April 21

GRADE 4 CLAY CELESTIAL BODIES

When we return to school after Easter my grade 4 students will be almost ready to create their celestial bodies in clay. They will have one more practice session and then in week 2 they will make their final piece.

Clay, as for most things with my students, is never a one off session. You cannot get skill development or clayworks like these without exploring the materials and tools and experimenting with ideas. Yes, it is hard work, yes, it is messy, and yes, it can be loud, especially at pack up time on my awfully thin laminated art room table tops but the students are smiling, eager and learning – what more could you want!

Whenever we are working with clay I frequently remind the students that we only have one rule for clay. I say it and the students all chant it back to me, whether they are in Preps or Grade 6. “YOU MUST BE SENSIBLE WITH THE CLAY! With the Prep students I usually take it a bit further.

“Can you stick it in your ear?’                                    “NO!”

Can you stick it in somebody else’s ear?”              “NO!”

Can you stick it in Mrs Menhennet’s ear?             “NO!”

And on it goes until they are all falling about laughing.

However, the students know this is quite serious as we then discuss the consequence of not being sensible with the clay (and the tools and the slip, etc). And the consequence is that the clay is removed from the student. They then wash their hands and sit on the floor while everyone else is working at the tables. A direct consequence like this makes sense to the students and is much more effective than a detention that would not even be on the same day!

And now back to the process………In the first session I bombard the students with images of artworks incorporating the sun, the moon, planets, stars, etc, etc.

These images include all sorts of artworks – jewellery, clayworks, paintings, drawings, sculptures, metalwork, embroideries, photography, and the list goes on.  You can find lots of images of celestial bodies on my Pinterest board.

And then I let them loose on the clay – and then we pack up and when it is pack up time NOBODY wants to, as they are all so into what they are doing.

In the second session I show them examples from grade 4 students previously. We discuss them and any interesting stuff they have looked at in their independent research and then they get stuck into their own creations/experiments again. I also put slip on the tables and remind them how to use correct joining technique – the four s words –  score, slip, stick, smooth! And they chant them after me!

Depending on the school calendar and the crazy timetable that changes constantly, the students will have one or two more sessions to practice/refine their ideas.  The students choose whether to make a flat 2D or a 3D clay piece. There are usually groans at pack up time at the end of these sessions but I do photograph any experiments the students are keen to keep in mind and then they all pack up their clay.

The students are encouraged to do their own research for inspirational images in their own time as they all have IPads and/or computer access.

By the time the final session comes around the students know that they need to complete their clay piece in one session. Most students manage this as they have been working on an idea for several sessions and get faster at creating and refining their clay piece each week.

I scratch the students initials and grade into the base of their finished piece with a sharp skewer before I put it on a rack to dry. This seems to eliminate any arguments about which piece belongs to whom which I used to have when they all did it themselves, as it is in my neat lettering. It doesn’t take long, gives me a chance for a brief chat with the artist about their work and check that it is joined together properly and perhaps send some students back to the table to fix an issue.

Once the works have been fired the students paint them. I encourage the students to think about the painting process before they start and have a plan in their head for what they want to do. Just a simple statement like this is enough to stop most rushing and slapping paint on willy nilly!

Thanks for looking. Leave a comment!

Shell

April 17

Grade 5 JOURNAL COVERS OLD AND NEW

As mentioned in my previous post I use a scrapbook as an art journal for my students from grades 1-6. Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

Every year the students make a new cover for their art journal.Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

In the past I would hand the Grade 5 students an A4 sheet of paper with a grid of boxes already photocopied on it and ask the students to choose a colour and paint each box to show the colour value.Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

Once the paint was dry (week 2) they then glued this sheet onto their scrapbook cover and gave their book a large title and  ensured their name and grade was easily readable. Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

I love how creatively these students completed their grade 5 art journal covers using scrap paper, pencils and textas.

Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts  Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

This year I have changed the grade 5 journal cover completely after seeing this gem on Pinterest. This elements of art activity is by Michelle from Tiny Art Room, a wonderful art teacher’s blog. You can check out her step by step instructions by clicking on the link above.Art elements by tiny art room used as inspiration for grade 5 journal cover

It was a terrific way for the students to show me their understanding of the elements of art and decorate their journal cover at the same time!Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual ArtsGrade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

Initially I showed the students a scribbly mock up I had done of what a finished cover COULD look like and then I demonstrated the simple ruling up of the different sections. The students DID NOT have to follow my layout though. As long as their cover demonstrated the seven elements of art and had a clearly readable title and their name and grade, they could use whatever layout they came up with.

