Secret Pal, if you are reading this- I ate this thing in like 5 minutes and it was amazing. I love you.
Before we start our art projects we HAVE to write thank you notes to SVCA. I am a little ashamed to say what happened in one of our classes where I was trying to use math to show how much time it takes to get up to $500. I asked "Tiffany" how much she gets for chores or washing the dishes she said $5. Then she said it takes her around 45 minutes to wash the dishes so I asked our mathematicians how many minutes Tiffany would have to wash dishes to come up with $500 to give us. We tried to work it out and I failed miserably and confused the kids worse so we just ended up saying "A very long time." Listen... I can draw really good. The kids totally got it and their letters were personal and the drawings were just plain cute.
Monday through Wednesday last week was testing so I didn't get to see my kiddos for Art until Thursday. I really got a little nervous because the Knoxville Valley Fair student art deadline is next Friday (YIKES)! I usually take about a full day (45 minutes) of teaching the Artist in Focus as well as the background information but because the deadline is approaching so fast I thought, "Well I can just teach production this one time..." NO! Other art teachers might be able to make connections without the art history and real life connections but then what does that art become? Being back-road brilliant articulators we could call it being experimental but then again some would just call it lazy. Anyhow, it messes with my routine and hey, that's a no-go.
I always begin my lessons by writing my standards on the board along with a kid-friendly objective. The daily questions were hard this week but we compared two student art posters and discussed how each work of art gave us a different feeling or mood. When we covered the flipchart (above) I gave a brief run down of Georgia's experience with her husband Alfred and the places that she traveled to. In their sketchbooks they took notes on how to appreciate and look at art:
1. Describe: "I see a Yak skull." That was probably my favorite. "There is a flower floating out of nowhere." "I see mountains... or is that tee-pees with holes in them?" "I see stormy clouds."
2. Analyze: "What do skulls usually represent?-Death!" "Ok, how would it make Tommy feel if I gave him a flower? -Happy! - So why are these two living together in a singular space?" "They are opposites! The texture of a flower is soft...the texture of a skull is hard and rough." "This could be like Georgia and Alfred's marriage!" (I really liked that guess)
3. Interpret: "So why would Georgia want her audience to see this? What is she trying to express in this image?-Maybe because if it is representing her marriage there are storm clouds." "Or maybe she is happy about dying?"
4. Judge: "Is this a good artwork?-Yes.- Who says no? Why?" "Can success be measured in different ways? How?"
We spend a good thirty minutes just talking about this image alone. It was an awesome talk and every class was engaged and curious about diving deeper into an image!
I am a cry baby. I'll own it! Getting 6th grade ready for their glue LINE (remember we're going through the woods with the ELEMENTS OF ART?) wore my thumb-plumb. out. I got this lesson from my mentor Dr. Jeanie Parker when they studied Georgia O'Keeffe flowers using this glue & black paint mix to create the outlines. They always turned out beautiful. Everything Dr. Parker does ALWAYS turns out beautiful. I did give 6th grade the option of either drawing the outline of their shoe or a picture of bouquets that I have stored.
5th grade are doing an oil pastel on construction paper project, either zooming in and abstracting an image of a flower or composing the entire image in its whole: They end up looking a lot like this. but all very different. Did that make sense?
Finally I have to brag on my husband. I have been coming home chewing my nails off because I have 15 classes and each class box doesn't have a home other than the floor beside my desk. Where am I going to store all this work?! My sweet Moma gave me a Home Depot gift card about a month ago and I had $90 on it. I asked Lance to make me a shelf and he said draw it... so I did!
Organization is everything! Moma always said, "Clean house=clean mind!" and my dad told me this morning "The more organized you are, the less work you have to do." I drew it, Mom bought it, Lance built it, and Dad hauled it. It truly seems like it takes a village to keep the world going round and I am just so grateful for my family, my co-workers, and my students who make everything in life- happy, wonderful, and WORTH IT!