in my art room

screen shot there’s a dragon in my art room

Can you see the funny little ends on my paint pumps?

paint bottles on window ledge 3 2015

paint bottles on window ledge 3 2015

I have always used paint pumps as I do think they allow you to get the most out of your paint bottles BUT the paint dries up in the end of the pump and disasters occur! How many times have I squirted paint all over myself, even after I have dug around the end of the pump with my finger and dug out as much dried up paint as I can? My students are well aware of this and stand well back whenever I go near the paint pumps so only I get covered in paint. And don’t let me start on my story of my lovely Grade 6 helper who came in to assist me early one morning and I squirted bright red paint sideways out of the pump all over her face, all over her hair and all over the front of her navy blue Cambridge Primary School uniform jumper!!!!!! AAAGGGHHHH!

paint bottles on window ledge 4 2015

paint bottles on window ledge 4 2015

And I have been told, time and again, that just a blob of blutack on the end of the pumps solves the problem BUT I never remember to do it – and then there was Phyl’s post –  and my problem was solved!!!

paint bottles on window ledge 2 2015

The funny little bits you can see on the end of the pumps are PENCIL TOPPERS. Those little rubber/eraser thingys that you can get virtually anywhere. I had some on my desk from whenever, they are the rather fancy shaped cupcake and ladybird pencil toppers but the other ones I bought from my local $2 shop in a packet of 24 for, you guessed it, $2!

They have totally solved this problem and all I do is remove the pencil topper, pump the paint with out squirting it all over the place, and put the pencil topper back on the end. My students were fascinated by the change and since I explained what it was all about some have even donated spare pencil toppers to my now growing pile!

paint bottles on window ledge 1 2015

paint bottles on window ledge 1 2015

And, in case you were wondering, when the paint in the bottle gets low and won’t pump properly I pull out a new bottle in the same colour so I don’t have to wash out the pump, put the pump into the new bottle, put the lid from the new bottle on the old bottle, turn the old bottle upside down and put it into a bucket just in case it leaks. An ordinary bucket holds up to 3 or 4 of these large bottles. When next I need this colour I grab the old bottle from the bucket and use up the paint in it first, which gravity has pulled down onto the lid. Once opened the paint gushes out of the old bottle and depending on how long it has been standing upside down, you truly get just about every drip of paint out of the bottle.

So thank you Phyl! This little trick has stopped the airborne paint blobs from landing all over my clothing as they always manage to magically land where my art smock isn’t covering me. Now I just have to deal with all the 1.924,924,456,753, 402 other reasons I have stuff all over my clothes….. and shoes,,,,,,,,and hair…..and…….

Thanks for visiting The Back Art Room Blog,

Shell

September 14

GRADE 5 MONA LISA PARODY DRAWINGS

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 1

These interesting, amusing parodies of Mona Lisa were created by the Grade 5 students after they looked at several examples.

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0584-andrea-gatti-mona-lisa-kiss-

 

Mona_Lisa_takes_a_break_by_Yamashita_freak

We looked at a large print of the Mona Lisa and discussed what the students knew about the painting.

  • The Mona Lisa is one of the most well known images in the whole world
  • Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa between 1503 and 1506 although some art scholars believe he worked on the painting as late as 1517
  • The painting is believed to be of Lisa Gheradini who was the wife of rich merchant Francesco del Giocondo.
  • King Francis I of France acquired the painting and it remains the property of the people of France and is on permanent display at the famous LOUVRE museum in Paris.
  • The grade 5 students also watched several, funny Sesame St videos, which were parodies of popular songs.

Then we discussed what a parody was and watched a few music parodies so the students could get a handle on the concept.  The obvious first place to look was Sesame St as almost every episode has some form of musical parody. The students had a good giggle at these.

Then we watched several videos by the uncrowned king of the musical parody, Weird Al Yankovic!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEcjgJSqSRU

Once the students had an understanding of what a parody is they drew a 5-10 minute draft, in pencil, in their Art journal. The students then drew their parody on A4 cartridge paper and most used a photocopied face and hands of the Mona Lisa to complete their parody although this was their choice to use the photocopy or not.

grade 5 mona lisa parody  drawing 2015 1

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 1

The students then chose a complimentary background paper to form a frame around their work and decorated it to match the theme of their drawing.

 

grade 5 mona lisa parody  drawing 2015 2

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 2

grade 5 mona lisa parody  drawing 2015 28

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 28

Here she is a rock star on stage.

I was astounded with the range of situations that poor old Mona Lisa could be put into!

 

grade 5 mona lisa parody  drawing 2015 3

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 3

grade 5 mona lisa parody  drawing 2015 27

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 27

Here she is riding a dragon!

