Thursday, September 29, 2011

Art & Science Prevail

Well, so much for miracles…science won out, but so did art! Four days into our drawing lesson, our fruit was brown and slimy bringing with it a friendly infestation of fruit flies. I tried performing a rot-endectomy, slicing off the brown outside layer of the cut fruits, (to bide us a little bit more time) but even a lemon juice miracle could not stop science.

Our once succulent fruit has returned to the good earth in my compost pile! Ah, the circle of life.

Classroom bugs and all, it was worth it! The assignment generated a positive experience for the students, and while they might be a tad more critical of their success than I am as their teacher, I am pleased with their efforts and results. No one can learn how to do something, or how to get better at doing something…without actually doing it! Funny how that education thing works.

Of course, we aren’t the only artists who have drawn rotting fruit. Consider Caravaggio, the Italian Baroque Master (1571-1610) who painted "Basket of Fruit" in 1599. Images of my students' drawings will come soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Lemon Juice Miracle!

My students are drawing from fruit arrangements that are placed in the center of each table. Since I'm new to this whole "teaching drawing thing", I was hesitant to use fruit because of its short life-span. But decided to do it anyway.

In the morning as I prepared and arranged the plates for each table, I dipped the cut apples into lemon juice, knowing that doing so would slow the browning process. As an extra precaution, I also painted the fruit at the end of the day with more lemon juice and covered it with saran wrap (providing a tight seal to the cut pieces), and left them on the tables over night. I did all this, hoping for the best....but expecting the worst.

Hooray - it's a lemon juice miracle!! It didn't just slow the browning practically prevented it - even un-refrigerated! This photo is the fruit on DAY #2! Clearly, you can sense my excitement! I'm pleased by the simple things.

My students are drawing on paper that can become the pages for their future books. Since all levels of my students are mixed together in one class, I find that a simple observational drawing activity is a great way to help my new art students feel comfortable drawing, while allowing my more experienced students the freedom to hit the ground running.

Friday, September 23, 2011

13 Days & A Folder Full of Fun

Today is our 13th full day of school. Hard to believe, I have met with my students for 546 minutes or roughly 9 hours. It's funny to think far, we have built our blogs, written a post, created various decorative papers for our visual journals and will begin our first drawing assignment on Monday! I think my students are already starting to feel accomplished, even though our actions have only been in preparation for the big things to come. Just like life, it feels good to be prepared.

This year to provide them with a sense of ownership, I have given all of my students 3 of their very own drawing pencils, 2 markers, 2 blending stumps and 2 erasers. Now they are artists with their own tools - and I'm looking forward to seeing what they will do with them!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Messy & Clean!

We are leading double lives and going back and forth from dirty work in my art classroom and clean work in the computer lab.

My messy art room is getting some serious action as we create decorative papers for our visual journals. These papers will become the pages of our books when we create them later this year. Look here to see pictures of last year's books.

The clean computer lab is allowing the students some class time to prepare their blogs. We go public this week. I do admit that clean is nice...but I feel a little bit more like myself when I have colorful stains on my hands!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

CA Blog Requirements

Today is the 7th full day of we're just getting started...

1. Add an image to your profile. This cannot be a recognizable picture of your face, but the image will become the icon for your blog, so pick something that represents you.

2. Write a description statement for your profile.

3. Finalize the title of your blog and consider writing a statement in the blog description. This can be an overview statement, inspiring quote, a passage from a book etc. Use it to set the tone of your blog.

4. In the template designer you can change your theme, color scheme, adjust your layout...the works! Use it to make your blog look the way you want it to look.

5. Create a welcome/intro post. Here's mine from 2010 when I first started blogging! Try adding a photo to your post.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Big Day of Blogs!

Here we are diligently working on creating our blogs! The energy created by a group that is advancing toward a common goal is invigorating! Thanks CA students for doing such a great job getting started. If you'd like to share a comment about your experience today, I'd love to hear what you have to say.