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

August 16

FIELD OF PAPER POPPIES APRIL 2015

field of paper poppies April 2015 Georgia

April 25th 2015 was the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day.

paper poppies field April 2015 2

paper poppies field April 2015 2

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!

paper poppies field April 2015 16

paper poppies field April 2015 16

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.

paper poppies field April 2015

paper poppies field April 2015

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.

paper poppies field April 2015 3

paper poppies field April 2015 3

paper poppies field April 2015 20 They just all had to be planted by lunch time on the Friday before ANZAC day, in a rather bare patch of ground, near the office, at the front of the school.

paper poppies field April 2015 19

paper poppies field April 2015 19

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.

paper poppies field April 2015 17

paper poppies field April 2015 17

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! paper poppies field April 2015 13

My battery died on my Ipad, of course, so I didn’t even get to photograph the complete field of poppies.

paper poppies field April 2015 12

paper poppies field April 2015 12

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.

field of paper poppies April 2015 Georgia

field of paper poppies April 2015 Georgia

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

paper poppies field April 2015 11

paper poppies field April 2015 11

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.

paper poppies field April 2015 8

paper poppies field April 2015 8

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.

paper poppies field April 2015 4

paper poppies field April 2015 4

‘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.’

paper poppies field April 2015 10

paper poppies field April 2015 10

paper poppies field April 2015 9

paper poppies field April 2015 9

paper poppies field April 2015 6

paper poppies field April 2015 6

Thanks for reading,

Shell

 

August 8

PAINTED CDs

painted CD 6 2015

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.

coloured question marks

question marks

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!

painted CD tree at Coburn Primary School

painted CD tree at Coburn Primary School

They have mosaic murals,

mosaic mural Coburn PS 2014

mosaic mural Coburn PS 2014

clay tile murals,

clay tile mural Coburn Primary School 2014

clay tile mural Coburn Primary School 2014

painted bollards

painted bollards Coburn Primary School 2014

painted bollards Coburn Primary School 2014

and CD trees!

Painted CD tree 2 Coburn Primary School 2014

Painted CD tree 2 Coburn Primary School 2014

They are everywhere and add so much to the atmosphere in their play space. So much better than bare walls!

mosaic mural outdoor Coburn Primary School 2014

mosaic mural outdoor Coburn Primary School 2014

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!!!

screaming woman

screaming woman

 

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.

painted CD tree mural Reservoir west Primary School

painted CD tree mural Reservoir west Primary School

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.

painted CDs 35 2015

painted CDs 35 2015

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.

Viponds artist acrylic paint

Viponds artist acrylic paint

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.

painted CD 6 2015

painted CD 6 2015

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.

painted CD 42 2015

painted CD 42 2015

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.

painted CD 56 2015

painted CD 56 2015

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!

painted CD 46 2015

painted CD 46 2015

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.

painted CD 11 2015

painted CD 11 2015

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!

painted CD 1 2015

painted CD 1 2015

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.

painted CD 70 2015

Shell

 

 

July 27

Grade 4 Picasso face paper collage

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 26

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!!!

aquapulse waterslide hoppers crossing victoria Australia

aquapulse waterslide hoppers crossing victoria Australia

I don’t know what Pablo Picasso himself would think of these face collages below but I just love them.

pablo Pixcasso Picture

Pablo Picasso Picture

picasso altar boy

picasso altar boy

Picasso Mother

Picasso Mother

 

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!

Picasso

Picasso

Picasso Dora Maar

Picasso Dora Maar

Picasso

Picasso

We also briefly looked at Weeping Woman as she is very famous in Melbourne as the National Gallery of Victoria owns her and she was stolen from the gallery in 1986. You can read more about that here.

Weeping Woman Picasso National Gallery of Victoria

Weeping Woman Picasso National Gallery of Victoria

images6ZUFWYP0

National Galery of Victoria water wall

National Galery of Victoria water wall

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.

Zart Art Face Pack Paper

Zart Art Face Pack Paper

This year I had discovered this paper on the Zart Art website and knew it would be perfect for this activity.

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 1

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 1

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 2

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 2

So the procedure was

  1. Collect A4 cartridge paper from the resource table.
  2. Draw a head and neck on the A4 paper nice and large. (What do we say – FILL THE SPACE!)
  3. Colour the face using oil pastels. Natural skin tones were optional and up to the individual artist.
  4. 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!)
  5. 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!”
  6. Glue your facial features into their displaced positions.
  7. Is your person bald? What are you going to do about hair?
  8. Cut out your person carefully and mount them on an A4 piece of coloured cover paper.
Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 3

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 3

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 6

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 6

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.

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 4

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 4

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 19

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 19

Well, as already stated, I just love these and hope you do too.

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 23

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 23

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 31

Grade 4 Picasso simple collage 2015 31

Shell

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

August 4

ART ROOM SIGNS WITH BLING!

I got some of these fabulous signs for my Art room from

http://www.technologyrocksseriously.com/p/school-signs.html

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!

Enjoy!

Shell

March 20

Grade 4 Paul Klee Sinbad the sailor

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.