Thursday, October 12, 2017

Kindergarten . . . A Star for Me!

Portrait by Valentina

This week, Kindergarten students completed their self-portraits. These wonderful images will soon become the cover of a book each artist is creating called, "A Star for Me!"

For our inspiration, we read the story, "I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard," by Jennifer Mann. In her book, Ms. Mann writes about Rose, a student who can't seem to get the right answer, stay neat, or spell words just right. She finally gets a star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard for being the most creative.

In our art class, being creative wins all the stars! Now that our portraits are complete, we are busy drawing pictures of things we are proud to do well. When we finish our pictures, we will have a complete book to share with everyone at school and at home.



WE ARE ARTISTS IN A MUSEUM!
When Lower School artists finish their projects, as the Kindergartners did with their self-portraits, I photograph everyone's work and upload the images to Artsonia.com, an online art museum for children. Artsonia brings together the artwork of students from many different countries to celebrate creativity in the classroom. All students at Ranney School are automatically a member of this international museum and will be building their own personal portfolios. Families are encouraged to browse the museum and view school exhibitions and student artwork. Students develop a sense of pride as their work becomes published on the site and is viewed by friends and family.

I sent home a paper from Artsonia with your child's special registration name and a passcode so that families can register to the site. I look forward to filling these online portfolios with beautiful work all year long! If you need the access code again, feel free to contact me.

Here are a few more examples of the Kindergarten portraits I just uploaded to Artsonia. Check out the Ranney School homepage on Artsonia.com to see everyone's work.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839
Portrait by Michael

Portrait by Carina

Portrait by David


Note to families...
This art blog will be updated regularly with new posts sharing our daily activities in the art room and news about upcoming art exhibits. To respect the privacy of our students, names will always be limited to first name only and identifiable photos will never be accompanied with a name. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write in the comment box below or send me an email at blevine@ranneyschool.org. I would love to hear from you!
    In my class, students are given the chance to explore different materials and fun new techniques as they develop their signature style. Some young artists love to draw with a pencil, some like to paint on canvas or create images in a digital format, while others prefer working with clay and molding three-dimensional forms. In my classroom, we use a variety of materials allowing all artists to experiment and figure out which type of art they like the best. At Ranney School, we place a strong emphasis on originality and celebrate artistic differences, always nurturing and encouraging the imagination of every student.
     Remember to check out our display of finished artwork and student portfolios in the Ranney home page of Artsonia.com.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

Thursday, September 21, 2017

FIFTH GRADE . . . showing respect in art

In our school we are learning to appreciate the values that help us become good students and good friends. For September, we talked about "respect". In art, our room is a shared space. We share tools, tables, supplies, and often ideas for our projects. Respect in art comes out of working together to encourage each other's creativity.

With our fifth grade sketchpad activity, students create a drawing at home and share it with the class. Student artists have a chance to offer an artist's statement describing their drawing, getting us interested in what they made. Friends in the class also have an opportunity to offer comments or questions to the artist. Respect works both ways in this activity. We show respect by listening to the artist's descriptions and by commenting with thoughtful and encouraging words.

Here is a short video of our fifth graders showing respect. For this week, we all designed an emoji in our sketchpads that best represents our personalities.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

WELCOME to a new and creative year!

There is nothing more exciting to an artist than a box of brand new crayons, pencils ready for drawing, and a painter's palette filled with bright colors. The art room (rm 205) is upstairs in the Early Childhood Education Center alongside the music room and World Language classrooms. Our special subject hallway is a fun and cheerful place to visit during the Ranney School day.

Welcome to my art room blog!
This blog is our online conversation where you can see highlights of student artwork, videos featuring our young artists, and news from the art room all year long! You can follow my blog and see all new posts by clicking on the email link to the right. I will also send out a personal email message whenever your young artist is honored and celebrated this way. For privacy in the online community, please know that I will not use last names to identify anyone's artwork, and as well, first names will never accompany a recognizable photo. For any questions regarding my use of photography and video in this blog, you are always welcome to stop by the art room or reach out to me at blevine@ranneyschool.org.

As we begin our creative journey this year, students will be given the chance to explore different materials and fun new techniques as they develop their signature style. We use a variety of materials allowing all artists to experiment and figure out which type of art they like the best. At Ranney School, we place a strong emphasis on originality and celebrate artistic differences, always nurturing and encouraging the imagination of every student.

