Dale Chihuly - 3rd Grade Sculptures

Fun! Fun! Fun! That is my take away from the Dale Chihuly sculpture lesson I just finished with my 3rd graders. They loved studying his work and using it as the inspiration for their own sculptures. We looked at Chihuly's work and after our initial discussion on the differences between form and shape we watched a video of Dale Chihuly making a piece of art from his Macchia series. It was great for the students to see first hand how a piece of blown glass art is made.

Students then planned their piece of sculpture using colors and spontaneous drawing the way Chihuly does.

When students were done planning they transferred their designs to white coffee filters using washable markers. Macchia means spotted or stained in Italian and that was the basis of the inspiration for Chihuly and my students. When their coffee filter designs were complete they used paint bottles to form their free form sculptures.

When they had their sculptures in the form they wanted we sprayed them with spray starch and left them to dry!

They were then mounted on some matt board scraps in order to be displayed.

I think they are stunning and my little artists are so proud of their work! Want a fun sponge activity using technology for your students? Go here!


First Grade Folk Art Lesson

There is nothing I enjoy more than painting with my students. I would paint all day every day if I didn't have such a rigorous curriculum to cover. I just finished a Folk Art lesson with my 1st graders. We studied the art of John "Cornbread" Anderson. Cornbread was born and raised right here in Georgia. Growing up on a 40 acre farm, he spent a lot of time exploring the fields and woods around him. He fondly remembers his yard full of guinea hens and the wash tub near the wood-burning stove where his Mother cooked all of their meals during his childhood. You can see his memories of his childhood reflected in his paintings today. Students were inspired by his subject matter and created paintings of their own. Look for their use of horizon line and how well they used shapes to create their animals.

Jasper Johns Kindergarten Lesson

I love to plan art lessons around some of the great shows that are going on locally at The High Museum of Art. Right now there is a great show featuring works from The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Having grown up on Long Island I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to go to MOMA many times, but I never get tired of seeing these amazing paintings! The show is called "Picasso to Warhol - Fourteen Modern Masters" and I am trying to teach many of these artists to my students this year. Kindergarten studied Jasper Johns!

Here are just a few of our finished pieces. They are all on display as a big installation in our front hallway.


The Princess of Polka Dots

The K, 1st, and 2nd grade art students are knee deep in our 3D clay unit. It is a fun time and the students are really enjoy it. Right now we are studying the artist Yayoi Kusama in 1st grade. Do you know anything about this Princess of Polka Dots? She uses repetition as the focus for her art installations - making many of the same thing with the same design!

This art lesson focuses on creating ceramic objects using pinch construction and textured surface design. Look at their pumpkin forms below. Can you see the texture?

When our pumpkins are fired we will glaze them with polka dots inspried by Kusama!


Wolf Kahn

My second graders studied spacial concepts in the art room this week. Learning how to create depth is often a big leap for them. We used methods that included overlapping, size, placement, foreground, middle ground, background, and horizon line. I chose Wolf Kahn for this art lesson because I love his work so much and felt like his vibrant use of colors and repetition would really excite my students as well. We had fun! Here are some of our BEAUTIFUL landscapes!


Elizabeth Murray Lesson

Elizabeth Murray, was a New York painter who reshaped Modernist abstraction into a high-spirited, cartoon-based, language of form. Her subjects often included domestic life, relationships and the nature of painting itself. My 2nd graders were very inspired by this lesson and my student teacher did an excellent job of teaching it! Here are some of our comic inspired animals.

If you would like to learn more about artist Elizabeth Murray check our some of these great resources at PBS.


Facebook Bulletin Board

Not a day goes by without Facebook being a topic of some conversation or another. Students sometimes talk about it and I have even heard them use it as a verb "Facebook me!" has replaced the "call me" of days gone by. I thought it would be fun to embrace our cultures love of Facebook to teach the kids about artists! My art partner in crime at my school helped to make it happen. We will change it monthly and hopefully sneak some art learning in while our students are standing in line waiting for art and class.


Little Glimpses

 There are so many things that make me love being an art teacher. Here is a little glimpse of one of the many things that make my day.


Beautiful Oops!

A life lesson that all littles (and even some bigs!) need to learn.



Under Construction

Please excuse the state of our blog. We are undergoing a complete overhaul in anticipation of the new school year. Please come back and check on our progress soon. Lots of exciting new things are in store!


Andy Goldsworthy

Blog Discussion:  Do you think using the same form but different materials affect the artwork? Why? (Respond in the comments section below.)