To kick off our last quarter, we are doing a fundraiser through the company Great American, where the kids sell tubs of cookie dough to raise more funds for Art supplies. Last week was spent organizing for that whole ordeal (buy some cookie dough from your children!), and this week we actually got back into ART action :)
The project we are embarking on this month is an odd combination of Cubism, Landscape, and Zentangle. Sounds strange? Because it IS strange! (We ARE talking about ART here, guys ....... ) :)
The students learned about the American artist Georgia O'Keeffe, and studied her large scale painted micro views of flowers, as well as her soft muted palette, macro views of dessert landscapes.
The students also participated in a few abstract exercises inspired by the Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, who is dubbed as the "Father of Cubism".
How do these two artists and styles go together, you ask? Well, aside from being alive and working at the same time, they don't! But WE are going to use their work to help fuel the ideas we have for our upcoming project ....... Abstract Zentangle Landscapes!
We started out by creating our own personal mandalas during silent sketch time. Mandalas are spiritual ritual symbols of the Universe taken from Hindu and Buddhist history. We talked about how at this age, our own universe is pretty small, so we started our designs at the center of the circle. As we grow up and make more choices, meet new friends, experience new things, and create more memories, our universe expands ... just like the radially balanced designs of our mandalas.
The rhythm and mindfulness required to make these mandalas was the perfect warm-up for moving into our unique and fun zentangle designs. Zentangle is one of those forms of art-making that helps to counter the kids who always say "I can't draw". The practice of creating simple yet elaborate designs and patterns becomes therapeutic and almost meditative, and the kids love it!
Next, I taught them several blending techniques they could choose from to accomplish different results for the backgrounds of our abstract landscapes using oil pastels.
I think these are turning out pretty amazing, but you check out their work for yourself!
And as usual, below is a downloadable link for the vocabulary in this project and unit. :) :) :) :) :)
And not that I condone drawing on ourselves, or ink poisoning for that matter, but I'm excited to see that some of the students liked creating their mandalas so much that they drew a few more permanent ones on their own hands!
Have a fabulous week, and stay calm and focused as we move into our heavy testing season next week with the FSAs!