This has been a busy week for sure and I feel as if I’m still trying to play catch up. Today is the end of my first week teaching at PASPOA here in Porto Alegre, Brazil. I am splitting my time between two campuses and see two section of each grade level Pre 3-G3 twice in a 6 day cycle. On one campus I have a dedicated art space but on the other campus I’m teaching art on a cart which has been a bit of a challenge. I think that amidst all the meetings and inconvenience of not having the experience of knowing the system it has been a successful week.
Starting from scratch.
This week the G1-3 worked on colored pencil and marker techniques while creating their name tags. I love this lesson and have used it for years with multiple grade levels. Procedures and techniques get packed into a little bit of getting to know more about the students.
My KGs worked on creating artworks with shapes using oil pastel and watercolors. I showed them how to do dry brush and wet on wet and several of them gave it a go.
Pre4s worked on Line artworks using watercolor and oil pastels. Some of these kiddos aren’t speaking a lot of English yet so it’s a bit of a challenge since I don’t speak Portuguese but we’ll get there.
While listening to Tamar Avishai’s podcast, “The Lonely Palette,” Ep. 36 – “Behold the Monkey,” I learned of this interesting story where a woman in Spain restored a fresco of Jesus Christ called “Ecce Homo (Behold the Man).” With a quick Google Search of the incident I came across several articles including this one in the NY Post, Infamous botched Jesus painting now a major tourist attraction.
In Avishai’s podcast, some of points she discusses in regards to this event are the fact that this was no ordinary vandalism job but done in love, to restore one woman’s favorite local depiction of Jesus Christ and prior to the “restoration,” no one really knew about this work of art.
This was the first episode I have listened to in this series but the mix of art history and the easiness of Avishai’s voice provides a lot of promise for me to continue listening.
I was just looking through some old photos and videos trying to free up storage!! I came across these G4 students marionette puppets. During their UOI Sharing the Planet they were exploring the concept of conservation and focusing on trees. I had them do a little research on paper coffee cups and then we saved coffee cups for a week. Students then created these marionette puppets. So cute!
Grade 3 students explored color theory with watercolor painting. I wanted students to work on mixing colors instead of just using the colors straight from the palette. Previously I have had students use oil pastels to create the barriers that would prevent colors from mixing and turning into a puddle of brown muddy colors. This year I decided that if I had them practice and focus on controlling the amount of water and use Analogous colors then we could eliminate a step and then develop more skills in regards to creating texture and leaning about color mixing.
I think that students were more successful in building their knowledge in color theory but I want to work with them more on drawing bigger so that they have more space to mix the colors. Some of their drawings were so small that they didn’t have the space to work with mixing colors.
Take aways from last weekends iSTEMed conference in Doha…
From Cesar Harada, “Imagination is the most precious stuff the children have.” Many of the conversations and workshops focused on stimulating students creativity through empathy.
At the conference I attended a workshop with Suzanne Presinal and we were challenged with creating a playground for animals. We first brainstormed different animals we were interested in and then once the group decided on an animal we began to create the playground from paper and recycle bits. As we were building the playground we began to think about what the characteristics of our animal, a meerkat, were and what they would like best. Our playground eventually included a widescreen TV that would play videos of meerkats, because meerkats like to mimic each other as well as hammocks and slides and places for them to climb. Everyone was in charge of different areas and we worked as a team to build a playground that meerkats would enjoy.
There were other workshops that I attended that gave some useful information but the overarching theme from all of them was to begin with empathy to engage the children. I will definitely be paying more attention to appealing to the students empathy side in the future when asking them to design.
In a ceramic workshop that I am taking with Waleed R. Qaisi, we were discussing Conceptual Art and that the artwork is a result of something from withing the artist and the art doesn’t have to be something representational, sometimes its about exploring the material and the balance of composition. I struggle with this and so i decided to do research on Conceptual Artists and their process.
I found this video of Ai Weiwei’s “Sunflower Seeds.” While the sunflower seeds are a recognizeable product, the viewer might question, “Why has this artist made, or placed, all of these sunflower seeds on the ground this way? What does it mean?” After watching the video I had a better idea of Conceptual art and was able to develop a concept to explore throughout the workshop.