 

Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual ArtsGrade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

I then asked one of my magnificent Art Ambassadors to come up with a grade 5 cover for me and Farheen did a fantastic job, in A3 size instead of A4, so it would be easy for the students to see after I clipped it onto the whiteboard. Brilliant! And of course, I forgot to photograph it! 🙁

I’ll update this post with a photo of it when I get back to school as we are on end of Term 1 holidays and won’t go back to school until after Easter. 🙂

I have found that I prefer to use student samples whenever I can. It makes a huuuuuge difference! It doesn’t matter how many times I tell the students that their artwork doesn’t have to look exactly like mine, and I give them plenty of options for choice, about 85% of artworks would look as close to my sample as possible. Always….. doesn’t matter what I say…… always!This is greatly reduced when I show a range of student created samples. This is one of the great benefits of photographing student artworks.

I was also surprised at how many students struggled with ruling up the cover that I demonstrated for them. And I did demonstrate it for them, once altogether and then at every table and then for many individuals that just weren’t getting it. They did not have to use my way of dividing up the A4 piece of paper to fit the elements of art in. They could do it any way they liked but few tried anything else, even though they were struggling to rule it up. They really couldn’t figure out how I ruled up the sections! It was like I was doing some amazing magic trick every time I demonstrated it!!!

wow

These students are in Grade 5 and most of them had NO IDEA how to RULE A STRAIGHT LINE WITH A RULER! They didn’t even have to measure anything, just rule up straight lines diagonally from corner to corner. They actually had no idea how to put pressure on the ruler with the fingers of your hand without the pencil to hold the ruler still! I will use this video next time so I won’t need to be explaining it over and over and over again.

So this says to me that at Grade 5 level they had never done this before! How is that possible? Don’t they have to measure lengths in maths? Or rule up shapes? They certainly did the last time I taught maths and it wasn’t that long ago!

screaming woman

Well, ruler struggles aside, I will definitely be using this cover idea again for grade 5  as the students that persevered and finished their covers did a really fantastic job. These are artworks to be proud of! Thanks for looking and I know the students would love it if you left a comment!

Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

Grade 5 journal cover incorporating seven elements of art line shape form texture space value Cambridge Primary School Visual Arts

April 2

GRADE 6 JOURNAL COVERS

For several years now I have been using a scrap book as a Visual Arts Journal for my students from grade 1-6. I know some art teachers prefer a fancier, more expensive, drawing book to use as an art journal but I have found a scrapbook that has almost cartridge quality paper in it for a scrapbook price, so that’s what I use.

I don’t send these Visual Arts journals home at the end of the year unless they are full. I only have my students now for one semester each year and they don’t get enough opportunity to use them and it is just a waste to send them home with only a few pages worked on. The students also like to look over old drafts and artworks and reflect, and giggle, about how much they have improved over time.

So at the start of each school year they work on a journal cover concept that is just for that year level and this makes the 800+ journals I store in the art room easily identifiable so they can be put away in the correct place if they get lost. The journal covers when complete are covered in clear contact (sticky backed plastic) to protect the student’s hard work. As they use the art journals for more than one year they just glue the new year cover on top of the old one.

 

This is the design brief for my grade 6 journal cover.

  • choose an A5 photocopied artwork (this year I had 20 different artworks to choose from)
  • choose an A4 piece of coloured cover paper for the background of your cover
  • each grade 6 journal cover must include your name and grade. This MUST be easy to read as although you are creating an artistic cover it still has to function as a cover!
  • each grade 6 journal cover must include an easy to read title, eg: Art/Art Journal/Art Book
  • the A5 colour photocopied art work must be altered in some way as part of your overall cover design, eg: cut it, tear it, draw on it, collage with it, etc

Why were there 20 artworks to choose from this year? Every year the choice grows as I add the current artist that we are looking at, this year it was MC Escher, and if any student asks for a particular artwork, I also add that to the list of those available. These were the choices for 2019.

