First we looked at Kelsey Montague‘s gorgeous wings from Nashville in Tennessee, USA.
Then we looked at feathers and wings that were created by Cassie Stephens and her talented students, again from Nashville, Tennessee.
And after that we looked at the feathers and wings from elementaryartfun.blogspot.com
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!
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.
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.
I updated my art room expectations at the start of 2019.
I used to have a set of art room rules which I had worked on so they were positive statements rather than negative and I was happy with them for a long time but I realised I only referred to them at the start of each term and that was it.
In my quest to make the students more responsible for themselves and their actions I thought that a shorter rules list would be better and I found this one which I used in 2018. I got it from Miss JeMa on TPT. I used it although for me, I thought there were things missing , like RESPECT, which is one of our Cambridge Primary School Values.
So I created my own, as although there were things that I thought were missing from the expectations list I used in 2018, I didn’t want to end up with another looooooooong list. I wanted it to be short, easy to remember, and easy to refer to, so the expectations would become a living part of the Visual Arts room in every session. This is what I came up with.
Now I know, ideally, these sorts of expectations should be negotiated with the students BUT as my Visual Arts sessions for all year levels Prep to 6 were cut down to 1 semester only per year, effectively cutting Visual Arts time at my school in half, I need to take short cuts wherever I can. I figured that as the students would be busy negotiating expectations in their own class rooms that I would just present the Art Room Expectations and discuss them to ensure every student’s understanding of them and then we moved on. They were accepted readily and the changes from last year noted.
I then copied an A5 sized version for each student, without the coloured background. The students then had to glue it into their Visual Arts Journal and bring it to me and we signed and dated it together as their ‘official’ agreement to the Art Room Expectations. This was such a simple idea but has reinforced their importance to the students.
I now refer to the expectations frequently during all art sessions and have done simple reflections at the end of sessions such as –
“Which Art room Expectation/s do you think you always do?”
“Which Art Room Expectations do you still need to work on?”
As the 2019 Art Room Expectations have been such a success I am now considering if, and how, they will need to be modified for my Prep – 2 students in semester 2.
It has come to my attention that lots of Visual Arts programs/classrooms don’t seem to be doing clay anymore!
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.
And, as far as I am aware, modelling is still a part of the Visual Arts Curriculum in Victoria.
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!
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!
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?
Please reply and comment on my observation as I would really like to know what you think.
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.
April 25th 2015 was the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day.
I am part of the Special Weeks committee, which organizes all sorts of Special Events as part of the school calendar, at Cambridge Primary School, and we thought that as a whole school we had to do something to commemorate the 100th ANZAC day!
So we came up with the very simple idea of each student and staff member making a paper poppy and planting it into the ground to create a field of poppies.
Each grade was supplied with enough wooden skewers for one for each child but after that it was up to the teachers how they put their poppies together. There were no other rules or instructions to follow as we really didn’t want them to look all exactly the same.
I started the planting process off in the morning and then was running back and forth from the main art room during the day to take photos as the planting progressed. It was lovely to lift my head up from my work in the main art room and catch a glimpse of all the heads down and bottoms up action as the students and staff planted their poppies and then stood around admiring their work and the work of others. There was even quite a reverent, emotional atmosphere around the poppy field.
I did find I had to stand guard when I was on yard duty at snack time though as several Prep children thought it would be a great idea to run through and stomp on all the poppies – so much for being reverent, emotional and caught up in the atmosphere, when you are 5!
My battery died on my Ipad, of course, so I didn’t even get to photograph the complete field of poppies.
The photographer arrived from the local paper and took a lovely photo which luckily included my Georgie.(Yay! XXX) I think that is the only local newspaper photo Georgia has ever been in for her school so it was nice she got to be in one during her final year at Cambridge PS! As this photographer was there rather early in the day I don’t think he even saw the whole field of poppies.
A Bright ANZAC tribute at Cambridge Primary School. “The gardens of Cambridge Primary School were a sea of red last Friday as the school marked Anzac Day. The Hoppers Crossing school wanted to mark the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli with something special, so it created a field of poppies. Assistant principal Nella Cascone said the school’s 935 pupils and 90 staff made the flowers. A planting ceremony was then held last Friday afternoon, giving everyone a chance to pay their respects. Grade 6 pupils Georgia, Ayaan and Shaubing (pictured) were among the children who helped plant the poppies.” – See more at: http://www.starweekly.com.au/news/1836763-poppies-a-bright-anzac-tribute-at-cambridge-primary-school/#sthash.a5wHAjMi.dpuf
At the end of the school day there was quite a crowd as plenty of families photographed and admired the poppy field, with all commenting about how it had been a fantastic idea, and some being very moved by it.
