Friday, January 17, 2014


Art is a way to explore texture and shape in nature.  We started off by analyzing White Cow by Everett Spruce.


What is the largest shape you see?  What other shapes can you find?     How does the cow look like it would feel?  How did the artist do that?  What are the details?  How has the artist made the cow the emphasis of the painting?

shape, texture, background, details, line, color, mood, printmaking, etchings, monoprint, burnish, subtractive method, printmaking, emphasis

We moved on to create monoprints and etchings of an animal. Keeping in mind to make it the emphasis and to add visual texture to help the viewer get a feel of the fur, feathers, skin, etc.

The monoprints were created on the table with a dime size dollop of washable paint.  We used q-tips to draw the image (subtractive method) and placed a sheet of newsprint on top, burnished with our hand and pulled the print.  

The etchings were created on styrofoam.   We used a pencil to draw the image and inked our plates with block printing ink and brayers.  We then placed a sheet of newsprint on top, burnished and pulled our prints.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Interpretations of Beauty

As we think about nature in the context of  beauty, many different images may come to mind.  This was an important conversation to be had as the students come to appreciate other perspectives.  I posed the  following challenge:

You are a dragonfly in a story-book  that has been given the gift of artistry.  The King has asked to you to create a beautiful flower for someone special in the kingdom.  How will you design it?

mixed media collage, Kinder and First Grade

Kindergarten Collage


Kindergarten took inspiration for their collages from the work of Henri Matisse.  Looking at  how shapes and colors  relate to each other in an artwork was the starting point for this lesson.  Trying different arrangements before gluing lets the students think through the artistic process. What makes the arrangement pleasing?  Will there be space between the shapes or will they touch or overlap?  Will there be mostly curved or straight-edged shapes?

 Henri Matisse, The Horse, the Equestrian and the Clown, 1947


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Monotypes and Monoprints


The mono-types and mono-prints were created by the middle school elective class.  We started with a piece of plexi glass that we textured a bit with sand paper.   After choosing a theme to work with, they experimented with various materials such as water-based crayons, pre-made and hand made stencils, string, twine, block printing ink and basically anything else they found inspiring.  After the plates were dry, we ran them through the press with a sheet of damp watercolor paper.

monotype, Marcela, theme- Darkness

mono-print, Melanie

mono-type, Emotions