Australian Art

  • Ghost Gums, Central Australia                    Albert Namatjira
  • Slumbering Sea, Mentone  1887                           Tom Roberts
  • Shearing the rams   1890                                       Tom Roberts
  • Angel   1988                                                              Deborah Halpern
  • Ship of fools  2011                                                   Deborah Halpern
  • Wings of life 2014                                                   Dave Behrens
  • Self Portrait    2013                                                 Dave Behrens

International Art

  • Broadway Boogie Woogie  1942-43                       Piet Mondrian
  •   The parakeet and the mermaid 1952                 Matisse
  • Mona Lisa                                                                  Leonardo da Vinci
  • The arrival of Spring in Woldgate 2011                David Hockney
  • Child with a dove   1901                                          Pablo Picasso
  • Weeping Woman   1937                                          Pablo Picasso
  • The Scream              1893                                         Edvard Munch
  • Sinbad the Sailor      1928                                        Paul Klee
  • Castle and sun           1928                                        Paul Klee
  • Sky and water 1          1938                                       MC Escher
  • Miradauro                   1958                                        MC Escher
  • The Starry Night        1889                                       Vincent Van Gogh
  • The Church at Auvers           1890                            Vincent Van Gogh

I am always blown away by the ideas the students come up with.

What do you think of these?

The students finish off with a self assessment rubric. They also assess the cover of a peer using the same rubric. If you would like a copy of this rubric please email me and I will send it to you.

Thanks for looking and a comment would be appreciated.

 

Shell Menhennet

March 31

VISUAL ARTS SCHOOL NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTION NO 2 2019

ART ROOM NEWS

OUR WINGS ARE FINISHED

Wings Cambridge Primary School 2019

Have you been in the main hallway lately? Our beautiful wings are finished, made up of all those incredible feathers that the 3/4/5/6 students and staff worked on at the start of the year. Our wings, like Street Artist Kelsey Montague’s, are interactive as there is a gap in the middle of the wings for you to fit and have your photo taken! Don’t forget to bring your device with you when you come in to have a look! I will email some photos to Kelsey Montague so she can see how her street art inspired us!

Wings Cambridge Primary School 2019

Kelsey Montague wings Nashville TennesseeI have started photographing the students standing at the wings, looking as if they belong to them and they are about to fly away!

Please remember that the feathers are made of paper so they should not be touched while you are looking at them. And thanks to Mrs Naushabah Shahzad for helping put the wings together!

Thank you

CONGRATULATIONS NEW ART AMBASSADORS!

Congratulations

The students have been waiting sooooooooo long for the new Art Ambassadors to be announced as Mrs Menhennet was waiting for the next grade 3-6 assembly to do it. Finally, we had an upper school assembly on Monday afternoon – and Mrs Menhennet wasn’t at school to make the announcement! AAAAGGGGHHHH!

So rather than make the students wait any longer here is the list!

Congratulations to

Dinali 5A                      Brooke 5B                    Steph 5B

Zunaira 5A                   Asees 5B.                    Aleena 5F

Inaaya 5A                    Julia 5B                        Sithika 5F

Chelsea 6A                  Amber 6A                     Rishit 6B

 

New Art Ambassadors need to see Mrs Menhennet to get their badge!

I was truly overwhelmed by the amount of Expressions of Interest that were submitted for these important student leadership positions. I’m just very sorry that I couldn’t give everybody that applied a position.

I went to the MC Escher EXHIBITION at THE NGV!

The MC Escher exhibition at the NGV is a collaboration Japanese design company NENDO.

Nendo did an exceptional job of incorporating Escher’s art style into the overall design of the exhibition. The Escher artworks came from a special museum in Holland.

Art ambassador 2019 Emma

The exhibition includes many of Escher’s artworks from realistic pieces to more geometric mind boggling ones! The exhibition has a fantastic and interesting design and layout that you would never have seen before.

There is an awesome gift shop located at the end of the exhibition. Some of the products there included posters, books, skateboards, drink bottles, magnets, postcards, notebooks and clothing. You will not regret going to the Escher X Nendo exhibition at the NGV in Melbourne – but you need to hurry – it closes on the 7th April!

By Emma Flower 6E CPS Art Ambassador

DONATIONS

Thank you so much for all the donations that enhance our program. Throughout the year I will inform you of items that can be recycled through the art room. In the last week or so we have received:-

  • wool

  • ribbon

  • buttons

  • paint sample cards

  • assorted plastic lids

  • etc, etc, etc

 The art room would really like to receive some magazines to fill up our magazine bin that is used all over the school.

The fabric bins are absolutely full so we don’t need any more fabric until further notice.

reduce reuse recycle

Thank you,

Shelley Menhennet

 

 

March 31

VISUAL ARTS SCHOOL NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTION NO 1 2019

ART ROOM NEWS

M.C. ESCHER @ NGV

Students in Grade 3/4/5/6 have been looking at short videos and prints of the incredible artwork of M.C.Escher this week. Many students have asked me for links to utilise at home so they can see more of his work. I have listed some links below.