Getting ready for the new year
All lower school students, Beginners through 5th grade, should bring in an artist portfolio. If you have one from last year, you are welcome to use it again. Place a new label on the front with the student name and new homeroom teacher. I prefer to have a thin cardboard portfolio (as pictured here) for easier storage in my room. It is frequently found as a red cardboard portfolio with plastic or woven handles. 20" x 26" is the most popular size students bring in. Please do not invest in a very large or a thick leather case. It is only for storage in my room and I will not have the space to hold extra large cases. I look forward to filling these portfolios with wonderful artwork all year long!

5th grade art students should also bring in a sketchpad each week on art days. We will talk about the size and style of sketchpads during our first class. Otherwise, all materials you need for art, including artist's smocks, are already in my room. Come ready to have fun!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

KINDERGARTEN . . . An Aesop Illustration!

Illustration by Asha

In our Kindergarten art class, we shared a story as first told by Aesop over 2000 years ago in Greece. Aesop's Fables is a collection of stories featuring animals as the lead characters. Even though his messages are told through the animals, Aesop teaches us important lessons about how people can better relate to each other. A well known fable by Aesop is "The Tortoise and the Hare." We were all very familiar with this story and many of us knew that it is about animals who run a race. The hare being such a fast animal is so confident in his ability to beat the tortoise that he stops and takes a nap. The tortoise walks right by the sleeping rabbit and wins the race. The moral of this story is "Slow and steady wins the race." We talked about how it is not always a good thing to rush in art class. The first person to finish their project is not always doing their best. Taking your time and being more careful with your work and with the supplies often means you create a better looking drawing or painting.

We then shared another fable, "The Lion and the Mouse." In this story, Aesop entertains us with the idea that a small mouse might be able to save a ferocious lion from the trap of hunters. To read this entire story and play a fun interactive game based on the characters in the tale, click on this link to The Library of Congress Aesop for Children website!

Here are more of our wonderful illustrations for Aesop's fable. To see all of our work, follow this link to our home page at artsonia.com ...    http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

Illustration by Marc
Illustration by Andrew

Illustration by Bella

Illustration by Shiven


Thursday, May 18, 2017

KINDERGARTEN . . . There's a mouse in Ranney School!

"If I took my mouse to Ranney School, she would go to art class and paint a picture of a flower." - Gabriella

"If You Take a Mouse to School," by Laura Numeroff is part of a series of fun stories about animals in human situations. Inspired by the theme and the illustrations in the book, we drew our own mouse characters.

Wearing a Ranney School T-shirt, our mouse friends joined us in everyday school activities. Some went to art or music or science class and some just wanted to have lunch! What would your mouse do if you brought him to school?

Here are a few more examples of our mouse stories for you to enjoy!!

"If I took my mouse to Ranney School, he would go to lunch, eat a cookie and drink some water." - Miles

"If I took my mouse to Ranney School, he would go outside and play soccer." - Christo

"If I took my mouse to Ranney School, she would catch lady bugs in science." - Annika

"If I took my mouse to Ranney School, he would celebrate his birthday with a muffin and a candle." - Harley


Second Grade . . . Going back in time



Second graders took a trip back in time, over 40,000 years ago, to the age of cave people. Cavemen drew amazingly realistic pictures of animals on the walls of caves. What kinds of art tools do you think they used? Was there a Michael's Arts and Crafts back then to buy paints and brushes?

We looked at cave paintings of early horses, buffalo and other animals. They were not only recognizable, they looked like they were drawn in action, appearing as if they were running on the walls in the caves! Surprisingly, these images of early cave art are very similar all over the world, which suggests that people were producing "art" at a much earlier time, possibly before they began to spread out across the earth.

In art class, we drew our animals in pencil and marker on big sheets of recycled paper. Then we crinkled up the drawings to create creases, just like on the surface of a rock. The animals were painted in warm earth tones, and chalk was rubbed into the background areas to represent the marks and colors of the wall.

Often, the cavemen used a hand print to signify people in their art. Taking a cue from the images we shared in class, we traced our hands near our animals to represent our signatures.

Here are a few more examples of the work in our prehistoric cave. You can also see everyone's images on artsonia.com.   http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839





Wednesday, May 10, 2017

SECOND GRADE . . . A mummy mask!



Second graders dressed down yesterday for art class! Our lesson in ancient Egyptian art brought us back in time to 3000 B.C., and the highly stylized and symbolic images of the Egyptian culture. Many of our students knew many interesting facts about King Tut, one of the more famous of the Egyptian pharaohs.

