Saturday, April 08, 2017

Grade One: Beginner Painting Techniques, Wet and Dry


This first grade lesson was instructed in two phases, allowing students to experience two different methods of painting. First, students discussed how artists such as Helen Frankenthaler can use paint in different ways, such as allowing colors to run together as seen in her painting, Pistachio.
Week one involved painting in a technique called "wet-on-wet", meaning wet paint on wet paper. Students learned to moisten paper before painting and to dilute colors to force them to "bleed", run and drip. This created a colorful background wash for the second phase of this lesson.

Returning to find their background paintings dry, students discussed how artists use different types of brushes to make many kinds of marks, such as Georges Braque in his painting, Still Life with Grapes and Clarinet. Examining for differences, students were shown a flat brush and a round brush. Looking at Braques' painting, students were asked to find marks that each of these brushes might have made.

Students were told they would need to use their imaginations while carefully examining their wet-on-wet background and think of a what kind of picture this "painting" would be a good background for. Rather than covering up their interesting bleeding paint effects, students were told to add new things to make their pictures more complete. They were then each given both a flat and round brush and instructed to paint "wet-on-dry" (wet paint on dry paper) using each of these brushes on top of the wash painting from the previous week.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Grade Five: O'Keeffe Flower Bowls

Students in grade five started this lesson by learning about the enlarged Modernist style flower paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986). Students were then instructed to choose a reproduction of one of O’Keeffe’s botanical paintings and to isolate one small section of the image using a viewfinder to allow closer inspection of the colors and textures employed by O’Keeffe in her work. Using oil pastels, students were instructed to create a drawing of the isolated portion while attempting to recreate the colors as accurately as possible, as they appeared through the viewfinder.

The second phase of the this project involved students creating a three-dimensional bowl inspired by the flower of their drawing, using ceramic clay. Students were instructed in the technique of building a slab bowl, adding necessary pieces and sculptural elements to resemble the specific flower in O’Keeffe’s painting as much as possible. Bowls were then glazed with appropriate colors and kiln-fired.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

April Masterpiece of the Month: Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright

Who Made It?
This house was designed by an American architect named, Frank Lloyd Wright in the years 1935-1939.

Where Is the REAL One?
The real house, also known as The Kaufmann House, can be visited in Mill Run, Pennsylvania.

Why Is This Artwork Important?
Fallingwater is a house suspended above a natural waterfall and built into a mountainside to give the house the feeling of being part of nature, itself, without intruding upon the natural environment. For this reason, Fallingwater is considered to be an amazing and groundbreaking idea and accomplishment in the history of architecture.
Wright was hired by a man named, Edgar J. Kaufmann, who was the founder of a large department store in Pittsburgh, PA. Kaufmann wanted a vacation weekend home to serve as a natural retreat from busy city life. Wright made the daring decision to have the house built on the side of a cliff, overlooking the most dramatic feature on the property: a waterfall, which Wright planned to be fully integrated into the design of the house.

In addition to designing the structure of the house, Wright also designed all the furniture and decorative elements on the inside of the house! Wright used natural stone found on the property on the inside of the home, which made the house feel as though the OUTdoors were, in fact, INdoors.