Monday, February 19, 2018

Matisse, The Beast

Fauvism, as an art movement, only lasted a couple of years, but it left quite a Post-Impressionism impression. In French "fauve" means "wild beast," and although it was meant as an insult by a critic of a salon exhibition, the name was embraced by painters like Braque and Henri Matisse who enjoyed wild brush strokes and arbitrary color usage.  The painting of Madam Matisse was called, "The Green Stripe" because of the green that runs down the middle of her half yellow, and half pink face. Her hair his blue.

My students were given the task to make a portrait in the style of Henri Matisse, and they really enjoyed the freedom of color play.  And I really enjoyed seeing what they could do.

Matisse made art for the last 64 years of his life. Once he was wheel chair, and then bed ridden, his painting days were over, but his paper cut outs were just as exciting. My paper cut out lesson plan can be found here:
http://kristenapplebee.blogspot.com/2014/09/art-projects-for-little-ones.html




Thursday, February 8, 2018

Let It Show! Let It Show! Let it Show!


There is much to be said for the process of art making as a means to itself.  It is therapeutic. It is a way to learn, grow and observe the world more carefully. But good art, like good ice cream should be shared with others. And I find that when my students know that their work will be displayed, they are more likely to work hard and make something worth displaying.
My students have an art exhibit right now at our local Good Will. Participation perks for them have included a field trip to an opening reception with live music, tasty refreshments, and interaction with members of the community. They were mentioned us on local TV and we got a write up in the local paper.  Four pieces sold at opening night.  Fifteen more students got paid this week for work they submitted to The American Printing House for the Blind Insights Art Contest last year.




We had a school wide exhibit in December and will have another in the Spring to coincide with the school concerts.  But there's something extra satisfying to step outside our little family of students and teachers into the real world. This spring we will have another exhibition of student work at Georgia College about an hour away. I'm not likely to have many students go on to art careers, but as long as they stick with me, they get a chance to feel like a pro.






Saturday, February 3, 2018

Roy Lichtenstein, Pop Art Star, Assignment







As an art teacher, I get my inspiration for assignments anywhere I can. I got my Roy Lichtenstein/ Pop Art project from Roy Lichtenstein himself, even though he'd taught in the Ohio State art department long before I was a student there, and has been dead for years.  He was famous for creating large, comic inspired paintings, using primary colors and Benday dots, as though they were printed in a newspaper.  In collecting images of his work for a slide show, I stumbled across a painting he did based on Van Gough's painting of his room.  It seemed like the perfect solution for my students who only had four class periods (minus time for lecture and research) to complete a large painting. I had them pick a famous masterpiece from art history. Once a painting was chosen, the subject matter and composition were already in place, freeing the student a chance to use his or her time to focus on colors and mark making. They could create shapes of solid color, as Lichtenstein did, but were also required to create a Benday dot pattern, using the back of a large pencil to stamp out the paint.

I wish we'd had time for to have the students get a pop art make-over, but it was all we could do to get through with the painting.  I did, however, try some Lichtenstein cosplay with left-over Halloween make up on my own.

Through the week, old masterpieces became new. Rembrandt's burnt sienna became saturated and Cassat's modeled furniture became flattened. Everything felt more commercial, mass produced, and well...fun! That's the point of Pop Art. Make it, sell it, love it.