We learned about their writing system, Hieroglyphics, a pictographic script that was often painted or engraved into the walls of the pyramids. The Rosetta Stone, discovered in the late 18th century in France, gave us a clue that these repetitive symbols were actually characters of a written language. Once translated, we discovered so much more about the ancient Egyptians, learning about their daily lives and their belief in an afterlife. For fun, we wrote our names in Hierolgyphic symbols.

Our masks began as a plastic face mold. We all added cardboard pieces to represent the Egyptian stylized head and then students had a choice to add a collar, hair pieces and a beard, creating a mask for an Egyptian pharaoh or queen. We applied plaster strips to the masks, a wet and messy material, but perfect as a molding medium that can be painted or decorated once it dries.

Here are some of our students getting messy and creative with their mummy masks!




THIRD GRADE . . . The art of the design

Abstract Art: Art that does not attempt to represent reality, but seeks to achieve its effect through shape, line and color.


Abstract Collage by Jack

Leonardo da Vinci
Piet Mondrian
Third graders took a journey through art history in the 19th and 20th centuries and saw dramatic changes in what people considered to be "Art." Before the use of a camera, it was an artist's job to make a rendition of any scene or person as realistic and recognizable as possible. An important way to record history was through depictions of portraits, landscapes, paintings of battle scenes or illustrations from the Bible. Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" was the level of mastery that artists tried to follow.

During the 19th century, artists explored how they could express their feelings in their artwork and began to break away from the rigid rules of the masters in Europe. Artists who experimented with impressionism or cubism had a difficult time becoming accepted in a traditional art world, but it was their daring ideas that eventually changed the way we view art. Pure abstract art, such as the painting shown above by Piet Mondrian, is not supposed to represent an object or a person. It is meant to stand on its own as a wonderful composition. Learning to appreciate abstract art means understanding and appreciating the art of the design.

Third graders created their own abstract compositions with cut papers. We balanced colors, textures and random shapes together to create a pleasing design. My only rule was that it should not be based on a portrait or a scene, but just a random arrangement of paper.

As well as creating a unique and interesting composition, we played around with which way it should be held. As it is an abstract and not a picture of a person, we showed our collages to the class and turned it four different ways until the students agreed which side should be facing up. Selecting just the right color frame was another important design decision they had to make.

To see all of our abstract collages, follow this link to our 3rd grade exhibit on artsonia.com.
http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

Abstract Collage by Dylan

Abstract Collage by Zuri

Abstract Collage by Jonathan

Abstract Collage by Julie


Note to families...
This art blog will be updated regularly with new posts sharing our daily activities in the art room and news about upcoming art exhibits. To respect the privacy of our students, names will always be limited to first name only and identifiable photos will never be accompanied with a name. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write in the comment box below or send me an email at blevine@ranneyschool.org. I would love to hear from you!
    In my class, students are given the chance to explore different materials and fun new techniques as they develop their signature style. Some young artists love to draw with a pencil, some like to paint on canvas or create images in a digital format, while others prefer working with clay and molding three-dimensional forms. In my classroom, we use a variety of materials allowing all artists to experiment and figure out which type of art they like the best. At Ranney School, we place a strong emphasis on originality and celebrate artistic differences, always nurturing and encouraging the imagination of every student.
     Remember to check out our display of finished artwork and student portfolios in the Ranney home page of Artsonia.com.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

Friday, May 5, 2017

BEGINNERS . . . Spring watercolors!


Beginners continued to practice their art skills with this Springtime art project. Drawing circles all around a center circle with a black crayon makes a perfect blossom for our Spring art show. We used a small brush with lots of water and a strip of watercolors to paint in our flowers. In the blossom above, Emerson chose to paint with blue and green watercolors. The stems was made with a straight line of green tempera paint.

Here are some more examples of our colorful flowers. All of our paintings will be on display in Panther Hall Gallery for Parent's Day. Come enjoy the talents of our youngest artists on stage and in the gallery!





Wednesday, May 3, 2017

PRE - K . . . Spring Bouquets!



Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso painted this sweet picture of hands holding a bouquet of flowers. With a few colors of paint, a small brush, and a couple of thin markers, Pre-Kindergarten artists created their own version of this famous bouquet.

We started off by tracing our hand on paper. Then we were each given a palette of tempera colors on a paper plate. We painted circles of color for the centers of four flowers. Using the brush, we painted lines around the centers just like you might around a sun. This gave us the same look as Picasso's flowers. We used markers to add stems, and as Picasso did in his painting, we added our signature at the bottom.



Here are a few more of our Spring bouquets! To see all of our flower paintings, follow this link to Artsonia.com  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839