MC Escher Lizards

Escher reptiles

I am hoping to attend the ESCHER X NENDO exhibition at NGV International in St Kilda Rd this weekend. It is on at the gallery until the 7th April and has 157 of Escher’s awe inspiring artworks on display.

Esher sphere reflection Escher Studio

The exhibition has been designed by NENDO, a design group from Japan and so many people have said to me that the way the exhibition has been set up is as amazing as the artwork itself!

https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/whats-on/

https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/channel/

https://kids.kiddle.co/M._C._Escher

https://www.mcescher.com/

https://www.nga.gov/features/slideshows/mc-escher-life-and-work.html#slide_1

Feathers and Art JOURNAL covers 

Students in grades 3/4/5/6 are finishing up their beautiful feathers which are going to be used to create a mural on the display boards in the main hallway. It is utterly amazing how different they all are and just holding a handful together is stunning. I can’t wait until we have 600 on the display boards!Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019

Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019

This is the photo of Kelsey Montague’s street art we looked at which is on a wall in the city of Nashville, Tennessee.  She has also painted a pair of wings at Melbourne Central in the city. I wonder if you can guess what is going to happen to all the feathers the students have been making.

Kelsey Montague wings Nashville Tennessee

 

 

 

Art journal covers are being worked on next with each grade level creating their journal cover in a different way. I am looking forward to getting some of these on display as well. Last year’s display was excellent but I’m sure this year’s will be even better!

grade 6 art journal 2018 Cambridge Primary School pencil shavings

 

Art room helpers  – The Art Room still needs more helpers! Don’t be shy! I have plenty of art journals that need to be covered and display boards that need to be covered and pictures that need to be laminated, etc, etc, etc. You don’t have to book in for the time that your child is in the Art room and you don’t need any special skills, just a willingness to help out, and some time to do it.

 

Just see Mrs Menhennet for details.

 

What is an Art AMBASSADOR?

Being an Art Ambassador is an important and enjoyable leadership position. We help organise the materials in the art room like paints, pencils and textas as well as sort and store art work. We help clean during clay work by swe

Art ambassador 2019 Emma

eping up the dust and putting out clay mats. We clean and look after equipment like paint brushes so other students don’t have to do it in their art sessions. We help put up displays in the corridors and make display labels for them. The displays

always look stunning when we have finished! In 2018 the displays included things like clay work, the teeny tiny artworks, signs made by the Preps with plastic lids and many others. We even sometimes write up articles for the school newsletter!

By Emma Flower 6E CPS Art Ambassador

New ART AMBASSADORS announced soon 

Thank you to all the students in grade 5 and 6 that have applied to be Art Ambassadors in 2019. Applications have now closed and the new ambassadors will be announced soon. J

DISPLAYS AT CAMBRIDGE PS

Our students and Art Ambassadors work hard to make and display our art work and we like to brighten up the hallways so they don’t look dull and boring. Please demonstrate our Cambridge Primary School value of RESPECT and respect other students work by NOT TOUCHING the displays. YoArt Ambassador Laurau are more than welcome to look and talk quietly about the artworks you can see but PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH!

By Laura Jolley 6C CPS Art Ambassador J

DONATIONS

Thank you so much for all the donations that enhance our program. Throughout the year I will inform you of items that can be recycled through the art room. In the last week or so we have received:-

  • ice cream containers
  • yoghurt tubs
  • small boxes
  • wallpaper offcuts
  • fabric scraps
  • assorted plastic lids
  • etc, etc, etc

reduce reuse recycle

The art room would really like to receive some magazines to fill up our magazine bin that is used all over the school.

The fabric bins are absolutely full so we don’t need any more fabric until further notice.

Thank you,

Shelley Menhennet

March 28

WINGS – WHAT LIFTS YOU?

Wings Cambridge Primary School 2019 I always start off the school year with a collaborative activity across all of my grades  usually focusing on drawing/pattern and this year we made paper feathers.

feathers wings 3 what lifts youFirst we looked at Kelsey Montague‘s gorgeous wings from Nashville in Tennessee, USA.

Kelsey Montague wings Nashville Tennessee

Then we looked at feathers and wings that were created by Cassie Stephens and her talented students, again from Nashville, Tennessee.

wings feathers Cassie Stephens

And after that we looked at the feathers and wings from elementaryartfun.blogspot.com

wings feathers elementary art fun

And if that wasn’t enough to get us inspired, we also found that Kelsey Montague had created a pair of wings in Melbourne, which is our capital city. They are at Melbourne Central, which is a shopping centre right in the heart of Melbourne. They are on level 2 next to Plantation Coffee, if you want to go and look at them.

