Friday, September 24, 2010


from "andDesign":
"Scott McCloud has written books about 'Understanding Comics' and 'Making Comics' but everyone has come to understand that his ideas are about much more than comics. McCloud is one of the world's top analysts of visual communication - how it is done, what it means, why it's important.
McCloud talks about three types of "vision".
1. What one can not see - the unseen and unknowable. (Humanities)
2. That which can be proven or ascertained. (Sciences)
3. A vision of something which can be, which may be, based on knowledge, but is as yet unproven. (Design)" ---citation: Dr. Martin Rayala, 2010.

Even after a rigorous week of teaching studio skills and perseverance, I still am amazed by all the connections we make in the art classroom. How I love to hear, "Now I get it!"

We are wrapping up or line units and moving on to "color" in October (fitting, as the temperature is expected to drop 30 degrees in one day, which I imagine will jump-start the leaves to unfurl their glorious hues). One thing I am doing vastly different from last year, opening up the fifth grade clay project from slab-construction to a nearly pure sculptural experience. Of course, this means that I will be storing 250 clay pieces for nearly a month & trying to keep them workable. Here's a hint to the clay concept...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two Integrations

This past week, I reinforced curriculum in two grade levels, in two content areas. The first one was 5th grade Science, where a teacher grabbed me in the hall, excited about using paint techniques to help students understand animal camouflage. Immediately, I was able to share that as third graders, we covered many paint techniques like spatter, combing, and wash. I pulled together an original Powerpoint with the techniques explained, visualized, and the related animal camouflage, ending with science websites to explore and current artworks using camouflage as a technique. Second integration reinforcement was at the request of the fourth grade teachers, who have asked me to reinforce geometry terms, and especially things like symmetry and tessellations. I found an excellent resource, which blended seamlessly into our Smartboard-based discussions during the "flip-flop drawing unit". As "Arts in Education" week ends, I really feel like this past week exemplifies how important the arts are in learning (see title link for more on that topic, including integrative units).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Brain Buffet & National Arts in Education Week

I am seriously toying with the idea of getting fifth graders on Illustrator & I think making "spooky skulls" might be fun---the title links to an mp4 tutorial (about halfway down the tutorial page). I also rediscovered Adobe Education, which has some excellent integrative Photoshop elements stuff. & the tech list for Art Club is growing: One Day on Earth on 10.10.10, FLOAT in Feb., plus Rotoball (start soon, due in spring 2011)...Lastly, every week is "Arts in Education Week" for me, but as part of the nationwide effort to support the arts, let me just say that you cannot promote innovation without the mindful skills creating art instills! Not to be trite, but making art is a "buffet for the brain". For more specifics, see my other posting at More Art 24/7.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Math and Art

Now that we are back at school, I've chosen to be more explicit about the connections between art & other areas, such as math. We are doing line drawings, basically, but third grade is talking about "parallel", "diagonal", & "perpendicular" lines, fourth grade is working on mirror reflections/symmetry in their composition, and fifth grade is making geodesic spheres. The photo (and title link) are about the science of art as related to origami. I also found another resource for symmetry and tessellations at:
(30 activities, with at least 3 solid links per). I say it a lot, but art is in everything!

The Sketchbook Project

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

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The journey of process intrigues me and I am always changing it up.

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