Sunday, February 28, 2010

Design Lessons

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has a treasure trove of lessons for educators (see link), and for a nice change, a lot of good ones for art/arts integration. Here's a nice one for HS, but could be adapted to younger ages, regarding design and how it changes over time (the timeline itself is great).
Then, several sites have interesting presentation tools for portfolios, etc., but issuu.com seems to be quite sleek. Recently, our tech department made a presentation on prezi, another presentation tool. Lastly, I'm also playing around with cool iris.... I remember how laborious it was to matt all my artwork for portfolio reviews---how cool it would have been to have these tools instead. For MS and HS students, I could see any of these apps being part of a project submission, too. Last--an online business card site (also prints tons of other stuff cheap, like postcards).

Friday, February 26, 2010

Colored Pencil Techniques


At all three grade levels, third/fourth/fifth, I introduce colored pencils. Students especially enjoy using the techniques of "blending" and "burnishing". My big box of Crayola colored pencils disappears pretty fast with one grade level on a colored pencil project, but the results are quite beautiful (as seen in one of the fourth grade entries from "10,000 Rockets"). Here's a link to some of last year's radial art using this technique. Many students report how much fun they have and how relaxing it is to use colored pencils. Sometimes, the "classics", like colored pencils, are perfect to put in the art program mix.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Animation Fun


Our art club Rotoball entry is almost done! Here's one frame from the 200. We decided to do a jointed puppet, and thanks to a suggestion from a fellow art teacher, I used magnetic tape to move the figure around on the whiteboard. This was so much easier than the original shots done against a green screen. Next year, I want to get a separate area set-up for consistency, hopefully with a "clean" light source. I found I had to do some extra work in dropping out the background in Photoshop because of shadows. Everything is due in Shanghai by next Friday the 26th (yikes)...The title links to a wonderful resource, "Teach Animation".

Sunday, February 14, 2010

How Much Fun Can We Have?


"Visible Thinking" is very much a part of quality art education practices, related to Harvard's "Project Zero", and very reminiscent of my old critique weeks at CIA. Making art meaningful and making art fun are not mutually exclusive, and therein lies the "art of teaching". Lately, we have been having a lot of fun in the art room, and I hope the meaning-making has been embedded with the art creation. Last week, a student told me that I was a "really nice art teacher", and on asking why, replied "Because you REALLY plan!" (I was up to my elbows in "shaving cream marbleizing" at the time)... This year has been one of the most creative and most fun yet, but I'm already thinking about next year, asking myself, "How much fun can we have?" The picture is from fifth grade, when I opened our "castle unit" up to options like "Outsider Art".'

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Free Collaborative Art Mag for HS & College

From their online magazine: "CREO's mission is to create real-world opportunities for students to explore visual culture, to give voice to their ideas, and to become active learners and citizens....'Creo' is Latin for 'to create'...a quarterly, online magazine that explores visual culture from the student perspective...on a mission to create real-world opportunities for burgeoning artists...to explore the collision of art and culture...dedicated to empowering students to interpret their world, cultivate discussions, and inspire others while sharing their own work...a venue for students to be active participants rather than passive recipients of their world." Worth checking out--the spring issue is linked to the title, the summer issue will be available in May, with student submissions due by March 31st. Additionally, I found an online interactive textbook (by Charlotte Jirousek) titled "Art, Design, & Visual Thinking", which is geared for college level, but still has useful tidbits for any art education level (please note that the textbook is copyrighted)...As for my art program, went through 500 pounds of clay in 2 weeks and am grading cartoons (also 500, two grade levels worth).We've been having a lot of fun and making a lot of mess on these wintry days. Nothing seems homier than the kiln clicking away in the background as the school day draws to a close.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Art Room Showcase

Just un-burying my art room from all the recyclable castles and outsider art sculptures fifth grade worked on collaboratively (over 50 of them), plus the 250 third grade pinch pots are still in the kiln room in various stages of firing, and also the 250 clay tiles fourth grade are working on are also in the kiln room getting air-dried before the first bisque firing. I probably need twice the storage space I currently have to adequately manage sculptures, but I make do because the students love 3D work! The title links to some interesting art rooms, but space aside, I love my art room the best (not posted online, by the way). Also wrapping up our Rotoball 2010 animation, finished the last set of pictures on Friday (225 still motion shots in total)--let the editing begin! Here's a link to emergent art technology tutorials like podcasting, iMovie, and bamboo tablets (all of which I've used :).

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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