Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Art 1/ Art History

Today is a good day. I have come to remember this year that I actually really enjoy teaching my introductory art one classes, especially when you get those classes where the students really want to be there and this semester I have those classes. They make me smile when they walk in the room.

My students come from three junior high/middle schools to make up my classes. Some of the students have never had art, even in the elementary and some have had art from kindergarten through 8th grade, so in a nutshell there is a large range of learning taking place.

Our first unit is a simple study of line. We talk about contour line and blind contour line drawing and we do the art basic practice rounds of both. For the first time in a long time the majority of these students had a very difficult time of letting go of the control. Contour is loose and continuous and simply implies the form. They simply could not let go of realism and in turn we had a terrible case of bad cartoon image. So learning from that, I headed a different direction. We took photos of each student and I had them trace in sharpie, the contour of the their own face. Once that was done, we flipped the photo. The sharpie had bled through to reveal their contour line drawing. At that point there was an "aha" moment and they got it! We then did four total drawings and took a time out to explore the work of both Andy Warhol and Peter Max. At this point students were then to take their four contour drawings and create a unique project in the style of one or both of those artists. The project is not initially where I intended to go, but I ended up where we needed to be. Our line study is coming to a close and I am so ok with what they learned as are they!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I have noticed that sometimes I walk away from the blog in times that I find myself overwhelmed. I suppose this fall was one of those times. I am not sure, I suppose it was a combintation of things and I could not seem to catch up no matter how hard I tried, so while my classroom is so quiet as my advanced art students are painting on their large scale works, I decided to jot a note.

I am making some New Year's Teaching Resolutions:

I have decided to make some resolutions in regard to my teaching for the new year. I am not sure any teacher is so perfect that they never need to make changes or improvements and I am truly in need of change. I look around my classroom as I am sure a lot of art teachers do and see a lifeless messy room. To many people it is simply a happy creative area. But for me I want more. I want to create a chic, cool art room that kids want to create in, not just because its the art room and they have to, but because it is THE ART ROOM. I am in the process of brainstorming inexpensive ideas. We lack storage space. Everything sits out in the open and I hate it. I know if it could all be enclosed how nice it would look. We also lack storage space for projects, and I need to be creative in storing those as well. We are in almost an attic area of a pole building, which I don't mind. It is quiet and large. But we also have three style of walls and it is beginning to show its age. I just don't know but I will figure something out. I know I will.

My second is organization. So many kids walk in and out of this room all day. One student leaves something out, ok I can pick it up, but then two, three, 20 students leave things out and I am trouble. I need to be tougher and I need to create spaces for those materials to go. To create a routine which makes it simple.

My third and final resolution is keeping up my blog. I know I can and I need to and I will!

All three are doable, I just need to do it. And sometimes, I might need a reminder.