Monday, January 16, 2017

The Ratner School Art Program

We had a complete and productive week in art at school. Each class is showing continued growth and understanding in the projects they are working on. I am constantly amazed at the change in the students and their work from the beginning of the year to this point of the school year. Each class, whether they are in Kindergarten or 8th grade, come into the room ready to work, engaged in their art. I enjoy seeing the excitement and even the occasional frustrations of the students as they discover and create their work. We have several projects in the works and I am excited to see where the students will take the final pieces. 

Car park near Waterloo station, London, 1963 (photographer unknown)

Kindergarten Art

We continued our study of Alexander Calder this past week with the construction of the wire portraits. The students had practiced the wire bending and joining techniques last week and enjoyed creating free form wire "sculptures" using aluminum wire. They created a wire outline in the shape of a head and began adding all the facial features. Eyes, nose and mouth placement were discussed and the various techniques learned last week came in handy for construction. They all enjoyed adding the colored wire and various details. This week we will begin the study of Eric Carle.

Kindergarten Art set up


1st and 2nd Grade Art

We are progressing well on the Van Gogh landscape paintings. The students have finished all the color washes with tempera paints and are showing a good understanding of color theory, paint mixing and representational sketches. I am pleased with the care and interest each student is showing with their work and they are ready to begin adding details to their paintings this week. After the paintings are near completion, I may have them add more details using acrylic paint. I will see how the paint control is this week!

This is a sketch from memory from a 1st grade student of Van Gogh's Starry Night

3rd and 4th Grade Art

The artists in 3rd and 4th Grade are having such a great time designing their album covers! They are showing a clear understanding about the different effects of various type fonts and the visual cues colors express. I enjoy seeing the students move the elements around to find a good visual balance in their work. Work will continue this week to finalize the designs and then I will scan the final projects to size into a CD cover. Ms. Jarrett is working with the students in music composing the music for their final albums. 

5th and 6th Grade Art

The students are continuing the tracing and cutting prep for the current geometric solid project. They are showing a more complete understanding of the importance of craftsmanship and slow and careful work. This is a challenge for some students, but all are showing a great deal of patience, tenacity and improvement already. The next phase of the project will be the folding and assembly of the form.

Bags full of parts and pieces for the rhombicosidodecahedron

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 7th and 8th Grade

Work continued this week on the Impressionist inspired landscapes. The students are showing more independence and confidence with their choice of color mixing and require less assistance choosing their palettes. I enjoy seeing the different approaches and directions the students are taking and the paintings are developing nicely. The pace of work is beginning to be more regular and I believe the students may be able to complete this unit before their Eleuthera trip. My hope is that the work they are doing in art will help them appreciate the light difference they experience on their trip. 

The beginning stages of color blocking

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Wheat Fields with Cypresses by Vincent Van Gogh