On Monday each student wrote about another student. They described their physical traits, any history of them they could remember from our December presentations, personality traits, their likes and dislikes, information about their family and to finish it off, one thing they like about one them. I was very pleased with the results. The students did very well describing each other and could recall lots of information. When the students heard what their classmates said about them, they loved it. Lucy said to Claire, "That's the nicest story I have ever heard!" This activity lead us into our self portraits that did on Wednesday with Judd. Judd had set up mirrors in the art room and each artist studied themselves and did a pencil line drawing of what they saw. Judd was very impressed with every one's portrait and was proud of each of us for working through the challenge of a self portrait.
One week, a student chose an image of a dragon as our reference material. The drawing shown here demonstrates some things we've learned about this artist, B.J. Wolf. B.J. has a good, patient eye for detail. He also enjoys blending colors, as seen in the neck, wings and fire-breath of his dragon. He always considers the background and, in this case, on his own initiative, inserted an erupting volcano.
The students of Prairie Green decided that their next play would be The Gruffalo, based on the book by Julia Donaldson. Parts have been decided, lines are being learned and costumes are being put together. The students created the invite below:
This winter, we spent some time learning about and drawing birds that stick around in Iowa for the winter. Some of our cardinal drawings are posted elsewhere on the blog. We also drew chickadees. Lucy's drawing demonstrates an interest in creating contrasts. Tiny feathers on the chickadee's belly and neck vs. the bulkier feathers of the tail. Solid red berries vs. empty berries. Large empty snowflakes vs. tiny blue snowflakes. Lucy's drawing shows that she's thinking and experimenting as she works.
Paula took on a challenge when she chose a small reference photograph of someone handfeeding a chickadee. She dove in with a black marker and got a great result. The use of a few splashes of color enlivens the drawing, and the choice to omit the bird's eye adds interest. Paula seems to enjoy being a student during our art sessions and really adds to the group's work by modeling the courage, focus and encouragement that are our ideals for everyone.
Since the beginning of the year, Judd Lawler, dad and volunteer has been coming into the school to work with the kids on Art Wednesday afternoons. In the fall, the kids would sit outside on the lawn and draw landscapes looking out back of Prairie Green. Those who were ready worked on perspective and drawing things to scale. They moved on to watercolors and painting and now are focusing on drawing. Judd talked to the students about how all drawings come from a few basic figures. He worked with them on replicating these item on a small scale. Then Judd and the kids put all of these figures together and created a cardinal. Now, they have progressed to other birds and BJ even applied his art skills when drawing the Gruffalo for our play invite! Check out the art below!
Butterflies provide a nice balance between structure (the basic form of a butterfly) and freedom (the sky's the limit with the lines and colors we can place on a butterfly's wings). Some typical elements of Claire Lawler's work are seen in this piece. She is fearless in her color choices and enjoys layering color with a variety of brush strokes. Her freedom of movement and her experimentation display the joy she takes in her art.
Like Claire, Jorge painted a butterfly which shows a lack of inhibition in his use of color. This piece demonstrates the different approach that Jorge typically takes in his work. Notice that he did not start with a basic pencil drawing--he just dove right in. Jorge's mind is bursting with ideas and stories. Little of Jorge's work gets hung in our school gallery because his enthusiasm is so intense that he rushes home with almost every piece as soon as it is done. Fortunately, he also does a great deal of work at home which he then brings to school to share with us.