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

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 7

GRADE 3 DAVID HOCKNEY STYLE SWIMMING PAINTINGS

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing

UPDATE: I have added a few more photos to this post!!!

I saw this idea on USE YOUR COLOURED PENCILS ages ago and thought it would work well with my grade 3 students.

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing

 

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 23

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 23

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 22

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 22

USE YOUR COLOURED PENCILS is a fantastic primary art teacher blog from Western Australia full of brilliant ideas.

We started off by looking at several David Hockney swimming pool paintings, from the 1960s, on the projector screen. I use MY PINTEREST BOARDS to store and then display images on the projector so I don’t have to clog up my laptop with squillions of art images.

david hockney 2

The discussion was loud and vigorous with the students pointing out that it was interesting to choose that splash moment to paint rather than the person on the end of the board or in the middle of the dive, etc.

david hockney 1

And in each grade the comment was made that the swimmer in this painting looked like he was wearing a nappy!?! Oh the highs and lows of discussions with Grade 3!!! This painting was excellent for talking about the differences between a swimming/floating body and a standing/walking body. I don’t think that was why he painted it but – Thank you, David Hockney!

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 18

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 18

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 25

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 25

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 64

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 63

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 62

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 62

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 61

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 61

So as I have been gradually introducing the students to using an art journal this year they had to start by doing a quick drawing, 5 – 10 minutes only, in pencil, in their journal, of themselves as a floating/swimming body. This was then brought to me for a quick personal discussion during which I write or draw a few prompts/praises on their draft. These are directly related to their drawings, at their ability level, and I ask that they try to incorporate the ideas generated from our short, personal discussion into their ‘good copy’. Yes, folks, DIFFERENTIATION is alive and well in this Visual Arts classroom!!!

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 6

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 6

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 60

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 60

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 59

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 59

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 58

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 58

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 56

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 56

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 55

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 55

 

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 53

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 53

The first time I did this in their book was hilarious. They were all horrified that I was writing on top of their drawing but they now all have a much more secure idea of what a rough draft is and don’t feel so precious about every rough drawing any more.

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 35

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 35

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 66

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 66

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 11

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 11

Once the students had started their drawing /painting on A3 cartridge paper I quickly called a halt as most were using grey lead pencil and drawing a teeny tiny swimming version of themselves. What happened to filling the space with their body? So the grey lead pencils were put away as soon as their draft was finished and the students moved bravely, straight onto using the oil pastels, to create their swimmer. Ahhh, much better!

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 2

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 2

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting dra

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting dra

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 37

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 37

Once their swimmer drawing was finished they tackled the challenge of pool water reflection lines using  white oil pastel.

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 12

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 12

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 21

Grade 3 David Hockney style swimmer painting drawing 21

The students then painted on the water using dry block poster paint with the paint magically resisting the oil in the pastels!!! Yes, I know, sometimes the old techniques are the best ones for the job!

POSITIVES:

  • Rich, engaging activity
  • fantastic discussion
  • lots of students came into the art room talking about the David Hockney images they had looked up on Pinterest or Google images after discussing this with their family about what they were doing
  • comparing rough drafts with final pieces of work to demonstrate the changes and improvements in their final piece
  • all students were very proud of their work, regardless of their ability level
  • they make a fantastic display!

NEGATIVES

  • I don’t think there were any!!!

You can see more David Hockney style swimmers inspired, like me, by USE YOUR COLOURED PENCILS here in these links

KIDS ARTISTS from the Netherlands

MRS KNIGHTS SMARTEST ARTISTS from Dolvin Elementary School in Georgia, U.S.A

And more from my Grade 3 students below.

And I’m sure my Grade 3 children would love it if you left them a comment.

Shell       shelley menhennet

 

 

 

July 22

HANDS UP FOR ART!

I created this display with the hands made by the Grade 1’s to get the year started off with a lovely activity and a lovely display!

Hands up for art

Hands up for art 2

The children traced their hands and arms, or asked a classmate to do it for them and then decorated them with patterns using the zoom crayons.

The following week they painted their hand using watercolour cakes(or blocks, whatever you like to call them).  The grade 1’s had not used these before so needed to be taught to wash their brush when they were changing colours so the cake of watercolour did not become muddy.

I also insist that they look after the water pots themselves and if the water is too dirty they just go and empty it and refill the water pots themselves without asking me. This always results in a few water spills at the beginning (big deal, it is just water!) so we then discuss why the spill has occurred (rushing, too much water in the container) and what we do when they occur (put newspaper down immediately to help soak up the water and make the spillage more visible for others in the room and then clean it up as quickly as possible) and the spillages soon stop. It is all worth it in the end as I strive to make the children clean up after themselves. I am always stupefied by the number of children at Grade 1 level that have NO IDEA how to turn on a tap! This is all part of the learning process of being responsible artists!

I did not tell them that the crayon would resist the watercolour but waited until someone noticed it before we discussed it. “What’s happening here? Why isn’t the paint covering that crayon pattern?”

When they were dry cutting them out was the next challenge so I demonstrate how you can turn the paper while you are cutting slowly, a revelation for most grade 1’s, so you don’t just chop off all the fingers!

I ummed and aahed about how to display them and then settled on a circle. I layered them on the display board and tried NOT to staple the hands and fingers so they would move in any breeze that wafted past. I was going to put the sign in the top left corner in the middle but then found the bit of gold corrugated cardboard  in the scrap box, added some cupcake wrappers for eyes (we used to call them patty pans when I was a kid) and it turned into a beaming sun, so appropriate as the start of the year was so very hot!

Thank you for the inspiration from this picture on Pinterest. I absolutely adore Pinterest!

I also saw this one on Pinterest too which has obviously been created by much older children.Thanks for looking and I would love it if you left a comment!

Shelley

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.