Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Out of this World Masks!!

Fourth graders have just finished their Outerspace Masks and they look amazing! The students were completely in charge of making artistic decisions involving design, construction, and detail on these masks. Their fourth grade art expertise certainly shows!
Over the last few classes students added two coats of paint to add texture and detail to their celestial mask. Students experimented and determined which paint techniques would best match the desired surface texture. 
Most recently we added finishing touches--which, for many students meant one thing: GLITTER!
As all the sparkly floors leading to the art room can attest, our fourth graders definitely like glitter. 
The masks are on display in the library with the reports the students completed during their Library and Enrichment specials.
Next Wednesday, the children will use these masks on an outdoor "Space Walk" to show relative distance between the planets.
This collaboration was a lot of fun for all, but it has also allowed the children to explore, imagine, and make connections across subjects.
Students did a fabulous job taking some abstract ideas and turning them in to beautiful masks. 
All of the planets were turned into masks as well as several stars, black holes, comets, galaxies, and even a lunar lander.
Please stop by the library in the next week to check out the awesome display!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Picasso Faces, Many Many Masks, and a Cozy Fireplace! Oh my!

As usual, there are many things going on in the art room...maybe we should call it a creative frenzy. 
Preschoolers have been learning about the warm colors--red, orange, and yellow. Inspired by this idea, we used the warm colors to create a very warm looking (and chilly weather appropriate) representation of a fireplace. Children used collage techniques to add tissue paper to the fire and crayon rubbing to add texture to the bricks. 
Here you can see some warm "kitties" lounging and enjoying the cozy ambiance. 
Kindergarten students have been creating ripped paper self portraits. We discussed the definition of a self-portrait--a picture you make of yourself--and we have been focusing on all the different important parts of ourselves that we need to make sure to include in our pictures to add realism. 
First and second grade students have been learning about the Cubist movement and, specifically, about artist Pablo Picasso. We viewed and made observations of several of Picasso's "mixed up" faces. Students noticed that he often portrays faces from two angles at once!  
Using this idea, the students were very cooperative as I traced each of their faces. We, then, created our own mixed up faces with the actual silhouette of each student right in the center.
In other news, the art room is being taken over by animal and solar system masks. The third graders have been working hard to create representations of the animals they had studied in their biome unit. Meanwhile, the fourth graders have been creating masks of differing celestial bodies. 
Students began the project by considering the idea of form in 3D art. I.e. What 3D materials can I add to my mask in order to make it the shape of my animal/celestial body? Then, each child had to come up with a plan (written or drawn) to make their ideas a reality.
Student used various 3D building materials to change or add to the form of the mask. Afterwards, these details were secured to the mask using papier mache. 
Students then had to consider the use of color and texture. What colors is my animal/planet? What textures do I notice? AND what paint techniques could I try to imitate that texture?
Lastly, we have been doing all this hard work in a "standing" classroom. In other words, we have not been using chairs. Mr Spence very kindly raised the heights of several tables to accommodate. 
Many students seem to prefer doing artwork standing and a great deal of research has proven that our brains like movement, so standing it is!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tea with the Queen

Kindergarten students were lucky enough to have Tea with the "Queen" in art! Our very fancy tea party was the grand finale of our teacup making clay project. Each student was able to actually use their very own handmade teacup!
Kindergarten students began the project by learning all about clay. What it is, where it comes from, and what kinds of things we use each day that are made from clay. Students were also able to play and experiment with the fun 3D media. 
The next week, the children learned the pinch pot technique to make the base of the teacup and rolled a "snake" into a "snail" for a spiral handle. After the teacups were fired in the kiln, the children very carefully glazed their cups using three coats of glaze.

To kick off our tea party, we read the children's book "Tea with the Queen" by Sarah Ferguson the Duchess of York. Her majesty, the Queen (Mrs. Gilbar) was able to join us and wear a very fancy paper crown. In Mrs. Mumford's class I was lucky enough to be the Queen for a day! 
While the children sipped their tea they each decorated a fancy plate and drew what foods they would like to be eating at our tea party. There were a lot of cupcakes, but also a few carrots.