Susie, my Science teacher colleague, and I, waited until 4.00pm to make our sad, regretful decision. The weather was changing rather drastically, with the wind becoming quite ferocious and a heavy storm predicted for the early evening. We had intended leaving the poppies in the field and collecting them up on Monday morning but the thought of arriving at school to find the poppies shredded by the storm and dumped all over the school yard was just devastating. So regretfully, Susie, Georgie and I, and a few helpers from After School Care, packed up the magnificent field of poppies into boxes before the storm could destroy them.
‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.’
Thanks for reading,
I had always wanted to do some sort of outdoor mural and Cambridge Primary School has so many boring blank walls that I had to come up with something.
I decided on a CD tree after seeing these trees at inspirational Coburn PS in Melton, Victoria. Mel and Kate, the incredible art teachers at Coburn PS, invited me over to their school (well, actually, I think I might have invited myself) to have a look at ALL their outdoor murals and they have done plenty of them!
They have mosaic murals,
clay tile murals,
and CD trees!
They are everywhere and add so much to the atmosphere in their play space. So much better than bare walls!
So I decided I would have a go at a CD tree. However, like most things I do, the idea seemed to get bigger and bigger. Which grade level would I do this with? Perhaps the 5s? Or maybe the 4s and the 5s? Well, if I was going to do it with the 4s and the 5s I might as well include the 6s and what about the 3s? So, of course, I am doing it with the whole school!!!!
That’s only 940+ CDs – aaaggghhhhh!!!
So there will definitely be more than one tree. Perhaps it will look a little bit like this? This is a CD tree mural from Reservoir West Primary School created by Max Darby.
And hopefully all the CDs will fit as tree foliage on the one wall! We’ll just have to wait and see.
Gabby and Mel, who teach Prep-2 Visual Arts, tackled their CDs and I tackled grades 3-6.
We used Viponds acrylic paint, which is deliciously bright and glossy, as recommended by Mel and Kate from Coburn Primary School, as it is suitable for outdoor murals and will last on the CDs. I was stunned when I realized that Viponds Paint is actually manufactured in Victoria, in North Coburg to be exact. Not all that far from where I grew up in Brunswick. It always feels good to support Victorian manufacturers! You can get it from Cavalier Art Supplies in Geelong or Zart Art in Box Hill.
It really is gorgeous paint and I discussed why we needed to use it with the students and the huge price difference between it and ordinary school acrylic paint. They were all very careful with it and, in fact, the grade 3-6 students used less paint than I actually thought they would.
I asked the students to paint a background colour on first, which was very quick with a fat brush. I had eight students fit around one painting table and then place their wet CD onto the painting rack which was now covered in newspaper so the CDs wouldn’t fall through the holes. As this was so quick and easy to do it was easily worked around all our other ongoing activities for each grade level.
The following week the students were given back their CD and, as we had done so much pattern work earlier in the year, I asked them to decorate their CD with pattern/s.
I was so impressed with the range of finished CDs and know they will look beautiful when the mural is finally put together. That’s job number 4,095,864,345 on my to do list!
And the Prep – 2 CDs are just as lovely as the 3 – 6 ones, as well as being strikingly different! I will share some of them when I grab some photos of them from Mel and Gabby.
And as for the CDs, I didn’t buy a single one! I just asked the Cambridge Primary School staff and community to clean out their DVD cupboards and their computer desks and send all their DEAD DISKS to me! DEAD being scratched, obsolete, not working, DVDs, CDs, game console disks, start up disks for 5 computers ago, can’t even remember where it came from disks, and we had more than 1000 in no time!
So I hope you have enjoyed looking at all these lovely painted CDs and I’ll be happy to share the next instalment of putting the mural together when it happens. I’m sure the students would appreciate it if you left them a comment.