Some of the ways the frames were decorated to match the theme were very clever.

grade 5 mona lisa parody  drawing 2015 29

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 29

Here she is a wheelchair basketball player!

I hope you have enjoyed looking at these Mona Lisa parodies and the grade 5 students would certainly appreciate your comments.

grade 5 mona lisa parody  drawing 2015 8

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 8

 

grade 5 mona lisa parody  drawing 2015 37

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 37

 

grade 5 mona lisa parody  drawing 2015 26

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 26

grade 5 mona lisa parody  drawing 2015 25

grade 5 mona lisa parody drawing 2015 25

If you would like to look at a whole range of different Mona Lisa parodies just go to my Da Vinci Pinterest board.

 

August 20

BUT WHAT ABOUT CLAY???

grade 1 clay 29

It has come to my attention that lots of Visual Arts programs/classrooms don’t seem to be doing clay anymore!

grade 1 clay

grade 1 clay 57

I have developed this opinion after discussing it, off the cuff, at school, at network meetings, at our Outer West Visual Art Teachers Network Professional Learning Day, earlier this year, talking to colleagues at last year’s Art Education Victoria Conference, etc, etc, etc.

grade 1 clay 53

grade 1 clay 53

And, as far as I am aware, modelling is still a part of the Visual Arts Curriculum in Victoria.

grade 1 clay 54

grade 1 clay 54

I use clay for most of my modelling sessions. It’s fun. It’s messy! It’s cheap! And my students love it! And I love it!

grade 1 clay 65

grade 1 clay 65

And, let’s face it, the Visual Arts room is the last place in the school where you are not only allowed, but encouraged, to make a mess, while you express yourself!

clay man in boat

grade 1 clay 32

So what is happening out there? Are you still doing clay at your school? Have you got a kiln that is no longer being used? Why not? Do you find it too messy? Seriously? Or is all the kiln firing too time consuming? is it an OH&S matter at your school? Why? Do you use alternative materials to clay for modelling or is it just not part of your Visual Arts curriculum any more???? Do you find it a bit scary – a bit out of your comfort zone? Would it be helpful if more networks or other bodies were offering more professional learning in this area?

grade 1 clay face 22

grade 1 clay face 22

Please reply and comment on my observation as I would really like to know what you think.

Shell

PS I have mentioned this to my students and they have been as horrified as I am that there are other students out there who seem to be missing out on such a wonderful material to learn and have fun with in the art room.

grade 1 clay face 27

grade 1 clay face 27

July 19

Grade 4 Foot Zentangles

Grade 4 footangle 55 2015

As mentioned in my last post, I went a bit crazy with Zentangles at the start of this 2015 school year.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 25 2015

Grade 4 Foot zentangle 25 2015

These are the foot zentagles – and we shortened the name to footangles – that my grade 4 students did.

Grade 4 footangle 26 2015

Grade 4 footangle 26 2015

I had done this activity 20 years ago in the art room, way before Zentangles had even been invented, and it always went well.

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

The students started with taking off a sock and a shoe and getting a partner to trace around their foot and yes, in between their tickly toes, with a grey lead pencil, on A3 cartridge paper.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 13 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 13 2015

They then had to lift their foot and reposition it with their foot overlapping somewhere.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 8 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangleangle 8 2015

The tracing was repeated until their arrangement of traced feet looked balanced and enough. Their decision, not mine.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 11 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 11 2015

The partners then reversed positions and did it again so they were both ready to start drawing.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 5 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 5 2015

I suggested they do this with a partner so they would get a decent traced shape of their foot with their full weight on it, rather than leaning back and tracing their own. Plus, it was the start of a new school year so what better way to get to know a classmate better than getting up close and personal with their feet!!!

So after a giggly 20 minutes or so everyone was ready to start in on those patterns.

grade 4 foot zentangle drawing 2015

grade 4 foot zentangle drawing 2015

They had looked at patterns and amazing zentangles the week before and filled in at least 5 spaces on their own pattern ideas sheet of 20 squares that had been glued into their art journal, so they were all set to go.

Grade 4 footangle 47 2015

Grade 4 footangle 47 2015

These students were also the only year level I had done Zentangles with in 2014 when they produced a name tangle.

Grade 4 footangle 44 2015

Grade 4 footangle 44 2015

And when they were in Grade 2 we had looked at the brilliant pattern work of Queenland contemporary artist Dave Behrens.