It was meaningful for the students to be able to utilize a piece of their art and it was so much fun to have a Kindergarten Tea Party.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tie Dye PBIS Celebration!!!

RES kids have been hard at work tie dying all week in art class. Student earned this celebration by respecting themselves, others, and their school environments. 
Every child created either a yellow or purple tie dyed shirt. We began by learning about how tie dye works and then jumped right in to get to work on our own shirts.
Each class learned a different technique to fold, twist, or crumple their tee shirts. Then, they added rubber bands to hold the shirts in formation during the dying process. 
 After preparing their shirts for dye, each child prepared him or herself by putting on a smock and gloves.
 Children took turns using dye bottles to apply two differing shades of their color to the shirts. 
I saw so many students being kind and cooperative, helping peers, waiting patiently, providing support and encouragement to one and other. 
When students were done dyeing, they placed their shirts in the bucket and moved on to some well deserved choice time. 
Tee shirts had to soak in the dye for 12-24 hours and then get rinsed out and washed. I have had so many wonderful parent and teacher volunteers in the art room over the past few days. A BIG thanks to all of you--I truly appreciate the help!! 

You can look forward to seeing these wearable works of art around RES this year!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Still Life Drawings and Time Lapses!

Over the past few weeks, the third and fourth grade classes have been working on still life drawings. After viewing three famous still life works, we brainstormed at circle what a "still life" may be and why artists may choose to draw them...

We began the project by carefully observing the flower arrangements and noticing as many details as possible. Students then sketched the flowers using pencils--making sure to include all those wonderful details.

The following week, students checked their work to see if they had created "balanced compositions." Some children decided to add other details in their works to add visual interest and balance to their work.  Then, they traced their pencil lines with black glue to create a bold, slightly 3D effect. 

 This week, the children began coloring in their works using oil pastels. As a lesson launch we had watched a time lapse video of a professional artist using oil pastels to draw a pear. We observed some techniques she used and then tried them in our own works. Below are a few time lapse videos taken of students working. Enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Clay clay clay!

First and second grade students have been learning all about clay. Where it comes from, what things are made from clay, and how we can make things out of clay. We are now working on building some awesome chili bowls that will make an appearance at the Harvest Festival in October!

Kindergarten students have also been learning all about clay. They were very happy to dive right in and get their hands dirty. I challenged them to form their one piece of clay into a ball, then a snake, then a snowman, and lastly (their favorite) a pancake!

Here is one of those poor snowmen squished into a pancake!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Free Lantern-Making Workshop for the River of Light Lantern Parade

On Saturday November 21st, 2015 Smilie Memorial School (2712 Theodore Roosevelt Hwy, Bolton, VT) will be hosting a special one-day lantern-making workshop in preparation for Waterbury’s River of Light Community Lantern Procession which will be taking place on Saturday December 5th in Waterbury VT.

Date: Saturday November 21st 2015
Place: Smilie Memorial School
Time: 10am-3pm to include an hour break for lunch

– Workshop is free to attend
– All tools and materials will be provided. If you have a pair of hand-held
 pruning shears, please bring them along, you’ll find it useful to have a 
pair of your own.
– Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult. This 
activity is not suitable for children under 6.
– There will be a limit of 20 participants.
– Donations will be welcome.
– For more information or to register please contact Gowri Savoor at or visit

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Beautiful Sketchbooks!

The kids were so excited to "shop" for their sketchbook covers today in art. They got to choose from a wide variety of gorgeous papers made by all ages in our school community. What wonderful things we can create when we work together!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Community Art!

The year has gotten off to a great start in the art room! We have been learning about community art. The students deduced that community art does two important things: it gives the community members a chance to work together and it makes the community look "pretty."

SO, we worked together to create art to make our school community look even more beautiful!

Each child decorated one quarter of a circle. Students were able to decorate their piece in any manner they choose. Many children viewed the quarter circle as something representational; from a piece of pizza to the Earth, there was an amazingly wide variety.

The completed works are hung in the hallways. Please come check out our beautiful community artwork!