Monday, February 25, 2013

Themes in Artwork- Abstract and Non-Objective Sculpture

Just like stories or movies, artwork also has subjects and themes.  The challenge was for each group to decide on one theme and have each member create a small abstract or non-objective sculpture depicting that theme.

Theme: Vision
I made the shape sort of grotesque because it represents our insecurities.  How we feel inside, insecure about the  future.

Theme: Direction

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left and bottom right- theme, Direction

Melanie, top right
Theme: Vision
...I chose pink because it represents how people are naive...we are unable to see things that we should see but can't.  The gold shape symbolizes how we all have potential to feel despite this.  I  have shapes disrupting the view of the eye.  Being open to the possibilities of new opportunities is what this piece is about to me.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Envelope Art, Artistic Gifts

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As artists, we're constantly searching for ways to transform objects, it's as if some force imposes itself on us to create(!)...been there?  Here, we've made envelopes from a heavy weight paper and painted them in a way that was pleasing to us.  The next step is to create an artwork that coincides with the envelope that will be placed inside and given as a gift.

You can design your own envelope or use this pattern to trace onto a paper better suited for paint.  You can find many envelope patterns on Pinterest as I did. 

Altered Pages- Seeing Is Creating

Kerry looked angry.

clockwise from top left:

Rose let you eat all that food.

Did a dead man save your soul?  The instrument of your death cried Neldman-

It came into view-

He approached the ocean with a grin.  He could see the island excitedly-

As soon as I find a sandwich.  I want supper-
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For most students, creating an altered page is a new experience.  You take a page from a book you may no longer want or need and transform it into an artwork. Searching for the right words to make a new sentence creates this wonderful tension in the mind from what you know and what could be. It's a bit hard to explain but once you do it you'll understand.


  • tape 2 pieces of text together
  • searched for your perfect words to make a sentence (this part takes about 20-30 minutes)
  • circle them (leave plenty of room around so the words are easy to read)
  • we used oil pastels or watercolors to paint in the surrounding areas.  Students could also chose to use a stencil, draw an image or just block out the area as they pleased.  
  • (these are from 5th grade students)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wastebasket Challenge 2012-13

Although people create art for a vast number of  reasons, most artworks belong to one of 3 broad categories: practical, cultural, or personal.   Through these categories we can better understand the functions of art. The challenge for this project was to design a wastebasket to serve practical, cultural and personal functions.

Wastebasket Challenge 2012-13 from Gabriela Elizalde on Vimeo.

We decided on a old fashioned television set shape because this is how we grew up.  We chose the grey colors to represent how tired we are by all of the pressures we face.  The images on the front are the cartoons we each grew up on.    The antenna add an element of play because you can try to "shoot"your candy wrappers through them.  The hardest part was building the actual piece.  We are really happy with how it turned out!
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Visible Thinking, Movement and Landscapes

When we are given the opportunity to explore an artwork so much can be gained-  connections are made to self and world, our thinking develops and simply sharing ideas and thoughts show us how to be, how to learn, how to appreciate and share not only the artwork, but one another's thoughts and ideas.

Stuart Davis, Swing Landscape, 1938. Oil on canvas

I wanted the kids to see their thinking today.  As we looked at Stuart Davis' piece, I wrote down their thinking on a large paper.  We used The Explanation Game from the book Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchart.  There is a great video below where he talks about this concept, just click on the link.

Class Observations:
I see colors, bright colors, shapes, rectangles, triangles, odd shapes, a ladder, a rope,  patterns...
I think this is about a city, it looks busy, all the different colors on top of each other make it look busy, the people are missing,  maybe they are hiding from all of the chaos, they're scared, they're in their cars, I think the artist likes this place, it looks fun and crazy, it looks like there is so much movement, I would want to play there, it looks fun,  reminds me of a construction site, I see tall towers and roads and trucks, people use ladders to climb up to where they want to be, the lines make it look jumpy...

Art Project: Create an expressive landscape, seascape or cityscape with patterns and movement.

All artwork by Kinder and First Grade

Ron Ritchheart discussing the importance of thinking

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happiness Is... Accordion Books

Happiness Is... singing, me and Mom, chocolate

by Annabelle, 1st grade
A big part of art making is the process of showing your thoughts, ideas or feelings.  This is something we think about at the start of any project.  I wanted each student to capture those joyful moments of childhood in their artwork. Accordion books played into the process beautifully; as your eyes travel through the book you share something new at each moment.

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We used texture plates placed under paper for visual texture (rub with crayon)
cut the paper horizontally (now you have 2)
fold, crease, turn (like a paper fan)
glue the 2 ends together
choose 3-5 things that make you happy, draw them
add a front and back cover (we used card-stock)

This week in art... from Gabriela Elizalde on Vimeo.