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






Friday, April 28, 2017

FOURTH GRADE . . . Painting nature

Painting by Bianca

If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment." - Georgia O'Keeffe

Fourth graders paused in their busy schedules at school to admire the beautiful work of Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), an American artist, best known for her studies of nature. She often zoomed in on her subjects, getting us all to slow down and notice the beauty she captured in the world around her. She did not paint an entire field of flowers, but instead focused on the shapes and colors of just one blossom.

As well as inspiring us to admire the details in a single flower, a sea shell, or even an animal skull, Georgia O'Keeffe was also a master of color and blending. To follow her example, we each chose a photograph of something from nature and drew the image very large on our canvases. Then, we selected our color palette, considering carefully how to create the best blends.

To make two colors blend together, we referred to the color wheel. Colors that are close to each other on the wheel will make the most natural blends. Adding white will create a tint of the color and adding darker hues will create a shade of the color. Any of these color choices would work well. To blend the colors directly on the canvas, we worked in one area at a time, letting our paintbrushes do the blending. For a flower with many petals, that meant applying wet colors and blending them together before they dry, one petal at a time. In Bianca's painting above, not only does the flower show a blend from light pink to darker pink, but her background also shows a blend of different shades of blue. The blending of green to yellow on her leaf really pops and gets us to take notice of the shape and color.

These fourth grade nature paintings are a highlight of our art show in Panther Hall Gallery and I am just as proud for them to grace the screen of my art blog. Bravo to all my artists! To see everyone's paintings, follow this link to our home page on artsonia.com.   http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839


Painting by Elle

Painting by Gabriel

Painting by Courtney
Painting by Anthony

Painting by Sabrina

FIRST GRADE . . . David Hockney Landscapes

Landscape by Amrita
David Hockney
First Graders worked on completing their colorful landscape paintings this week. Inspired by the vivid artwork of David Hockney's large painted scenes, we first created a drawing of a landscape with rolling hills and tall trees that stretch from the bottom of the page all the way up to the top. Each area of land was then defined by a specific pattern, a technique that David Hockney often used. We drew stripes, circles, and wavy lines to create our patterns. A very bright color palette of paint was used to complete our scenes.

To see all of our finished projects, follow this link to our first grade art exhibits on Artsonia.com.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

Landscape by Alina

Landscape by Sadie

Landscape by Elijah


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, April 27, 2017

GRAPHIC ARTS . . . Pixelating Post-It Notes!

For our latest graphic arts project we worked in the breezeway of the Commons, hanging rows of Post-it notes on the windows. The sun shines right through the brightly colored squares and makes the walkway so much fun to see!

When we studied Adobe Photoshop at the beginning of this year, we saw what happens when we zoom in on an image. We no longer see smooth transitions, but squares of color. If a photograph does not have enough pixels at the size you want to view it, those squares will be visible and the image would not look natural or sharp. For this project, we tried to create that pixelated look on purpose.

To do this, we created a grid on Adobe Illustrator and filled it with squares of color to represent the parts of the image we were trying to represent with Post-it notes. Most of our artists chose to do a cartoon figure or a bold looking logo, as these images would be easiest to recognize, even in a pixelated format.