Dave Behrens self portrait

Dave Behrens self portrait

 

Dave Behrens painting the spoken word

Dave Behrens painting the spoken word

Dave Behrens painting Crossroads

Dave Behrens painting Crossroads

So I was confident that the pattern work they did would be good, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 35 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 35 2015

So now it was time to forget they were feet at all but just look at their paper as being covered in random, organic shapes, all of which needed to be retraced with a thick black texta and then filled with a different pattern with a black fineliner.They weren’t allowed to repeat a pattern once it had been used.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 32 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 32 2015

When they were finished they then had to fill the background with stripes using warm or cool colours.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 37 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 37 2015

POSITIVES:

  • Students we re so proud of their finished work!
  • stunning pattern work
  • students were so encouraging and enthusiastic when we did our “studio walk” around the classroom to look at everybody else’s work

NEGATIVES:

  • Again I was way too ambitious with what I thought the students would be able to achieve over a few sessions However if they had used A4 paper the completed work wouldn’t have been nearly as impressive as there wouldn’t have been room for as many traced feet so less spaces to fill with pattern?!?!?
  • less children were certain about warm/cool colours than I thought
  • some students struggled to persevere to completion
  • I would definitely get the students to paint the backgrounds next time as coloured pencil or crayon backgrounds just dragged the work out even more. I cannot think why I didn’t get them to do this anyway?!?!?

Thanks for looking and I’m sure the Grade 4 students would love it if you left a comment,

Shell

July 10

GRADE 5 COLOUR ZENTANGLE LANDSCAPES

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 24
Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 24

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 24

I saw a post, ages ago, on one of my favourite art teacher blogs, ARTE A SCUOLA.COM, full of patterned landscapes which I thought were gorgeous. As I have done with a lot of this blog’s brilliant ideas, I tucked the idea away on MY PINTEREST BOARDS, saving it up for just the right time, which happened to be at the start of our school year 2015.

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 10

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 10

I sort of went a bit Zentangle mad at the start of this year and ended up with the grade 3s doing Zentangle hands,

Grade 3 zentangle hand drawing 6

Grade 3 zentangle hand drawing 6

the grade 4s doing Zentangle feet

Grade 4 footangle 37 2015

Grade 4 footangle 37 2015

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

Grade 4 footangle 56 201

and these coloured Zentangle landscapes being done by the grade 5 students.

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 9

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 9

All three grade levels started off looking at and discussing examples of patterns and zentangles from MY PATTERNS AND ZENTANGLES PINTEREST BOARD on the projection screen. It was then time to get into a detailed pattern drawing frame of mind so I printed off about 15 pattern sample idea sheets, also on my patterns and zentangles pinterest board, for each table and then each student was given a grid sheet of 20 squares to glue into their art journal. The students had to use scrap paper and a pencil to come up with a pattern that they liked and then use a black fine liner to fill one of the grid squares on their sheet, thus creating their own pattern resource in their art journal. The aim was to finish off 5 grid squares at the end of the first session.

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 31

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing

The grade 5 students, at their next session, discussed landscapes and looked at a couple of the samples from ARTE A SCUOLA.COM The students suggested writing up a list of elements for the landscape on the whiteboard which they could follow while they were drawing their landscape outlines in pencil. I reinforced with the students that the list was to be seen as a guideline rather than a recipe and they could add or take away elements as they saw fit. The landscape was drawn on A3 cartridge paper.

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 46

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 46

All students brought their pencil landscape shapes to me for a brief one on one discussion directed at their specific ability level – DIFFERENTIATION! Is the work balanced? What can you do to your tree so it doesn’t look so top heavy? Which elements have you put in your middleground?

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

Interestingly every grade 5 ‘discovered’ that if their landscape included a body of water it “just didn’t look right” or it “made me feel weird” unless the edge of the land behind the water was straight/horizontal – hooray, no more slanted lakes or rivers!!!

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 28

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 28

So all students then went over their pencil landscape outlines with thick black texta and commenced the pattern work using thick coloured pencils or coloured textas. There was only one rule for the pattern work, once you have used a pattern you cannot use it again!

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

These were wonderful sessions for stopping half way for a “studio walk” around the art room where the children move from table to table quietly and look at each others unfinished work. The “oohs” and “aahs” and discussions about the work were fantastic! And, no, it is not just copying, if you see a pattern that you like on someone else’s work, and get an idea for your own work from that. Hadn’t we already been doing just that with the idea sheets on the tables??? And could you possibly reproduce such an intricate pattern EXACTLY the same????