Somebody said to me that they thought Kelsey Montague had done another set of wings at Flinders Street Station but try as I might I couldn’t find an image for those wings.

One of my Grade 6 Art Ambassadors, Amber, asked her Nanna, who was heading into town on Monday, if she could see if she could find Kelsey Montague’s wings at Flinders Street Station, if she had the time, to prove they were actually there. And they are! 🙂 But she didn’t take a photo. 🙁 I love my Art Ambassadors!

So there are two pairs of Kelsey Montague wings in Melbourne. The next time I am travelling through Flinders Street Station I will make sure I take a photo of those wings to share with all the students.

 

 

So after all that inspiration this is what the students did to create their feather.

  •  chose which sort of paper they would use – plain white, coloured or patterned
  • traced a feather shape from an assortment of cardboard templates
  • added colour to their paper – paint, textas, oil pastels, coloured pencils, watercolour pencils, etc
  • students chose how they would apply their colour to their feather – just a strip of red oil pastel across the middle, sponge cool colours of paint on for an ombre effect, create a rainbow of colour with watercolour pencils over the whole feather, etc
  • students then designed/practised 5 patterns on a small 5 box photocopied strip of paper to get their brains moving from thinking about colour to pattern. Lots of pattern charts/images were available for inspiration
  • added pattern/s onto their feather selecting the material they wished to use after considering how they would get the best contrast so their detailed patterns would really stand out- metallic textas, metallic pencils, black or white fineliners, etc
  • and finally, cut out their feather carefully!

Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019

Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019

Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019

Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019

Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019

Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019

Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019

Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Yes, this is a lot of choice and that is why the feathers are all so different. Some of the students took 3 sessions to complete their feather!

So here are some more wings photos and even a few individual feathers as well as some of the students posing in front of the wings. Over the next week or so I plan on taking all the students photos at the wings.

 

Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019Wings feathers Cambridge Primary School 2019

And did I mention that the only way I can actually photograph the students at the wings in the main hallway is to open up the hallway window and run outside and stick my head in through the window to take the photo as I can’t stand back far enough to take the photo otherwise.

The students all think this is hilarious!

Thanks for visiting my blog! I would love it, and so would the students, if you would leave a comment.

March 17

I HAVE MISSED YOU!

I have really missed writing on my blog!

I think about blog posts all the time and all the things i would like to try on my blog and my time just gets eaten and then they don’t happen.

Well, no more! I am going to try to do my blog posts FIRST from now on so they get done. They make me happy, they make my soul sing, so why shouldn’t they come first?!?!

Here I go!

Mr Happy

Well seeing I have realised it is St Patrick’s Day my smiley happy person should probably look like this!

St Patricks Day smiley

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 27

GRADE 3 SUNFLOWER PAINTINGS

These stunning sunflower paintings were created by the Grade 3 students after they looked at the sunflower paintings and drawings created by Vincent Van Gogh.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 57 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 57 2015

I found some images online from Vincent Van Gogh’s sketchbooks and I always show these to the students to reinforce how important their art journals are in the process of creating their artworks.

secretmuseum_vangogh2

secretmuseum_vangogh2

The students also looked at photos of sunflowers which grew outside our grade 5 classrooms earlier this year

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 15

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 15

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 11

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 11

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 8

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 8

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 3

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 3

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 4

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 4

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 6

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 6

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 10

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 10

and at photos inside a magnificent book by David Douglas Duncan titled ‘Sunflowers for Van Gogh’.

David Douglas Duncan war photographer

David Douglas Duncan war photographer

I was lucky to stumble across this lovely book for $3 at the Salvation

cover sunflowers for van gogh

cover sunflowers for van gogh

Army Opportunity Shop in Werribee. What a find! The author and photographer, David Douglas Duncan, fell in love with Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings and travelled to France to create a book devoted to the fields of sunflowers in France. I often find fantastic art books on the bookshelves of Op Shops and they are always really cheap! Op Shopping is one of my favourite pastimes as you just never know what you might stumble upon! The students loved looking through this book and it was out, on their work tables, throughout the creation of these wonderful artworks. They were fascinated by the variety of the sunflowers and that they were so different to the sunflowers that grew in our school garden beds.

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 14

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 14

As you can see the grade 3 students spent many, many weeks on these art works and they are, rightfully, very pleased with them.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 60 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 60 2015

The students started by doing a 10 minute pencil draft in their journals of 4 different sunflowers – front view, side view, dying with petals dropping, not yet open.

