Saturday, October 29, 2011

Paint Batik, or The Art of Stressing Out

The unaltered tempera painting by Nate1253

An example of a completely inked painting

The painting after rinsing off the ink

The painting with color reapplied in specific areas and rinsed slightly

The unaltered tempera painting by Michaela1229

The paint batik end product after some rework

The unaltered tempera painting by Brittany5262

The paint batik end product which she didn't need to rework

Here's a recipe to totally annihilate the "preciousness" of student  work:

           1.  Take one perfectly fine tempera painting
           2.  Completely obliterate it in a single coat of India ink
           3.  Let dry for no more than 15 minutes
           4.  Rinse off and totally freak out
           5.  Dry flat and hope for the best
           5.  Jump in and repaint areas for emphasis

Something must have changed in my standard tempera paint's formula.  During the rinsing process, instead of a little paint washing away leaving cool staining affects with India ink, we experienced a mass exodus of tempera pigment.  Paintings bled ink and tempera down the drain to such an extent that the color drained from my students' faces as well.

Frankly, the paint batik process balances risk and unexpected happy accidents.  So, I encouraged my students to repaint some areas to add emphasis and appreciate those happy accidents. I'm not sure I've convinced all of them that the end results were successful.  On the bright side, I think their altered works at least challenged them to think creatively.  When I repeat this project in a couple of years, we're adding a bit of Elmer's Glue to our paint for more staying power.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkins Please

Jesus Pumpkin "Come Unto Me"

Jesus Pumpkin in the light

Art Club Painting Pumpkins

More Art Club Pumpkins

The houses on Route 619 approaching Hartville are growing ghosts, goblins and ghouls.  A flying witch replete with broom annually wraps herself around a telephone pole on the North side of the road.  You'd think she'd navigate more adeptly after all these years.  Besides the shimmering fall colors washing the trees, I love to see pumpkins standing sentinel on front stoops up and down the street. 

Now, I have to confess that as an art teacher, I'm not a lover of pure orange.  I think it has something to do with traffic cones and they way they stress me out when driving.  However, pumpkin orange elicits a warmer personal response evoking the smell of baking pumpkin pies, and sipping lattes in front of a crackling fireplace.  The iconic fall symbol transcends Halloween hoopla and speaks of harvest and changing seasons.

The carved pumpkin above was completed in about 4 hours using a free pattern from  Sr. High Art Club painted theirs this year to excellent effect. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Advanced Art: Connecting literature and art

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson


The "take away" from Advanced Art class this semester involves learning to say something using visual language.  Inspired by the idea of linking literature and art, Emerson's quote gives plenty of room for students to explore their artistic voice.  After a brainstorming session, and submission of a formal proposal outlining  materials and processes, my kids have finally come to the half-way point.


Tape Casting

Clay Mask


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Art of Painting on People

 You have to be quick with a brush to paint a moving target.  Especially giggly targets like young elementary -school students who desire anything from muffins to aliens painted on their cheeks and arms.  My art club kids have manned the face-painting booth for a number years at Lake Center Christian's "Pony Express."  Over time, we’ve streamlined our methods, employing stamps and quick drying paints to good effect.  However, some things will never change, like the smile a kid beams at you for a cool design you just painted on their person.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sophomores and the Power of Pink

The Power of Pink!

Three things that make me happy during school spirit week:

1.  Daffy outfits
2.  Davenport races, and
3.  Decorative hallways

  All the excitement of streamers, balloons, and team- building games for LCCS' Spirit Week concluded last week.  Remaining in my mind's eye, however, is the penetrating pink glow created by some of my students in the sophomore hallway. They completely transformed their space using simple materials.  Featuring a balloon chandelier and tented lights, their design catapulted them into first place for class color day.  If any class could thoroughly explore the pinkness of pink, sophomores rocked it.