I am currently sitting at Aquapulse, the new aquatic centre in Hoppers Crossing, Victoria, typing this blog post. My 12 year old daughter Georgie and her friend Natalie are screaming down the giant waterslide as I type! I am sitting high up in the tiered seating area looking ridiculous, all rugged up for winter, with my laptop on my knee, while everyone else is strutting around in their bathersI This is all rather weird but such are the weekend pursuits of a hard working Primary Art Teacher!!! Multi tasking is my middle name!!!
I don’t know what Pablo Picasso himself would think of these face collages below but I just love them.
First of all I showed the grade 4 students a range of portraits created by Pablo Picasso which I had on my Pinterest board, on the projector. I also had several Picasso portrait prints hanging up in the art room. The students happily discussed how interesting they were and how his portrait style had changed over time. Why do you think Pablo Picasso displaced so many facial features in his portraits? How does this make you feel? What about his use of colour? A portrait is usually a likeness of another person. What does this say about the displacement of the facial features on these portraits? Well done Grade 4s for your fabulous discussions!
Anyway, after looking and discussing I explained to the students that they were going to be creating their own Picasso style collage. In the past I had done this activity with grade 4 and just got them to draw a Picasso-ish face and I had also done this activity using cut out facial features from magazines. Both times before the students had stated that drawing or putting the facial features into the wrong positions was extremely difficult to do.
This year I had discovered this paper on the Zart Art website and knew it would be perfect for this activity.
So the procedure was
- Collect A4 cartridge paper from the resource table.
- Draw a head and neck on the A4 paper nice and large. (What do we say – FILL THE SPACE!)
- Colour the face using oil pastels. Natural skin tones were optional and up to the individual artist.
- Select and cut out desired facial features carefully from Zart Art sheets (that had already been trimmed down into quarter of their A3 size – hey, I’m not silly! And don’t massacre twenty seven eyes just to get to the one you want in the middle of the sheet. Cut out carefully and place leftovers from sheet you are cutting back into the EYES plastic pocket so somebody else can use them! Yes, sometimes the instructions have to be this basic to protect the expensive materials!)
- How many facial features can you have? How many do you need? Why? “I want more than one mouth because my person talks a lot!” “I need to give my person 5 ears ’cause they always listen to gossip!”
- Glue your facial features into their displaced positions.
- Is your person bald? What are you going to do about hair?
- Cut out your person carefully and mount them on an A4 piece of coloured cover paper.
Most of the grade 4 students are now working on their next collage which is again based on Picasso’s portraits but A3 size, incorporating different types of cardboard to create (hopefully) layered facial features! I will write up a blog post on these when they are done.
Well, as already stated, I just love these and hope you do too.
As mentioned in my last post, I went a bit crazy with Zentangles at the start of this 2015 school year.
These are the foot zentagles – and we shortened the name to footangles – that my grade 4 students did.
I had done this activity 20 years ago in the art room, way before Zentangles had even been invented, and it always went well.
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.
They then had to lift their foot and reposition it with their foot overlapping somewhere.
The tracing was repeated until their arrangement of traced feet looked balanced and enough. Their decision, not mine.
The partners then reversed positions and did it again so they were both ready to start drawing.
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.
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.
These students were also the only year level I had done Zentangles with in 2014 when they produced a name tangle.
And when they were in Grade 2 we had looked at the brilliant pattern work of Queenland contemporary artist Dave Behrens.
So I was confident that the pattern work they did would be good, and I wasn’t disappointed.
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.
When they were finished they then had to fill the background with stripes using warm or cool colours.
- 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
- 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,
I got some of these fabulous signs for my Art room from
This website is full of fantastic stuff!
Once I had printed the signs I wanted and enlarged them to A3 size I wanted to add something to them to make them look a little different from the originals -BLING!
Everyone loves a bit of bling and my Grade 4A helpers had a great time sticking it on with only a little bit of assistance from me.
Thank you Technology Rocks Seriously!
Thank you Grade 4A helpers who gave up some of their lunchtime to help me out!
Last year I looked at Paul Klee with the Grade 4’s.
We discussed the backgrounds of his paintings, particularly Sinbad the sailo,r although we did look at others as well, and decided to try to make our own backgrounds like Paul Klee.
These backgrounds took a lot longer to finish than I thought they would but the children were totally absorbed while creating them. We made our foreground images using flouro paper and gel pens. When they were carefully cut out we raised them up using thick double sided mounting tape so they appeared to float on top of the background. The Grade 4 children were all very proud odf their finished work.