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 72

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 72

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 70

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 70

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 68

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 68

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 67

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 67

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 75

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 75

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 83

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 83

All the students found these 4 views challenging but were willing to give it a go in their journal. They then bought their journal to me for a quick one on one chat about their drawings, full of praise, of course, and directed specifically at their ability level – differentiation!

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 94

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 94

They then drew a vase of sunflowers 10 minute pencil draft. And again bought this to me for a brief chat. Most children drew their sunflowers in the vase facing in different directions (hooray!) as the brief practice of the four views freed them up to do this. I did not make any direct references to how they were to draw their vase in their journal, or that they were to include the four views from their previous drawing. It was all learning by doing – and isn’t that the best kind of learning!

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 90

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 90

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 89

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 89

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 88

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 88

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 85

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 85

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 81

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 81

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 76

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 76

So that is 2 steps before they could even commence painting!

The students commenced by drawing a faint pencil line at about a third of the way up from the bottom of the paper. This gave them a line between the tabletop and the wall. This was suggested by a student who pointed out that Vincent had given his flower vase somewhere to sit by creating a table top rather than the vase just finishing at the bottom of the painting – hooray, hooray for improved observational skills! There was a huge variety in the colours used and some children created fancy tablecloths while others decorated the background wall. Most students painted their background with dry block paints giving it a wishy washy watercolour appearance.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 59 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 59 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 47 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 47 2015

I usually write up a basic framework to create the art work during discussion with my first class at that grade level. I then revise and add to the framework through discussion with the other grades. All students are well aware that it is only a guideline and they are free to pursue their own ideas throughout the process. This allows the students to work independently, with a reference up the front if they need it, as they work their way back and forth, stopping and starting, between parts of the complex work. I scribble in alternatives at each step, sometimes as they appear, and make sure the materials are available on the resource table, to aid the students independence.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 48 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 48 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 19 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 19 2015

The next step was the sunflower stems. Most students chose to print the stems onto the background using cardboard scraps. Again, this created a huge variety of different looking stems.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 3 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 3 2015

They then painted the sunflowers carefully, most students leaving one stem without a head. Most students chose to paint their sunflowers using basic school acrylic paint. This accentuated the difference between the wishy washy background walls and the stark, bright, solid colours of the sunflowers.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 2 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 2 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

The 3D sunflower head was made using Model Magic

model magic

model magic

which is an air dry clay which is very light and can be painted when it is dry. You can get it from Cavalier Art Supplies in Geelong. You can also use Paper Magic Clay

paper magiclay

paper magiclay

which is created by Zart Art in Box Hill, Victoria, Australia as an alternative to Model Magic. My students have used both successfully. We found, as the weeks marched on, and some students had not created their Model Magic flowers, that it worked just as well when we started cutting corners to get finished. It was just as successful if you glued the flower on as soon as you made it, rather than wait for it to air dry, and you could paint it before it air dried as well.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 64 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 64 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 13 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 13 2015

To finish their amazing work of art the students cut and decorated a vase and made sure it was big enough to cover the stems! This was an hilarious learning adventure all on it’s own. I showed the students how to fold a kinder square in half, draw half a vase on one side, cut it out and get a whole vase. The shocked faces when their vase was way too thin or better still, in two separate pieces, as they had drawn their vase along the wrong side of the folded paper, were priceless! I am always pointing out to the students that mistakes are part of their learning so it was fantastic to watch them fiddling with the two sad, separate pieces of their vase, to figure out where they went wrong, so they wouldn’t do it again.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 45 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 45 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 46 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 46 2015

It was a very long, involved process from start to finish for this work, with many stops and starts in between, as work had to dry completely between many of the steps.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 44 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 44 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 43 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 43 2015

All the grade 3 students worked brilliantly and moved independently onto different parts of the work while waiting for other bits to dry.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 1 52015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 15 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

I am very proud of how committed the grade 3 students are to their art and how well they used their art time!!!

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

And I’m sure you will agree that these are stunning artworks, some of which took 8 sessions to complete. All students, regardless of the level of their ability, were proud of their achievements.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 17 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 16 2015

And they made a gorgeous display. I can’t wait to put them all up at the art show!  The Cambridge Primary School Art Show is  on the 23rd and 24th October!!! Just 4 weeks away – aaaggghhhhh!

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 42 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 42 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 412015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 41 2015

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment.

Shell