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

I was astounded with the amount of effort some of the students put into these pieces! In hindsight A3 was probably too big to cover with such intricate patterns. These artworks took much longer to finish that I anticipated and the level of concentration required to get a fair bit done in one session was just too much for some students. However, I’m sure the students would say it was worth it when you can see the quality of work which was produced.  Whatever their ability level, every student felt a great sense of achievement when the work was finally finished!

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

You can also find more Zentangle landscapes on ART AT BECKER MIDDLE SCHOOL and BRICKS AND WOOD and ART IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL.

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 2

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 2

Thanks for looking and I’m sure my grade 5 students would appreciate it if you left them a comment.

Shell

avatar Shelley Menhennet

 

 

 

April 27

I’M BACK!!!

 

Oh, my poor neglected blog!

Sad-face

I have missed you so much!

missed you sand

My plans for  blogging regularly in the Christmas school holidays just went out the window and it is nearly May! First term has already come and gone, and it is time for this weary old Art Specialist to almost start my first semester reports!!!! Admittedly I have been ill intermittently but I have had SO MUCH admin/paper work to do for school it has been nothing short of insane!

more paperwork

Here in Victoria we are changing curriculum from AusVels to the Australian Curriculum so all our planning documents have had to be updated accordingly but at my school I have also had to update/alter/change/reinvent so much that has to be handed in to be checked, that it feels like it’s all I’ve been doing. Teaching – what teaching????

images

So my plan is to finish uploading all my stuff from 2013 so I can get stuck into uploading all the magnificent work the children have been doing in 2014. I will severely restrict myself to the briefest amount of text I can get away with and if people need extra info about a certain activity they will just have to email me and ask me – otherwise I might never get it all uploaded where it belongs.

I have spent time on my Pinterest boards lately – seriously, I use them EVERY DAY at school –  and this seems to have had an unexpected, but very pleasant affect, as all of a sudden I have about 1700 followers on Pinterest – WOW!

Capture

I hope my Pinterest followers all come over and look at my blog sometime!

images (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading and I’m so glad I’m back!

Shell

December 3

HELLO MONOMOY ISLAND!

Wow!

 I just checked the cluster map on this blog – I do this nearly every day – as I love seeing all the magical places my blogviewers come from – and saw that one of my recent visitors was from MONOMOY ISLAND MASSACHUSETTS.

As I had honestly never heard of this place, I looked it up on google, and found it’s Wikipedia listing, stating that it is an uninhabited spit of land that over time has become an island, at the edge of Massachusetts.

So hello to all the seals and seagulls and birds and whatever else lives there and thanks for looking at my blog!!!!!

Or perhaps it was a passing ship????

In that case I suppose I should say Ahoy!

I just love looking at my cluster map! It just makes me happy!

Thanks for reading!

Shell

 

September 29

MY AVATAR

It took me ages to get around to creating an avatar for myself that I could use on Edmodo for school, and on this blog, and other things. I made sure I gave myself a pointy chin where it used to be before those other chins moved in and hid it, and my new blue glasses!

And then I went and had a radical haircut and got my new BLUE HAIR!!!

So now I have to give my avatar BLUE HAIR – and it will probably take me another age to figure out how to do that!!!

 

July 24

DAVE BEHREN’S STYLE!

A friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook during first term telling me that she had found an amazing website that belonged to an Australian Artist and I was going to love it. My friend Sue knows me really well and she was right. It’s a great website and DAVE BEHRENS is an amazing artist. He lives in Queensland.

http://www.davebehrens.com/
I sent him an email and told him I was going to do some work with my Grade 2’s and 3’s in the Dave Behren’s style. And in the end we sort of spent the whole term working in Dave Behren’s style and the work the children have produced has been absolutely stunning.

Dave Behren’s paintings are incredibly detailed and the” WOW!!!” factor was certainly there as the children all “oohed”, and “aahed”, while looking through the website together and watching a video interview, which was available on his website, on the projection screen in the classroom.

Viewing the website in the main art room 2013

Looking at the Dave Behrens website on the wall in the back art room.

 

We started off small. The grade 2 children had to decorate a rectangle of coloured paper. The grade 3’s had to do a star shape. I glued them onto a large sheet of black cover paper so they would look similar to the way Dave Behren’s arranges some of his paintings. There was a lot of discussion about what could be drawn, repeating patterns, shapes within shapes, symbols, etc. I drew up some idea sheets BODIES/SHAPES/LINES and asked everyone to contribute one idea  to at least one sheet. Once they were working though they all took inspiration from each other – “Ooh I like what you did just there. I’m going to try that one.”

Viewing Dave Behrens video interview main art room 2013 

viewing Dave Behrens video in back art room 2013

I have lots more photos to put up of this stunning work so keep looking for future posts.

Shelley