Saturday, March 03, 2018

It's Coming! The Brackett School Annual Concert and Art Exhibit 2018

Students in all grades and classes are currently hard at work completing their work to be displayed for this year’s annual Concert and Art Show, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing: Music and Art In Celebration of the Sea. For this year's show, students have been busy learning songs and creating art work pertaining to the characteristics of our oceans, their wildlife, their ecosystems, their vessels, the challenges they face, and the creations they have inspired over the centuries. The performance and exhibit will start in the gym and front lobby at 9am on Friday, March 23, 2018. We look forward to seeing you and sharing this special event with the community.

Kindergarten: Patterns All Around Us

In this unit, students will be exploring the element of pattern further. Kindergarten students began this lesson by looking at the two selected artworks and were asked to identify as many patterns as they could see. Some patterns were obvious, while other were far more subtle. Students were asked to imagine how they might print the patterns used by the selected artist instead of a brush or drawing tool.

Students were then shown a demonstration on using wooden stamps dipped in tempera paint to create a repeating pattern of geometric shapes. Students were instructed to draw a picture of their choosing which would include patterns created by the stamps, though many students also chose to include drawn patterns.

Masterpiece of the Month: The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai

Who Made It? 
A Japanese printmaker named, Katsushika Hokusai created this print in the years 1829-1832.

Where Is the REAL One?
Copies of this print can be seen in several museums around the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City and The British Museum in London, England.

Why Is This Artwork Important?
This woodblock print is one in a HUGE series of 36 pictures created by Hokusai which were all views of Mount Fugi! The Great Wave is the most famous of the series. Here, an enormous wave threatens the safety of the boats. The wave is probably NOT intended to depict a tsunami, but instead a normal ocean wave created by wind called an okinami. The waves form a frame and point at Mt. Fugi. The sea foam looks like it is breaking into claws which grasp for the fishermen and makes us feel anxious as we wait for the wave to crash down. Hokusai loved to show water in motion, and the shapes of the boats blend into the shapes of the waves as they are carried with the rocking of the waves.

Kindergarten: Painting Pattern, Texture and Overlapping Color

Students were shown Paul Sierra’s painting, Three Days and Three Nights, and asked if they could identify what the picture depicted (a person sitting in a field while watching fireworks at night). They were then told that artists often make interesting textures, patterns and colors, and can overlap paint to make the painting interesting. Students were then asked a series of questions:

“Where do you see pattern in this picture?”
“Can you find an area of the painting with one color of paint on top of another color of paint?”
“What kind of brushstrokes did the artist use?”

Students then watched a demonstration of how to apply paint over a previously painted surface and how to use different brushes to create patterns and textures within a painting. For this lesson, students were given several size brushes and a large selections of colors to chose from to create a painting, and were also instructed to include pattern, texture and overlapped colors.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Grade One: Clay Animals

Students in first grade began this lesson by viewing and comparing several examples of sculptures of animals. In each of the examples, students were guided to notice how the artist used materials, textures and embellishments to either express a unique quality about the animal depicted, or to add an element of fun or personal decoration to their creation. Some artists opted to made their sculptures resemble the animal in a realistic manner, while others made their sculptures more interesting with  the creative use of line, color and shape.

Students were instructed to manipulate clay by pinching it, rather than subtracting and reattaching pieces, as children are often wont to do, resulting in significantly less strong sculptures. Students were required to only sculpt animals with legs, and to make certain the sculpture could stand and support itself on its legs. Once the sculptures were dried and fired, students added color using watercolors. They were also encouraged to consider whether they would paint/decorate their sculptures using life-like colors, or more creative possibilities.

February Masterpiece of the Month: Scenecio (Head of a Man) by Paul Klee

Who Made It?
This painting was created by a Swiss painter named, Paul Klee, in 1922.

Where is the REAL One?
The real painting can be seen at the Kunstmuseum Basel in Basel, Switzerland

Why Is It Important?
The artwork of Paul Klee was very inspiring to many artists during the 20th century and influenced many styles of art. Klee admired children’s artwork and wanted his own work to be just as expressive and without any limitations.This abstract version of the human face is divided by color into flat geometric shapes. This painting demonstrates Klee’s unique understanding of line, color, shape and space in a way that is playful, dramatic and strange all at the same time.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Kindergarten: Fabulous Feasts!

Many artists use food as subject matter for their work, and food is often present at celebrations of all kinds. Kindergarten students have spent the past few months focused on the many aspects of celebration: masks and costumes, party drawings and now feast collages! After identifying what a “feast” is, students discussed the selected food-related artworks before listing their own favorite foods they would enjoy.

Students were then instructed to create a feast by cutting out appropriate shapes and colors to represent various foods, imagining the colored paper background as their placemat. Small details and texture could be added using markers, and students were encouraged to include and think about other table-setting objects such as dishes, flatware and drinking glasses.

Grade One: Drawing Animal Textures

Students in the first grade have been learning how artists use the element of texture in their work. For this lesson, students examined how artists use pattern and line to give the illusion of texture in a drawing, painting or print that is actually smooth in surface texture. Students first looked at several photography examples which depicted many kinds of different textures and were asked to use their eyes to indentify and describe the textures they saw. Then, first graders were shown two examples of artworks featuring animals: Rhinoceros by Albrecht Durer and Hen by Saul Steinberg. Students were led to notice that line variations, shapes and patterns must be made to convey differences in hair length, scale size or bumpy skin.

Students were then asked to choose a photograph of an animal to draw using colored pencils and crayons and were required to draw the texture of that particular animal as they saw it in the photograph. Students were also instructed to give consideration to coloring, scale and proportion.

Grade Four: Analogous Landscape Painting

After a previous discussion and exploration of the style and techniques of Impressionist painting, fourth graders looked at Meadow of Giverny by Claude Monet, which depicts the artist’s understanding of using the full spectrum of the color wheel. Students were guided to notice the use of analogous colors, which are the colors next to one another on the color wheel. When colors are planned in this way in a painting, they create a more noticeable impact upon the viewer’s eyes when looking at the painting. Students were also led to notice that all colors can be changed to make a stronger visual impact when painting.

Students were then given photographs of various colorful landscapes to use as reference for their own paintings. Students were given a full spectrum of colors, but were instructed to mix and modify their colors in order to use colors more inventively. They were also encouraged to use analogous colors to make their painting sparkle with light.