News From the Art Room

April 27 - May 1

I'm Back!

You may have noticed a distinct lack of newsletters coming from the art room these last few weeks (bonus points if you actually noticed!) As it turns out, I was busy becoming a father. On Tuesday, April 7th (his Grandma's birthday) my son, Cedar Stanley, came into the world!

And as any new dad would, I'll now smother you with baby pictures.

Obligatory Baby Video

Want to see a video of baby Cedar trying (with minimal success) to stay awake? Of course you do!

2015 Farmington Art Show

Each year Farmington Area Public Schools cram as much student artwork as we can into the cafeteria at Farmington High School for a single night--what we call the Farmington Art Show. Each art teacher in the district selects exemplary work to be displayed there, ranging from Kindergarten to 12th grade, ceramics to painting and everything inbetween.

2015 Farmington Art Show FAQ's

Q. How much does it cost?

A. Free. It costs free.

Q. Free you say, eh? When is it again?

A. Thursday, May 7th from 6:00 - 8:00. People usually start meandering in around 5:30.

Q. So is there, like, a program or do we just walk in or what?

A. No program! It's like an art gallery. Artwork is hung up and you come peruse it. Stay as long as you like, leave whenever.

Q. What all will there be to do?

A. In addition to all of the AMAZING work that students have done, in years past we've had live demonstrations from student artists showing how to throw pottery on a potter's wheel, drawing, painting, etc. The school store will also be open and selling snacks.

Q. Can we bring the whole family?

A. Please do! The more the merrier! In the past the cafeteria has been packed with families!

Q. How do I know if my kid has any artwork in the show?

A. Later this week certificates will be sent home with students whose work is going up at the art show. When I select student work to go into the show I always pull students aside and chat with them about it--if your child has artwork in the show you likely have already heard about it.

Q. Wait, where is it at again?

A. Farmington High School in the cafeteria. Believe me, you won't be able to miss it. Park in either lot, head in and follow the noise.


In The Tall, Tall Grass

The kindergarteners just read the book, "In The Tall, Tall Grass" by Denise Fleming and created a collage showing--you guessed it--tall, tall grass. We used this as an opportunity to talk about value and overlapping in art.

1st Grade

Masks and Resists

No, the 1st graders aren't making masks. Well, technically they are making masks. But not those kinds of masks. A mask is something an artist puts over their material to keep it clean. This is often done in watercolor painting when an artist wants to save the bright whiteness of the paper. We created masks today using--gasp--masking tape (yes, that is where it gets its name from. Learn something new every day!)

Students are creating watercolor cards, each with a letter masked off on it.

Last week students made a resist (similar to a mask) using watercolor paints and wax crayons. These took the form of "wild things" from Maurice Sendak's classic, Where the Wild Things Are. Look for these to be sent home this week.

2nd Grade

Keith Haring Figures

The 2nd graders have been working on figure paintings inspired by Keith Haring's iconic style. Large-scale work like this is always an adventure in the art room and these paintings have been no different! They're making a great addition to our hallway and have absolutely wowed the kindergarteners into oblivion ("That painting is bigger than I am!!!")

With these paintings largely under wraps we'll be moving on to our clay unit starting at the end of the week.

3rd Grade

Texture, Space, and a lot of Painting

The 3rd graders finished creating their clay creatures and off they went to be fired in the kiln. In the interim students created texture paintings that highlighted space by having a foreground, middleground, and background. What did we use to create texture? Spoons and forks and knives, of course.

As students finish up their texture paintings they're able to begin painting their clay creatures as those have now come out of the kiln after their firing.

4th Grade

Blown Minds and One Point Perspective Cityscapes

One-point perspective is a form of drawing that uses a single point (the vanishing point) as an anchor for lines to create the illusion of depth. We started learning to draw in one-point perspective by drawing basic shapes and turning them 3D. Once students had this down we took that same technique and made it a little more concrete--instead of shapes floating in space, the 3D objects students drew turned into buildings.

As we wind down from drawing in perspective we'll be starting our self-portraits.

5th Grade

Photography and Ceiling Tiles

Prior to Spring Break the 5th graders in Needham's and Rodman's classes began learning about composition in photography. Students learned some simple tricks (the rule of thirds, the worm's-eye-view, the bird's-eye-view, etc.) for creating interesting compositions, and then started the process of editing their photos using Snapseed.

If your child is in Mrs. Needham's class or Mrs. Rodman's class, ask to see their Photography folder inside their Art Portfolio (on the Google Drive app on their iPads). Students were instructed to edit, rename, and upload (at least) 10 photos to their portfolios and thus far only about half of the students have followed through on that.

If students need a refresher, refer them to the project description sheet that they saved to their iPads before Spring Break (if they can't find it I posted it to Schoology again yesterday to remind them. Also, it's right here.)

Students have also been hard at work painting ceiling tiles to adorn our hallways. Students use the gridding technique to correctly transfer the proportions of a historical painting from their iPads onto their ceiling tiles and that's no small feat! We'll be finishing up our ceiling tiles in the coming week before starting our final clay project as elementary schoolers!

Amazing 5th Grade Photography