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 19

Grade 4 Foot Zentangles

Grade 4 footangle 55 2015

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

Grade 4 foot zentangle 25 2015

Grade 4 Foot zentangle 25 2015

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

Grade 4 footangle 26 2015

Grade 4 footangle 26 2015

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

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

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

Grade 4 foot zentangle 13 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 13 2015

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

Grade 4 foot zentangle 8 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangleangle 8 2015

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

Grade 4 foot zentangle 11 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 11 2015

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

Grade 4 foot zentangle 5 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 5 2015

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

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

grade 4 foot zentangle drawing 2015

grade 4 foot zentangle drawing 2015

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

Grade 4 footangle 47 2015

Grade 4 footangle 47 2015

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

Grade 4 footangle 44 2015

Grade 4 footangle 44 2015

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

Dave Behrens self portrait

Dave Behrens self portrait

 

Dave Behrens painting the spoken word

Dave Behrens painting the spoken word

Dave Behrens painting Crossroads

Dave Behrens painting Crossroads

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

Grade 4 foot zentangle 35 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 35 2015

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

Grade 4 foot zentangle 32 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 32 2015

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

Grade 4 foot zentangle 37 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 37 2015

POSITIVES:

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

NEGATIVES:

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

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

Shell

July 10

GRADE 5 COLOUR ZENTANGLE LANDSCAPES

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 24

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 10

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 10

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

Grade 3 zentangle hand drawing 6

Grade 3 zentangle hand drawing 6

the grade 4s doing Zentangle feet

Grade 4 footangle 37 2015

Grade 4 footangle 37 2015

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

Grade 4 footangle 56 201

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 9

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 9

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 31

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 46

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 46

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 28

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 28

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 13

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 21

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

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 2

Grade 5 zentangle landscape drawing 2

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

Shell

avatar Shelley Menhennet

 

 

 

December 5

GRADE 2 DAVE BEHRENS INSPIRED DETAILED DRAWINGS AT THE CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY SCHOOL ART SHOW

 

As mentioned in previous posts, the Grade 2 children were inspired by the work of Queensland artist Dave Behrens. We looked at his website on the projection screen and even watched a video of him in his workshop.

 

The children were itching to get started after looking at the amazing squiggles, lines and symbols that go together to make Dave Behrens amazing paintings.

 

We started off small with each child decorating a rectangle to add to a whole grade piece of work.

 

They then chose a template to trace from a heart, a circle or a person. Some children found looking at the whole empty shape daunting so they used rulers to break the space up into sections to fill.

 

They were so proud of their work when it was finished and they looked terrific displayed together at the Art Show.

October 2

GRADE 2 BUNTING

At the start of this year the main art room was looking terribly empty and I wanted something I dould get up quickly to brighten up the roomain .

I saw somw bunting, I thought it was on Pinterest but I can’t find the particular image I remember and thought it would work. When I stumble upon that image again, and I will, I will put it here a d acknowledge the inspiration.

I bought a couple of cheap plastic packs of bunting at the $2 shop so the chuldren would know what I was on about.

I then drew up a quick large triangle template and photocopied it. I could have turned this into a lesson about learning how to rule up an accurate triangle but I wanted to be quick, remember????

I then talked about how bunting was visible from both sides so my instructions then were to draw patterns all over one side, the other side was to say boldly, I LOVE ART, and have the child’s nam eand grade on it.

The grade 2 children worked so hard on their intricate patterning that the bunting pieces took two sessions to complete! I then swished slightly watered down food dye over them before throwing them on the rack to dry!

I then stapled them to a stri[p of ribbon and they were great! I hung them all up when they were finished and got all sorts of comments about how festive, cicussy, the Art room looked! I took one grade’s piece and put it in the hallway with anexplanation atached as to what bunting is!!!

I was sure I had better photos that these as it looks like the classroom photos have only about 1/3 of the bunting up but I’m sure you get the idea!

Thanks for looking,

Shelley

July 24

DAVE BEHREN’S STYLE!

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

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

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

Viewing the website in the main art room 2013

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

 

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

Viewing Dave Behrens video interview main art room 2013 

viewing Dave Behrens video in back art room 2013

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

Shelley

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